Category Archives: MAKE

DIY

Egg Crate Foam Puppet Box…

DSC_6380 DSC_6303 DSC_6314 DSC_6348 DSC_6365 DSC_6298 DSC_6378 DSC_6421 DSC_6427 DSC_6386 When my husband brought home some egg crate foam, I knew I wanted to use it for a project. After thinking about it for a while, I came up with these puppet boxes that use the egg crate as the base. We did an ocean puppet box, where the egg crate became the waves. We also made a meadow puppet box and the egg crate was the grass. And finally, a garden puppet box where we painted the egg crate foam brown, to make dirt. These were just a few ideas, but you could do many more!

For this project you’ll need the following supplies:

Egg crate foam
Empty cereal boxes
Brown paper or any recycled packing material 
Masking tape
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes 
Bamboo skewers
Glue gun and glue

After you decide what type of puppet box you want to make, begin forming the puppets. To do this, shape your packing material and secure the form with masking tape. You can view another project where we used this technique here. Once your puppets are formed and completely covered in tape, you can begin painting. Set aside to dry and when done, insert a bamboo skewer in the bottom side of the puppet and secure with glue.

To make the puppet box, cut off the bottom of an empty cereal box. Cut a slit, lengthwise, in the middle of the box, being careful not to cut all the way to the edges. Next cut a piece of the egg crate foam, slightly bigger than the cereal box. Place it in the cereal box and trace the opening you cut in the previous step, onto the foam. Remove foam and cut on your mark. Next, paint foam and allow to dry. Once dry secure foam inside cereal box with glue, making sure not to glue the opening. Finally, insert puppets from the top, through the opening and control their movement from the bottom. 

All that’s left to do is create a story and bring your puppets to life!

Confetti Moon Valentines…

DSC_5704 DSC_5587 DSC_5596 DSC_5600 DSC_5609 DSC_5617 DSC_5647 DSC_5657 DSC_5668 DSC_5670 DSC_5681 DSC_5736 DSC_5729 DSC_5728 I had forgotten just how much goes into a tutorial blog post, but was quickly reminded when I started this one. I love looking back on all our projects. It’s like an online scrapbook. I don’t so much like all the prep and the work involved. I know it must look like I just pull out my camera and start shooting, but not so. There is a lot of prep work before I even get to that part of the process. Then there is set up, taking lots of pictures, stopping between pictures for more set up, taking more pictures…this time with paint all over my hands, up and down on a ladder, move ladder out of shot, making sure I captured all stages of the project, clean up project, download and edit photos, and finally, write a blog post. Of course, all of this had to be done while my 20 month old is napping or down for the night. Which coincidentally, doesn’t happen until about 10:30 at night. But, I really do love looking back and remembering how much fun we had, minus all the work of course.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know I’m big on handmade valentines. I just love them! I feel like they add such a personal, crafted touch. Also, you might know that we love confetti! We have been making handmade confetti for a few years now and it’s still one of our favorite crafts to do. These confetti moon valentines are the perfect combination of both!

For this project you’ll need:

Apple packing boards (I’m not sure of the official name, but they use them when packing apples for shipment. Ask someone in the produce department of your local grocery store. They will know what you are talking about!)
Acrylic paints (white and gray)
Sponges (for painting) 
Glue stick
Scissors
Tissue paper
Confetti 
Paper (for writing messages)
Black cardstock
White ink pen
Envelopes

First, cut out your individual moon shapes from the apple packing boards. Trim them up as best you can, to maintain circular shape. They might be a little bit wonky, but it still works! Next, using the moon as a guide, take a small square of tissue paper and cut around the moon, leaving a 1/4 inch edge all the way around.  Write out your messages (we wrote, “To the moon and back”.) and stuff inside moon with a little confetti. Don’t overstuff or it will become difficult to seal up. Grab tissue paper you just cut and cover the confetti. While holding the paper in place, flip moon over and apply glue along the perimeter. Then, fold up edge of tissue paper on top of moon, making sure all is glued down.

Once your moon is assembled, you can begin painting. Sponge on white all over the moon, then sponge on a little gray. Try not to overdo the paint…or the colors just blend. Set aside to dry. Next prepare your cards however you like. We added a little “lift off” tab, so our recipients would know to pull moon off of card. If you want to do this, just add glue to the tab and secure to the back of the moon. Then add glue only to the back of the tab and secure it to your card. You’ll need to hold it in place for about 10 secs to get it to adhere. It won’t be a strong attachment, but enough to keep it in place. Finally, stuff your valentines inside envelopes. 

