DIY Easy Canvas Art Project with Painters Tape for Kids

While I am not the most artistic person, I try to keep my kids creative and so I am always searching for some easy art projects, especially on rainy days. One project I liked specifically, was painting a canvas using paint and painters tape. It is really easy, and the results are great! You can choose whatever colors you think will complement your home or use metallic colors for vibrant art work. The possibilities are endless.

painters tape diy canvas art
Painters tape diy canvas art

You will need:

  • Paint brushes
  • Various paint colors
  • Painters tape
  • Canvas

You can begin either by painting your canvas with a base color and leave it to dry or leaving the canvas plain white. Tape pieces of painters tape in any way you want, covering the canvas edge to edge. You can keep it symmetrical, geometrical or just chaotic.

painters tape star canvas art
Painters tape star canvas art

Next, choose your colors and paint each distinctive part in the color you want. The paint will help you keep the edges clean, but try not to get into other parts of the canvas. Let it dry completely and carefully remove the painter’s tape. And voila! There you have it: a great, easy, handmade piece of art!

painters tape heart canvas art
Painters tape heart canvas art

My kids loved the outcome and they wanted me to make some simple shapes with painter’s tape, so I made the first letter of their name, a star and a heart…

Painters tape kids canvas art
Painters tape kids canvas art

I think they turned out quite nice! And they look great on their wall, too! And if you are more talented than me in arts, here are a few projects from Pinterest that really look professional!

diy canvas art
DIY canvas art (image source)
Canvas diy steps
Canvas diy steps (image source)
canvas diy metallic
Canvas art with metallic background (image source)
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How To Make Easy Star Wars Pinatas and more ideas for a Star Wars Themed Birthday Party!!!

So, my son is one of the biggest Star Wars fans I know. He has a huge collection, and so it was a given that he would have a Star Wars Birthday Party. For two years in a row! I am going to write about those two parties, what we prepared to keep our guests (and us!) entertaint and I have to admit, we had a blast both times!

When I think about making pinatas, I always think that I can’t make one that is cute or with a character I like… for example, I could in no way allow kids to hit Yoda or another Yedi, pinata or not! So, when the time came to decide on the pinatas, we had these two ideas: the first one was a very easy Death Star Pinata and the second one a slightly more complicated but still easy Darth Vader Pinata.

Easy Death Star Pinata How-to

All you will need for this pinata is a white round paper lamp shade (I bought mine from IKEA), a piece of cardboard, grey spray paint, black marker, some fishing line or other kind of string and of course candy!!!

diy death star pinata
DIY Death Star Pinata

Assemble the lamp shade per instructions. Cover the bottom hole with a small piece of cardboard (secure with some tape). Go outside and spray paint the whole thing grey (if you find a grey lamp shade, by all means, buy that if you want, and just skip spray painting it!). With the black marker, add a few features (rectangles to the lampshade so it’s resembles to the Death Star. Fill the Death Star carefully with candy. Since it is made out of paper, take care not to overfill it or else it will bend or even rip. Add the string to the wire on top of the Death Star for hanging. All you need now is a stick and children to hit the pinata and get all the bounty!!!

Darth Vader Pinata How-to

To make this Pinata we really simply followed the image – steps from mini.reyve.fr  adapting it slightly since I didn’t want a string pulled pinata. You will need a cardboard box (I use a cereal box or use some thicker cardboard), painters or other tape, craft glue and black crepe paper and a Darth Vader Mask Template. Print the Darth Vader Mask Template in a size that will suit you and your box and use it to cut the back and front of the box so they resemble the shape of the mask (you will end up with two mask-shaped cardboard pieces). Don’t worry too much about details, they will most likely get lost when you’ll add the fringes. Use the box’s sides or cut out a few 4″ wide strips (the longer the better) to use them to connect the two mask-shaped pieces to each other. To do that, you will need to use the adhesive tape like shown in the pictures from the blog, that is kind of the most tricky part, especially at the beginning. Don’t forget to fill your pinata with goodies before sealing it completely. Also, remember to use some string or rope to make a loop for hanging your pinata on top. When you have finished with the cardboard pinata, it is time to decorate it. Cut out 2” wide strips of the crepe paper and cut fringes into them. Try to make them as long as they need to be to cover the pinata from end to end in each row, so the result will be nicer looking. Now, with patience, glue all the strips onto the cardboard. Repeat on the back and the sides. This is the most time-consuming step for making the pinata, but it is a rather fun process. Lastly, cut out the Darth Vader mask highlights from your template and glue them to the front of your pinata. We painted Darth Vader’s eyes red, for a fierce result! Didn’t it turn out great?

