Tag Archives: glue

Construction Paper Dress and Windsock

11 Aug

As y’all know, I love making crafts or projects using the bazillion brown paper grocery bags we have stockpiled in our kitchen drawer from over the years (like this One Minute Paper Bag Monster) or other recyclables lying around our house that would otherwise turn to waste (like this Repurposed Easter Grass Garden, these Rock Candy Maracas or our paper roll projects like these telescopes, binoculars and finger puppets).

This time around we made a paper dress using the top of a brown paper grocery bag and strips of construction paper:

When the fun of the dress wore off, we hung it in our backyard as a colorful, fluttery windsock:

Materials

  • brown paper grocery bag
  • construction paper
  • scissors
  • tape

Step 1

Cut off the top third of the grocery bag, which will form the top or “bust” portion of the dress.

Step 2

Snip lengthwise strips of the construction paper in whatever colors suit your fancy.  Tape the strips hanging vertically from the bust.

Step 3

Cut an additional strip as a border for the top of dress and tape it down horizontally.

Do the same for the remaining three sides of the bag.

Step 5

Embellish with cutout shapes or glue on gems and glitter.  Now twirl!

LEARN!  Colors, scissor cutting, pretend play.

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Candy-Filled Easter Eggs

6 May

All the cracking, bashing and crunching made these by far and away the most exciting springtime activity for the kids!  They make a gorgeous hostess gift, too, and you can make them for any occasion.

Materials:

  • eggs (white eggs will take color better than brown, but you can do a few uncolored, brown eggs for variety – I even did some white uncolored eggs)
  • vinegar
  • hot water
  • McCormick food and egg dye in the regular and neon colors (a fun – and much faster – alternative to dyeing the eggs is simply decorating with markers or stickers)
  • a non-metal container
  • mini cupcake paper/foil baking cups
  • glue

Instructions:

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see not martha‘s excellent tutorial for Easter Surprise Eggs here.

I followed the color recipe exactly because her eggs turned out so strikingly beautiful, but the only recipe that developed into a similar color to hers was the blue – and still it wasn’t quite as robin’s egg/turquoise in color.

The Outlaw Mom’s Tips:

  • If you agitate the eggs, you’ll get splotchy color, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, Hubby and Grandma’s favorite egg was the one that turned out the most speckly.

  • If you use just-boiled water and highly acidic vinegar (like I did), when you drop your egg into the coloring solution, it will spin and fizz like crazy on its own, which creates the speckled effect.
  • Although most blogs advise not to move your eggs around, I found that dipping the eggs once for an initial coat, and then dipping additional times to increase the color intensity worked better than when I tried the recommended method of letting the eggs sit in the solution and then rotating halfway during the coloring time.  Submerging the entire egg or leaving the egg floating on top of the solution didn’t seem to make a difference (except that if you leave the egg floating on top, you’ll have to rotate four times – quarter turns).

  • When taking the eggs out of the boiling water during sterilization or the just-boiled water for the solution, do not lift the egg out completely vertically so that the boiling hot water drips down on to your finger!  Try a more horizontal angle.
  • Try an eggs inside of eggs look.  I chose Cadbury Mini Eggs as the main candy,  Marich Mint Chip Maltballs to go along with the speckled theme, and Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor  jelly beans for more of the speckled egg look.  Sconza Dark Chocolate Raisins finished out the mix.

  • Use mini-cupcake baking cups to seal your eggs.  Stickers don’t fold around the jagged opening as well.  I used polka-dot mini-cupcake paper baking cups for all the colors except the blue eggs, which I sealed with silver foil cups.

  • Present the eggs in a clear tin for a pretty and practical way of transporting this gift.  Alternate the eggs with layers of paper Easter grass.

I think we’ll be making these for other occasions, too.  I see Fourth of July flag eggs, pumpkin eggs, Santa eggs . . . the cracking is irresistible fun!

