I decided to make my nephew a little craft smock for his birthday this year and it was so easy that I wanted to share it. I am NOT a sewer – I can only do basic things. So, do not be intimidated by this project – you can make it probably way better than I did – it’s just a starting point.
I have been asked many times about craft supplies and what is best to have around for “craft time” with your kids at home. If I had a limitless budget and lots more time, my suggestions might be different. But, here are some of the things that we always have on tap and the kids seem to really enjoy.
My 4 year old has officially joined the Lego-building-all-the-time club (if there is one). Thanks to the numerous relatives who gifted him some pretty awesome sets for Christmas. Also, thanks to my husband (and his mom for saving them all these years!) we have Legos from roughly a quarter of a century ago. My home hasn’t felt very “kid-friendly” since I am fearful of one of those itty-bitty pieces being choked on by my little Julia (and her 1-year old friends who come to play). So, we HAD to do something with all these Legos. I can bet many people have come up with better ways to organize them, but here’s what we did. Please, share your ideas if you feel moved!
- Large dresser with drawers that are not super easy to open (HA! This sounds silly, but I mean it…the 4 year old can open them fine but the curious 1 year olds can’t!)
- Ikea storage bins (we fit 3 bins in each drawer, making it 15 bins in total)
- Labels attached by clear packing tape (nice and strong and can’t be picked off easily). I just drew a Lego on colored paper and wrote the color’s name.
When my husband and I lived in Mexico working for a children’s ministry, we learned this great trick of covering all work surfaces in plastic covering! In spanish, it’s called hule (pronounced “oo-lay”). We still call it hule–Don’t forget to put the hule on! I use the plastic covering for messy crafts in the kitchen, and then I just fold it up and put it in a basement cabinet when we’re done. Occasionally I let it air out. When it gets too messy it’s time to buy a new one. I even leave one on our dining table over the table cloth, so I can just wipe up the plastic when we’re done eating. I only take the plastic off for royal company.
|Craft time anybody?|
|Ready for dinner!|
You can find this by-the-yard at Joann’s or any craft store.
Use with craft shirts, and you are ready to create all kinds of mess!
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!
- Old shirts (t-shirts or even long-sleeved old work shirts)
- Apron (from Dollar Store or Home Depot craft hour)
- Puffy paint
- Round up enough shirts for each child. Make 2 or 3 extra so that you have some for your guests.
- Cut pieces of cardboard to fit inside each shirt. This just creates a harder surface and helps the marker not bleed through the shirt
- Start decorating! Write each child’s name or simply make it colorful with fun designs!