Tag Archives: crafts

Fairy and Elf Doors!

We’re a big fan of fairy doors and gnome doors here at our house.  We have a gnome door in one of our trees out front and have made salt dough fairy doors inside in past years (click here to see how we did it).

Tonight, I stumbled on some more wonderful ways to make fairy doors (or elf doors or goblin weapons closets or whatever your children want to deem them!).

Here’s a few…..  Click on the links for lots more photos and directions.

Knickertwist posted all sorts of fabulous inspirational photos on Craftster I think it’s brilliant to use popsicle sticks for the doors, and now we have a new reason to start stockpiling them.

And just look at the tiny laundry hanging nearby!

Artful Kid posted this adorable twig fairy door to Flickr.

Kaboodle featured this darling door that was offered for sale on Etsy.

And Roots Nursery really went to town making fairy doors after getting inspired by others online.

This would make a fantastic rainy day project with the kiddos and I think we’ll try our hands and making some more sometime soon.

Remember not to focus on making perfect little pretty projects.  For kids, the magic is in the making of them, especially when we share their enthusiasm and join in the fun.  And fairies are marvelously unconcerned about perfection.  ;)

Happy Weekend, Happy Easter, Happy Passover and Happy Everything Else!

~Alicia

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Plastic Bag Flowers, Revisited

A few days ago, I got a comment on a new post asking how I made some plastic bag flowers back in 2010.  I didn’t even remember making plastic bag flowers, but a quick blog search showed this post where I linked to a fabulous blog with instructions.

It turns out that the original blog is down, but thanks to the amazing Wayback Machine, you can still read the post and get the directions here.  I also found the original author’s current blog, which has some neat community art projects to check out.  For instance, this is an art installation called “the tent” that community members created out of scrap fabric from a nearby factory.

And this amazing community art installation is created out of recycled plastic bags, just like those flowers.  Isn’t it amazing?

Now I’m wishing we had plastic bags in colors other than boring white, and looking at all of our recycling with new eyes again.  :)

Fun stuff!

 

 

 

 

 

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Ten Ways To Make Today Magical

Hello magical people!  I hope everything is wonderful in your corner of the universe.  Here’s a few ways to make some memories with your kids this week.

1.  For September, use a white crayon to write an invisible message or fun activity on each square in the calendar. Each day, let your child color the square with a marker to reveal the secret message.

2.  Tie-dye some clothes with tissue paper and squirt guns.  I first saw this darling craft on Dollar Store Crafts (that’s their versions below!) and loved the versions (and reports on what worked best) at How to… do something.

3.  Have a paper airplane derby. You’ll find free patterns for simple to fancy planes, helicopters, rockets, frisbees and more here.  This is also a fun way to reuse old coloring pages, worksheets, scrapbooking paper and even maps.

4.  Make crab apple cider If you’re lucky enough to have access to crab apple trees, you have to try making crab apple cider with the kids!  It’s easy (no apple press required) and the cider is beautiful ruby red and delicious.  We have friends who go to a park near their home every fall to harvest unsprayed crab apples for this stuff since we introduced them to it.  It’s a fun, tasty tradition!

5.  Do bleach pen altering.  Here’s a shirt Victoria did a couple of years ago and here’s how she did it.

6.  Invent a secret handshake or special good-bye.  Some families have special handshakes that mom or dad do with each child every morning before school.  Victoria and I had a long series of signs we went through every night when she went to bed for years.  It’s a special way to start the day or end the night and know you’re loved.

7.  Start making toasts every night at supper.

8.  Have a bake-off for your pup!  The internet is full of fun and easy recipes for dog treats, from sweet potato “rawhide” dog chews to gluten free pumpkin dog cookies to no-bake peanut butter oat balls. You can find assortments of recipes on sites like Dog Treat Recipes too.  Make up an assortment together and have your dogs do a taste test to determine their favorites. 

9.  Have a cleaning party with the kids.  Dress up in fabulous play dress-up clothes (party hats and/or tiaras are a must!), blast some happy music, grab some fun treats and clean like crazy together.  Set a timer for every 15 minutes to take a break and enjoy some treats together, and concentrate on being as wild and wacky as possible as you clean.  Decide on a fun family treat to enjoy together when you’re done. Who says cleaning has to be dull?!

10. See if a city near you has a sculpture walk.  Our family loves to visit Sioux Falls every year to walk the annual “sculpture walk” downtown.  Dozens of artists display their sculpture each year and the city gives out pamphlets that tell a little bit about each piece and let you vote on your favorite.  We all walk the streets together checking out all of the works and deciding which ones we like best.  I just found out that a city even closer to us has an annual sculpture walk too.

And with that, my dears, I’m off to catch up on the other 99 things on my to-do list!  Have a wonderful week and don’t forget to take care of you!

 

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Our Craft Sheet

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Those who have been reading Magical Childhood for a while know that I often recommend sheet painting.  It’s even one of the first crafts I put up on the original Magical Childhood site.

We have been using an old white bed sheet for crafts and sheet painting for over a dozen years now. 

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In the summer time, we hang it on the clothes line and the kids use paint to decorate it. 

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Sometimes we put it on the ground and they decorate it with their feet. 

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Sometimes it’s washable paint, sometimes not. 

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The sheet looks different every year and every project. 

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In the winter time and on rainy days, the sheet is our art tablecloth.  It doesn’t matter how messy or staining an activity is, because if it stains the craft sheet it just adds more character and another memory. 

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I love my craft sheet and it makes me smile every time I spread it on the table or hang it on the line for another round of staining. 

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It’s so amazing to look at little one year old Fiona using it now and remembering when her teenage sisters were making those stains. 

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You can use any old flat bed sheet for an art cloth or pick one up for a dollar or two from a thrift store. 

