Jul 27

10 Gift Ideas For Crochet Lovers

Crochet with KittenBeing a crochet lover for both a hobby and a business, I have tried many crochet gadgets, books, patterns, and anything else associated with crochet.

My friends and family occasionally ask me what I want for Christmas or my birthday and I try to think of a new crochet gadget or a new crochet book that I would love to have. For the people that do not crochet, they have no idea what type of gift to buy for the person who loves to crochet. So, I put together a brief list of some of my favorite things related to crochet.

1. Storage Containers: If the person you are purchasing a gift for is anything like me, they have yarn overflowing all the containers in their house. Many of us crocheters can’t walk into any type of craft store without browsing the yarn section. This means extra yarn which means we need extra storage. Good storage containers are wicker baskets lined with fabric, large plastic tubs, roomy totes, and floor caddies. There are floor caddies designed especially for yarn and accessories that can be found at craft stores and online at Herrschners.com.

2. Yarn: What crochet lover is not obsessed with yarn? There isn’t a yarn made that I wouldn’t love to have. Yarn comes in any color and texture imaginable. Yarn type examples are worsted weight, cotton, sport weight, baby yarn, sock yarn, afghan yarn, bulky or thick yarn, variegated yarn, etc. Find out what type of yarn is their favorite and head off to your local craft store.

3. Light Up Crochet Hooks: These hooks are really good to use for the crochet enthusiast that needs help seeing their stitches and when working with dark colored yarns. Light Up Crochet Hooks can be found in the bigger craft stores and online for about $7.95 each or $60.00 for a complete set.

4. Crochet Cushions: These are little cushions that slip on crochet hooks to help eliminate finger pain associated with using crochet hooks.

5. New Crochet Hook Case: Notice I added the word “new” to this one. My crochet hook case looks like my neighbor’s dog, my cat and my 2 kids all played tug-of-war with it! For some reason, it is the one thing that I never purchase for myself. So, if your favorite crocheter’s hook case has seen better days, buy them a new one!

6. Thera Glove: This glove is made of spandex and nylon and supports the hand and wrist helping to control soreness and fatigue associated with repetitious crocheting. They come in fun designs and cost about $20.00 a pair.

7. Crochet Stitch Books: I love looking at crochet stitch books. My favorite stitch book is titled “The Complete Book of Crochet Stitch Designs”. This book contains 500 stitch patterns that include colored diagrams and pictures. This is a wonderful reference book for the beginner and the expert crocheter! There are more crochet stitch books available in craft stores, book stores, and online at Amazon.com.

8. Crochet Stitch Calendar: My favorite crochet calendar is called “365 Crochet Stitches a Year”. It is a perpetual calendar that has beautiful stitch patterns and colored pictures. This calendar can be purchased at places like Barnes & Noble or online at Amazon.com

9. Crochet Patterns: This one, I highly recommend, because I am a crochet pattern designer! There are many talented crochet pattern designers in the world today. In your local craft store, you can purchase crochet pattern booklets and books. You can purchase crochet patterns online at eBay, Etsy, LuLu and designers’ websites. Simply search on the internet for “crochet patterns” and you will have many to choose from.

10. Gift Card to Favorite Yarn or Craft Store: This might be obvious to many of you, but any crafter loves a gift card to their favorite craft store!

I hope I have helped you come up with an idea or two on what to buy the crochet lover in your life. If you are wondering where to purchase any of the items above, try shopping at your local craft store, Hobby Lobby, JoAnn Fabrics, Herrschners.com and AnniesAttic.com.


Lesley Dietschy is a crochet pattern designer and the founder of http://www.HomeDecorExchange.com – Visit the Home Decor Exchange website for all of your home decorating needs.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 23

Bible Story Crafts

Are you looking for bible crafts to do at home with the kids or at Sunday school? These projects are a great way to bring those stories to life!

Story time with a mother and her daughter

Moses Parts The Sea Bible Craft

Our Bible Story Crafts for Kids is an ideal way to introduce the kids to all the truths in the Bible. These Bible story crafts for kids are also great fun for the kids and they love learning all the well know Bible stories in the Bible this way. This craft “Moses Parts the Sea” is a little unusual and it may take a little more prep on the teacher’s side but it is well worth the trouble.

