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Craft Apparent

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Posts in Parent/Child Collaboration Category


C is for Crafting: Cookie Monster Puppets!

Posted by Vickie Howell on June 6, 2010 at 10:01 PM in General CraftsParent/Child Collaboration
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cookie monster puppets 
This week we've teamed up with the folks at Sesame Street to bring you double the crafty goodness!  Your kiddos can make either no-sew or learn-to-sew versions of a basic, Cookie Monster puppet here at Craft Apparent then, let their fingers do the walking over to the Kid-tivity page of the Sesame Street website to draw their own Cookie Monster tote bag!  That's 1, 2, TWO cookie-tastic creations!

2 Pieces of Blue Craft Felt
Scraps of Black & Tan Craft Felt
Googly Eyes
Marking Pen

Learn-to-Sew Version Only:
Plastic Needle & Yarn 
Small Point Hole Punch 


No-Sew Cookie

  • Trace patterns on to appropriate colored felt.  Cut out 2 body pieces, 1 mouth and 1 cookie.
  • Glue around the outer edge of 1 body piece; lay 2nd body piece on top. 
  • Glue on mouth, googly eyes and cookie.
  • Cut out small pieces of black felt for chocolate chips; glue on to cookie.  Cut out small pieces of brown for crumbs, glue on to mouth.


Learn-to-Sew Cookie
Felt puppets are a great project to teach children the very basics of hand-sewing.  Here's how to use this same puppet pattern as a Stitching 101 tutorial for your kiddo!

  • Cut out pattern and pieces as for No-Sew version.

  • Holding BOTH body pieces together and using hole punch, make holes every 1/4" or so (and about 1/8" in from the edge) all the way around.
  • String a long piece of yarn onto a plastic yarn needle; knot the end.  Show your child how to come up through the 1st hole of the two body pieces and down through the 2nd hole to make their first stitch.  Then, have them repeat that stitch all the way around the puppet.  Once puppet is completely sewn together, knot yarn and cut off.

  • Glue cookie, eyes, mouth, chocolate chips and crumbs as for No-Sew Version.

Place puppet on your hand and exclaim, "C is for crafting and that's good enough for me!"  



Recycled Container Plant Pots

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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.)
Fabric Scraps
Drill  (For kids, I recommend a Craft Drill)
Tiny Cacti & Succulents

Pop (Horta)Culture

  • 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.

Owl Can

  • 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.

Twine Bottle

  • 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.



I Spy a Shamrock

Posted by Vickie Howell on March 1, 2010 at 12:37 PM in Parent/Child CollaborationPhotosSewingSt. Patrick's Day
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I Spy A Shamrock Album

It's true, crafts are often a great diversion for kids while us parents are working on something else.  Sometimes though, a project that rallies the whole family for a little quality time, is just what the crafty doctor ordered!  Enter, the I Spy A..., photo softie book--a journal of pictures taken by you and yours, of themed items from your own town.

Here's the concept:  Choose a theme; sit down with the kids and make a list of items that go along with it.  Since it's March and we're gearing up for St. Patrick's Day, we focused on Irish items.  Here's what our list looked like:

Pot O' Gold

Now, depending on how adventurous you are, you either load everyone up in the car and start driving aimlessly or, do a few internet searches for businesses and streets with names that match the words on your list first.  Either way, don't forget to bring your digital camera with you when you go!

Encourage your kids to get their spy eyes on and point out any items they see that might fit the bill.  Whenever you spot something, safely pull over the car and snap the shot.  If you have older kids, let them handle photography duties--it'll nurture their appreciation for details!

Once you have at least 6 photos taken, head on home and get them printed out.  Then, you'll be ready to start book making.


How-To Make Photo Book Softie

6, 4"x6" Ireland-related photos taken of signs and monuments around your town.
1/2 yd. Gold Felt
1/8 yd, or 3 sheets, White Felt
Sewing Machine
Contrasting Thread
Marking Pen
Shamrock Cookie Cutter or Template

I Spy A Shamrock Album 2

  • Cut four, 7"x14" pieces of gold felt (these will be the pages) and six, 4 1/2" x 6 1/4" pieces of white felt (these will be photo mats).  Cut a Shamrock out of remaining white felt, using a template or cookie cutter as your guide.
  • Sew a photo mat with photo on top each, on both the right and left sides of three of the gold pieces.  Avoid using pins to keep the photos in place while you sew, as you don't want to create extra punctures in the photos--instead, just hold them in place as you go.
  • Sew Shamrock on the right side of the fourth, gold piece (this one will be your front and back cover).
  • With wrong sides facing and using a 1/4" seam allowance, sew two of the gold pieces together.  Repeat for the remaining two pieces.
  • Layer pieces so the the cover piece is face down with the other on top of it.  Using a zig-zag stitch, sew down the center of the pieces to "bind" your photo book.
No-Sew Option for this Project: 
Ditch the felt & thread for paper & glue; make a photo scrapbook!

