Mother’s Day Buttons

Looking for a nifty token to make for a mom (or grandmother) this Mother’s Day?  This one is sweet, kind of cheesy and will make her feel special on Sunday.  I must admit, it’s not the simplest craft I have made up, but the kids enjoyed it.  And I know they are pumped to give these out on Sunday.  Here’s what we did, and I am sure you can come up with even better ideas.


Supplies:

Image 2

 

  • Recycled buttons
  • Don’t have buttons? Use a metal juice top lid and safety pin (see instructions for details)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Fabric glue (optional but could use for gluing the felt)
  • Felt fabric, various colors
  • Toilet paper roll
  • Scissors
  • Puffy Paint (also optional)
Image 3
Image 4

Instructions:

 

  1. Take the old button (or make-shift button – instructions in Step 2) and have the adult use the hot glue gun to spread a line of glue on the outermost edge of the face of the button…quickly press a piece of felt on top.  I cut the felt after gluing it on…so there is at least 1/4 of an inch extra around the edge.  (See image 3.) 
  2. If you do not have buttons to reuse, simply take a clean metal juice top and safety pin.  Put a line of hot glue on the top, press the closed side of the pin into the glue.  Then take two pieces of strong, clear packing tape to press over the pin for extra stability (make sure the hot glue is no longer hot).  (See image 2.)  Then attach the felt piece as stated in Step 1.
  3. Cut the end of a toilet paper roll so you have about a half-inch thick ring.  
  4. Cut out 8-10 petals with the felt (we made ours about 1 inch long)…whatever colors you like. Glue them onto outside of the toilet paper ring. 
  5. Cut two strips of felt.  One that will fit on the inside of the toilet paper roll ring and one that will fit on the outside of the ring after the petals are glued on.  (See image 4.)  
  6. After the petals are glued on, the strips are glued into place, then put a line of glue on the bottom of the assembled ring, to then be placed onto the top of the felt-lined-button.
  7. Decorate with puffy paint as you wish! 

St. Patrick’s Day Stamps

You might start thinking of me as a crazy toilet paper roll lady soon! I have another craft idea recycling those empty toilet paper rolls and this one’s in the name of St. Patrick’s Day! It’s a great craft for younger kids because shamrocks can be tricky to draw – I even stamped one (with washable paint, of course) on my white fridge for fun!

 
Supplies:

 

  • At least three empty cardboard toilet paper rolls
  • Strong packing tape
  • Paint or stamp pad
  • Paper
  • Whatever else you’d like to use to create a shamrock decoration!
Instructions:
Shape three cardboard rolls into a heart (crease the bottom and bend the top in). Hold all three heart-shaped rolls together, flat on a table, and wrap snuggly together with packing tape (other tapes didn’t hold as well). There you have it – a three leaf clover stamp!

Homemade Flower Vase

Flowers…they brighten everyone’s day, right? We have a little“problem” in our house…well, it’s only a problem for our budget. Whenever my 2 1/2 year old son sees flowers at the store, he wants to buy them for me! I LOVE it but that just can’t happen every single time. Anyway, I thought of this idea one day because I wanted to give flowers to someone and I didn’t have a vase I could just give away. Well, here’s a quick solution that can also turn into a little project for the kids! You can make whatever you want of it. Have fun!

 
Supplies:
  • Juice carton
  • scissors (a good adult one works best)
  • tinfoil (optional)
  • paint
  • hot glue gun
 
 
Instructions:
Cut the top off of the juice carton, wash it out well. This is the point at which you can do whatever you’d like. The kids thought of recycling further by using some used-but-clean, tinfoil to simply wrap around the carton, and hot glue it into place. Then they painted the tinfoil for a unique look (see the image below). That’s it! Have fun 🙂

Heart Stamps

Well, here’s another idea for those toilet paper rolls! I thought of this one as I was trying to think of ways that the little kids could make hearts – which can be a tricky shape to draw at a young age. We made several different crafts with these stamps – Valentine’s for loved ones, even bookmarks for friends! Check out thePressed Flower Cards or Bookmarks entry for ideas on how to make some bookmarks too. Have too many toilet paper rolls and looking for a crazy activity? Make a Tube of Wonder to spice up the day!

 
Supplies:
  • recycled toilet paper rolls
  • paint
  • paper
  • any other crafting supplies you would like
Directions:
    • Press the toilet paper roll down in the center, make a crease. Then fold the base of the heart and pinch to crease that as well (see image).
  • Dip the heart into paint and have fun decorating for Valentine’s Day!