diy darth vader pinata
DIY Darth Vader pinata

To make the invitation, I used the Star Wars Crawl Creator and finding the story to tell was so totally fun! For the rest of our first party I prepared green Yoda plates for the cake (just green plates where I attached some green Yoda ears I cut out with a stapler), a softball target shoot game (took an old big carton, painted the whole thing black, glued some rocket stickers and then we just cut out different sized circles, glued some Star Wars Villains on the circles for targets), a “Pin the lightsaber on the Yedi” game and we gave out  foam swords for everybody after the “Jedi Training”.

target game yoda plates
Target game and Yoda plates

At the end we did even have Darth Vader invade our party to steal the birthday cake, but fortunately all of our Yedi friends fought him off and so we could eat the cake after all!!! It was really fun and all of our guests and the birthday boy had a blast! The second party’s highlight was our Darth Vader Pinata of course, which did need to take a lot of hits before it released it’s bounty, being a true Darth Vader Pinata…

Using this same technique you can make virtually any Pinata you can think of… I for one am looking forward to making the next – girly this time – Birthday Pinata 🙂

 

Beach Craft Idea: Framed Sea Glass Dolphin

Finally, the beach treasures we gathered have all found their destination. Sea shells became a wonderful heart, our cute heart stones were put on display, and lastly, the sea glass pieces we gathered did find what they where supposed to become… it was rather hard to find out, I have to admit! But now I understand something I often heard or read about, when somebody would find something and just pick it up saying: “I’ll figure out later what I want to do with that!”.

brown sea glass
We found a wonderful sea glass piece… and held it up in front of the blue sky and bright sun of Greece

Well, that’s exactly what happened with the sea glass pieces. They were odd shaped and in different sizes, nothing I would do with them would look close to something good. Especially the two biggest pieces were giving me a headache. I washed them, put them in vinegar to loose some of the salt and shined them with a little baby oil as good as I could.

sea glass pieces
So many pieces of sea glass in different colors, shapes and sizes… what can somebody do with them?

I saw some ideas on Pinterest… they made super-cute seahorses, trees or flowers with them, but to do something like that I would need much more pieces and more uniform ones… and then suddenly I realised that, putting the two big pieces together, they would resemble a big fish tail… but what kind of fish? Maybe a shark? Or a dolphin? My kids went for the dolphin and slowly it really all came together! All of the sea shell parts seemed to belong in a certain dedicated spot. The fins, the beak and the eye, they were all there. I really was impressed.

Framed sea glass dolphin
Our framed sea glass dolphin

And I think that the result is really cute and they make a great themed set.

beach craft ideas framed sea treasures
Our three framed beach craft ideas

The three frames found their place above my kids’ desk… As I said before, the most important thing with these projects is that we gathered all pieces with my family and that they remind us of a beautiful summer! I for one, love them, and so do the little ones!!!

Beach Decor Idea: DIY Framed Heart Stones

While summer is coming to its end – slowly here in Greece, thankfully – I am starting to implement some ideas I had before we started going to the beach. I love beach decor in houses and I saw some super cute heart shaped craft ideas on Pinterest that were perfect to make with the kids. I thought that they would make some great summer keepsakes as well.

framed beach heart stones
Framed beach heart stones

I am not that much of a swim-in-the-sea person but I just love days at the beach. I spend most of the time – when I am not enjoying the sun and sound of the ocean – walking along the beach and looking for things worth picking up. Such things are mainly sea glass pieces, heart-shaped rocks, sea shells, driftwood and so on. My son comes along when he is not in the sea playing, as he is a collector of all things rare and special! So we managed to gather a few pieces and they are just enough to make the things I wanted. Here is how to make the first of the super easy summer crafts I was going for: Framed Heart Stones.

The most time-consuming part is finding some nice pebbles in shape of a heart, naturally. My sweet boy always comes running to give me his hearts as soon as he finds them (and of course my heart melts every single time he does it). And I make sure to give both of my kids a couple of heart stones when I find some. So we ended up with nine colorful heart stones, perfect for our craft idea.

