Posts in Great Gifts! Category
Whether you have pre-k kiddos at home or are the parent of elementary schoolers, mind-sharpening games are a great way to keep the kids learning while still having fun. Knit these memory cards up as a gift, or or use them as a take-along game for trips. This game's a classic, so your handmade version will be used for generations! Materials
1 skein worsted-weight yarn in color: Teal
Small amounts of worsted-weight yarn in colors: Red, Purple, Tan, Yellow & Black
Size US 8 (5mm) Knitting Needles
1/2 yard cotton fabric
Sewing needle and threadFinished Measurement
5" x 4 3/4"Directions
With Teal, cast-on 22 stitches. Working in stockinette stitch with a reverse stockinette border, follow the chards for each card. Make 2 of each.Chart Key
Blank square = Knit on Right Side, Purl on Wrong Side
"o" = Purl on Right Side, Knit on Wrong Side
"X" = Duplicate Stitch in Desired Color
Happy Face Chart
Weave in yarn ends.
Cut fabric into 4 1/2" x 4 1/2" squares. Press 1/4" under each edge to create hem. Pin fabric square to back of memory card and sew on with needle and thread.
How to Play
Player lays all of the cards face down and then turns them over two at a time, trying to find a match. If the two cards selected do not match each other, then both cards are turned back over. The object of the game: to find all of the matches.
Need a little knitting refresher course? See my how-to videos here
Craft Apparently Yours,Vickie
There may be nothing new about recycling crayons (after all, my mom was doing it in the 50's), but there's something about molding something old into a new version of itself that's so uniquely...now.
This project is a usable, versatile craft for all ages. The finished product makes great teacher gifts, favors for birthday parties, or back-to-school treats for the kids. Have fun experimenting with different color combos and tray shapes--I personally, have my eye on on a robot ice tray for our next batch--and use this opportunity to chat with your children about everything from the basic chemistry of wax properties changing, to where colors fall on a color wheel. Have fun!
Unwanted Wax Crayons (wrappers removed)
Silicon Ice Cube Trays OR
Plastic Cups & Wood Skewers (microwave version only)
Microwave (Solid Color) Version:
- Combine like color pieces, into sacrificial cups (trust me, you won't want to drink out 'em after they've been crayon'd!).
- Cook in microwave until melted (about 5-9 minutes); stirring with skewer, as needed.
- Pour melted crayon into candy mold. Work quickly, because the wax thickens fast!
Oven (Marbled) Version:
- Break crayons into small pieces.
- Place pieces into a silicon ice tray. Kids love being a part of this process, because they can mix & match colors to create their own, little works of art! (My son Tristan, filled the two bottom hearts with colors to look like "camo" and "sand camo". Boys.)
- Bake in oven at 250 degrees for 20 minutes, or until crayons are completely melted. Carefully remove from oven, taking care not to spill the hot wax.
- Place trays into freezer for about 30 minutes to harden.
- Pop your crayon creations out of the trays and enjoy!
Craft Apparently Yours,
Hey, parentals! That glorious event we've been eagerly awaiting all summer is almost upon us. That's right, I mean back-to-school time! (Holding for applause.) This week, Craft Apparent celebrates with a project that assures that this year, our kids' lunch is in the bag! So, ditch your disposable. A litter-free snack sack is simple to sew and easy on the Earth. Here's how you can make yours!
1/2 yd. Home Decor Weight Fabric (main)
1/2 yd. Lighter Weight Fabric (lining)
Sewing Machine OR Sewing Needle
Self-stick OR Sew-on, 1 1/2" Velcro Tabs
Pinking Shears (optional)
- Cut: two, 14" x 7" (sack front & back), one, 4 1/2" x 7" (bottom), and four, 2 1/2" x 14" (sides) pieces of main fabric. Repeat for lining and iron-on adhesive.
- Following the manufacturer's instructions, iron on adhesive to the wrong side of all main pieces of fabric. Iron lining pieces to adhesive on the main pieces.
- Measure 3 1/2" down from top edge, of the front of sack; center and sew or stick-on piece of Velcro. Sew or stick on reciprocal piece, 1/4" from the top edge of the back of sack.
TIP: Spray sack with fabric protector before use to guard from excessive food stains!
Craft Apparently Yours,Vickie
Is there anything that duct tape can't make or fix? I don't think so. Which is why this year for Father's Day I say, swing by the hardware store and let some tape do the gift-y trick!
This week on Craft Apparent I show 3, no-sew projects that kids can make for dad (with a little help from mom) that are as cool as they are crafty. Here's the scoop on turning a few strips of sticky into a duct tape wallet, card holder or techie gadget sleeve!