Moses parts the see egg shell mosaic craft.

What you need for this Bible story craft for kids:

  • Egg shells
  • Food coloring
  • Water
  • A piece of corrugated cardboard to make your mosaic on
  • Thick white glue
  • As many bowls as colors you intend using
  • Pencils (one for each kid)
  • Vinegar
  • A newspaper
  • Miniature figurines to serve as Moses and the Israelites (You can also draw them on cardboard, color them and make them stand with little pieces of clay. This can even be a craft the previous week, say when you are doing the ten plagues.)

Prep for the teacher:

  1. A little ahead of the time you will have to ask all your friends to save all the egg shells from eggs they use. Rinse them clean and keep them in the fridge until you need them.
  2. Mix water and food coloring in your bowls (remember you will need a lot of blue for the sea)
  3. Add a teaspoon or two of vinegar to each bowl of color, depending on the amount of coloring.
  4. Put the egg shells in the water and leave them overnight.
  5. Take the shells out of the water and let them dry on a newspaper. You are now ready to do the craft with the kids.

How to do the craft:

  1. Divide the kids in the class; let some draw the path in the middle of your piece of cardboard that will become the dry land the Israelites are going to walk on. Another group can draw some fish etc. that will be in the sea on the one side and the others on the other side.
  2. Keep quite a bit of large, blue shells to make the “wall” of water on both sides.
  3. With the others you fill in your mosaic as follows: apply some glue onto the pictures on the cardboard and stick the egg shells on, using the desired colors. Use the blue for the sea and the other colors to make the fish etc. in the sea. Break the egg shells into smaller pieces if necessary to fill in smaller pictures.
  4. In the middle place a second layer of the large, blue egg shells to form the “wall” of water.
  5. Place the figurines on the “dry path” and your craft is completed.
  6. Plan ahead of time to have a small table or other area where it can be put on display, the kids will want to look at it for quite a while.

This Bible Story Craft for Kids is great fun and a little unusual. It is one of our Bible Story Crafts for Kids that even the smallest pre-school kids can do very easily, while the older kids can attempt a more elaborate mosaic according to their age and abilities.

Moses Parts The Sea Bible Story Card Craft

This craft is one of our bible story crafts where each kid makes their own individual card. Previously we have had an egg shell mosaic where the kids did one craft in a group. Now we are going to make cards that the kids can take home. It can be done to supplement the previous craft or it can be used on its own. Making crafts that they can take home is always a big thrill for the kids. This one is very easy yet very effective.

Bible Reading: Ex. 14:21 Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea and GOD, with a terrific east wind all night long, made the sea go back. He made the sea dry ground. The seawaters split.

What you need for this craft:

  • White paper cut into 4″ X 8″ strips
  • Pencil
  • Coloring pencils
  • Felt tipped pen

What you have to do:

  1. Make folds into the strips of paper, dividing it into three equal parts.
  2. On the middle part draw the sand and perhaps a few fish gaping on the dry land to make it clear that the dry path was sea seconds ago.
  3. On the two outside part, draw the sea and sea life.
  4. Color in your picture, the dry sand brown and the sea, blue with the colored fish.
  5. Write the verse on the bottom in the middle of the strip of paper.
  6. Now you fold the left side to the middle, covering the dry land. The second fold you have to make is to take this outside piece and fold it from the middle out again, now it only covers half of the dry land and the water scene you drew on it can be seen.
  7. Do the same with the right hand side.
  8. Your drawing of the dry land should now be covered from both sides.
  9. To symbolize the parting of the sea, pull on both sides to open your picture, now you can see the dry land in the middle and the sea on both sides.

Individual Creation Cards

This is one of our bible story crafts where each kid makes their own individual bible story craft. It is a simple craft and the idea is to supplement another creation craft. The craft is supposed to act as a reminder for the kids to look at everyday. If the craft is for older kids that can write, they write the bible verse on it themselves. For the smaller ones the teacher will have to write the bible verse on the cards. In that case, if you have a large class, get help!