The Rise of Spring: Easter Craft & Baking Recap

28 Apr

I’ve always looked forward to back-to-school sales in early August, which mark the imminent start of the school year ahead.  New academic apparel means Halloween – the first official “holiday” of Fall – is around the corner, with Thanksgiving soon to follow, and Christmas rounding out the holiday season in early Winter.

This trio of festivities continually make Fall my favorite season with all the crafting, baking and planning involved for each occasion.

And of course, Fall wildly surpasses all other fashion seasons.  Autumn collections deliver, with bold classics for the serious fashionista.  Spring and Summer looks, on the other hand, tend to fall short.  They’re so full of – well – frivolous frippery, if you will.  Yes, platform sandals and gauzy blouses get my heart in a tizzy, but after the thrill of neon brights and florals wears off, you’re just left with a few flimsy pieces.

The same it was – I thought – for spring and summer crafting and baking.

I never thought I would say this, but I think Spring may be nudging out Fall as my favorite season.

Maybe having kids has gotten me all soft.  But it seems that my yearning for mellow autumn days of melancholy sunlight and the chill of winter solitude has been replaced by a fondness for chirpy chicks, fuzzy bunnies, bright pastels and the zippity-do-da of Spring.  Could it be that I’m ready to drop my teen angst at the ripe old age of 35?

With peppy springtime projects like candy-filled eggs, confetti cake pops, painted puppet boxes, sprinkled cookies and paper mache eggs, I just might be.

Candy-Filled Easter Eggs

All the cracking, bashing and crunching made these by far and away the most exciting springtime activity for the kids!  They also make a gorgeous hostess gift, too.

Materials:

  • eggs (white eggs will take color better than brown, but you can do a few uncolored, brown eggs for variety – I even did some white uncolored eggs)
  • vinegar
  • hot water
  • McCormick food and egg dye in the regular and neon colors (a fun – and much faster – alternative to dyeing the eggs is simply decorating with markers or stickers)
  • a non-metal container
  • mini cupcake paper/foil baking cups
  • glue

Instructions:

For detailed step-by-step instructions, see not martha‘s excellent tutorial for Easter Surprise Eggs here.

I followed the color recipe exactly because her eggs turned out so strikingly beautiful, but the only recipe that developed into a similar color to hers was the blue – and still it wasn’t quite as robin’s egg/turquoise in color.

The Outlaw Mom’s Tips:

  • If you agitate the eggs, you’ll get splotchy color, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  In fact, Hubby and Grandma’s favorite egg was the one that turned out the most speckly.

  • If you use just-boiled water and highly acidic vinegar (like I did), when you drop your egg into the coloring solution, it will spin and fizz like crazy on its own, which creates the speckled effect.
  • Although most blogs advise not to move your eggs around, I found that dipping the eggs once for an initial coat, and then dipping additional times to increase the color intensity worked better than when I tried the recommended method of letting the eggs sit in the solution and then rotating halfway during the coloring time.  Submerging the entire egg or leaving the egg floating on top of the solution didn’t seem to make a difference (except that if you leave the egg floating on top, you’ll have to rotate four times – quarter turns).

  • When taking the eggs out of the boiling water during sterilization or the just-boiled water for the solution, do not lift the egg out completely vertically so that the boiling hot water drips down on to your finger!  Try a more horizontal angle.
  • Try an eggs inside of eggs look.  I chose Cadbury Mini Eggs as the main candy,  Marich Mint Chip Maltballs to go along with the speckled theme, and Jelly Belly Ice Cream Parlor  jelly beans for more of the speckled egg look.  Sconza Dark Chocolate Raisins finished out the mix.

  • Use mini-cupcake baking cups to seal your eggs.  Stickers don’t fold around the jagged opening as well.  I used polka-dot mini-cupcake paper baking cups for all the colors except the blue eggs, which I sealed with silver foil cups.