Rolls of Duct Tape in Two Colors
Ruler or Measuring Tape
Techie Gadget Sleeve
Techie Gadget Sleeve Tutorial
- Measure dad's phone, pda or mp3 player, taking care to include the depth of the device in the overall width measurement. Add about a 1/4" to the length so that the sleeve will be a bit taller than the gadget it's covering.
- Create duct "fabric" by cutting tape strips to appropriate width; lay pieces sticky-side-up; overlap & stick. Repeat until piece is appropriate length. Then, layer pieces sticky-side-down on top of existing piece until it's completely covered. This completes the back piece of your gadget sleeve. (See below) Repeat once more, for sleeve front.
- For striped detailing, cut narrow strips of a contrasting color of duct tape. Stick diagonally onto sleeve front. Trim off excess. If desired, repeat on back piece.
- Use thin strips of tape folded over 3 sides to seal front and back pieces together to create sleeve.
- Create duct "fabric" using method above. For the wallet you'll need front & back pieces each measuring 8" x 3", and an additional 3 1/2" x 2 1/4" pocket piece.
- Seal front and back pieces together with tape strips.
- Tape card pocket onto the righthand side of the front of the wallet. Fold wallet in half so that the pocket is now on the inside.
- Cut several small pieces of contrasting tape; stick onto outside of wallet in "DAD" formation.
- Create duct "fabric". For the card holder you'll need front & back pieces each measuring 3 3/4" x 2 1/4".
- Seal front and back pieces together with tape strips.
- To create stripes cut 2, narrow pieces of tape and wrap them each around card sleeve.
Happy Father's Day crafting!
Got crafty questions? Ask me here!
Sometimes it's the small gestures that make us feel the most appreciated. This week you can show your child's teacher a little love with these mini, mementos of gratitude! A spice jar filled with a single serving of solitude--whether it be to eat, drink or soak in--is an easy way to give a bit back to the molders of our wee one's minds.
Spice Jars or Other Small Containers
Fabric, Ribbon, & Trims
Buttons or Other Trinkets
Bath Time Bottle
- Got 5 minutes (not including dry time)? Then you can make a deserving teacher this treat. Fill container with bath salts--spice jars hold the perfect amount for one, luxurious bath!
- Using hot-glue or other strong adhesive, affix an over-sized button or brooch onto the lid of a spice jar. Let dry.
Note: If the button or brooch you choose has a shank or pin preventing it from laying flat on the lid, just break that part of with a pair of pliers or jewelry snippers.
Kudos Candy Jar
- Be sweet to "Teach"; create a candy container just for him or her! Fill a small jar with a colorful, sugar-y treat.
Psst...this project is a also a great teaching opportunity-- encourage thoughtfulness by getting your child to ask teacher what their favorite candy is!
- Cut a circle of fabric about 2" larger than the container's lid. Using regular ol' glue, cover lid with fabric. Glue on a bit of trim around the lid sides; add an optional trinket embellishment to top it off.
- Go nuts for the teacher who prefers salty snacks. Fill a small jar with gourmet cashews--the perfect, healthy solution for the mid-day hungers!
- Tiny treasures don't have to look feminine. A recycled buckle embellished lid that's been wrapped with twine, give gift jars a more rustic style. Print out a name or message on paper, glue or sew it to a strip of cotton and attach it to the buckle for an extra, personal touch!
As the daughter of a teacher, I just want to send an extra loud shout-out to all of you amazing educators out there who tirelessly enrich the lives of our children. Your hard work and dedication are something that the students you've encouraged, will carry with them for the rest of their lives. Thank you!
Celebrate the Earth everyday and say, "Yes I CAN" to planting by upcycling cans, bottles and jars from your recycle bin to your garden! This is a great opportunity to work with your kids on not only embracing nature, but showing them how one man's trash can be another man's planters. Paired with sweet, colorful cacti and succulents, salvaged containers can put the "eco" in your patio dECOr. Here are a few ideas how you and your family can make plant pots with a (re)purpose!
Soda Bottle, Jam Jar or Soup Can
Different Trims (Twine, Bias Tape, Ric-Rac, etc.)
Drill (For kids, I recommend a Craft Drill)
Tiny Cacti & Succulents
- Cut a plastic, pop bottle in half; make slits in the bottom for water to escape.
- Cut out fabric appliques (I chose flowers from some oil cloth scraps I had). Glue appliques and bias tape or ribbon trimming around bottle.
