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Craft Apparent

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Vickie

Hearts for Haiti

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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!

Heartfelt Frame

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Embellished Frame Materials:
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
Sponge Brush
Pink Glitter
Scrabble Letters
Glue

Frame How-To:
  • 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.

Pass the (Love) Note Pouch
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Plastic Canvas Pouch Materials:
2, Plastic Canvas Hearts (Available in craft store Embroidery sections)
1, Yarn Needle (The plastic ones work great, especially for younger kids!)
Red Yarn
Scraps of Turquoise Yarn
Scrap of White Fabric
Sentimental Stamp & Stamp Pad
Fabric Glue or Needle & Thread

Pouch 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 !

Love's Recyclable Wreath
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Plastic Bag Wreath Materials:
1, Wire Coat Hanger
Wire Cutters
Pliers
Scissors
5-7 Plastic, Grocery Bags
Decorative Ribbon

Wreath 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!

xx,
Vickie
Vickie

'Tis the (Crafty) Season

Posted by Vickie Howell on November 29, 2009 at 2:32 PM in ChristmasEco-Conscious CraftsEmbroideryGeneral CraftsKnittingPainting
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Hey there!  Just a quick, post T-day check in to get your winter holiday, creative juices flowing.  I'll be back with a new project how-to post in a couple of days but in the meantime I thought I'd show you a few things from holidays past that you might want to make this year with your little elves (I listed recommended ages for giving these a try, but you know your kiddo's abilities so just go with your gut.)

Recycled Shopping Bag Wreath: Ages 5+
(Click here for instructions)
 Waste-Free Wreath(Reposted courtesy of Kiwi Magazine.)

Punch Embroidered Tea Towels
: Ages 10+ (Makes great, Grandma Gift!)
(Click here for How-To Video)
Lifetime Project: Tea Towell
(Project Originally Seen on myLifetime.com)

Knit-Print Wrapping Paper
: Ages 3+
(Click here for How-To)
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(Project originally seen on ILovetoCreate.com)

Felted Candy Cane Purse: Ages 7+
(Click here for the Pattern)
Candy Striper FElted Purse

Stay tuned this week, for a great gift idea for teachers, Aunties, and party hosts!

Crafty Holidays!,
Vickie
Vickie

Hello, My Frame Is

Posted by Vickie Howell on November 17, 2009 at 4:32 PM in General CraftsGreat Gifts!PaintingThanksgiving Projects
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Alter 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!

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Materials
Freestanding Wood Frame
Craft Paint
Sponge Brushes
Fabric, Vinyl or Decorative Paper
Decoupage Medium
Glitter
Photo
Letter Pieces
Hot Glue/Gun OR Tacky Glue
Scissors

How-To
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  • 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.
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  • 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?

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  • 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,
Vickie

Psst!  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!

Vickie

T-Day Table Decor

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Happy November, fellow crafty parents! Chances are you've already started thinking about Thanksgiving Day (but don't worry if you haven't, there's still plenty of time), and how to make your family's celebration extra special.  We often put much effort into the main dinner table--making sure that it looks as inviting as the food that will be served on it.  A common afterthought however, is the kids' table; a place for the T-Day tots to have their own dining space.  Today on Craft Apparent, I show how to honor that space by using fall leaves to print on no-sew place mats (sized down to accommodate smaller plates), and make glittered pumpkin place cards for each of your little guests.  Finish decorating by covering their table in colorful burlap and sprinkle with leaves and candy corn--you'll find that even the tiniest of diners will appreciate your thoughtfulness.  Who knows, now they may never want to graduate to the "big people's" table!

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Materials
Place mat:
Unbleached Cotton Fabric
Iron-on Adhesive (found in the Sewing aisle of the craft store)
Iron
Scissors
Decorative Ribbon
Fabric Fusion Glue
Fabric Paint
Sponge Brush
Fall Leaf
Letter Stamps & Stamp Pad

Pumpkin Place Card:
Small Pumpkin
Tacky Glue
Sponge Brush
Orange Glitter
Letter Brackets (found in the Scrapbooking aisle of the craft store)

Place Mat How-To


  • Cut 2, 9"x13" pieces of fabric and 1, 9"x13" piece of iron-on adhesive.  Following adhesive manufacturer's instructions, sandwich between fabric and iron together to make place mat.
  • Sponge brush a thin layer of fabric paint over the front side of a leaf.  Place face down on fabric and press.  Repeat this step across fabric to create printed design; leave blank space for text. Note: If you live in a part of the country that doesn't have a ton of great, fall leaves, fake ones from the craft store will work just as well!
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  • Using letters and ink, stamp "I am thankful for..." on blank space of mat. Note:  If stamps are unavailable, hand write message using fabric markers.  They work great, too!
  • Cut 9" lengths of decorative ribbon and glue on to each end of mat.  Well, fancy mat, you're done! ;-)
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T-Day Tips:
  • Encourage your children to finish the sentence on their place mat by telling you what they're thankful for.
  • For all-day affairs, set up a crafts table for kids to do their own leaf printing and pumpkin glittering!

Pumpkin Place Card How-To

  • Sponge brush a liberal amount of Tacky Glue on the top of wee pumpkin.  Make glue line uneven, to give more of a dripping effect.
  • Pour glitter over glue.  Let dry.  Shake excess off.
  • Push letter brackets (to spell child's name) into pumpkin front.
  • Place pumpkin place card at each child's place setting, so they know there's a special seat just for them!

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Stay tuned in two weeks for the dish on a picture perfect project, designed with your family photo in mind. Until then, happy Fall crafting!

xo,
Vickie

Psst!  Make this craft?  We'd love to 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!
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