Monday, January 31, 2011

Things to Make: Tissue Paper Flowers

I'm sure that many of you already know the basics of making tissue paper flowers, but I thought I'd share a quick tutorial on how to make some cute, quick flowers! I love crafts like this because I can use something that is waaaaaay past its prime (ie crumpled re-gifted tissue paper from who knows when) to make something cute and gift-worthy! These are really simple and kids can help make them, too!

Materials needed:
tissue paper, in any colors you'd like!
pipe cleaners
hot glue gun (mom tool!)

We started out with big sheets of tissue paper, that I cut into squares to make them more manageable for the kids. I cut them into squares about 4 to 5 inches big...As you can see I was not so precise in them being exact squares.

Next layer four or five squares on top of each other and folded them into quarters. Then cut petal shapes out of the folded quarters of paper...I cut mine in a sort of heart shape for Valentine's day. **REMEMBER TO LEAVE THE CENTER FOLD UNCUT!!!** (We had a couple of mishaps with this step...if you cut the center of the paper you end up with a bunch of unattached petals!)

After all the cutting is done unfold the petals and separate them from one another. Then you can layer them back together, overlapping and filling in gaps.

Gently push a pipe cleaner through the center of the flower, put a button on it, and bend it over, and through the other button hole to make a little center for your flower. (You may have to help with poking the holes in the flowers.)

The next few steps are ones that Moms should probably help with! Put a little dab of hot glue under the button, and gently pulled the button down onto the tissue. (This step is optional, but makes your flower a little sturdier. If you're doing this project with younger kids, you can skip the next few steps altogether and go straight to the finishing step!)

To cut leaves, I just folded up some green tissue paper and cut a leaf shape out. After fastening the top of the flower together, I glued a couple of leaves to the bottom of the flower, and pinched them to give some dimension.

Then I used a strip of green tissue, and wrapped it around the rest of the stem, gluing as I went and adding a couple more leaves. (Again, this is totally optional, but makes the flower look a little more finished...especially if you are using white pipe cleaner, instead of green, like I did!)

To finish the flower gently scrunch the layers of petals upward, to add some texture, and then 'fluff' them up.

Ta-da!! A simple and sweet tissue paper flower! (I know. It's not Martha Stewart. But's a pretty good knock-off, eh?)

You can create all sorts of petal shapes, and edges to your flowers! Use pinking shears or other shaped scissors to get some really fun effects! You can also layer different colors together to make some truly unique flowers!

A bouquet of these adorable tissue paper flowers would make really sweet gifts for teachers, grandmas, and other special ladies in your kids' lives!

This song, called "Candy Hearts and Paper Flowers," has been going through my head for the past few days. It's from a movie, that is no longer in print, called "Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure." There are some kind of crazy animation sequences in it, but the music was really fun, and I still remember it. This song is still one of my favorites! (I'm sure there is probably a video for this out there somewhere...but the quality of this recording was really good, so this is the one I went with!) Enjoy!

Have fun and Happy Monday!

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Friday, January 28, 2011

Feature Friday: Wee Waldorf

This week I'm featuring a new Etsy friend: Luz of Wee Waldorf!

Not only does she have a fantastic little shop on Etsy, where she sells lovely Waldorf inspired items and toys, but she also has a fantastic blog, where she shares some really wonderful tutorials on how to make beautiful natural toys, jewelry home decor items and more! Click here to see her fabulous blog!

Wee Skittles Play Set

Matryoshka Match I Game

Here's a little bit about her, taken from her profile:

"Wee Waldorf started when I fell in love with waldorf/natural living and had a deep desire to rid my girls' room of commercial plastic toys.

I have since been inspired by the magic of forests, gnomes, fairy tales and anything whimsical.

I'm kept busy with my 4 wee fairies while my husband is busy studying Art Education at the local university (BYU, for all those that know where Happy Valley is). We love to be outdoors and are vegetarian. Music is a love in our lives as well as animals, and natural living. We enjoy experiencing different cultures/ traditions and are loving Waldorf traditions as well."

Go check out her beautiful shop and blog...I KNOW you'll love what you discover!!!

wee waldorf

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What's New: Button Blossoms

So today I'm posting some pics of a couple of things I've been working on for my shop! I really love the way they've been turning out! I decided it would be a great to motivate myself to display something NEW each week if I made this a feature on my blog...I know, selfish motivation, but there you go! ;)

First off are my Button Blossoms:

They are quite a bit bigger than my Posie and Rosie flower clips, and they have a brooch pin back so you can use them on hats, purses, jackets, scarves, etc. I think my favorites are the Ocean, Paprika, and Natural ones!

What the back looks like:

Here's a Chocolate one being worn a Plain Jane beanie!

If you're interested in seeing the listing or these in my shop, click here. that you've seen what's new with me...what's new with you? In the next few weeks I'm hoping to get a Link Party going here for "What's New Wednesday!" So keep checking back!!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Things to Make: How To Double Crochet

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This week's Things to Make is all about the double crochet stitch! After this week you'll know the the three most basic stitches in the world of crochet...and should be able to follow simple patterns pretty easily...Next week I'll be posting a tutorial about how to make Granny Squares!

