Family Easter Craft Project

We’ve been crafting again in this house!  I love keeping decorations for every holiday, and next up on our list is Easter.  I know St. Patrick’s Day is in there, but I’m ready for spring and trying to prod Mother Nature to sway herself in that direction.

For once in a long while, we will be home for Easter.  So it is time to start getting some decorations ready around this house!

As you may recall, I purchased a bulk pack of canvases at Christmas.  I had two left, and they had my girl’s names on them for some spring projects.  We also keep washable finger paints and dotters on hand.  That is basically all you need to make these super cute projects.

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My 2 1/2 year old used the paint dotters and we used the washable finger paints with Lucy’s cute little 5 month old feet to make her first art project.  In my opinion, both turned out to be pretty adorable.

As someone who teaches arts and craft projects for preschool aged children, I am all about creating things that will turn out well regardless of age or ability.  You can see that both girls made great projects with a little help from Rock and myself.  From start to finish these take about 15 minutes and I think they are totally worth it!

Easter Egg Projects:

Materials:

White canvas

Paper

Clear tape

Pencil

Scissors

Washable finger paints

Washable Paint Dotters

Paint Brush

Modge Podge

Directions:

Fold a piece of paper in half, lengthwise.  Draw a half oval (egg shape) with pencil.  This helps keep the shape nice and uniform.   I then chose to draw a simple zig-zag pattern.  Cut out the inside portion of this pattern to create a stencil.

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Carefully tape the stencil to your canvas.  Work along the edges to ensure that it is flat and even.  Tape the inside just along the edges to keep the paper flat.  This will help keep the paint from running under your stencil.

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You can then either use the paint dotters or washable paint.  I placed thin layers of washable paint on a paper plate and rubbed Lucy’s foot in the paint and then blotted it all around the stencil.  We used wet wash cloths to remove paint as we worked through a variety colors.

Just like painting your walls, remove the stencil and tape immediately after you are done to ensure the paint doesn’t dry under the stencil or run.  You can then add a border and use a Sharpie to add names, years, etc.

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Once the project has dried you can then coat with a thin layer of Modge Podge.  This helps to preserve your project.  Do keep in mind that the washable paints can run. So do this quickly and gently.

Do you have any crafting traditions for Easter?

Simple Homemade Valentine Decoration (Great For Kids)

I love decorating for the holidays.  As soon as Thanksgiving dinner is over, I am ready to pull out my Christmas decorations.  The tree goes up and the balsam candles are lit.

When we came home from Christmas in Chicago, I was sad to see that our tree had shed entirely shed itself.  That night, we went to work at getting that thing out of our house before it left our living room covered in needles.  I was sad to see it go, but it was time.

Now that the New Year is over, I’m ready to get some other decorations out.  Last year, Mary was just getting old enough to color and I pulled out a few craft projects.  Doilies adorned our cabinets and we painted her first ever project.

This year she has a new love for crafting and I am taking advantage of it.  We made this adorable Valentine canvas in just a few minutes.  What I love about projects like these, is that regardless of your child’s age or ability, they turn out great.

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If you want to attempt the framed picture (last year’s project) it is a really nice and easy one as well.  Simply take a piece of white paper and allow your child to use appropriate colored finger paint.  Let dry and then cut into a heart shape.  Tape to a piece of pink construction paper and place in frame!

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Project Materials:

White canvas (I purchased ours in bulk at Michael’s)

1 sheet of computer paper

Washable Dot Paints (like what you use for bingo)

Tape

Make Your Project:

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Take your computer paper and fold in half.  Draw half of the heart.  This is easier than just drawing a free hand heart, as it stays more uniform.  You could also trace one if you have a stencil.  Cut out heart shape and set aside.  Tape the sheet of paper to your canvas.  Start by taping around the outside.  Then using very small pieces, secure the inside just slightly along the edge.  Once secure, use appropriate colored dotters and blot the inside.

The dot paints won’t bleed under the paper and will cover the area nicely.  They even look great when overlapped.

After you have finished with the dot paint.  Gently peel the paper off, as soon as you have finished painting.  You can carefully use the edge of the blotter to cover any areas that weren’t covered.

Craft Your Holiday Cards

This week I have a few easy craft projects to share with you.  Today I’m starting with a super simple way to reuse your holiday cards.

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Since we have moved to Michigan, we have been recycling more than ever.  When we lived in NYC it was mandatory that you place recycling outside of your building.  The Department of Sanitation would fine the building owner and this was incentive for all of us to separate our garbage.

However, when we moved to Chicago, they have a much more lax recycling program.  Unfortunately, this made recycling far less convenient for us and I am sorry to say that we got a bit out of the habit.

Interestingly enough, recycling isn’t mandatory up here in Michigan.  But our local recycling center makes it so incredibly easy, that we now recycle more than ever.  All you need to do is pull up to the building and bring everything in.  They have bins labeled to help you separate materials.  The employees will also come out to your car and help carry everything in and separate it for you.  We now have far less garbage to put out every week.

Now that we recycle more, I try to think of ways to reuse things we have around our house.  One fun thing we have discovered is making gift tags for next year out of the holiday cards we received from family and friends.  This is also a great project that you can involve your kids with on a cold winter day.

We have dozens of these cards each year.  I have a rack that we set out to display cards and this year Mary had a blast looking at the pictures and hanging the cards up.  However, once the holiday season is over, the cards often just get tossed into the garbage at some point.

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Most holiday cards are made of nice material and come in many fun colors and adornments.  Instead of tossing the cards out, try taking some of your favorites and cutting them into tags to use for next year’s gifts.  This creates less garbage and also saves you money when you purchase gift wrap next year.  You can even do this as a family and spend time looking at each card one more time.  Mary finds this to be a fun way to name each person she knows.

Take a look at your cards and find fun prints or pictures and then simply cut into shapes.  Mix up the sizes and styles of your cut.  You can even get creative and use different types of scissors with various borders.  Use a hole punch to make a space for string.  Or leave alone and tape onto packages next year!  Don’t forget to look on the back of the cards.   This is where you usually can find some really nice designs.

Do you day any family crafts when the weather gets really cold?