Saturday, July 30, 2011

Tissue Paper Art

Yesterday I was rumaging through my art cabinet and found some canvas boards and some tissue paper. I wondered what I could make with the tissue and began playing around with it. My daughter wanted to play too (hers is parrot and mine is a fish.)

It's fun to just draw and do whatever comes to mind. We had so much fun doing this project. I plan to use mine for a gift.'s what you will need:

Materials needed:
  • Canvas Board
  • Tissue Paper
  • Paints and colored pencils
  • Modpage Glue
  1. Figure out what your design will be. I chose something simple like a fish.
  2. Draw it lightly onto the board.
  3. Now begin tearing off little pieces of colored tissue paper and apply it with some modpodge glue. (I will give the recipe for homemade modpodge later in this post).
  4. Give it 1-2 days for it to dry completely
  5. Now apply your details and color.

This is my finished art work--The photo didn't turn out great but in person its very colorful and pretty.

Books related to post:

"Beside instructions and illustrations on how to do a collage, the book also contains 72 printed tissue papers to make finished pictures that look enough like Eric Carle's work to please any child. My five year old was delighted with her projects."

"ISBN 1558580093 - It's a rare thing that I read a childrens' book knowing full well that there is an actual critical debate going on about it, but The Rainbow Fish is one of those. With that in mind, I'll begin with those parents. The message any child gets from a book that is read to them is more dependent upon you than the contents of the book. If you're going to be all freaked out by some wacky idea that this book teaches socialism, you're going to convey that to your child and you will do more harm than the book, all by itself, ever could - in that case, just pass up this book. No harm done to anyone. While I think you're crazy, I think you have the right to make that choice. If, on the other hand, you can manage two things: to actually read the book and get the message (which isn't socialism/fascism/communism and isn't really sharing, either) and to understand that you are not 4 years old and your 4 year old doesn't think the way you do, then this book is worth picking up."

Friday, July 29, 2011


This is a really easy craft. Many of us love to read and this is a neat and easy bookmarker craft.

Choose the cartoon you wish to use. I am using a character from my book. Once you choose the cartoon,cut the size so tha tit measures approximately 6 inches long and 1-2 inches wide.

Color it in and them laminate.

Parents: you can purchase laminate at Walmart or at local craft shops. It will protct your book marker and make it stiff so that it won't get all bent up. (I had this one in the photo for almost 3 years.)

Books related to our topic:


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Sun Catcher

I love butterflies. They flutter by so freely with no effort at all. I found this neat craft on and thought it would be the perfect craft for summer time. It's a beautiful sun catcher made from tissue paper and card stock. I think you could use cardboard as well.


Books related to our topic:
"A Kid's Guide to Attracting, Raising, and Keeping Butterflies. In addition to practical information, this attractive, 40-page book has interesting science information. For example, chemical sensors on butterfly feet allow them to "taste" leaves. 21 species are described with the regions of the US and Southern Canada where they may be found. One sentence I disagree with is. "No one knows why the dinosaurs died out. . . ." 1997, from John Muir Publications"

"This book is the perfect accompaniment to spring! Even if you can't bring a caterpillar into your classroom, you can still share the magic and mystery of their turning into butterflies with this wonderful book. The tone is so kid-friendly, kids will be learning without even realizing it. A great resource!"

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sea Shell Angels

I made these seashell angels years ago when I was looking for a church craft to donate to our local church for their bazaar. These angels are sooo precious and cute. They are inexpensive and make a cute craft to give to anyone.

Materials needed:

All of the materials used can be brought from crafts stores

2 Wooden heart shapes (they come in a bag)
1 Round wooden balls (for the heads)
1 Round white plastic ring
Sea Shell
Glitter Craft Glue
Glue Gun and glue sticks
1 Gold Ring
White paint
Permanent black marker
Clear Nail Polish
Magnet Strips

These are the white plastic rings. They come in different sizes and are under $2.00

Wooden craft balls Under $4.

These come in a pack and sell for under $4.

  1. Spread out some paper towels or you can use a paper plate.
  2. Glue the plastic ring onto the shell.
  3. After it dries hot glue the wooden ball on top of the plastic ring.
  4. Once that dries glue your wooden picks onto the back leaving enough room so you can see "the wings" from the front.
  5. Once it dries,paint the shell and the wings white.
  6. After that dries,draw a face onto the ball. You can put a little clear nail polish over the face to protect it once it dries.
  7. Now smear some glue on the wings and sea shell and then dip into fine white glitter.
  8. Add magnet strip to the back.
This craft will make quite a few. They make great gifts or you can sell them for 1-2. a piece.