- Drill hole or holes in bottom of can.
- Cut a piece of fabric long enough to wrap around a soup can, adding a 1/2" to overlap. Cut 2 pieces of ric-rac trim the same length.
- Spread a thin layer of glue around can; lay fabric on top. Add an additional dab of glue where the fabric overlaps. Glue on ric-rac trim.
- Cover a jam jar (or other glass bottle) with a thin layer of glue. Starting just below the jar's rim, wrap twine around until completely covered. Snip off excess.
- If you're using a jam jar then you'll have a lid with a removable top. Ditch the top and glue a length of ribbon around the lid.
Once the glue has dried on all of your repurposed pots, fill each one with soil, a tiny plant and water.
It's that time of year when love & friendship are in the air! As your children gear-up to give cards and chow down on chocolates remind them that nuthin' says luvin', like something handmade!
This year the kids have the opportunity to open their hearts not only to their loved ones but also, the victims of the horrific earthquake in Haiti. Encourage the kids to get crafty. In addition to making heart-related projects for friends and loved ones, how about making some extras to sell to neighbors, relatives and other safe buyers?
I've put together 3, love-inspired crafts: an embellished frame,
plastic canvas pouch and recycled wreath--none of which are too
difficult for a child under 10 to handle. If you'd like, use these
with your kiddos to start (or continue) a dialogue about charity,
compassion and humanitarian responsibility.
Children often feel helpless in the face of tragedy but with the willingness to use their hands (and their hearts), they're really quite powerful! Their crafts can make money for those who need it most and even if they're only able to raise a dollar or two, their efforts set in motion a universal, "pay it forward" plan!
Embellished Frame Materials:Pass the (Love) Note Pouch
Unfinished, Wooden Frame (You can find these for about $1 at one of the craft store chains.)
Pink Craft Paint
Gloss Varnish or Collage Medium
- Paint frame front and back, applying a second coat if necessary. Let dry.
- Apply a thin layer of gloss coat. Let dry.
- Glue Scrabble letters in place.
- Apply a layer of glue around the edge of the frame opening. Sprinkle with glitter. Let dry; shake off excess.
Plastic Canvas Pouch Materials:Love's Recyclable Wreath
2, Plastic Canvas Hearts (Available in craft store Embroidery sections)
1, Yarn Needle (The plastic ones work great, especially for younger kids!)
Scraps of Turquoise Yarn
Scrap of White Fabric
Sentimental Stamp & Stamp Pad
Fabric Glue or Needle & ThreadPouch How-To:
- Using red yarn & needle, fill in plastic canvas heart with stitches. Plastic canvas looks like a graph; you're stitches with be a series of diagonals. To sew a stitch, come up through a square on one row then down through the square caddy-corner to it, one row above. Once finished, repeat for 2nd heart.
With wrong sides together and using turquoise yarn, whip stitch heart sides and bottom together. Whip stitch around the tops of both hearts to create decorative edging.
- Stamp a saying or lovey design onto a piece of fabric. Cut out and glue or sew onto heart front.
- Slip a sweet message into your new, cute pouch !
Plastic Bag Wreath Materials:
1, Wire Coat Hanger
5-7 Plastic, Grocery Bags
Decorative RibbonWreath How-To:
- Untwist the hook part of a hanger, enough to separate the ends. Bend hanger wire into heart shape; use pliers to re-twist ends to secure (see example here). Use wire cutters to snip off excess part of hanger.
- Cut plastic grocery bags into 1"-2"strips--they don't need to be perfect or pretty. Fold a strip in half, then tie it onto the wire heart. Repeat all the way around until entire heart is nice and packed with bag strips. Give wreath a "hair cut" to make heart-shape more apparent.
- Cut desired length of ribbon; loop through back of wreath; tie a bow.
Tips for Selling Crafts for Charity
- Set up an online store through Etsy! It costs pennies, there's no minimum for how many items you have to sell at one time, and you can upload pictures of your child's finished products right from your home computer! Make sure you also set up a Paypal account so people can purchase from you (this will obviously have to be under the parent's name as a checking account is required).
- Get permission from principal or leader to sell crafts at school or church.
- Ask a local business for permission to set up a small table in front of their store on a weekend day.
- Set up a limited time auction on Ebay.
- If you'd prefer to sell only to relatives & friends, upload pictures of their products to Flickr or other photo sharing program, so the goods are viewable when your child calls or e-mails people to tell them about what he/she's doing
Where to Donate Cash Raised
Here are a few suggestions of charities that are sure to get the money to Haiti as soon as possible.