  • Present the eggs in a clear tin for a pretty and practical way of transporting this gift.  Alternate the eggs with layers of paper Easter grass.

I think we’ll be making these for other occasions, too.  I see Fourth of July flag eggs, pumpkin eggs, Santa eggs . . . the cracking is irresistible fun!

Confetti Cake Pops & Ribbon Box

Since my first shot at the cake pop, I’ve been busy trying to perfect my technique.  I took my own advice on this attempt and chose white candy melts to make the spring confetti really pop.

The lifesaver this time around:  disposable candy melt bags.  I’m never making cake pops again without this handy dandy device!  You can melt and decorate so easily and with virtually no mess.  The double-boiler method would still probably give you the best results because it keeps the candy melts at an even temperature for a prolonged period of time, but my life is all about shortcuts these days.

For a fun spring birthday theme, I tried three different pastel confetti designs:

(1) all over confetti

(2) confetti dots

and (3) an ice cream look (covering only the top of the pop)

These were a birthday gift for a friend, so I needed a portable presentation.  A beribboned styrofoam block (using colored tacks) worked out perfectly.  A few tied ribbons on the cake pop sticks and a rectangular piece of cardstock used as a gift tag completed the present.

Wooden Spring/Easter Puppet Baskets

To make these springtime baskets – which make great children’s gifts – you’ll need:

  • wooden baskets (ours were $1 from Michael’s)
  • paint suitable for wood surfaces + a paintbrush
  • stickers
  • felt for the puppets (or buy pre-made felt puppets)
  • lollipop sticks (even a pencil will do – you just need something to prop up the puppet)

First, have your toddler paint the undecorated wooden baskets.  Let the paint dry overnight.

Then, decorate the painted boxes with stickers.

Finally, make your felt puppets or take your store bought ones and prop them up on a lollipop stick.  The easiest gift and super cute, too!

Easter Egg Sprinkle Cookies

These hard, cardboard-tasting “Ideal Sugar Cookies” were a total bust!  A little embarrassing because I gifted these to one of my friends, but it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it?  And they’re oh-so-pretty to look at.

The recipe was fine, but I doubled the butter and then tried to correct it by adding more of all the other ingredients and it just didn’t work. Of course, I used my favorite buttercream frosting, so licking off the sprinkled frosting was delicious!

“Paper Mache” Plastic Eggs

This is one project I couldn’t finish in time for Easter, but now that we have literally dozens of plastic Easter eggs littering our living room floor, I’m going to continue with the project anyway.  I only got so far as one egg, but the results are very cool.  Check out Sweeter than Sweets’ Tissue Paper Easter Eggs tutorial here.

Happy Spring baking and crafting!

Repurposed Easter Grass Spring Garden

15 Apr

You’ve probably already grown your Easter grass since Easter is only one week away, but have you figured out how to display your homegrown greens?

We made this colorful Easter grass spring garden using many repurposed items lying around our home:

but you can make yours almost entirely out of items headed for the recycling bin or trash!

Here’s what you’ll need for this fun project:

  • cardboard box
  • foam flowers (or you can make flower cutouts your own using cardboard, paper grocery bags or construction paper)
  • paint & paintbrushes
  • glue
  • grass seeds & soil
  • emptied and cleaned egg shells, baby food jars or any other containers you can find around the house (like plastic bottles cut in half)
  • press-on googly eyes (you can cut out and decorate paper or cardboard eyes, too)
  • miniature colored pom-poms (or try cotton balls, t-shirt fabric, old socks and other materials in your home if you’re really resourceful)

Easter Grass

I mentioned a few Easter grass tutorials here.  My favorites are this one from Rosy Posy (informative) and this one from K.I.S.S. (gift-worthy).

There’s no need for a pot to grow your grass in:  any old container will do.  We chose a combination of cleaned, dried egg shells and cleaned baby food jars that had been waiting for us to make use of them since these rock candy maracas.  If you’re using egg shells, just gently tap around the top of a raw egg with a spoon and the shell will crack just enough for you to pull away the pieces to make a small hole for depositing the soil and seeds.