Books related to our project:
"This book was very enlightening with lots of information. Went above and beyond the cover description. Highly recommended!"


"In response to the reviewer from Oroville, CA, who gave this book a low rating, I offer this: I think he made the mistake of seeing The Littlest Angel's Heaven as a place where there could never be any fear or suffering. The author allowed this human reality to enter Heaven with The Littlest Angel so that all of the complacent angels (but really all complacent people on earth) could be reminded that the most angelic being is the innocent one who gives what he or she loves to others and not what she or he hopes will impress others. The metaphor is perfect: wouldn't it be just like God to teach us all that those among us who are thought of (and think of themselves) as the lowest in importance and stature are actually in His heart those who are the most pure? And how could that be taught more profoundly than to let everyone see a little child, with all of his or her fears and sorrows, lovingly comforted and lovingly validated by God? In my opinion, "The Littlest Angel" is the most beautiful, meaningful, and touching Christmas story ever written."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Sunshine Craft

Here's another cute craft that I found at Isn't it perfect for summer? You can even staple a plate on the opposite side and add some beans or rice to make a shaker out of it. All kids love noise and it would make a colorful tambourine.


Books related to this topic:
"My daughter read this book for a class report, and we liked the fact that this book coincidentally was written as though it was a child's report about Van Gogh. She was intrigued to find out that Van Gogh sold only one painting in his lifetime, and was not a rich artist. The humor in the writing and illustrations make this book accessible, fun, and informative, and help kids relate the artist's life. The evolution of Van Gogh's painting style beginning with Potato Eaters and the influences on his art are discussed in understandable terms. It was fun to learn that throughout his life, Vincent's best buddy was his brother Theo, even though they fought as siblings often do. The book contains many photos of Van Gogh's actual paintings. Great book. We both recommend it."

"The Sun often visits the Water, who has a very large house. Once, during a visit, the Water asks the Sun why he never visits the Sun at his home. The Sun replies that his home is to small for the Water. The Water asks if the Sun will make his house larger so he and all the water people can visit, so the Sun does. He, along with his wife, the Moon, make his house larger. The Water people do visit one day, and the new,larger house is so crowded that the Sun and the Moon have to go in the sky, where they have stayed since.What I have written in this review may be more than in the whole book. Strange, huh?"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Butterfly Pillow

My daughter wanted to make something for her grandmom something special for her birthday. We went to the arts and crafts shop and she tried searching for "just the right thing". The right thing turned out to be a latch rug. It was a butterfly latch rug. She decided to make it into a pillow and I thought it was a fun idea for tweens and teens.

**This project does involve purchasing a latch kit and some material.

Materials Needed:

1 Latch Kit (you can purchase at any craft store. We purchased it for less than $10. at AC Moore.)
1/2 yard of any material (I bought cotton fabric @ Joanne Fabric's)
needle and heavy thread
Fiber Fill (Purchase at any craft or sewing shop)

Directions On How To Do Latch

Books related to our project:

"I find Amanda's blog interesting and her second book is full of gorgeous photos of projects I can make! The only disappointment was there is only plain text instructions. No diagrams or drawings or photos. When I buy a craft book I expect better details on how to make an item. As I bought this book as a pre-order I couldn't peruse it prior to buying it. I am not going to go turn on my computer and look something up. Her first book "The Creative Family" had a couple of drawings in it like the one for the felt colored pencil roll and the wool felt block and the bedtime bags for example. I wonder why this book didn't have any? I like Amy Karol's "Bend The Rules Sewing" book better since it is easier to understand." Reviewed By: Home schooling mom of 4 
For More Information

And since we are talking about Grandma's here a book about Grandmother's.