I highly recommend starting your own. 

You’ll never find another bunch of stains to make you smile more.  :)

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A Little Welsh Fun

St. David's Day on Magical Childhood

It turns out we completely missed Saint David’s Day yesterday, but I found this blog post full of Welsh crafts from Filth Wizardry so delightful that I had to pass it on anyway.

I’m in love with the easy paper leeks!

(Long-time readers also know that I’ll celebrate any excuse to have fun that involves sheep.)  ;)

If you want to continue with the theme of St. David and Wales, here are some wonderful compilations of crafts and activities on DLTK (did you know that dragons are considered Wales’ national animal?!) and Activity Village (I love the dragon sock puppet!).

Wales crafts (St. David's Day) on Magical Childhood

In any case, happy March, chickadees!  Spring is really coming.  Yay!

Look for a post on ways to make the day magical on Monday.  My husband’s recovery is coming along well and I think it’s time for us to start easing out of hibernation.  :) 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend!

Wales on Magical Childhood

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Oodles of Ways to Have Fun With Pumpkins!

Want to have a little pumpkin fun besides the usual jack-o-lanterns? 

Here’s a whole slew of fun ways to decorate and play with these fantastic orange veggies...

Lowe’s suggests using hardware to make all sorts of whimsical, wonderful little pumpkin creations.

Oasis Accents tells how to make glittered pumpkins.

The Magic Onions posted the delightful idea of letting kids pound nails in and then string yarn on their creations.

The Preschool Toolbox made sweet little pumpkin boats.

The Swede Records featured some gorgeous melted crayon pumpkins.

Sweet Paul made this lovely little pumpkin diorama.

Country Living has a whole slideshow of fun ideas, including using stencils, decals, paint with painter’s tape, and more.

And for a few more ideas, check out my round-up of 35 Ways to use pumpkins for crafts, entertaining, education and more.

What’s your favorite way to use pumpkins? 

…Besides in pie, of course!  :)

 

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Bleach Pen Fun!

Here’s a great craft for older kids and teens to show off their creativity and bring new life to boring clothes.  Try your hand at bleach pen altering!

Victoria made this lovely shirt from an old peach t-shirt of mine that I was going to donate. 

She put a layer of waxed paper inside the shirt (to prevent bleach soaking through to the other side) and laid the shirt flat, then drew a freehand design on the shirt and put it aside to dry completely before washing (do this in a well ventilated room).

She had so much fun that she altered a ton of other clothing she scrounged up, from colored undies (peace signs were added in back!) to shirts and socks.

This could be done with younger kids if a parent does the actual bleach pen work, since bleach is very caustic.

For young kids, have them draw the design with chalk, then have a parent go over it with the pen.

Want to see some inspiration from others?  Here’s a google image search of all sorts of great designs others have done.  Fun!

 

 

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Painted Soap Clouds

Painted soap clouds (A Magical Childhood)

Remember when I recommended microwaving a half a bar of Ivory soap as a way to make the day magical a couple of months ago? 

We took it a step farther and had the most fun! 

We microwaved the soap for about 30 seconds (set your microwave for about a minute and just stop it when the soap stops expanding) and watched it puff up.

Then I gave the kids muffin tins filled with colored water (we used water and food coloring but you could also use liquid watercolors) and eyedroppers. 

They had so much fun! 

I highly recommend it!

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10 Ways to Make Today Magical

Happy Tuesday!

We’re less than 6 days away from meeting our little one and I’m feeling awfully tired these days.  So today’s list of ways to make the day magical is courtesy of Pinterest:)

These are all crafts and activities that I’ve pinned to my boards lately.  Click on the photos to visit the sites…

1.  Marshmallow shooters/pom pom poppers

2.  Power drills and pumpkins (eek! love the idea but with CLOSE supervision!)  :)

3.  Angry birds in the back yard

4.  Cave of stars via cardboard box and Christmas lights

5.  Lawn Jenga

6.  Homemade cough drops and cough drop lollipops (honey based)

7.  Wand tutorial (we made these and loved it!)

8.  Scratch-off pumpkins (black spray paint, then scratch your design)

9.  Teacher Tom’s fabulous, kid-friendly version of crayon melting art

10. Quick epsom salt geode egg shells

Hopefully I’ll get a post or two in before our new babe arrives, but otherwise I’ll be sure to arrange for some pictures to be posted ASAP when we meet her.

Have a magical week!

 

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Watermelon Playdough!

Here’s a fun craft that we’ve been making for a few years now — watermelon playdough. 

This is a craft that is great for Sensory Integration work (with the bumps, the scent, the squishing and the warmth when you first make it) and it’s just plain fun.

Steps…

1.  Save watermelon seeds, rinse and bake until dried and slightly darkened.  We do this since it’s supposed to keep birdseed from sprouting and we don’t want sprouted seeds in our playdough.  You can also just use black pony beads or leave the seeds as is.

2.  Mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt, 1 cup water, 2 Tablespoons oil, 2 teaspoons Cream of Tartar and 1 (3 ½ ounce) package watermelon jello in a saucepan.  We didn’t have watermelon flavor (I never buy jello but people always seem to give me enough that I have a perpetual stash for crafts) so we used strawberry.  Any red variety will give you the right color, though it might smell a bit different.  Koolaid should also work.

3.  Cook over medium heat until it thickens into a ball that pulls away from the side of the pan, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes).

4.  Dump onto a floured surface and cool until you can touch it.  Dump watermelon seeds on and knead well.

5.  Play!  Store in an airtight container.  We keep ours in a ziplock bag in the fridge and it lasts a very long time.

 

Note:  This won’t taste good since there’s no sugar but it’s nontoxic in case anybody tries to lick it!  ;)

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