Homemade Recycled Craft Paper

Teaching children to recycle is so much fun because sometimes my kids remind me to sort things if I forget! This craft is fun for all ages – even the little ones can help. And then, you end up with wonderful paper to use as cards, decorations for cards, or anything else you can come up with! We used much of our paper to make Valentines on Valentines’ Day!
Age: 18 months and up (with assistance of course)

Supplies:
  • unwanted paper, without stickers or plastics…white is best if you want to make your own color afterwards
  • blender
  • water
  • food coloring (we used red for the Valentines – they turn out pink)
  • large screen(s), such as a window screen
Directions:
    1. Collect unwanted papers. (We keep a paper grocery bag in the craft room and once it is full, we make some paper).
    2. Tear up papers into smaller pieces – the kids love this!
    3. Fill the blender about 2/3 full of paper.
    4. Pour in approximately 2 cups warm water – add more if needed.
    5. Blend until the paper looks like pulp.
    6. Add 2-4 drops food coloring – also fun for the kids.
    7. Blend until the pulp is your desired color.
    8. Place the screen(s) over a bath tub or large sin

      k. Pour the paper over the screen, smooth it out with a spatula.

    9. If possible, this should be kept somewhere safe and where little fingers of children won’t touch it. We put ours in the downstairs bathtub and lock the door.
    10. Let dry for at least 24 hours. It might take up to 72 hours, depending on the thickness of the pulp.
    11. When completely dry, peel the paper off the screen and cut into desired shapes.

Gift Wrapping Idea

I love this idea – it’s not mine…I saw it in a Disney magazine and had to try it and share it! Use old cereal boxes (or I even expanded to other cardboard boxes from rice, and other dinners) to be converted into gift “bags” for giving gifts! I think it’s especially a good idea to wrap books or smaller items that are difficult to wrap otherwise. Have fun with it!

 
Supplies:
Recycled cereal boxes or other cardboard boxes from rice, pasta, granola bars, etc.
Wrapping Paper
Tape
Scissors
Ribbon for handle
Hole Puncher
Tissue Paper
 
Instructions:
Cut out the top of the box (or simply fold the flaps inside). Wrap every part of the box except the top (make sure to wrap the top with a finished edge). Punch a whole in the sides and feed a ribbon through, tie a knot on the inside. Or use a strong strip of paper for a handle (pictured). Finish with some tissue paper to hide the gift!

Homemade Napkin Rings

Some of you may remember a few of my crafts with toilet paper rolls…The Tube of Wonder and the Acorn Wreath. Well, I have been collecting so many rolls lately so I decided it was time to do another craft to lighten my stash. With all the entertaining at this time of year, I thought it would be fun to make some napkin rings with the left over fabric from my homemade table runner. The kids made their own Christmas Napkin Rings. I just made this up as I went, so definitely change things if it isn’t working for you and your supplies. I am sure you can use this idea and make your own beautiful creations to decorate your dining room table!

 
Supplies:
Empty toilet paper rolls (I used 6 rolls to make 8 rings)
Fabric
Hot glue gun or strong fabric glue
Scissors
Ribbon or other embellishments
Instructions:
Cut your desired size of rings from the rolls (I made 3 rings from 1 roll). Also cut a second, thinner-sized ring that will line the inside of the ring after the fabric is attached; cut this one in the middle and with one

beveled edge (see

image). It occurred to me afterwards that a nice thick ribbon would look good in place of this cardboard but I didn’t have any on hand. Measure your fabric so that there is at least a half inch on either side of the cardboard to fold inside. Apply glue to the cardboard and firmly wrap the fabric around (carful if your glue is a hot glue gun!). It looks good to have a folded, finished edge at the seam. This is where you could add a decorative piece of ribbon or something to help hide the seam. Apply glue on the inside of the roll to attach the fabric. Next, fit the smaller cardboard ring or thick ribbon inside the ring and glue to cover up the inside seam. There you have it!

PomPom and Bottle Top Chicks

My daughter loves playing with little creatures…so she made up this little craft and really thinks we should post it on the blog 🙂 I started collecting caps from juice and milk containers for little crafts like these. You can get a huge bag of google eyes at a craft store or even the dollar store! And we pulled the feathers out of our couch – Ha!

 
Supplies:
  • Bottle caps or cotton balls or pompoms
  • google eyes
  • real feathers from your couch/pillows OR construction paper will do (top left chick pictured)
  • construction paper for the beaks
  • glue (hot glue gun works best but it’s not necessary
Instructions:
Cut out little orange or yellow triangles for the beaks. Find or make feather wings. Glue all parts onto the bottle cap or pompoms. Some kids might play with these for hours and others might be done in 2 minutes – either way, it’s just a little craft that doesn’t take much 🙂

Tube of Wonder

I think we go through a lot of toilet paper these days…so, I wanted to start collecting the cardboard tubes for a project. Weird? Maybe! But it was well worth it and this creation has brought hours of creative fun! We started out by seeing what toys could fit down the tube slide and then once the creative juices were flowing, the possibilities were endless!

