Through cuisine, fashion, music, perfume and politics, French culture has influenced Americans. When brainstorming your next craft project, take a cue from the French and use some of their most popular symbols and cultural aspects to guide you. Making French-related craft projects need not be especially involved or expensive; you can find materials at budget-friendly dollar or craft stores or possibly reuse some items destined for your recycling bin.
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Although they may not have been the first to wear a beret, the French have become associated with the flat, round-disk shaped headwear, which can be made easily with a few craft supplies.
Choose a fabric for your beret---animal print, holiday theme, cartoon-print or something that matches your favourite outfit. Place a salad mixing bowl down on the fabric and trace around it, making two circles. Cut them out. Place a smaller bowl on one of the circles, trace it, then cut the circle out so there's a hole in the middle. Sew the two same-size circles together. (Throw out the smaller circle or save it to make a coaster or other craft project). You'll have a flat beret; to add volume, you can sew additional lining inside.
According to francethisway.com, the game of Petanque (or Boules) is played in just about every village throughout the country. French Petanque enthusiasts aim solid balls at a marker, using their hands. Players then knock others' balls out of the way in an attempt to get their balls closest to the marker.
Combine crafts and gaming to make your own Petanque court and set.
First, section off an area of your yard for the game. Paint a circle about three feet wide. (Remember if you paint on grass, you can always clip or mow the paint off.) If you have unused garage space, you can paint there with washable paint). Gather as many same-size balls as you can find; try craft stores or dollar stores. If you have an unused set of billiards balls, repurpose them for the game. Paint the balls in sets of three, using different colours. Leave one ball white. Let the balls dry, then start playing.
Show your flair with a French flag bandanna. The flag of France is represented by three blocks of colour---blue for Saint Martin, who donated his blue cloak to a beggar; white for the Virgin Mary and Joan of Arc (or symbolising royalty) and red for the colour of Saint Denis, who is the patron saint of Paris.
To make French flag bandannas, start with a plain white or canvas cloth. Divide the bandanna in three equal sections using masking tape. Mix blue T-shirt dye (available at craft stores) with warm water in a cooking pot, then dip one side of the bandanna in. Let it soak up the dye until it reaches your preferred shade of blue (remember that some of the colour will drip off), then let dry on an old towel or sheets of newspaper. Repeat the process with the other side, using red dye.
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