Sunday, November 22, 2015

Button Turkey

What do you get when you take a handprint turkey and add some buttons? This cutie:
I knew the buttons I bought for my fall tree would come in handy. I had to pick through them to find the small ones so they'd fit in the fingers of my daughter's handprint. First I traced it with a pencil then went over it with markers. I also added a beak and feet.
Then my daughter helped me squeeze glue on the fingers. We worked on one finger at a time, matching the colors.

For the body, we again covered it in glue first.
I found a dark brown square button, so she put that in the middle to look like a wing. Then she filled in the rest.
I added a wiggle eye and that was it!
Great fine motor practice and color-matching activity!

For more Thanksgiving fun, check out these free printables you can use to dress up your dining table at!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nature Faces

Before I get to the art project today, I wanted to update you on my job situation. If you were reading this blog back in May, you know I left the center I was teaching at and stayed home with my daughter for the summer. At the end of the summer, as I applied for new positions, I realized I didn't want to teach in a center anymore. So I became a nanny for a wonderful family instead. They have a 3-year-old daughter and an 18-month-old son. My daughter is 2-and-a-half so she fits in nicely. Although I love teaching and often miss being in a classroom, I am very happy with my decision. And I still get to do a lot of what I did in the classroom anyway. (But no more class displays -- boo hoo.)

Now on to the art...
I noticed the red leaves from a burning bush looked like lips, so I thought it would be fun to make faces out of things from nature. Most of the leaves have already fallen off the trees where I live, but there are a few still hanging on. We took a walk to collect some items that we thought would be good for our project. Then we got to work gluing the items on to resemble a face.
I put markers out to add in other details, but it's not necessary. Here's one I made before I drew anything in:
And then after:
It just adds a little something. We had a lot of fun!

And the little one just made a collage.
This art won't last forever, but it's a wonderful activity to do on a beautiful autumn day!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Monster Craft

My daughter is very into monsters lately, as long as they are cute and friendly! Last year at her day care she made a monster with candy corn teeth (similar to this one from Crafty Morning), but I didn't save it long because of the candy. So when I found these craft candy corn pieces at Hobby Lobby, I thought we could make another monster with them and be able to save it with the rest of our Halloween decorations.
She and a friend made their own monsters. I asked what color they wanted for the body, horns, arms and feet and cut everything free-hand from construction paper. They glued on all the pieces. I set out a bunch of wiggle eyes for them to choose from, as well.

Then I put dots of glue inside the mouth for the kids to place the fake candy corn.
I love how they turned out!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sparkly Spider Webs

I found these jeweled spider rings at Target and I thought they'd be cute for a spider web craft. Plus I knew my daughter would love wearing them.
We used sturdy paper plates for this craft, but any thick paper would work. Start by making your web with Elmer's white glue.
Younger kids can just put a bunch of glue on their plate any way they'd like. Then shake on the glitter.

This is where the paper plate really came in handy. It helped contain the glitter. You can even shake it around on your plate to make sure all the glue gets covered.
Then quickly dump the excess glitter in the garbage or another container if you wish to save it. Now it's time to add your spiders! I cut off the ring parts of the spiders so they'd be flat on the plate. I also used glue dots, but regular glue is fine, too. Wait for the glue to dry and your sparkly spider web is complete!

I'm thinking of punching a hole in the top and putting string through so I can hang them somewhere. They're cute halloween decorations!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Button Pumpkin Patch

Since I had so many buttons left over from our fall tree craft, I decided to use some orange ones in a pumpkin patch craft.
First you use glue to make some squiggly lines on green paper.
Then you put green yarn on the glue.
My daughter is only 2 so she didn't really line up the yarn on the glue, but I just waited for her to put the yarn where she wanted it and then squirted some glue under the yarn in a few places. Older children might be able to follow the glue line with their yarn.
Then glue on orange buttons of all different sizes. You can follow along the yarn or, like my daughter did, glue them anywhere!

After it dried, I realized it was missing something. Leaves! We added those by scrunching up green tissue paper squares and gluing them randomly on the paper.
And there you have it, a button pumpkin patch!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Fall Button-Tree Craft

Fall crafts are my absolute favorite. The colors are so beautiful. I've been wanting to make a fall tree with buttons for awhile now, but I couldn't find a big, inexpensive bag of fall-colored buttons. You'd think it would be easy, right? So I eventually broke down and bought single bags of buttons in five different colors. I love button art, so I know I'll be able to use them for many other crafts. I had planned on painting a tree, but then I found this pack of foam trees at Target:
I loved how whimsical they were. So I let my daughter pick which tree she wanted to use and I glued it to a piece of 12x12 blue scrapbook paper. Then I combined a bunch of buttons in a container. She put some glue on the tree and the paper and started adding buttons. She loved this activity!
I thought she might get bored after awhile so I had planned on leaving it out for her to come back to later in the day, but she kept on going until it was all filled!
Picking up all the buttons and placing them on the glue was great fine motor practice for her. And when she was done, she helped me sort all the buttons by color.
 When it was all dry, we had a beautiful fall tree!
And while she was working on that, I was working on my own craft. My husband bought me this pretty leaf necklace.
It's a real leaf with a copper finish. He knew I probably wouldn't wear it because it was so big, but he also knew I could do something with it. So I bought a rustic frame, took the leaf off the chain, added a couple glue dots, and I had a beautiful fall decoration to add to my collection!
I left the glass out of the frame and glued it to a piece of card stock paper. I wasn't sure if glue dots would work, but it's still holding on a few days later. I love it!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

YAH: 50th Anniversary Gift Idea

It's been over two years since I've done a Young-at-Heart post. (You can blame motherhood for that one!) But I wanted to share what my family did for our parents' 50th wedding anniversary, which was last summer, by the way. (Yes, it's taken me a year to get this post out. Another thing for which you can blame motherhood!) I came across the site Dear Photograph, where people send in a picture of a picture, taken in the same spot but several years apart. I thought it would be fun to use the photo of my parents coming out of the church on their wedding day and take a picture of it in front of the church. Do you follow? Here it is:
My sister Suzie and I live the closest to the city in which they got married so we made a couple trips down and tried our best to line up the picture to the real background. This was not an easy task!
Suzie had the idea to do this for several pictures, not just of them coming out of the church. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get any pictures of the inside of the church because it is now a gymnasium. And the place where they had their reception is no longer there. But we did have a few pictures that were taken outside so we decided to use those. We actually had to drive around to look for things in the pictures or ask some locals if they recognized where the pictures were taken.
We could have found out easily if we had asked our parents, but we didn't want them getting suspicious! We picked our favorites and put them in a collage frame.
I originally wanted the church photo to be the main picture, but the 1964 photograph was slightly blurry so it didn't look that good as a 5x7. So we printed it smaller and put if off to the side. A few others we chose were of them in the back of the wedding car (we were able to find the same house that can be seen out the back of the car so we lined it up as best we could):
The two of them leaving a neighbor's house after changing out of their wedding attire:
And them getting into the car to leave on their honeymoon:
We also took pictures of other places in the city, like where they met, and put them on a big poster mixed in with old pictures of those places.
The entire family was able to get together in Wisconsin Dells so we could celebrate! Here are my parents with their 9 kids:
And with their grandchildren:
(That's my little Elise crying on the front step!)
And here is a picture of everyone (minus a couple in-laws who couldn't make the trip):
We rented a couple cabins for the week and had a wonderful time. I can't believe it's been a year already!