Spending an afternoon making homemade arts and crafts is similar to undergoing stress relief therapy. It is a calming and relaxing way to spend time with friends, the children or by yourself, expressing yourself with creativity. Making items by hand creates great gifts or decorative items for the home. Many crafts require only a few inexpensive items and creativity, but the end result is a rewarding.
Create a Collage
Whether you have a blank wall that needs a splash of colour or you are teaching the children numbers and colours, a collage is a fun and easy craft. You will need either a piece of plywood or a stretched canvas in the size you want. If using plywood, paint it and allow it to dry before continuing. An attractive piece to hang is a collage of family photos. Print out several photos and cut them to various sizes. The pictures can be black and white or colour. Using découpage glue, apply a light coat to the back of the picture and attach to the canvas. The pictures do not have to be in any specific order, the more unorganised they are applied, the more dramatic the effect. After the board is covered, allow the glue to dry overnight. Finish with a coat of the découpage glue over the entire area; allow to dry and hang. For children's collage, give them a few magazines, round scissors and let them cut out whatever interests them, and follow the steps for the photo collage.
Make a Mobile
A mobile is an attractive piece of art that can be hung over a baby crib, outside on the front porch or in any room where you want to add a piece of homemade art. The decorative items hanging from the mobile could be postcards, small toys, sea shells or anything that interests you. The basic items you will need include a medium to large plastic lid; 4 to 6 pieces of fishing line that are each 12 inches in length; 4 to 6 decorative items; a hole punch; and a plastic or metal ring. To make the mobile punch 4 to 6 holes in the top of the lid, thread one piece of fishing line through each hole (leave approximately 6 inches below the hole); tie in a knot, leaving the remaining line above the hole. Securely tie the tops of each piece to the plastic or metal ring and securely tie the bottom of each piece of line to the items you wish to hang. Hang the mobile from a metal or plastic hook and enjoy.
Colourful Pen/Pencil Holder
Children not only adore crafts, but it is also a way for them to express their creativity while learning about recycling. To make a pencil holder you will need a small plastic/metal coffee can, scrap fabric, hole punch, craft glue and decorative accessories. To make the pencil holder: Starting at the bottom of a clean and dry coffee can, apply a thin line of glue around the bottom, the middle and the top of the can. Carefully line the fabric to the bottom of the can, wrapping the fabric around as you work your way up the can, smoothing the fabric as you attach it to the can. Leave approximately 1/4 inch fabric at the top to fold over. Glue the excess on the top to the inside of can for a smooth edge. Allow the glue to dry completely before adding whatever decorative accessories you choose -- sequins, buttons. Make 5 to 6 holes in the plastic lid using a hole punch. Replace the lid on the can and put a pen or pencil in each hole.
Colourful Clay Ornaments
Children love to display their works of art for everyone to see, and these cute hand prints are easy and fun for children to make. You will need a 56.7gr. bar of polymer clay for each child's hand, 1 bar of polymer clay in a contrasting colour, rolling pin, paper grocery bag, toothpicks, ornament hooks, a small picture of the child and finger paint. Lay the paper bag on a table or other hard surface for the children to work on. Roll the clay out until it is approximately 1 inch thick. Using a toothpick, have your child trace her handprint in the clay, pushing down slightly in order to go all the way through the clay. Cut the picture, leaving the face only and gently push the picture in the palm area of the clay. Tear off a piece of the contrasting clay, roll into a small strip to "frame" the child's picture. With a toothpick, make a small hole in the middle finger of the clay for the hook. Leave the handprints on the paper bag and bake in the oven at 135 degrees Cor 25 minutes. When the hand prints cool, let the children write their name and decorate them with the fingerpaints. Let dry completely, insert the ornament hook and hang.
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