Heart shaped pebbles
The heart shaped stones we used for our craft

Craft Materials Needed To Make Framed Heart Stones

  1. A simple box frame (I prefered a white one, cause: beach!!). It was a very cheap one, to be honest!
  2. A glue gun or some other strong craft glue
  3. Heart-shaped stones or pebbles you found on the beach (you can buy some online, but I prefer imperfect self-gathered ones!)
  4. White sturdy cardboard and scissors
how to make framed pebbles
Easy how-to make framed pebbles instructions

Instructions On How To Make Framed Heart Pebbles

  1. Take apart your boxed frame. There should be a filler board inside the frame. Use it as a measure to cut the cardboard to the same size.
  2. Aling your pebbles on the cardboard. You can try to divide it into a grid if it helps you place the pebbles nicely apart.
  3. Heat up the silicon gun. Glue each pebble to its selected place (this should be made by an adult to keep those little fingers from burning!).
  4. Reassemple the frame, without using the glazing in front. I inserted the glazing behing the cardboard to keep the whole thing from moving to much.
  5. And that’s it! You can decorate your frame with some beach decorations, but personally, I like it simple and clean!
diy framed beach pebbles
DIY framed beach pebbles

I love how it turned out, it’s really so simple but beautiful and so full of love and memories! The next thing I want to make is a sea glass craft and a sea shell craft, both framed to make a set (I bought three identical white frames!!!). So stay tuned for more!!!

How to Make your Own Homemade Playdough Recipe

Today my son asked me to fetch him some playdough to play. The problem was, I hadn’t any at home and getting to the store was kind of difficult. So, lucky me, I remembered a Pinterest posting about a recipe to make your own play dough and I thought to give it a try. It worked out wonderful! As a bonus, I don’t have to worry so much that my youngest would eat some, as she usually does with the store-bought play dough. It is really easy and fast. I made mine in about 20 minutes. And you probably have all ingredients in your house like I did, too.
So here is how to easily make your own play dough for your kids to have some fun with.

home made play dough (4)
Why not organize a play group with homemade play dough? (image source)

Ingredients for homemade playdough recipe

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
  • 1 cup water
  • Food coloring
  • Aroma (optional, I didn’t use any)
home made play dough (5)
Home made play dough would make a great gift for kids (image source)

Directions on how to make homemade playdough

  1. In a saucepan, combine the flour, salt and cream of tartar.
  2. Add the water and oil and mix well.
  3. Turn the heat on, and let the mixture get warm over low to medium heat. Stir for about 4-5 minutes, until you have an elastic mixture.
  4. Now let it cool down a little so you can handle the dough and divide it into as many parts as you want. Mix in the food coloring of choice.
  5. Let it cool as much as necessary until your kids can handle the dough. That takes about 5-10 minutes. That’s it! The homemade playdough is ready for use!
homemade play dough
Our very own homemade play dough!

That was easy, right? Never run out of play dough again and no worries about chemicals? And save money, too? Well, I for one have found a keeper recipe! Next time I will let my kids be involved in the procedure. They can easily help with the ingredients and later on with mixing the food coloring into the dough. This should double the fun for sure, since they are crazy about helping out in the kitchen every single time.

So the only thing left to do is to go and have some quality time with your children. Cause that is what it’s all about, isn’t it? And you know what? They would make a great gift, too!

Christmas Cookie Recipe and Gift Idea: Santa’s Sleigh Cookies

There is still time to make this treat as a nice gift for any child. This year, I made some cookie sleighs! You can involve your little ones like I did, by giving them some cookie dough to make the cookies with cookie cutters or let them help with the festive decoration or fill the sleighs with goodies!

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

You will need:

  1. Your favorite sugar cookie or gingerbread recipe, or use mine
  2. Sleigh cookie cutters or a template. I will give the link to that at the end of the post.
  3. Your favorite icing, or use mine
  4. Candy canes
  5. Decorations such as colorful sprinkles
  6. Food coloring (optional)
  7. Little treats to put into the sleighs

Eggless cookie recipe:

I used my favorite cookie recipe which is egg-less:

–          370 g flour

–          165 g sugar which has been through the food processor or blender

–          ¼ teaspoon salt

–          2 teaspoons vanilla extract

–          225 g butter, cold

–          30 g cream cheese

In a large bowl, mix the first four ingredients. Now add little by little the butter and knead with your hand. It will be a crumbled mix first. When you have added all the butter, mix in the cream cheese. Now, part the dough into two and wrap in clear wrap foil. Chill the dough for about half an hour. Roll the dough out as thin or thick as you like and cut out your cookies either with cookie cutters or using the template for the sleigh (which you can find here)

Put the cookies on a backing paper lined baking tray. Bake in a preheated oven for about 180 degrees C for about 8-10 minutes, until their light brown. Let them cool completely before decorating the cookies or assembling the sleigh.

This recipe is quite healthy, just as I want my kids’ snacks to be!

For icing I used my recipe, but any icing you would like is fine. Even store-bought is great, as long as it is usable as “glue” for the cookies. My recipe is a little runny, so it was a little troublesome to assemble the sleigh. Maybe using some other recipe is better, but I like mine since it has no raw eggs.

My favorite icing recipe:

–          5-6 tablespoons of meringue powder (I buy meringues and powder it in the blender)

–          250 g confectioners sugar

–          About half a cup of water

Use your stand mixer to mix all the ingredients, but add the water little by little to see how much it will take to have a thick icing. Thickness is crucial for using as glue, while thinner icing is used for decorating. If it gets too thin, use more meringue powder or confectioners sugar.

I assembled first and then decorated the cookies. It may not be the best idea if you want to make some more fancy decorations. I am a simple girl, so my décor is simple, too J

Steps to assemble the christmas cookie santa sleighs:

Step 1: Let your pieces cool down completely

sleigh step 1
Everything ready to begin the assembly

Step 2: Put some icing on the bottom of the sides pieces and glue the to the bottom piece. Hold for as long as necessary until they stay in place. Let it dry for at least half an hour.

sleigh step 2
Glue first the two sides to the bottom piece
sleigh step 3
Let it dry until everything is secure

Step 3: Put some glue on the three sides of the last pieces and slide them to the front and the back of the sleigh. They should be glued with a slight angle, so there will be more space for the candy. Keep them in place for 1-2 minutes and add icing if needed to close any gaps. Let it dry for at least 1 hour.

sleigh step 4
Assemble the back and the front of the sleigh

Step 4: Turn the sleigh upside down and glue on the two candy canes which you will have unwrapped before. Let it dry for half an hour and turn it on the correct side. Let it dry a little longer to be sure. I recommend putting the sleigh on a piece of cardboard for secure transportation.

Step 5: Decorate in any way you want. Let it dry and put in some candy.

ready sleigh
All ready sleigh!

Step 6: If you want, wrap it up and ready is your gift!

sleighs ready
Gifts ready!

The template I found at Lila Loa, here. You will find also great step by step instruction to make their beautiful sleighs if you have the talent!

Here another photo with a cute idea:

sleigh with reindeers
Sleigh with reindeers (image source)

Have fun making these!!! I wish to each and every one of you a Merry Christmas! Enjoy these happy season to the fullest!

Kids Christmas Craft With Carboard Paper Tubes

We have been busy the last days, since Christmas is on our doorstep! One of the craft we did was making some christmas people out of cardboard paper tubes! Those are so versatile, I did never thing about them that way.

You can use whatever tubes you can find, from paper towel rolls to toilet paper rolls everything goes. We also used some googly eyes, but you can paint the eyes on. So, you’ll need, other than the tubes and colored paper, glue and scissors and maybe some items for decoration.

figures out of tubes
Figures out of tubes (image source)

When you’ve decided what you want to make, measure the paper and cut it the length of the tube. Then put some glue on the tube and wrap it with the paper. If you don’t have colored paper, just paint on some plain white paper. Or you can paint directly on the tube or even use it as it is.

The tubes can also be used to create wreaths or ornaments and some even use them as gift tags, napkin holders or treat or gift boxes; when they are beautiful crafted and decorated that is.

This beautiful wreath is easy to make. Who could imagine what you used for them?

Wreath out of tubes
Wreath out of tubes (image source)

If you take just one of those “flowers” and use some glitter, they can become ornaments for your tree!

tube ornaments
Tube ornaments (image source)

Here are some instructions on how to make little santas to use as gift tags or ornaments, even to hold some treat or gift themselves. You can see also a little gift package out of a plain tube tied beautifully with a ribbon. Aren’t they just adorable??? And they are so simple to make!!!

how to make some santa ornaments
How to make some santa ornaments (image source)

And finally!!! My son’s creations with a little help from me cutting the paper pieces.

My boy's tube creations
My boy’s tube creations

Try it and have some easy, inexpensive, creative fun making these or try making easy Christmas ornaments from dried fruits!!!

Beautiful Christmas Decorations And Ornaments Out Of Dried Fruits

Here I am again with my dried fruits! I already have written about dried fruits ornaments and flowers made out of citrus peels. What can I say, I just love the look of them and how easy they are to make! Did you know that you can use apples and pears as well as citrus fruits? And some people cover the slices after drying with clear craft varnish or decoupage glue, to keep them for a long time.

You can use the dried fruit for making a beautiful christmas wreaths and spiced, with cinnamon or cloves, ornaments. Those dried fruits are great additions to garlands and they smell beautifully! I really suggest to dry them on the radiators now that it is winter. That way you save money from burning your oven.

dried fruits
Dried citrus fruits, apples and pears (image source)

Wreaths

dried fruits wreaths
Dried fruits wreaths (image source)

Ornaments

citrus and spice ornament
Citrus and spice ornament (image source)

Ornaments, bells and favors

Dried fruit bells
Dried fruit bells (image source)

Garlands for your homes decoration

dried fruit and spices garland
Dried fruit and spices garland (image source)

And another idea

christmas garland and wreath
Christmas garland and wreath (image source)

Such beautiful ideas!!! Give it a try!

DIY Penguin Finger Puppets Craft for Kids

ready pinguins
DIY penguin finger puppets

This one was shared by a close friend of mine and her kids! They did a wonderful job, I can tell you that! Thank you so much for sharing!!! We can’t wait to make some craft together, soon!

So, it is quite simple to make the penguins and a lot of fun, too!!! You will need stuff that you will have probably already in your house:

–          Black cardboard or paper for the pinguin’s body

–          White cardboard or paper for the eyes and belly

–          Orange cardboard or paper for the nose

–          Other colors of cardboard or paper  and yarn if you’d like to add some more details

–          Paper glue

–          Scissors

–          A black or other color marker for the eyes

–          A pencil for tracing, if you need to

To get started, you’ll need to cut out of the black cardboard the pinguin’s body and cut out two holes for the fingers. The shape of the pinguin’s body is quite simple, you will not have any trouble with it, but if you want, first trace the shape of the body with a pencil and then cut it out Out of the white cardboard cut some oval eyes and the belly, like shown in the image. Also, cut a small triangle out of the orange cardboard.

Pinguin and items
All ready items to be glues on the penguin’s body

Now, you can glue all elements on the pinguin’s body. You can make him take on any expression you can think off.

pinguin2
One penguin
pinguin3
Second penguin

Now, take the marker and draw some details on the eyes to make your penguin alive, and ready you are to begin playing with them!!!

You could also add some other decorations to them, if you would like to. A scarf, a hat or funny hairs out of yarn, would be a funny addition, don’t you think?

Have fun!!!

The original inspiration came from here: http://www.mamakid.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1107:2010-11-11-21-05-39&catid=97:2011-02-24-21-29-16&Itemid=164

Great hand-made gift idea: DIY Heart-Shaped Mini Album

heart shaped mini album
Heart shaped mini album (image source)

This idea is just beautiful, especially as a gift for the grandparents. It has some work involved, though, but I guess it is worth the effort!
I guess you could make it somewhat more long-lasting, like covering it with some self-adhesive foil? I don’t really know.
Anyway, you will need some 12×12 kraft cardstock, glue, a scissor, patterned papers, photos and embellishments.
Fold the cardstock four ways and draw a half heart and then cut it out. This you will need to do two times, so in the end you will have 4 hearts. The next step is to make hearts out of the patterned papers, using the cardboard hearts as a base. Then, glue the cardboard hearts together, so you will have a 3D heart. Now you can glue the patterned papers onto the cardboard hearts. Finally, decorate your pages with photos, dried flowers, whatever you think would look nice and are worth being there or are telling a story. Now you could ( Note: this is just an idea that I thought of, I haven’t tried it or seen it!!!) use self-adhesive foil in order for the album to become longer lasting.

Step-by-step instructions
Step-by-step instructions (image source)

Is that a great gift for Christmas for your loved ones or what?
For the original post and detailed step-by-step instructions and images, click on this link:
http://americancrafts.typepad.com/studio/2011/03/heart-shaped-mini-album-tutorial-by-leslie.html