Category Archives: children’s crafts (recycled materials)

Earth Day Celebration in Leonardtown MD 2011

Fun in the Making was at the Earth Day Celebration in Leonardtown MD again this year. The weather was perfect!

This year the free “green” craft was braided bracelets made from strips of recycled bed sheets. Lots and lots of children came by to make themselves one or more of these cool accessories.

This little girl showed off the head band that her mom made.

Sweet Spring Basket Craft: Wheat Grass Growing In Recycled Tray

This is a craft that is good for large groups of kids like school classes because the mushroom trays can be saved by the parents and the overall project will be very inexpensive. The handle for your “basket” can be made with a lot of different materials but I like the natural ones best. The photos show a basket handle made with a twisted piece of drift wood. You can grow grass seeds or wheat grass berries.

I waited too long to take these pictures: the grass is getting too tall. When we are done enjoying our grass baskets, I let my chickens enjoy the greens ! No wasting.

Note: This project is meant to be a centerpiece and is not meant to be carried around by the handle.

Follow this link for tips on growing wheat grass.

One more note:

I like growing wheat grass because it doesn’t take a huge amount of planning ahead. The plants will sprout in just a few days. When I grew the wheat grass in these mushroom trays, I soaked the seeds overnight and then put them on top of the potting soil, watered it, covered the tray with plastic for the first day or two and then watered only as needed. -Very easy child project.

Sweet Valentines Carved In Tree Bark

A few years ago, my daughter brought home a piece of bark she had carved a design in. I liked the idea so much that I thought wouldn’t it be cool to carve a valentine out of a piece of bark. I like the way it makes you think of the sweet affections of youth carved in trees. However, I don’t really like the idea of scarring a tree.  They can be used in a variety of ways from napkin rings to Valentine ornaments.

You could also carve things like: T.B. + N.R., U R Sweet, Hot stuff, or Kiss me. I used a metal barbecue skewer to scratch out the letters. Bark pieces can be found on the ground around some pine trees or possibly around a log pile.

Napkin rings are made from a slice of a toilet paper roll with the bark Valentine glued on.

Hand carved tree bark Valentine ornament.

Leave a secret love note for someone special to find.

These love notes are carved into tree bark but not into living trees. 

Assortment of hand carved tree bark love notes.

This I heart you message was made to decorate a gift box top.

Decorative Trees Made From Scrap Fabric

When I think winter, I think evergreen trees. Here are some easy to make stylized evergreen trees made out of fabric. They can easily be made by children and given as a charming Christmas gift.

Here are some of the trees done by one of my students from my winter sewing/crafting workshop 2010.

Make the tree stump(s)

Find a tree branch of the desired diameter. Cut tree stumps using a miter saw if you have one.

Keep in mind, if the stumps are too small in diameter, the trees will fall over.

Make the tree top

1. Cut Fabric

Use a plate to mark a circle on your fabric and cut out. Next, cut the circle in half. Each half can make a tree.

2. Sew

Fold the semicircle in half with the good side of the fabric facing in. Use a sewing machine or hand -sew a straight line up the side as shown in the photo. Make your cone wider or narrower by adjusting your sewing line.

3. Turn and Stuff

Cut off the extra fabric. Then, turn the cone right side out and add stuffing.

4. Stitch

Using large stitches sew all the way around the bottom of the cone.

5. Gather

Pull the thread from both ends until the fabric is gathered together and the hole is gone.

6. Tie A knot

Knot the thread.

7. Glue

Add glue to the stump and glue in place.

8. Let Dry

Use a glass or another object to weigh down the tree top until the glue is dry.

9. Done

10. Make More

Make a whole forest of trees!

Punched Tin Christmas Tree Ornaments: An Easy To Make Children’s Craft

These vintage inspired punched “tin” ornaments are so easy to make. I’ve been meaning to post this project for ages. I love history and learning about how people lived. Isn’t it inspiring how resourceful and creative people can be. The early Americans were no exception, because glass was so expensive and not very durable, tin was used to make lanterns. Because tin wasn’t transparent like glass, holes were punched in the sides to allow the candle to shine through producing a beautiful display of spotted light. Often times elaborate patterns were made. These lanterns were my inspiration for this project. Although not necessarily tin, these metal tops make perfect sized ornaments. Furthermore, the edges are already smooth.

I hope you spend some quality time with the kids making attractive Christmas tree ornaments using salvaged materials.

These ornaments and many more were done free hand. My girls sure liked making them.

You will need a small hammer, a selection of nails, and a board or other hard surface to work on.

You will also need “tin” tops and ribbon or thread.

To make:

1. Collect the tops and bottoms of cylindrical packaging from chips, crescent rolls, biscuits, dinner rolls, etc…

2. Get a pattern or draw your own on paper (or use no pattern at all). When I make some patterns, I’ll post them here.

3. Hold or tape in place the pattern you are using. The pattern should be centered on your “tin” top.

4. Use a hammer and nail to make holes. Make sure you have a board (or an old cutting board) underneath so as not to ruin your table. Use a workbench if you have one.

5. Add an extra hole in the top for stringing a ribbon or cord through to hang on tree.