Jacks wasn’t much into this, sigh, he’s too cool now. Well, he told me he would help make them, but he wasn’t handing them out. But, Savannah and Annie were completely on board and are super excited to hand them out to their friends! Happy Valentine’s 2017!

Enchanted Tree Stumps…

dsc_4102 dsc_3529 dsc_3542 dsc_3565 dsc_3601 dsc_3687 dsc_3697 dsc_3710 dsc_3814 dsc_3794 dsc_3877-2 dsc_3960 dsc_4149 dsc_4132 Finally, I’m sitting down to write up this post. Life has just been on the go lately. All of the kid’s extracurricular activities and sports have started back up. It seems we have somewhere to be everyday. Add in to that homeschooling, cooking, a very active 17 month old and, well there isn’t a whole lot of time left at the end of the day. What time I do find, I usually waste it doing things that don’t require much use of my brain. Needless to say, I’m a lot excited to be able to share this tutorial with you!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, then you know I like to make use of things we have on hand. We have some resident ducks that we feed oats to from time to time and I’ve been saving the oat containers, as I’ve had this idea in my head for a few months. Normally, I will have the whole project planned out in my head. Depending on the complexity of it, I might even do an example, just to put my ideas to the test. Not this time. I decided just to wing it. It took a bit longer, because we ran into a couple of hiccups along the way. That’s okay, it worked out for the better, as my original idea was something more along the lines of a haunted tree stump for Halloween. 

For this project you’ll need the following:

Tree stumps
Oat containers – I used the small size, but large would be fun!
Brown packing paper – I save the packing material from all my Amazon packages.
Glue – we used both sticks, liquid and a low temp glue gun.
Scissors
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes
Mod Podge
Cardboard
Thin cardboard – like cereal box cardboard

Creatures
Plastic grocery bags
Masking tape
Thin cardboard
Pipe cleaners
Newspaper
Paper mache paste – I always use equal parts flour and water.
Acrylic paints
Paintbrushes
Mod Podge

First thing you’ll do is cut your oat container in half and keep the half with the bottom. That will be the top of your tree stump. Mark where you want a door and cut 3/4 the way around, leaving   1/4 intact for a hinge. A window would be a fun addition, however I didn’t think to add one until we were too far into the project. Trace around the bottom of the tree stump on a piece of cardboard. Cut out and attach with the glue gun.

Next you are going to start covering the container with the brown packing paper. There really is no right or wrong way to do this. The only thing I would suggest is not using to big of a piece. It will add too much bulk and makes it hard to glue down. At this point, you are just covering around the stump, the top and the door. After that has set, you can make the roots by taking a length of packing paper and folding it over onto itself. Then twist it a little until you have a shape that resembles a root. Attach with glue.

After all the glue has dried, paint the tree stump. We added mushrooms made from twisted packing paper and circles cut from the cereal box cardboard. These are easily attached using a low temp glue gun. Now you can make the face for the door out of the same packing paper and paint. We did brows, eyes, a nose and a mouth, then attached with the glue gun. Once the entire stump is as you like it, give it a couple of coats of Mod Podge and leave to dry.

Now you are ready to make the creatures that will inhabit your enchanted tree stump. It was a lot of fun watching them come to life. They worked really hard and Momma helped out on a few. I had them look at pictures and use their Schleich animals as guides and inspiration. This really helps to get the basic shape of the animal. And by basic, I mean basic. I tell them to just look at the shapes of the animals and try to copy that. All details can be added later. There was a little bit of frustration from Annie, as there always is, but in the end she powered through with a tiny bit of help from me. We ended up with an Owl, a skunk, a flying squirrel and a snail from Jacks. Savannah made a jack-o-lantern, a snake, a bunny and a ruby-throated hummingbird. I helped Annie create her Monitor lizard (lol), Bear and mouse.

To start making the creatures, shape the pipe cleaners to the basic shape of your animal. To give the shape form, slowly add crumbled plastic grocery bags and attach those with masking tape. We used a similar method with these faux taxidermy animals we did last year. The cereal cardboard makes for nice ears and wings. Feet were easily made with rolled up masking tape. After you have the basic form completely taped up, you are ready to paper mache. We did two coats of paper mache, baking in the oven between coats. You can begin painting once they are completely dry. After, add a coat or two of Mod Podge.

We added some battery operated flickering tea lights for a enchanting glow within. Annie loves to make up shows and stories with all of them. I love when art is interactive!! These took some time, but were a lot of fun to make and I very much enjoyed watching them bring my idea to life!