Garden Base

We always have a ridiculously huge pile of cardboard at our house from all of the online ordering I do and basically all the shopping we do as a family, which – unless it’s done at the Farmer’s Market – involves a lot of packaging . . . and a lot of waste.  I can’t bear to chuck it all into the recycling bin, even if it is going to be recycled and reused.  I’d much rather repurpose it for our immediate enjoyment!

This project is easy as pie.  First, let your toddler paint every square inch of the cardboard box.  Then have him paint the foam flowers (or paper/cardboard flower cutouts).  Finally, glue the flowers around your garden base.

Spring Chicks

You can use anything lying around your house to make the chicks:  cotton balls, old t-shirts, socks, paper.  We used pre-made colored pom-poms and stick on googly-eyes that we had in the back of our craft closet.  Just stick or glue on eyes and noses to your little chicks and you’re done!  We made a few freestanding chicks and some that we stuffed into empty egg shells we decided not to use for growing grass.

The Finished Garden

Once your spring grass has sprouted, you’ve made your garden base and your chicks are finished, just assemble the inhabitants of your garden any which way you want.  You can either leave the eggs and chicks free standing for your toddler to play with or glue them down to the base.  As an extra detail, we used another cardboard box we had painted to create a colorful background for the garden and decided to add some pastel paper Easter grass for an extra pop of springtime color.  (Learn how to make homemade paper Easter grass here).

Our garden is a little crazy and haphazard, but you can make yours as wild or as elegant as your springtime mood desires!

Happy Spring!

Rainy Day Construction Paper Octopus

26 Mar

Sam woke up at the indecent hour of 5:00 a.m., so Jane and I needed something to do on this cold and dreary rainy morning until he woke up from his 7:00 a.m. nap.

We couldn’t play outside, but The Crafty Crow saved the day with this great idea from the journey into unschooling.   The construction paper lion looked the easiest and we set out to make one.  But as always, what we started out to do didn’t end up exactly as we planned!

Here’s how we made our construction paper octopus with what I now know are six arms and two legs (not eight arms or eight legs).

Materials:

  • multi-colored construction paper
  • paper or plastic plates
  • scissors
  • a glue stick

Instructions:

First, we grabbed leftover plates from Jane’s Special Agent Oso themed birthday party.

Then, we cut out strips from the construction paper to make the lion’s mane-turned-octopus arms and legs.

Next, I curled the paper strips using the scissors (just as you would with ribbon) and Jane glued the curled strips to the plate.

Finally, I cut out the eyes, nose and mouth from the construction paper scraps and Jane glued them onto the plate to make the octopus’s face.

It turned out that the face on the “octopus” scared Jane and she begged me to get rid of it!

But . . . she wasn’t afraid to continue our project with markers – that’s my girl!

Here’s her rendition of an octopus:

I think it evokes “deep sea,” don’t you?

Two-Minute Marker Monster and Paper-Crown Queen

4 Mar

With a two-year old who’s always bouncing off the walls and won’t sit through a project with any waiting time (like waiting for me to cut paper), it’s always a race to finish a project while keeping Jane’s interest.  In one of our speediest projects ever, we put together this construction paper jeweled crown in two minutes flat:

Minute One: Cut out two 2 to 3-inch thick rectangular strips from a yellow piece of construction paper, making random jagged cuts to form the top of the crown. Have your toddler glue the ends or use double-sided tape to stick the paper strips together.

(Jane taking matters into her own hands at the end of Minute One)

The Next 30 Seconds: Cut out different colored circles or other shapes to make the crown's jewels.

The Last 30 Seconds: Glue as many "jewels" and "gems" as you can to the crown before your toddler rips it out of your hands!

 

And here’s our two-minute monster made from the leftover holey construction paper:

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