Category Archives: children’s crafts (recycled materials)

Cute Foam Peanut Snow Swags

Foam Peanut Swags decor closeup

Make it snow inside with homemade snow swags. This project using salvaged packing peanuts is so easy that even young children can do it with supervision. Use a large blunt needle and some white string. I used salvaged string that I removed from pet food bags before recycling. I’m referring to the white stitching that is on some cat and dog food bags. Sometime the chicken food that I buy has this string as well. Waste not want not – as the saying goes. Simply string the “peanuts” until you have the desired amount on. Then tie off the ends. Continue reading

Flashy New Year’s Eve Photo Backdrop Made Of CDs

Photo backdrop made of CD's

String salvaged CD’s together to make a flashy backdrop for your New Year’s Eve pictures. They would be equally cool for a music themed party.

CDBackdropEO

I cut the numbers (2013) out of salvaged aluminum pie pans.

I’m going to set up a camera for guests to take pictures of themselves on New Year’s Eve.

Let the fun begin!

 

Festive Halloween Tree Made From A Contorted Filbert

Well the down side is that my Lauder’s Walking stick, also called a contorted filbert, finally died this year due to the filbert blight (Anisogramma anomata). On the up side, I was able to use some of the bush to make a neat Halloween tree. I think it looks so cool. I “planted” it in a pot, added rocks to hold the stem in place, and decorated it with paper bats. I love the twisted branches!
Continue reading

Spool Bunnies Made From Vintage Wooden Spools Of Thread

I love the adorable spool dolls made by Erica Daley.

Her dolls inspired me to make these cute bunnies just in time for spring.

“For you.”

“Thank you; I love it!”

Floppy-eared bunny: Violet.

I cut out ears, paws, and tail from a piece of felt. I used a vintage wooden spool of thread as the body. The face was hand painted on.

A violet for Violet.

Can Constellation Lantern Craft

This is a fun way to learn constellations! After children make their own lantern, they will surely want to go out and study the night sky above.

I think this is a pretty cool idea if I do say so myself.

Tools:

Fine metal sandpaper, fine metal file, pliers, small hammer, metal punch, nail (hard to see in photo), yellow colored pencil, wire cutters and a pair of protective eye wear.

P.S. I made the star on the wall by cutting it out from a aluminum beer can.

How to:

Clean the can and remove the label. Recommended can sizes: 16 oz. cans can be used but I prefer to use 28 oz. cans.

You will want to freeze water in the can or stuff it with newspaper to provide support while making holes.

If you don’t want to wait for water to freeze, tightly roll up newspaper and put the roll in the can. Then squeeze in more newspaper along the side until you can’t add anymore.

Use star maps to draw star constellation patterns on a piece of paper. Or you can save yourself the trouble and use the constellation guides that I created and sized especially for this project.

Constellation Guides (19):*

Aquarius, Aries, Cancer, Capricornus, Cassiopia, Cygnus, Gemini, Hercules, Leo, Lyra, Orion, Pegasus, Perseus, Pieces, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Taurus, Ursa Major, and Virgo.

*Because it takes a tremendous amount of time for me to develop projects like this, design and draw a pattern (s), test ideas, make, take pictures, edit pictures, write the how to, etc… I’m asking for a mere 2 dollars (see side donation button for quick payment with Paypal or mail a check). Send me an e-mail (hesterjane@FunIntheMaking.net) and I’ll send you easy to print pdf files with the patterns in two sizes (large and small).

Here is a sample constellation: Hercules Guide

Print out the constellation and tape the guide onto the outside of the can. Decide on the size guide you want to use. Both guides will work on the two size cans recommended above (because both cans are about 4 inches high.) However, some constellations look better in the smaller format because they fit better on the front of the can: opposed to wrapping around the can. You decide.

This is the fun part! Use a nail or a metal punch to make holes as marked on your guide. Note: you should make bigger holes where there are bigger dots -small holes for small dots. Using nails would be more appropriate for children. Regardless, adult supervision is required for this part. Add another constellation on the other side of the can.

Don’t forget to add holes near the top for adding a handle later. They should be opposite each-other.

Use a fine metal file to file down the rough edges inside the can. Have an adult do this step. If you skip this step, be careful because it can scratch.

Go outside and paint your Can Constellation Lantern. Use black, navy blue or dark purple. Honestly, I think that any darkish color would be great: red, orange, green. This is a good project for left-over paint. Putting to use someone’s leftovers is better for the environment then just buying new so check your local re-store for inexpensive options. I used some left-over black spray paint. Let dry.

Use a straight edge and a yellow colored pencil to connect the dots as shown on the guide.

This is a close-up of the can constellation Hercules

Make a wire handle if you like. I used scrap electrical wire. Ask an electrician for scraps.

Illuminate your stars by putting a votive inside, a battery powered votive or use a flashlight. Only use a votive if it is properly supervised by an adult.

This is one of the holders I made for a children’s ”green” gift making winter workshop recently. The holder (A.) is made with three boards that are nailed together: shown in the picture. Miscellaneous scrap sticks (B.)of different sizes are removable and are switched to accommodate various can sizes.

Wouldn’t it be fun to take your can constellation lanterns to the beach on a warm summer evening for an evening of stargazing?

Enter to win this lantern here!