For More Information

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Some Of My Favorite Craft Sites

There are some really fun craft sites on the internet and I wanted to list some of the ones I go to when I am searching for a particular craft.
They are:


Children Craft books:
"The Really Big Book of Cool Crafts for Kids is a perfect book for many Sunday School craft ideas, especially in how it lets you know what age groups various crafts work best for. This would also be a great book for kids in really any situation and many are educational (like the weather hat and the "world crafts" section). However, some of the crafts require materials that aren't always readily available or found only in craft stores... I usually prefer it if mostly common materials that can be found anywhere, as they are easier to find and usually cheaper... especially when trying to get crafts together for a group of kids. Still, most of the crafts are really good about this. Overall, the book is tons of fun, educational, cost effective and age appropriate."Reviewer:Malinda For More Information

"I am an elementary art teacher and I picked up this book at the library in the hopes to find some good projects for my classes. While the ideas are sound and creative the explanations on how to carry them out are not. The instructions are somewhat vague and the lists of supplies are seriously out of the budget for most classes. What teacher can afford to provide rawhide for 25 students so they can make drums? As for sewing administrator has fits at the very thought of putting needles in the hands of our students. My main problem is with those projects I can find work arounds for supplies but when it comes down to instructions I have found them to be vague and poorly written. There are parts where you read and say but if I do that won't this pouch be sealed up? How am I supposed to open it back up and still maintain the weave? The diagrams are also vague and do not show enough to use them effectively. It's all well and good to say use a whipstitch here but then not to explain a whipstitch in that lesson makes it ineffective. Instead I have to flip back to the glossary four or five times a lesson. This book may be useful for a parent wanting to work with their child but I do not recommend it to teachers."Reviewer-L.Nichols For More Information

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Fairy Ideas

Someone was kind enough to contact me in regards to one of my posts. While visiting her blog I came across a post she had done about her daughter and fairies. Her daughter loves fairy gardens. I had never heard of a "fairy garden" (Thanks for enlightening me.) I spent time looking at the photo's thinking how fun it would be to be so tiny for "just one day".

Do you recall years ago when we such movies as: "The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Honey I shrunk The Kids,Disney's Pixie Fairies. They were all about "little people".

A fairy is a mythical creature. The word fairy is derived from Middle English. Folklore also includes goblins and gnomes into this lists. Fairies are generally described as human in appearance and with magical powers.

Here are links to a ton of fairy crafts including my favorite below:
Fairy Flower Friends

More Fairy Ideas:

Each time I try to list books that are related to a project ad this one is no different. Here are some Fairy books:

"The illustrations and story are absolutely captivating and enchant you with the possibilities. Reading as a bedtime book, my five year old daughter was eagerly looking for fairies on her pillows that may be reading along with her! She loves to read this over and over, always finding something in the illustrations or story that she hadn't caught before - almost as if the fairies are re-writing for her delight between each read! A spectacular book that is marvelous for children of all ages." Reviewed by:LJ Demmier 

"this is a very detailed book focusing more on fairy tidbits and special crafts, with a few chapters of a fairy story as well. beautifully illustrated and the crafts are fairly doable. the book inspired my 6 year old to host a summer solstice party for her friends, and the book has given us more than enough ideas! a very pretty, readable and re-readable book." Reviewed by: KDD

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cute Clam Critters

I found this cute little craft online and thought it was a great way to use up some of those seashells from vacation.
  • Clean shells
  • Tacky glue
  • White pony beads
  • Permanent black marker
  • Piece of driftwood
  1. For each critter, select 2 shells of like size and shape. Set one top-side down and glue a pair of bead eyes to the edge opposite the hinge.
  2. Then glue the other shell in place atop the first one, as shown. When the glue is dry, draw pupils on the eyes.
  3. Finally, arrange your clam critters atop the driftwood and glue them in place.

We had a great time at the shore. The kids looked at avery seashell and tried to match them up with what was in the book. They had a great time.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Parents: remember science fairs and how we got to build really neat projects that actually worked? Well one year this boy names Billy brought in a volcano and I never forgot that. Also,I don't know how many times I watched that Brady bunch episode where Peter exploded his volcano and it spouted just about everywhere.

Here's your chance to help your kids build there own volcano. It's going to going to get a little messy. In this experiment we build a real working volcano. After mixing just the right amount of ingredients together, we'll add the final item to make our volcano 'blow its top' spewing red lava down the sides.
  1. First we need to create the 'salt dough'. Mix 6 cups flour, 2 cups salt, 4 tablespoons cooking oil, and 2 cups of water in a large bowl. Work the ingredients with your hands until smooth and firm. Add more water to the mixture if needed.
  2. Stand the soda bottle in the baking pan. Mold the salt dough around the bottle making sure you don't cover up the bottle mouth or drop any dough into the bottle. Take your time on this step and build your volcano with as much detail as you like.
  3. Fill the bottle most of the way with warm water mixed with a little of the red food coloring.
  4. Put 6 drops of the liquid detergent into the bottle.
  5. Add 2 tablespoons of baking soda.
  6. Slowly pour vinegar into the bottle and jump back quick!

