Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kids Activities: Homemade Soap for Valentine or St. Patrick

When I saw this post about making soap cloud, I knew I had to try it with my kids.  This project HAS to be done with IVORY soap.  Otherwise, one can end up on Pinstrosity :)  I've added a few minor changes to the original tutorial.  Here are my steps (and remember only Ivory soap works):

cut one bar of Ivory soap into four pieces and place them in a glass bowl

microwave for 1 minute to get this soap cloud in a bowl

add a few drops of food coloring and mix with a spoon

transfer the soap goo to a cutting board covered with the wax paper;
cut into shapes using small cookie cutters
As you can see above, Cordell decided to use green food coloring and star shaped cookie cutters (this would be perfect for St. Patric's Day).  Nina decided to go with red food coloring and heart shaped cookie cutters.  I used gel food coloring because that's what I had at home.  I think regular liquid food coloring drops would do a better job.  Our pink soap patty ended up looking like a very realistic raw meat hamburger patty (note to myself: repeat this at Halloween making raw meat looking soaps).

let dry for 1-2 days

optional: dust with body powder for added non-stickiness;
also, with a toothpick you can initial soap shapes or even "carve" your own design
As you can see from pictures above our soap did not turn out evenly colored.  To achieve more smooth even texture I recommend using food processor to blend soap cloud and food coloring together.

Each bar of Ivory soap made about 4 small soaps (of course, it all depends on the size of cookie cutters you are using). 

Monday, January 14, 2013

DIY: Heart Shaped Wreaths from Fabric Scraps or Old Tees

Project 1: heart shaped wreath made with wire hanger and old tees
Project 2: heart shaped wreath with cardboard and old tees

I wanted to share two projects with you.  Project 1 was easy and kid-friendly.  Project 2 was completed by me without kids and needs improvement.

Project 1: Heart shaped wreath made with wire hanger and recycled tees. 
First, reshape one wire hanger into the heart shape leaving the hook on top (no need to cut wire, just reshape).  I did this part for my daughter and the rest she completed herself.  Use scraps of fabric or cut up old tees and tie strips all around the wire.  We made our strips about 6" long and 1-1.5" wide.  It is easier for a child to tie longer strips so 6" was easy to handle.  When finished you can trim and shape up you wreath. 

our Valentines gift is ready for Grandma!

Project 2: Heart shaped wreath with cardboard and old tees. 
First cut a piece of cardboard into a heart shape of desired size.  With phillips head screwdriver poke holes in the cardboard about 1" apart (or slightly closer).  Cut up old tees into strips (about 1.5x3.5").  Place one strip at a time above hole in the cardboard and push in partially with the srewdriver.  Hot glue ribbon or yarn to make a hanger.  I don't recommend this project for kids.  I'm sure if you knit or crochet you can come up with kid-friendly safe ways to reach the same look.  For example, maybe instead of pocking holes in the cardboard, one can use Plastic Perforated Canvas ?

the tees we used are kids' school tees from last year in red, pink and white

Happy crafting! 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Better Late Than Never (DIY Holiday Gift Wrapping)

DIY gift tag cut out from an old cookie tin container

This year I tried brown paper for gift wrapping and am addicted to it.  Supplies that look cute with brown paper are:
jute twine
red or brown gingham ribbon
golden ribbon
small natural twigs (I used juniper from our backyard)
parts of old wreath
bright beads especially star shaped
old Christmas cards (for gift tags, optional)
old (empty) tin cookie container with holiday design (for gift tags, optional)
file or sandpaper to file the sharp edges of your tin tags

go super simple with just jute twine and star shaped beads

two types of golden ribbon, juniper and a tag made from an old Christmas card

recycle parts of an old wreath (fake leaves and berries from an old wreath hot glued to the wrapped gift)

And finally my favorite of all... decorate with tags cut out from some old Christmas cookie tins.  Using tin snips I cut out tag-like shapes and sanded the sharp edges for safety.  Punch a hole with a regular office hole punch.  Paint marker writes well on tin (perhaps, Sharpie works as well). 

recycle old cookie tin containers to make pretty gift tags
red and white check ribbon, jute twine, juniper and DIY tin tag
paint marker writes well on tin

Happy New Year to you all!!


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