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!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Paper Plate Lollipops

Here is a simple craft we made when we had our Circus theme. The kids used a black Sharpie to draw a spiral on a small paper plate.
Then they painted the plate with glitter paint.

When it was dry, I taped a straw to the back.
The kids loved them! I hung them up as is, but you could also wrap the top in plastic, gather it around the straw where it meets the plate, and tie a bow with ribbon. To see our other circus treats, go here.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Footprint Rocket Pop

I'm sharing a super easy, super fast, super cute craft with you! And just in time for the Fourth of July! Do you remember Rocket Pops? I know they are still around today, but I haven't had them since I was a little kid. We would always get one when we visited the museums in Chicago. They were sold from sidewalk carts outside the buildings. Great memories! My daughter hasn't had one yet, so we made a craft instead. I painted her foot red, white and blue.
I made a print on white paper, so I probably didn't have to use white paint. I could have just left the middle of the foot unpainted. Once it was dry, I cut it out and taped a craft stick to the back. So simple!
My daughter has high arches, so I didn't cut around the foot exactly. I made it a little wider in the middle. I like that it has almost the same shape as a rocket pop, plus the toes remind me of it dripping as it melts!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Cupcake Craft

Here is a simple cupcake craft we made today. I made puffy paint with glue, shaving cream and tempera paint. The girls painted on cardstock paper.
Then they added some cookie sprinkles.
After they dried, I cut out a cupcake shape from it and glued it to a white piece of paper. Older kids could probably just paint a cupcake shape like I did.
That looks more like ice cream, I know. Anyway, I also cut out a trapezoid shape from colored paper and folded it accordion-style. Again, older kids could do this themselves. I glued the two sides to the paper and that's it. Then we added a cherry on top! I didn't have plain red pom poms so we used sparkly ones.

They look good enough to eat!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Citrus Art Ideas

This week I'm spending my days with my 2-year-old daughter and an almost-3-year-old girl who was in my daughter's class. I've kind of had to shift gears when it comes to art projects, since I'm used to crafting with 4- and 5-year-olds. Because summer is right around the corner, I thought some citrus art would be fun! I used masking tape to make my lines on a small paper plate. I cut one piece of tape into three strips so they'd be thinner. I put one piece straight down the middle and then made the other two into an X.
I cut the plate across the middle, but you could also put tape across the middle and leave the plate whole. We used neon paint that I found at Michaels a couple years ago.
And the sponge brushes were given to me by a nurse when I was in the hospital for my daughter's birth. She found out I was a preschool teacher and asked me if I wanted them. Of course!
But I forgot about them until I cleaned out a closet not too long ago. They ended up being perfect for this project. I poured some paint onto another paper plate and the girls dabbed the paint on their plates.

They made one in each color, representing a lime, orange and lemon. When they were dry I peeled off the tape. Then I decided to paint the rim using regular tempera paint. I love how they turned out!

We also had some citrus fun by painting with jello! I mixed cold water into jello powder until it was a thick paint.
It smelled so good! The girls painted with the jello onto cardstock,
and as in the case of my daughter, on her hand!
It was very sticky, but the girls had fun. It dried with an interesting texture, too!
There's one more citrus idea I want to share with you, if this post isn't too long already. Back in February, my class made citrus prints for our Five Senses theme, but I never got around to blogging about it.
I cut up lemons, limes and oranges the night before we did this so they would be dried out. I originally planned on using paint with them, but it didn't work so well. Then I tried an ink pad and it was much better!
The neon ones are paint, the blue and purple are ink. So I cleaned off the fruit slices and put them all on ink pads, using all the colors just for fun. And the kids stamped away.

The notches in the top of the fruit gave the kids something to hold on to.
The prints were very detailed. I thought they looked so cool!

I should warn you, though, that they kind of ruined the ink pads. (Sorry, boss.) I think it was because I had to wash the paint off my fruit so they were damp. If your fruit is really dried out, I think it would be fine.
Hope you enjoyed these citrus ideas!