Support for PBS Parents provided by:

  • Arthur
  • Cat in the Hat
  • Curious George
  • Daniel Tiger
  • Dinosaur Train
  • Let's Go Luna
  • Nature Cat
  • Odd Squad
  • Peg + Cat
  • Pinkalicous and Peterriffic
  • Ready Jet Go
  • Splash and Bubbles
  • Super Why!
  • Wild Kratts
  • Sesame Street
  • Ruff Ruffman Show
  • Mister Rogers
  • Cyberchase
  • SciGirls
  • Sid the Science Kid
  • Martha Speaks
  • The Electric Company
  • WordGirl
  • Caillou
  • Oh Noah
  • Fizzy's Lunch Lab
  • Maya & Miguel
  • Postcards from Buster
  • Clifford
  • WordWorld
  • DragonFly TV
  • ZOOM

Craft Apparent

Home »

Posts in Tutorial Category



Posted by Vickie Howell on August 23, 2010 at 3:31 PM in Eco-Conscious CraftsGeneral CraftsGreat Gifts!Tutorial
Bookmark and Share
Recycled Crayons: Mixed Hearts

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

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
Candy Molds
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.

    Both Versions:

  • Place trays into freezer for about 30 minutes to harden.

  • Pop your crayon creations out of the trays and enjoy!

Recycled Crayons: Hearts & Stars

Craft Apparently Yours,

Wrist Wranglers

Posted by Vickie Howell on February 15, 2010 at 2:54 PM in General CraftsTutorial
Bookmark and Share

Much like the Friendship Pins featured in a previous installment of Craft Apparent, Friendship Bracelets are a crafty staple in a kid's social life.  Making and trading these treasures encourages our children to place value on putting time, thought and effort into gift giving.

There are many different methods of making Friendship Bracelets but in my humble opinion, Japanese Braiding (aka "Kumihimo") is the simplest and most instantly gratifying of all of the techniques.  Since fast & easy= good and setting kids up for creative success is key, this craft is a win-win in my book!

Cardboard Piece
Cup (Any Size)
Pencil or Pen
Various Colors of Yarn Scraps
Measuring Tape

How-To Make Bracelet
  • You'll need a braiding disk before you can get started.  To make your own, trace around a cup onto cardboard.  Cut circle out; poke a hole in the center, and cut 8 slits, evenly around.
  • Measure wrist then cut 7 strands of yarn (in desired colors) that are at least double that measurement.  Hold strands together; poke them through the center hole of the disk.  Leaving a 2" tail, tie a knot to keep the yarn in place.  
Japanese Braiding Tutorial
How-To Japanese Braiding

  • Place yarn strands in 7 of the 8 slots of your disk.  Turn the empty slot to the bottom.
  • Move the third string from the empty slot, into the empty slot.
  • Rotate disk so the empty slot is on the bottom.

Underside View of Set-up

  • Repeat the last 3 steps until cord is the desired length.  Remove strings from disk.
  • Knot the 2 ends of the cord to create bracelet.

Kumihimo Friendship Bracelets

Keep in mind, Japanese Braiding is a portable craft so your son or daughter can make bracelets in front of the TV, while waiting in the doctors office, or in the backseat of a car.

Special thanks to the Craft Yarn Council and the Weavers of Orlando, for sharing this technique with me!


Washed-Up Wishes: Crocheted Gift Washcloths

Posted by Vickie Howell on December 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM in ChristmasCrochetGreat Gifts!Tutorial
Bookmark and Share
Kitschy Version
Cotton Christmas Cloth

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)
Yarn Needle

(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


Kitschy Version:
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.

Stripe Close-Up

Main Section:
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. 

Earthy Version


Earthy Version:
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,

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!


T-Day Table Decor

Bookmark and Share

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
Bookmark and Share
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!
Support for PBS Parents provided by: