Make in a Day: Crafts for Kids

Make in a Day: Crafts for Kids

by Cintia Gonzalez-Pell

ISBN: 9780486813738

Publisher Dover Publications

Published in Children's Books/Arts & Music

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Sample Chapter


Artistic Abstract Painted Canvas

You don't have to be a Picasso or van Gogh to create your own unique piece of art to decorate your walls. This abstract canvas art is easy to make and will unleash your hidden artist! Have fun discovering how your favorite colors blend together. (Younger children may enjoy painting with their fingers instead of brushes.)

To make this project, you will need:

* Stretched canvas

* Acrylic paint in assorted colors

* Acrylic paint in white

* Removable adhesive dots or stickers

* Painter's masking tape

* Paintbrushes

* Jar and water

* Plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect surfaces

(1) Dab small blobs of paint onto your canvas.

(2) With a slightly damp paintbrush, blend the colors together. Leave alone to dry well.

(3) Stick a design onto your canvas with masking tape and/or stickers. Press the edges of the tape down firmly to prevent paint from bleeding underneath.

(4) Paint the entire canvas with white paint and allow to dry thoroughly. If the white paint doesn't cover well with one coat, leave to dry and add a second coat.

(5) Carefully peel off your tape and stickers to reveal your art. You can touch up spots if you find your paint has bled under the taped sections.

Painted Animal Gift Box

Instead of wrapping your next gift in paper that just gets thrown away, why not make an adorable animal gift box? I can guarantee the giftee will enjoy the packaging just as much as the treats inside. Make a whole menagerie for yourself; these little boxes are fantastic for storing bits and pieces such as small toys, hair clips, and craft supplies.

To make this project, you will need:

* Round cardboard gift box with lid

* Acrylic paint

* Paintbrushes

* Pencil

* Googly eyes

* Glue

* Craft felt and/or pompoms

* Paint dish

* Jar and water

* Plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect surfaces

(1) Sketch out your animal face design on the lid of your gift box. Be creative; animals with stripes and spots are lots of fun.

(2) Paint the main color of your design on the lid and set aside to dry.

(3) Paint the outside of the gift box base and set aside to dry. If your animal has a patterned body, add some of the pattern to the outside of your gift box.

(4) Paint onto the lid the details of the animal's facial features such as a nose, whiskers, and rosy cheeks. Leave to dry.

(5) Cut out ear shapes from the felt. You can also use pompoms for the ears if you'd like.

(6) Glue on ears.

(7) Glue on googly eyes.

(8) Now your gift box is ready to fill with goodies.

Personalized Sneakers

Turn your boring canvas sneakers into a real fashion statement. Add just a subtle pattern or go all out and create something eye-popping. Your left and right shoes don't even have to match! Let your design reflect your personality or the things you like the most. If you are stuck for ideas, try including the colors of your favorite sports team, or get inspired by a cartoon or movie character you enjoy.

To make this project, you will need:

* White canvas sneakers

* Pencil

* Permanent markers of various colors

* Black permanent marker (optional)

* Plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect surfaces

(1) Remove the shoelaces from your sneakers and set aside.

(2) With a pencil lightly draw your design onto the sneakers. It's up to you if you want your right and left sneaker to match each other, or if you will have a unique design for each one.

(3) Trace your design with the colored markers, starting with the tongue of each sneaker. This is an inconspicuous place to test your colors.

(4) Working on one section of your sneakers at a time, continue to color in your design with the markers.

(5) Once you have added all of the colored patterns to your sneakers, outline your design with a black marker if desired.

(6) Replace the laces on your sneakers. Now they are ready to wear!

Recycled Sweater Gadget Cozy

NOTE: Adult supervision or help required

Keep your music player, electronic game, phone, or tablet safe and sound in its own custom-made gadget cozy. Made from an old sweater, this project is a great way to upcycle a garment that may have gone to the trash heap. No fancy sewing skills are required; just a basic running stitch is all you need to know to quickly whip up this gadget cover. If you don't have any old sweaters handy, store-bought felt works just as well.

To make this project, you will need:

* Electronic gadget

* Button

* Old sweater or craft felt

* Sharp scissors

* Embroidery floss

* Pins

* Embroidery needle

* Marker

(1) Before you cut into any clothing, check with an adult to make sure it's okay. Find an old woolen sweater that has been accidentally shrunk (felted) in the wash, or throw an old sweater in a hot wash cycle to felt it on purpose.

(2) Fold the sweater in half and place your gadget near the bottom edge. With the marker, draw an outline around your device about ½" wider than the gadget.

(3) Pin the two layers together and cut on the marked line.

(4) Thread your needle with embroidery floss and tie a knot at the end.

(5) Leaving a border of about ¼" from the edge, sew the two layers together with a running stitch. To do a running stitch, simply bring the needle over and under, catching both layers of fabric. Make sure you leave the top open. Tie a knot in the thread at the end to finish, and cut excess thread.

(6) Cut a 1 ¼" x 4" rectangle shape from the leftover sweater fabric to make a tab. Cut a small slit in one end just large enough to fit your button through.

(7) Pin the uncut end of the rectangle tab to the back of the cozy and stitch in place with a needle and thread.

(8) Fold the tab over to the front and mark where the button needs to go. Sew on your button, and your sweater gadget cozy is ready!

Colorful Yarn Dreamcatcher

A dreamcatcher is a whimsical way to add a pop of color to your bedroom, with the added bonus that it will catch all of your sweet dreams before they fly out the window! This project is perfect for using up some of those scraps of yarn and trims that have been languishing at the bottom of your family's craft basket. Go ahead and add feathers, beads, and even pompoms for extra decoration.

To make this project, you will need:

* Embroidery hoop

* Thin craft cords or assorted yarns

* Ribbons

* Wooden beads

* Pompom trims or lace

* Feathers

* Yarn needle

* Scissors

(1) Separate the outer part of the embroidery hoop from the inner part and set aside the outer part for later.

(2) Thread some wooden beads onto the thin cord or yarn and then attach the cord to the inner hoop with a small knot. Start to wrap the cord over and around the hoop to create a spiderweb crisscross design. Tie a knot to secure.

(3) Replace the large hoop over the small hoop and tighten the screw if required. Wrap colorful yarn around the edge of both hoops, and secure with a knot to finish.

(4) Cut several 15–20" lengths of ribbons, yarns, and trims to be the fringe decorations.

(5) With the metal screw of the hoop toward the top, tie the trims and yarns onto the bottom of the hoop.

(6) Decorate the fringes by threading wooden beads onto the yarn with a needle and tying on feathers.

(7) Tie a small loop of yarn to the metal screw. You can add a bead if you'd like. Now your dreamcatcher is ready to hang.

Fuse Bead Bag Charms

NOTE: Adult supervision or help required

At my daughter Emma's school, it's super trendy to add lots of key rings and bag charms to your schoolbag or backpack as a way to express your interests. The beauty of fuse beads is that you can make them into practically any design you choose. Why not make matching bag charms for you and your best friend?

To make this project, you will need:

* Fuse beads

* Fuse bead board

* Wax paper

* Iron

* Jewelry pliers

* Key ring clip or lobster clasp

* Large jump rings

(1) Create your favorite fuse bead design on the bead board.

(2) When you are happy with your pattern, place a piece of wax paper over the top of it.

(3) Ask an adult to iron your design (using a medium-hot iron with no steam), gently pressing over the bead design until the beads are melted together slightly. Iron both sides.

(4) Open the jump ring with pliers and thread the jump ring through one of the holes in the beads.

(5) Add the clasp to the jump ring.

(6) Using pliers, close the jump ring to secure.

(7) If you would like, you can add more than one charm to your key ring clip or lobster clasp.

Felt Pennant Flag

Give your bedroom wall or bulletin board a bit of vintage flair with a cheerful felt pennant flag reminiscent of those from yesteryear. Personalize it with your name, that of your favorite team, or a catchy slogan. If you are feeling extra creative, add some more felt embellishments such as flowers or stars. These flags make great birthday presents for your friends!

To make this project, you will need:

* Large sheets of craft felt in two contrasting colors

* Smaller sheet of craft felt in a third color (shown here in gray)

* Ruler

* Pencil or marker

* Piece of paper (optional)

* Scissors

* Craft glue

* Pins

* Heavy book

(1) From the main flag color, cut a long triangle shape measuring 11" long with a base of 7" wide.

(2) From the contrasting felt color, cut a triangle shape about ½" smaller all the way around; this will be for your letters.

(3) Count how many letters you need for the name and mark matching sections on the smaller triangle of felt.

(4) Cut out the letters of the name carefully. If you are not confident cutting out letters directly from the felt, sketch them on a piece of paper, then use the paper letters as a template.

(5) Arrange your letters on the large felt triangle. Add small dabs of glue to the back of the letters, one at a time, and glue them back into place.

(6) From the gray felt, cut one narrow 7" strip and two narrow 5" strips. Fold the small strips in half to form a V shape and pin to the short side of the flag.

(7) Top with the long strip of gray felt and glue into place at the base of the flag (short side). Don't forget to remove the pins.

(8) Weigh down with a heavy book and leave to dry.

Fruity Plant Pots

Start your own potted garden in these fun and fruity plant pots. Line them up on a sunny window ledge filled with herbs or easy-to-grow succulents. Don't have a green thumb? Don't worry, these fruity plant pots are also the perfect desk organizers to keep your supply of pens, pencils, and markers. Paint markers are quick drying, which makes it easy to add details to the pots, such as the seeds. Strawberry, Pineapple, or Watermelon–which one do you like the most?

To make this project, you will need:

* Small terra-cotta plant pots

* Pencil

* Ceramic and terra-cotta markers or paint markers in red, pink, black, white, green, and yellow

* Potting mix and plants

* Plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect surfaces

(1) Sketch your design onto the pot. The pineapple pot will have zigzag patterns; the strawberry pot will have a scalloped border on top with seeds; and the watermelon pot will have stripes at the top and seeds. Use the finished picture as a guide.

(2) Paint in the design for the pineapple pot completely in yellow.