Bible Verse: Gen 1:31 “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good! It was evening; it was morning– Day Six.”

This is what you need for this craft:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper doilies, the same size as the paper plates
  • White paper
  • Glue
  • String
  • Color pencils
  • Felt tipped pens
  • Scissors

Teacher’s Prep:

  1. From the white paper, cut out circles that will fit into the inside of the paper plates.
  2. If your class consists of small kids, write the bible verse in a circle on the outside of this circle of paper.
  3. Draw pictures on the inside of this circle depicting the six days of creation, i.e. draw the sun and the birds flying in one part, on another part you draw the garden, in another the see and in another the moon and stars etc. The best way of doing this is to do one and to make photo copies. If the children are older, they can do the drawings themselves.

How to do this craft:

  1. The first thing the bigger children can do is to write the verse on the white papers.
  2. Now they can do the picture on the white papers.
  3. Let the kids color in the pictures on the white papers.
  4. Glue the paper doily on the inside of the paper plate.
  5. Glue the drawings onto the inside of the paper plates on top of the doily.
  6. Make a hole in the paper plate and tie a piece of string through the hole for the kids to hang up the plate with.

Now every kid has his or her card to memorize this very important Bible verse with. I think this is a very important point to remember about Bible Story Crafts For Kids, it must serve a purpose. The craft must enhance the story and make the kids remember the lesson. We must make very sure that the craft does not become a goal in itself but, the craft must always support the lesson.

An Invitation To A Wedding Bible School Craft

This is one of our bible school crafts that the kids love doing and it is great fun. The kids make a “Wedding Invitation” card with the invitation on the one side of the card and the Bible verse on the other side. Our “Invitation To A Wedding” craft is for the kids that are a little older and who knows what a wedding invitation looks like, and that are able to write the invitations as well as the bible verse at the back.

The Bible Verse: Joh. 2:11 This act in Cana of Galilee was the first sign Jesus gave, the first glimpse of his glory. And his disciples believed in him.

What you need for this bible school craft:

  • Good quality paper to cut the cards from
  • Thick glue
  • Paint brush to brush the glue on with
  • Different colors confetti
  • Black felt tipped pens
  • A ruler
  • A pencil

What you will need for variation one:

  • Small pictures of flowers
  • Small pictures of wedding bells

What you will need for variation two:

  • Good quality glossy paint
  • Paint brushes

How to do this craft:

  1. Cut cards from the poster paper to the size of a large wedding invitation card.
  2. Draw a broad border with the pencil and ruler around the one side of the card.
  3. Write an invitation to a wedding in the middle of the card on the side that you drew the border on.
  4. Write the bible verse on the other side of the card.
  5. Paint the border that you drew with the tick glue and sprinkle the confetti on to completely caver the border.
  6. Leave the card to dry for at least an hour.


  1. In stead of the confetti the border can also be made “collage” style with small pictures of flowers and wedding bells cut from magazines.
  2. Another variation, if the kids are older and a little more artistic, is for the kids to decorate the border by painting a decorative design on it.

This bible school craft is one of the bible school crafts that give the kids something really beautiful to take home as a keepsake. It might be a good idea to make a decorated box at the beginning of the school, for the kids to keep all the crafts in that they want to keep for taking home.

Garden Of Eden Bible Crafts

This bible story crafts for kids to make can also be called “The Creation Craft.” The main purpose of Bible crafts for kids are to reinforce the Bible lesson. This is a crafts suitable for kids of all ages. The little kids will need help though, so be sure to have a few helpers on hand. In this bible story craft for kids we are going to plant a garden in a bottle to represent God’s creation. The craft can be preceded by a reading of Genesis 1: 1 – 2: 3 and then the kids can be encouraged to partake in the making of a garden in a bottle. If the group is large it will be best to let the kids make more than one garden.

Afterwards they can take turns to give the garden a good spray every week. This will reinforce the lesson and we can also include a short lesson on the importance of caring for God’s creation as He instructed us in Gen 2:15: “God took the Man and set him down in the Garden of Eden to work the ground and keep it in order.”