Find more charities here
Remember, Valentine's Day isn't the only time to show a little love. The people of Haiti are going to need help for the rest of the year too, as well as the foreseeable future. Even if your family can't afford to donate money of your own, consider offering some handmade help whenever you can.
Happy Valentine's Day from Craft Apparent!
I don't know about you, but as a parent I'm constantly trying to find that sweet spot between bringing up thoughtful, gratitude-filled children and spoiling them rotten. It's not an easy task during these instant gratification-fueled times. In our house though, I've found that it helps to teach the kids how much richer the gift of giving can be, when what they're giving has been made by their hands and infused with their creativity. By allowing them to truly focus on the creation and purpose of a gift, they in turn seem to appreciate more what they are given. It's funny how things work out.
This season, encourage your children to (literally) be hands-on during the gifting process especially, when it comes to what they're giving to their own friends. With just a little time and even less money, there are tons of things that kids can craft-up; then wrap up. Here are a few, simple gift ideas that they can make and give to each other!
There's so much waste during the holiday season, I try to teach my boys how to recycle and reuse whenever possible. One of my favorite ways to do that is by re-purposing something old into a completely different item.
Over-sized sweaters (in abundance at thrift stores) can be turned into a multitude of things. This beanie is a cool way for kids to venture into refashioning, without needing to know how to work a sewing machine. To make it, cut the sleeve off a Men's XL sweater. Roll the bottom edge so unraveled edge is covered, and whip stitch
into place using a needle and embroidery floss. Cinch the top off, by wrapping and knotting a piece of yarn around the sleeve, about 8" above the rolled brim. Let the excess sleeve hang off for a stocking cap look, or snip shorter for a beanie.You can get 2-4 beanies (depending on the actual size of sweater and age of hat recipients), and still have the body fabric leftover for a future project!
Slide multiple colors of seed beads onto small, safety pins. They can
be worn on shoes (we used to stack as many as possible on our
shoelaces, when I was a kid), or collected on string to be made into a
necklace or bracelet. Trade them with friends or even, make them for
your whole class! The look super sweet, wrapped in cellophane with a
bow, sealed in tiny envelopes or nestled in jewelry boxes.
Bottle Cap Magnets
Recycle those soda caps into shimmery
magnets perfect for posting holiday artwork on the fridge. Cover the
inside with a coat of craft paint, sprinkle with glitter while wet,
glue in a snowflake sequin, and stick a magnet to the back. Little
elves can give bunches of these to their buddies --they look especially
cute, stuck to the bottom of a small, holiday tin!
For under 25 cents per pair, the kids can make these adorably festive Pom-Pom Earrings. Packages of both poms and earring posts (or clip-ons, for non-pierced ears) can be found at most craft stores. Use regular or hot glue (recommended) to adhere a pom to post per earring. They're so quick to whip up, your little fashionista can whip them up in every color for all of her B/F/Fs! (Psst...parents! Bookmark this idea for your gal's next birthday party. Provide supplies for each guest to make their own and take with them as their favor!)What ways are you teaching your children the spirit of giving? From parent to Craft Apparent, share your ideas here!
Until next time, Happy (Handmade) Holidays!
P.S. Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group
and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!
Stitching washcloths is a great way to learn to crochet or if you already know how, then to practice new stitches. They also make the perfect, portable project to work on while waiting at doctors appointments or watching soccer games. Paired with an organic bar of soap (easily found at natural food stores), they also happen to make fantastic gifts for teachers, colleagues and party hosts!
I've whipped-up two cloths for your Craft Apparent pleasure: a Kitschy Christmas version that's simple enough for beginners, and an Earthy Yulekwanzukkah version for those with a bit of crochet experience. Feel free to ditch my color choices completely though, and keep this project in mind for any time you need a little giftie or, just want to treat yourself!
1 ball each of sport or worsted-weight cotton yarn (found in most craft stores) in colors: Olive Green & Red (Kitschy Version) OR Taupe (Earthy Version)
Size US “I” (5.5mm) Hook (or size needed to obtain gauge)
(How many stitches per inch you get.)
4 sts= 1”
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
dc= double crochet
st(s) = stitch(es)
MB = make bobble
With olive green yarn, ch 34.
Bottom Striped Section:
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in every ch to the end. (33 sts) Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 2: Join red yarn, Ch 3 (always counts as 1st dc), dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 3: Join olive yarn. Ch 1 (always counts as 1st sc), sc in next st. Sc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Row 4: Join red yarn. Ch 3, dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Cut yarn. Turn.