Notice the red 'lava' that flows out of your volcano. This happens because of the baking soda and vinegar mixture. Mixing baking soda and vinegar produces a chemical reaction in which carbon dioxide gas is created - the same gas that bubbles in a real volcano. The gas bubbles build in the bottle, forcing the liquid 'lava' mixture of the bottle and down the sides of your volcano.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Make Your Own Instruments

Summer is here and sometimes children get bored so why not strike up the band? Here is a fun project that you can make. Maybe you can put on your own concert or have a parade! (**Parental Supervison Required)


2 paper plates
stapler or glue
hole punch
jingle bells

Directions:Staple or glue two paper plates together, facing each other. Using a hole punch, make holes around the plates and tie jingle bells to the holes with string. Decorate the tambourine with crayons. Shake to play.

Note: Heavy duty paper plates may be more durable for this craft.

Safety note: If using a stapler, an adult should do this. When finished be sure to cover the staples with scotch tape.

empty oatmeal box with cover
2 pencils
2 spools
construction paper

Directions:Before beginning, you can decorate the oatmeal box with construction paper and/or crayons for a colorful effect.Place the cover on the box. Use a pen to make a hole in the center of the cover and in the center of the bottom of the box. Through these holes, pull a piece of yarn long enough to hang around child's neck and down to their waist.For the drumsticks, place the spools at the ends of the pencils, secure with glue if necessary.Beat to play.


ruler or stick
nail polish
mixing spoon

Directions:Hang the washers from the ruler or stick with pieces of string by wrapping the string around the ruler or stick and securing. Strike the washers with the mixing spoon to play.
Note: You can make this craft colorful by painting the washers first with different color nail polishes, such as red, gold, glittery, etc.


paper towel roll
waxed paper
rubber band

Directions: Cover one end of the paper towel roll with waxed paper, secure it with a rubber band. Punch a row of holes along one side of the roll with the tip of a pen.To play, sing a tune into the open end of the horn.


two matching pot covers
yarn or ribbon

Directions: Tie the ribbon or yarn around the handles of the pot covers. To play, strike together.


tall glasses or jars
mixing spoon

Directions: Fill the glasses or jars with different amounts of water. The more water in the glass, the lower the pitch will be. Having less water in the glass or jar will raise the pitch.To play, gently strike the glasses with a mixing spoon.Note: This instrument should probably be played by older children in "the band" because of the use of glass.


pocket comb
tissue paper

Directions: Fold a piece of tissue paper over the tooth edge of a comb. To play, hum through the tissue paper.


empty shoe box
rubber bands
ruler or stick

Directions:Remove the cover from the box. Stretch the rubber bands around the box.  Attach the ruler or stick to the back of the box on one end to act as the arm of the guitar. To play, strum or pluck the rubber bands.


2 paper towel rolls
hole punch
4 jingle bells
string or yarn

Directions: Punch a hole in each end of the paper towel rolls. Tie two jingle bells to each side of the paper towel rolls by running string or yarn through the holes and carefully tying off. Shake to play.

Books related to topic--
"Completely enjoyed by our 2 year old and his parents. Pictures are absolutely beautiful. Having the CD is useful. Each of the 14 tracks has a beautifully illustrated 2 page spread, which makes it easy to follow the music - the book and music work very well together. The text, which is written in a perfectly simple and direct and short manner so as to render it very useful, helps the listener focus on different aspects of the music and appreciate the music by putting it in terms we could understand more easily (e.g. for the Lion's March - "the strings are playing the lion's marching tune as he walks...Sometimes he roars loudly. Can you hear the pianos playing the lion's roar?") Our toddler loves classical music but this is a great choice for any child or adult. The entire package - the CD, the format of the book, the pictures and the text - really make this a great way of experiencing the music and just a plain good old story" Reviewed by: NK FOR MORE INFO