 
Supplies:
  • Toilet paper rolls (I recommend using a minimum of 15 rolls so that it is too long and awkward to use as a weapon!)
  • Duct tape (best tape to use because it will hold up well)
  • Stickers or markers (optional)
 
Instructions:
Collect the rolls over time and once you have enough, tape them together and let the fun begin! Kids can decorate the tube with stickers or markers too!
Here’s an image of the giant container I collect the rolls in – it’s an empty plastic animal cracker jug 🙂

Sock Puppets

Socks with holes…we all have them, right? Instead of throwing them out, keep a small stash of them and some day, you will find a use! Here’s one right now…sock puppets. We created just two animals one day (I am sure your kids can think of MANY more ideas!)

 
 
Age: 3 and up
Supplies:
  • socks with holes (or no holes!)
  • hot glue gun (parental assistance here)
  • Google eyes or buttons
  • Markers
  • Felt or other fabric scraps
Instructions:
Put the sock on your hand, talk a little bit, see what character fits 🙂 Glue ears, eyes, wings, noses, whiskers, whatever your kids think of. Then, have a puppet show!

Help The Birds

My daughter is all about helping animals…in any way. So, when she suggested building nests for the birds, I adapted her idea a bit and suggested we gather supplies to help them build their own nests. AND, we revisited the topic of recycling, which is always important.

 
Supplies:
  • net bag leftover from onions or oranges
  • collected items such as small twigs, long grass, twine, string, my mother-in-law even suggested dryer lint!
Instructions:
Talk about birds and how they enjoy building safe homes for their families. Read a bit from a nature book or online. Discuss recycling to help our earth and show them how we can reuse items such as these net bags. Spend a good amount of time outside looking for items to put inside the bag, leave an opening for the birds. Hang from a tree away from high-traffic areas so the birds don’t feel scared away! (if you are rising a pet, let’s check the outdoor cat shelter reviews, or outdoor & indoor rabbit hutch! The hutch can be used for rabbit, cat, dove or chicken.)

Bottle Penguins

My daughter loves penguins, so she really enjoyed this craft. And, it’s another way to reinforce recycling!

Age: 2 and up
Supplies:
  • bottle (we used Gatorade bottles)
  • black paint
  • white paint
  • paint brush
  • black construction paper
  • yellow construction paper
  • glue
  • styrofoam ball (2-3 inches in diameter) OR play-doh OR black pompom (2-3 inches)
  • google eyes
Directions:
  1. Paint the bottle black, leave an area open for a white belly. Even the young kids can paint this, with some help. Let it dry.
  2. Once the black is dry, paint the belly white, let it dry
  3. The head can be made out of a styrofoam ball, painted black. OR, we used some play-doh that has seen better days, painted black. It kind of cracked after it was dry, but we aren’t about perfection! OR you could use a large black pompom.
  4. Glue the head in place and glue the eyes in place
  5. Cut out penguin wings from the black paper; glue in place
  6. Cut out a yellow beak and yellow feet; glue in place
  7. Allow the kids to find a special place to proudly display their penguins!

Egg Carton Animals

Teaching our kids to recycle is so important. It’s also a delight to see them think of creative ways to use what you have for crafts! Save your egg cartons for projects like this one. My daughter played for hours with her little creatures 🙂

Age: 4 and up
Supplies:
 
  • bottom of the egg carton
  • pipe cleaners
  • markers and/or paint
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • any thing else you can think of!
Directions:
Talk about the importance of recycling with your kids. Show them how you separate the trash if they don’t already know how your family does this. Cut out the egg carton cups for the children. Give them some ideas of what they can create using pieces of pipe cleaners, cut paper, and markers or paint. Some examples: lady bug, spider, caterpillar (several cups glued or hooked together), turtle etc. Let them choose what to make and explore more options!

Crafting Smocks

Many projects call for paint and even when the kids help bake, they tend to get something on their clothes. Create less laundry for yourself and make some cute craft smocks for each child! A couple of ideas…Collect some large t-shirts (maybe Daddy’s old shirts) and make a project out of it. This is just one idea for you to start with, but see what else you can do for this fun and useful craft! The picture here is of an adult sized shirt my daughter tie-dyed. The orange smock is from my daughter’s birthday party – we found these at the Dollar Store (for yes, $1) and wrote each child’s name in puffy paint. Home Depot also has perfect sized ones that you get when you go to the free child’s crafting hour on Saturdays. They are the perfect size for toddlers to 1st or 2nd graders!

Supplies:
  • Old shirts (t-shirts or even long-sleeved old work shirts)
  • Apron (from Dollar Store or Home Depot craft hour)
  • Markers
  • Puffy paint
  • cardboard
Directions:
  1. Round up enough shirts for each child. Make 2 or 3 extra so that you have some for your guests.
  2. Cut pieces of cardboard to fit inside each shirt. This just creates a harder surface and helps the marker not bleed through the shirt
  3. Start decorating! Write each child’s name or simply make it colorful with fun designs!

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