What you need for this bible craft:

  • First you need to get hold of a large jar with it’s lid, the kind that you’ll probably be able to get from a restaurant, make sure the opening is big enough to fit your hand in
  • Some pebbles
  • Potting soil from your garden center
  • Small plants such as moss and ferns, you’ll also be able to get these from your garden center
  • Loose pieces of bark if you can find them (please do not tear them from a tree as this damages the tree!)
  • A large spoon
  • A spray bottle with water

Teacher’s Prep:

  • Wash the bottle and make sure it is completely clean.
  • Prepare a suitable work area for the kids so as to prevent them from making too much of a mess.
  • Make preparations for them to be able to wash their hands after the lesson.

How to do this Bible Story Craft:

  1. Cover the bottom of the bottle with the pebbles.
  2. Now spoon in the potting soil.
  3. Decide on the arrangement of your plants and bark and carefully plant them in the bottle. Remember that plants need space to grow, so do not plant them too close to each other. Take your time with this, work carefully and make sure not to damage your precious plants.
  4. Now you give the garden a good spray and cover the bottle with the lid. The lid will keep the moisture in but, it will still be necessary to give the garden a spray at least once a week.

This easy Bible Story Craft is one of many easy Bible Story Crafts For Kids To Make that help you teach children all the well know and well loved bible stories. Kids learn best by doing and if the craft is fun, the lesson will stick. I hope the kids will enjoy doing this easy Bible Story Craft.

Light of the World Kids Craft

Children will enjoy the connection made in this craft between the loving glow of candlelight and the Light that it symbolizes. This is one of the really popular Bible Story Crafts for Kids because it is about God’s light and it is reminding the children that they too have this light and to let it shine. Candles aren’t always among the easy kids crafts, but this one is an easy to make candle holder. And children will be so proud of making their own lights to shine.

The memory verse from the Sermon on the Mount can be added to the candle as well: “Ye are the light of the world…Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

The “salt of the Earth” from the scripture lesson may also be tied into this craft with the glitter symbolizing the salt. Scripture: Matthew 5

Supplies for each Candle

  • Small to medium, wide mouthed jar such as a baby food or salsa jar
  • White glitter
  • Gift-wrap, tissue paper (assorted colors)
  • White craft glue
  • Small piece of sponge (around 1/2 to 1 inch square)
  • Clothespin
  • Tea candle or votive candle (depending on size of jar)
  • Ribbon


Cut ribbons for each of the children’s candles. Write the memory verse, or the beginning of it “Ye are the Light of the World,” on the ribbon where it can be read after tied around the neck of the jar. Set aside, so children can add them after their candles are completed.


  1. Tear or cut small pieces of the tissue paper.
  2. Since the glue will be used with a decoupage sort of technique, thin it first by mixing in a plastic cup (such as a yogurt container) with a little water.
  3. Clip the piece of sponge with a clothespin.
  4. Using the “sponge brush,” cover the outside of the jar with the thinned glue.
  5. Before glue dries, cover this with bits of colored tissue paper. Keep the tissue paper layering thin so that the light shines through well.
  6. While the tissue paper is still wet with the glue, roll the jar in a plate of glitter. Salt could be used instead, but in areas of high humidity it may eventually dissolve.
  7. Add the candle, light and enjoy. Or send the children home to light the candles with their families.

Caterpillar & Butterfly Activities – Kids Bible Story Crafts

The metamorphosis of the caterpillar to butterfly has symbolized rebirth for ages,
everlasting life and being born again through Christ, which makes these Easy Kids Bible Story Crafts ideal for Sunday School, homeschoolers or other groups looking for kids Bible crafts or other Bible lessons. This craft could accompany a story such as the wonderful picture book classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (this book also has beautiful collage pictures that can inspire other projects).

In this fanciful book the caterpillar eats all kinds of foods, including a cherry pie, so you may also want to read a short non-fiction picture book to the kids. After all, in real life caterpillars are very selective about what they eat.