Rows 5-6: Repeat Rows 3-4.
Row 7: Repeat Row 3.
Continue with olive yarn.
Row 8: Ch 3, dc in next st in next st. Dc in every st to end. Turn.
Row 9: Ch 1, sc in next st in st. Sc in every st to end. Turn.
Rows 10-19: Repeat Rows 8-9.
Top Striped Section:
Rows 20-25: Repeat Rows 2-3. Tie off.
Join red yarn at one corner of your cloth.
Ch1, sc evenly around entire cloth, taking care to sc TWICE at all corners. Tie off.Tip: When working the side border, you'll likely need 2 sc in every dc st.
Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.
With taupe yarn, ch 33.
Row 1: Sc in 2nd ch from hook and in every ch to the end. (32 sts) Turn.
Row 2: Ch 3 (always counts as 1st dc), dc in next st. Dc in every st to end. Turn.
Row 3: Ch1 (always counts as 1st sc), sc in next st. Sc in every st. to end. Turn.
Rows 4-5: Repeat Rows 2-3
Row 6 (Bobble Row): Ch 3, 2dc, **MB (*Wrap yarn counter-clockwise around hook once and insert it into both loops of the stitch from row below; wrap yarn counter-clockwise around hook again and draw it through the first loop [3 loops on hook]; wrap yarn around hook again and draw it through the first two loops [2 loops on hook]; repeat from * four more times [6 loops on hook]; wrap yarn around hook for the last time and draw it through all six loops [1 loop on hook]), 3dc. Repeat from ** until end. Turn.
Subtle Bobble Close-Up
Row 7: Repeat Row 3.
Repeat Rows 4-7, TWICE more.
Repeat Rows 4-5 TWICE more. Tie off.
Join yarn at one corner of your cloth.
Ch1, sc evenly around entire cloth, taking care to sc TWICE at all corners. Tie off.
Using yarn needle, weave in all ends.
For crochet tutorials, check out the How-To section on my website
Yours in holiday craftiness,
VickiePsst! Make this craft? We wanna see a picture of it...and we're sure others would too! Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!
MaterialsFreestanding Wood Frame
Thanksgiving is a day for creating memories and celebrating family. My favorite physical manifestation of that are personalized, handmade frames to honor the people whom I consider to be my biggest blessings. They're easy to make, the design possibilities are endless AND they make great, holiday table decor (for birthdays and anniversaries, too!) Get your kids involved by handing them a paint brush or even, just letting them choose the pictures to be displayed. Seeing smiling faces coming out of your awesome little alters is a great reward for being creative. For you, my crafty parent compadres, I am thankful!
Fabric, Vinyl or Decorative Paper
Hot Glue/Gun OR Tacky Glue
- Place frame face down on the fabric, vinyl or paper that you've chosen to embellish the front. With a pen or pencil, trace around the face of the frame and inside square. Cut out; set aside.
- Paint entire frame with desired color; sprinkle glitter over frame feet--I used the leftover orange from the Leaf Print Place Mat and Pumpkin Place Cards. Why not watch our pennies and coordinate our decor all in one swoop, right?
- Trim your fabric (vinyl or paper) to just a wee bit smaller than frame front, so the painted border will show. Spread a thin layer of decoupage medium on back of fabric and center on frame; smooth down. Paint another layer over the fabric AND the rest of the frame back and sides (excluding the glittered feet), to seal. Let dry.
- Glue letters (I found mine in the Scrapbook section of the craft store, but you could also use magazine cut-outs or a paint pen) into place. Since my photo was of my baby girl enjoying her food, I spelled out "Yum". You could also use the date, a child's name, or a word describing the photo. Whatever floats your gravy boat. :)
Tips for Using Frames at Your Holiday Gathering
- Make one with a picture of each guest at your adult table to use as take-home place cards.
- Place 3 or more frames in a grouping as a centerpiece on your main table.
- Place a few frames with pictures from family vacations, parties or other celebrations around the food table. This will likely spark conversations about great memories from those events!
- Every year take a picture of your child eating his or her favorite T-day food and make a special frame for it. Each year bring the frames out to decorate for the holiday, as proof that your yummy food grows beautiful children!
Got any other great ideas for getting the kids involved and making them feel like a special part of this year's Thanksgiving Day celebration? Post in the comments section; we'd love to hear them!
Have a safe, happy holiday filled with family and love!
Yours in Craftiness,VickiePsst! Make this craft? We wanna see a picture of it...and we're sure others would too! Join the Craft Apparent Flickr group and upload photos of you're awesome Craft Apparent crafts!