Here's the Knit Witch's video tutorial on how the stitch is worked!

Click here to visit Brittany's site!

Enjoy! I'm looking forward to next week's tutorial...Like I said, once you know these three basic stitches - the chain stitch, single crochet, and double crochet - you can start to make al sorts of fun things!!

Happy hooking!

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things to Make: How To Single Crochet

Sorry this is a day late! I had a horrible migraine yesterday, that knocked me flat on my back! Yuck! But, the good news is that I'm feeling better today, so I can post this today!!

This week's tutorial continues on from last week's lesson about crocheting a chain stitch. Click here to see it.

Again, this is NOT ME...but it is very informative! Enjoy!

This great tutorial was made by Brittany, The Knit Witch. Click here to visit her site!

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Monday, January 17, 2011

Things to Make: 'Homemade' Recycled Crayons


Mondays are typically the day that my two older children come home from school early (Teacher Prep Day), so we usually have a bit more time to do something on those days! Of course today was a school holiday, being Martin Luther King, Jr's Birthday, so we had A LOT more time to do something today!

I've been wanting to try out the homemade crayon ideas that I've been seeing around, and I thought this would be a great thing to do...that ALL of my kids could help out with! I have a nine-year-old, seven-year-old, four-year-old, and two-year-old, and they ALL love to color and make stuff! My kids are huge recycling/reusing fans, so a lot of our projects are repurposing things...this was a perfect fit for them! (Pay no attention to their uncombed hair and mismatched clothing, please...)

We started out by gathering all of our odd crayons from around the house - most of them were in an empty diaper wipe container that I keep them in. Then we all helped peel the wrappers off and break them into small pieces. We sorted the colors (sort of) by color families into small plastic containers.

Then distributed them among the muffin cups. I'd seen this done with both silicone and metal muffin molds, so I gave it a try in my good old-fashioned aluminum pan! (Some sites recommend that you spray it with non-stick spray first, but I didn't want to deal with making sure it was wiped off before they could color.)

Aren't they so pretty?

I put the tin in a 250 degree oven and baked it for about 10 minutes. After that I let it cool a bit on the stove-top. (Sorry - I forgot to take an in between shot!) When the tin had cooled a bit and the wax was mostly solid we put it into the freezer.

While we waited for our crayons to cool off we watched one of my favorite Sesame Street clips of all time! I remember it so vividly from my childhood! (And perhaps it's the reason why I love the color orange!) The video is linked here, below:

After about 10 more minutes we took them out of the freezer and popped them out of the tin, onto the counter. (Putting the muffin tin in the freezer helps the wax shrink away from the sides of the muffin tin, and makes it easy to pop them out, without much clean-up afterward!)

And here are the finished beauties!

Some things we discovered: the cheaper crayons (ie the ones not made by RoseArt or Crayola) didn't color very well after the melting process, but they also didn't color well before, either. They also separated from the better quality crayons during the melting process, and floated to the top of the mold.

Overall, I think it was a success! They've been coloring with them for the rest of the afternoon, and have asked when we're going to do this again! These would make great, cheap gifts for the kids to make, too! If you haven't done this yet, I recommend giving it a go!

Happy coloring!!!

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Friday, January 14, 2011

Feature Friday: Fantasy Food!

Have you all seen the inedible abundance of fake food these days!? There are so many fun little crochet and felt food sets on Etsy right now! So, soooooo cute! Here are some of my favorites!

Felt Food - Toaster PDF Pattern (Toaster, Bagel, Cream Cheese, Toaster Pastry, Waffle, Syrup and Butter) by GulfCoastCottagePDF

Click here to see the listing for the Felt toaster and accessories!

Amigurumi Sushi Pattern Collection PDF by NeedleNoodles

Click here to see the listing for this super cute platter of sushi!

PANCAKE BREAKFAST - PDF Felt Food Pattern (Pancakes, Maple Syrup, Bacon, Egg, Strawberries, Orange Juice, Cup) by buggabugs

Click here to see the listing for this adorable breakfast set!

PDF - Cupcake Crochet Pattern by AmyGaines

Click here for the cute cupcake listing!

PDF pattern -no.05 Hamburger and chips by LittleCuteOne

Click here to see the listing for this cute fast food lunch!

Play Fruit Set - PDF Crochet Pattern by rachelscrochet

Click here to see the listing for this play fruit pattern!

Whole Chicken and Veggies Play Food Set - PDF Pattern and Instructions by floralblossom

Click here to see the listing for this cute Chicken dinner!

Play Food Crochet Pattern -- Lunch Play Set by CraftyAnna

Click here to see the listing for this cute brown bag set!

Most of the above picks are patterns, mostly because I love the idea of my kids playing with toys that I've made myself. There's just something so satisfying about that! If you feel inspired to create some these for yourself, check out the links above for the patterns and instructions!

****Edited to add: You can also see what these amazing creators are up to on some of their blogs and facebook pages:!/pages/Amy-Gaines-Amigurumi-Patterns/102715329772137

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