Then you can make a comparison to the how the leaves of the right sort of plant nourishes the caterpillar so that it may become a butterfly, just as Jesus’ teachings nourish our spirit so that we may be reborn in the heavenly kingdom. There are many wonderful analogies you can find between the lowly caterpillar’s metamorphoses into a beautiful creature of flight.

Below you will find a butterfly craft and tips on growing butterfly gardens.


o Wooden spring type clothespin

o Green pom-poms (4 medium sized)

o White school glue

o Pipe cleaner

o White paper

o Outline of butterfly wings

o Markers, crayons or paint

Teacher Prep

Most young children will need a template for their butterfly wings. You can create one by drawing a pair of wings on a piece of paper and photocopying one for each child.


1. Glue pom-poms onto one side of clothespin.

2. Form antennas with a piece of pipe cleaner

3. Twist antennas onto the end of the clothespin that doesn’t close

4. Set aside to dry.

5. Color or paint the butterfly wings.

6. Cut out the wings.

7. Transform the caterpillar into a butterfly by clipping on the wings with the clothespin!

Butterfly Gardens

Children love to watch butterflies, and if you create a butterfly garden, they may also have the opportunity to observe the caterpillars and cocoons.

To grow a butterfly garden, you will need to grow plants that provide nectar, places for the butterflies to lay eggs, food plants for the caterpillars (the larva) and places for them to form the chrysalises (cocoons).

Here are some tips for designing your butterfly garden:

1. Grow nectar-producing plants in sunny areas because adult butterflies rarely feed in the shade.

2. Butterflies and many caterpillars are finicky eaters. Consult a regional field guide to find out which species of butterflies prefer which plants.

3. Plant dense clusters of small flowers such as zinnias, milkweeds, verbenas, and many mint family plants are favored by many butterfly species.

4. Do not use insecticides or pesticides.

5. Design your garden so that blossoms are clustered together by type of plant and also in monochromatic, big splashes of color. This makes it easier for the butterflies to see and catch the scent of the blossoms.

6. Choose plants with tubular flowers or flat-topped blossoms, which make better landing strips and feeding stations. Choose easier to sip from single flowers rather than doubles (the ones with extra petals).

7. Since butterflies are active from early spring until late fall, plant accordingly, and include annuals and perennials.

8. Include plants in the butterfly garden that provide food for caterpillars and that are attractive to female butterflies looking for places to lay eggs.

9. Maintain favorite “watering holes”: damp areas and/or shallow puddles.

10. Include plenty places in your butterfly garden for basking. Since butterflies can’t fly when their bodies temperatures are below 70 F, they often bask in the sun on stones, bare soil or vegetation.

11. Last but not least, create your butterfly garden in a way that makes it easy for you and the children to enjoy, perhaps by including a swing bench in the garden, or bringing the garden to you by planting near a deck or pond.

The Good Shepherd Craft & Game

This adorable sheep is one of our Easy Bible Story Crafts for Kids for kindergarten, first grade and second grade. Creating and displaying this cute, fluffy sheep reinforces the Scripture that tells us Jesus watches over us and calls us, like a good shepherd calls his sheep.

This is one of our Kids Bible Crafts that is complimented by a game. The craft and game help children to remember the verses: “I am the good shepherd. I know each of My sheep by name, and My sheep know Me.” “Those who come through Me will be saved. They will have everything they need.” Scripture: John 10:1-21


  • Empty toilet paper roll
  • Cotton balls (30 to 40)
  • 4 Q-Tips
  • Elmer’s School Glue
  • White tissue paper
  • Brown pipe cleaner (only if a ram)
  • Clear tape
  • Disposable container (such as a margarine container)
  • Black construction paper
  • Paper punch or scissors


  1. For support, stuff paper (any kind) inside the toilet paper roll, leaving about an inch empty from the end.
  2. Create the sheep’s legs by taping the Q-tips to toilet paper roll.
  3. Create the sheep’s head by scrunching up some tissue paper and stuffing part of it into the end of the roll.
  4. Pour a little glue into the container.
  5. To add the sheep’s wool, dip cotton balls into the glue and press onto the cardboard roll. Once it is covered, add another layer or more until the sheep is nice and wooly.
  6. Create the eyes with a paper puncher and the construction paper. Use glue to adhere to the front of the sheep’s tissue paper face.
  7. For a ram, do Steps 1-6 and then add horns, which are made by twisting pipe cleaner into two curly cues and attaching with glue.
  8. Allow to dry.