This series trys to copy baby einstein dvd's. While it is very corny, my baby and 4yr. old are obsessed with it. I have bought more! FOR MORE INFO

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sea shell Koalas

Every wonder what to do with all of the sea shells you collected at the beach this summer? Well...I found this adorable koala bear craft.
Koala How-To

1. Experiment with different combinations to come up with animal shapes before gluing everything into place. We chose small scallop and clam shells for the koalas, and long razor clams decorated with ring-top cowries for the tree.
2. Use small cushions of polymer clay, which is pliable and slightly sticky, to test out various arrangements. For assembly, a tacky, quick-drying glue works best. Build heads and bodies separately. Before joining larger parts, use a brush to glue on small parts (such as beads for eyes) and clay to support creatures while glue dries.
More crafts @ Martha Stewart
Books related to this project:
Koalas are one of the most beautiful, gentle and loving animals in the world. Sadly, the population is steadily declining due to the destruction of their natural habitats. This book is a wonderful way to learn about these very intelligent creatures. Full of darling pictures, everyone who picks up this book will instantly fall in love with koalas (who, by the way, are not bears)! Read about their habits, diet and social activities, and you will develop a new appreciation for these fuzzy friends!

Review from Amazon--"This is about a Koala named Koala Lou who thinks her mother does not love her anymore. So Koala Lou goes gum-tree climbing in the Bush Olympics to get her mother's attention. This book taught me that no matter what you do, your mother will always love you!"


**Credit for seashell crafts goes to:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Baby Food Jar Snowmen Decorations

Do you ever wonder what you can do with all of those empty baby food jars? I know its a little early for Christmas but you can make snowmen decorations. 

Materials Needed:
3 Baby food jars with lids (for each person)
White Paint
Plastic bowl (for paint)
Glue Gun and Glue sticks
Felt and trimmings

  • Clean the jars out well. 
  • Pour the white paint into each jar.
  • Once it's inside swish it all around and make sure the whole inside is completely covered.
  • Let dry
  • Paint the OUTSIDE of the lids white and let dry. 
  • Hot glue the jars on top of each other.
  • Make a little stocking cap.
  • Hot glue buttons down the front, a piece of orange twist paper for the nose on the top jar, and paint a happy, goofy little face on the top jar.
  • Hot glue some little twigs on the sides of the second jar for arms.
  • Glue a scrap of material for a scarf

Books related to this topic:

Cute but no replacement for the Christmas classics
3.0 out of 5 stars Snowmen at Christmas is a cute book. The illustrations are creative and colorful. I found the text, in rhyme, trite and sounding a bit too much in format like "The Night Before Christmas." My 6-year old was not interested and my 3-year old was mildly curious about the storyline. I would have rather borrowed from the library. 

I think the snowmen in this book are Raymond Briggs's Snowman's buddies. Check them out!! Also, the dog looks like Father Christmas's dog! You will LOVE this book, an excellent companion to "The Snowman" and "Frosty the Snowman", etc.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

In-Jean-ious 3-Ring Binder

I found this really cute craft online and I had to share it. It's a great tween project and I know the tweens and teens will love it.

Grab an old pair of blue jean and use the best parts, from an old pair of blue  and put them to new use on this hard-working 3-ring binder.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

God's Eye Mexican craft

The Ojo de Dios, or God's Eye, is a simple or complex weaving made across two or more sticks and is thought to have originated with the Huichol Indians of Jalisco,Mexico.

The Huichol call their God's eyes, Sikuli, which means "the power to see and understand things unknown." When a child is born, the central eye is woven by the father, then one eye is added for every year of the child's life until the child reaches the age of five.

Original Huichol Crosses are extremely rare to come by. There are many that are being made for the tourist market, but they do not carry the same traditional and spiritual significance. (Credit: Wikipedia)

This is an interesting craft and you can give the kids a history lesson at the same time. I found this very interesting and although my kids and I always made the God's eye I never knew the meaning of the craft.

I think anyone who has ever gone to summer camp or day camp has made one of these crafts. It's a great way to use up those little balls of yarn that you have laying around. So,enjoy.

Some fun summer books related to this craft--


"My son is 8 years old and had to do a book report over the summer on Diego Rivera. This book was recommended by his teacher and I would highly recommend it as well. Super easy to read and follow and made it interesting enough for my son to enjoy. He was able to read this in a day!"Reviewed By: Rocket E.R.