(3) Let the yellow marker dry and then add the zigzag shapes in black.

(4) For the strawberry pot, paint the leaf area green and the body in red. Leave to dry.

(5) Add the strawberry seeds in yellow.

(6) To make the watermelon pot, paint a green stripe on the top rim, then a narrow white stripe, finishing with pink for the rest of the body. Leave to dry.

(7) Add watermelon seeds with the black marker.

(8) When all your pots are fully dry, you can add your plants.

Drawstring Treasure Pouch

Where do you keep your treasures? Pirates, knights, and medieval maidens held their valuables in leather pouches just like these, and now you can too. Feel free to make your pouch as small or as large as you'd like so it will keep all your special treasures safe. Faux leather or felt will work just as well as leather.

To make this project, you will need:

* Plate

* Leather or faux leather larger than the plate

* Marker

* Scissors

* Hole puncher

* Suede lashing or cord

* Wooden bead with large hole

* Assorted decorative beads

(1) Place the plate on the back of your leather and with a marker trace around the edge to make a circle shape. For a big pouch, use a dinner plate; for a smaller pouch, a side plate will do.

(2) Cut out your circle shape with scissors.

(3) Using a hole puncher, punch holes about 1" apart all the way around the edge of the circle.

(4) If needed, trim off any little circles that are still hanging on to the leather.

(5) Thread your cord in and out through the holes, making sure the cord starts and finishes on the side of the leather you want to show on the outside of your pouch. If you have an odd number of holes, your cord will start and finish in the same hole. If you have an even amount of holes, the cords will start and finish in holes next to each other.

(6) Pull the cord to cinch the pouch halfway, and thread both cord ends through a large bead.

(7) Add decorative beads to the cords, then tie small knots on the end of each cord to secure the beads. Trim off excess cord.

(8) Fill your pouch with treasures, and then push the wooden bead down to close the pouch completely.

Paper Plate Doughnut Garland

When Emma was little she was so obsessed with doughnuts that she requested a doughnut-themed party for her third birthday. We crafted this garland while the cake was baking, and it made the perfect party décor. Afterwards it hung in her room for a long time because it was just so dang cute. A great party project, each guest can make their own doughnut to take home or to combine and string up as a garland. Don't like pink frosting? Use brown paper and make a chocolate-glazed doughnut instead.

To make this project, you will need:

* Paper plates

* Pink craft paper

* Confetti

* Glue stick

* Scissors

* Hole punch

* Yarn or string

(1) Flatten out as many paper plates as you need for your garland, and draw a small circle in the center of each.

(2) Cut out a hole in the center of each of your plates.

(3) Using one of the paper plates as a template, draw ring shapes onto your pink paper. The pink paper will be the doughnut frosting.

(4) Cut out the pink paper frosting a little smaller than the tracing lines, making wobbly edges.

(5) Stick your pink frosting paper onto your paper plate with a glue stick.

(6) Use the glue stick to cover half of the pink frosting paper, then stick on the confetti to look like sprinkles.

(7) With a hole puncher, punch two holes near the top of all the paper plates.

(8) Thread the paper doughnuts onto your yarn or string. Tie loops at both ends. Now your doughnut garland is ready to hang.

Decorated Wooden Bangles

Bangles are a fun way to accessorize any outfit. Here I am showing you three unique ways to transform a plain wooden bangle into something a little bit fancy. These make great gifts for Mother's Day or as a special gift for your favorite friend or teacher. Get together with a group of friends and make a bunch of bangles to sell at a fund-raising fair.

To make this project, you will need:

* Wooden bangles

* PVA glue (white glue)

* Masking tape

* Assorted acrylic paints, including white

* Paper confetti or tissue paper

* Washi tape

* Scissors

* Paintbrushes

* Paint dishes

* Jar and water

* Plastic tablecloth or newspaper to protect surfaces

* Chopstick and two glasses for a drying stand

(1) For the washi tape-covered bangle, choose your favorite tape designs and cut strips long enough to wrap all the way around the outside and inside of the bangle. Stick the tape on firmly.

(2) For the painted bangle, tape the inside of the bangle with masking tape to keep the inside surface clean.

(3) Choose your favorite paint colors and paint on a design. You can paint spots, stripes, or even flowers. Be creative!

(4) Allow the paint to dry, and then remove the masking tape.

(5) For the decoupage bangle, tape the inside of the bangle with masking tape to keep the inside surface clean. Paint with a coat of white paint. Leave to dry.

(6) Working in small sections at a time, apply a thin coat of PVA glue to the bangle with a separate paintbrush and stick on confetti pieces one at a time. Keep working until the whole outside of the bangle is covered.

(7) Allow to dry and remove the masking tape. Trim off any loose bits of confetti to neaten.

(8) Seal each bangle with a couple of layers of watered-down PVA glue inside and out, allowing drying time between each coat. You can use a chopstick balanced on two glasses to make a drying stand.

Excerpted from "Make in a Day: Crafts for Kids" by Cintia Gonzalez-Pell. Copyright © 2013 by Cintia Gonzalez-Pell. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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