Use your finished book as an opportunity to chat with your children about the experience and about other, cool things they noticed around the city while you were on your drive together.

Wishing you the luck of the Irish in all of your crafting!


P.S.  Sign & monument photos also make great greeting cards--simply glue one onto the front of plain card stock!

Artful Appreciation: DIY Thank You Notes

Posted by Vickie Howell on January 4, 2010 at 10:25 AM in EmbroideryGeneral CraftsParent/Child CollaborationThank Yous
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In the age of e-mail correspondence the paper "Thank You" note is often a lost art.  Raising grateful children however, definitely isn't.   Help your tots celebrate the gift of creativity while they give back some of the love and energy that's surely put into the presents they receive.  Handmade notes are a thoughtful (and fun) way to express that appreciation.  Here are three, simple-to-make cards to stitch, snap or glue!

Make it Sew!
Embroidered Card
It's easy to say it with stitching, when you start off with a basic note card!  Have your child write "Thanks" in pencil on the card front--their handwriting, no matter how messy, will add that extra-special touch!  Using embroidery floss, a sharp needle and the back stitch (see tutorial here), stitch over the writing.  Add little stitched dots or lines, for added embellishment.  So sweet, SEW simple!

Glued Greeting
Ransom (thank you) Note
All kiddo needs for this card collage is a glue stick and a dream!  Ok well, also a pair of scissors, a doily and recycled magazine letters--but you know what I mean.  They'll have loads of fun cutting up pages and piecing together their creation.  If you want to say "Thank You", why not just spell it out?

Picture Perfect
Photo Card
This one is the easiest and probably, most well-received (at least amongst the grandparent set) of all handmade hellos.  Whether it be Christmas, birthday or any other present-getting event; after unwrapping their goodies have the kids pose for a picture! Simply write your greeting on plain, white paper and have them hold those signs up.  Snap a shot; have copies printed up; glue them on card stock and embellish with a little ric-rac.  That's all there is to it!

How important do you think teaching kids to write Thank You notes is?  At what age do you think children should participate in writing (or signing) their own?
  Please post your answers in the comments section.

Thank YOU for making Craft, Apparent!


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!


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!

Place mat:
Unbleached Cotton Fabric
Iron-on Adhesive (found in the Sewing aisle of the craft store)
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!
  • 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! ;-)

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!


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!


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!

Wicked Stitch--Embroidered Trick or Treat Totes

Posted by Vickie Howell on October 20, 2009 at 8:59 AM in EmbroideryHalloween ProjectsParent/Child CollaborationTutorial
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Wicked Stitch Totes

One of my favorite ways to encourage kids to be creative is by collaborating with them on projects.  A simple but rewarding way to do this is by embroidering their artwork onto fabric; making it a usable keepsake.  In the past I've stitched my sons' artwork onto journals, t-shirts and even a birthday card pillow for Nana.  The possibilities for this technique are endless, including incorporating it into your Halloween celebration!

This year, sweeten a Trick or Treat tote with scary sketches done by your little devils.  Kiddos will feel proud displaying their talents, and parents will have a crafty record of darlings' doodles to save for years to come. Oh and if you've never embroidered before, no problem!  This project requires only using one, easy stitch: the back stitch.  Here's everything you'll need to know to make one of these boo-tiful bags yourself!

Paper & Pencil (for child's drawing)
Plain, Canvas Tote Bag
Assorted Colors, Embroidery Floss
Embroidery Needle
Embroidery Hoop
Transfer Paper (found in art supply aisle at craft store)
Note: Be sure to buy light colored transfer paper if you're working with a dark, tote bag and dark paper for lighter versions.

Embroidery Before/After
"Fracking Stine" (aka Frankenstein) artwork by Tristan, age 7.  Ghost artwork by Tanner, age 9.

Project How-To
  • Ask your child to draw a simple, picture of something Halloween-related. The less detailed the drawing, the easier it is to translate into an embroidered image.
  • Lay transfer paper, face down on tote bag.  Lay drawing, face up on top of transfer paper.  Using a pencil, stylus or anything pointy (a knitting needle, works great), firmly trace over drawing.  Image should now be transferred onto tote bag front.
  • Place tote bag front in embroidery hoop.  Back stitch over transferred image outline.

    Psst! Got older kids?  Have them do the embroidery themselves!

Back Stitch Tutorial

Backstitch Step 1

Step 1:  Knot embroidery thread end.  Starting from the backside of the piece, come up through fabric at Point A (just pick a starting point on the outline).

 Backstitch Step 2

Step 2: Come back down with your needle at Point B (about 1/8" from Point A--stitches do not need to be exact); pull thread through.  Your first stitch is now complete!

 Backstitch Step 3
Step 3: Come up through the back at Point C; pull thread through.  Your second stitch is now complete!

Back Stitch Step 4
Repeat Step 3, coming up through the fabric about 1/8" from the stitch before, until design is finished.  Knot end.  Snip thread.
Spooky Stitching!,

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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