Displaying the Sheep

Before children bring their sheep home, you may want to create a classroom display:

  1. Begin with a tray of wheat grass you’ve grown and trimmed short or Easter basket grass spread out evenly.
  2. Add shepherd or Jesus figurine or paper doll.
  3. Invite children to add their sheep to assemble the flock around the shepherd!

Stray Sheep Game

This tag game is sort of a classroom version of the backyard pool game, Marco Polo. The child playing the stranger is blindfolded and stands in the center of the circle. The others are the sheep and wander around the inside of the circle.

The blindfolded stranger tries to tag the sheep. When calling “Sheep!” the others must reply with “Baa-baa.” The first sheep tagged takes the place of the stranger. This game reinforces the lesson that just like the sheep we should only answer to our Good Shepherd.

Noah’s Ark Classroom Mural

Many of our Free Bible Story Crafts For Kids encourage cooperation or sharing, but the Noah’s Ark mural requires real teamwork. One of our favorites, the mural illustrates the Ark and features the animals God sent to Noah to protect. A rainbow over Noah’s Ark and all the colorful animals reminds children of God’s promise.

This is a rewarding and fun art project for a kindergarten, first or second grade Sunday School class or a homeschooling family or group to create together. If your group is large, consider making murals in small groups. You may end up with 2, 3 or 4 murals, but it will be easier for the kids to collaborate this way.

Noah’s Ark crafts are usually sure hits with little ones because for one, it’s a great story with a happy ending, and for another – the animals!

Since Noah’s floating zoo mural is a group project, “teacher’s prep” takes on a new meaning. If you’ve taught young children for long, you know how good planning can make the difference between fun and pandemonium!

On a similar note, allow more than one class period to complete the Noah’s Ark mural. If possible, divide up this Bible lesson of obedience, faith and God’s promise so that the craft steps coincide with the parts covered that day.

Bible Story Crafts For Kids Supplies

  • Roll of butcher paper (newsprint could also be used but butcher paper is stronger and white instead of brown)
  • Markers and/or paints
  • Painting smocks/old shirt
  • Glue sticks
  • Scissors
  • Pictures of animals (nature and kids magazines as well as coloring pages printed from the computer are good resources)
  • Tape

Round up the Animals!

Children can color in animals on coloring pages and search through magazines, cutting out pictures. Some of the kids may want to draw their own on the mural, which will add a nice touch of originality.

To create pairs of animals when only one animal picture was found: Photocopy singles and then color.

To add Noah and his family, color pages from a Noah’s Ark coloring book and cut out.

Teacher Prep

Spread out the butcher paper and tape to the floor. Or tape to the wall at a comfortable height for the children.

Draw the ark, which will take up most of the mural. Leave room for the rainbow above and water below. Prepare for the animals by drawing several, good-size windows and plenty of deck space and/or large plank.

Completing the Mural – All Hands on Deck!

  1. To begin, assign individuals or small groups various parts of the Ark to paint or color.
  2. Have children arrange their animal pairs on the Ark (no glue yet), experimenting with various locations.
  3. Once it’s decided where the animals will go, leave them in place so it’s not forgotten, picking up just to apply glue.
  4. Add Noah and his family.
  5. Talk the kids about rainbows and the colors a rainbow has. Then have them add the rainbow. If using paints, they’ll probably need to let one color dry before adding another one so they don’t run together.
  6. Add the water by painting blue waves.
  7. Discuss any details that may be added, such as a sun or a memory verse.
  8. The only thing left to do is for the artists to sign the mural and invite their others to take a look!

Crafty Variation

If you have lots of time set aside to spend on Noah’s Ark, the kids could glue large, craft sticks onto the Ark. The craft sticks will resemble the planks that we see in many of the pictures of the Ark. Memory verses that relate to this story of can be written on some of the craft sticks.

Creation Story Paper Mache

One of our Bible Story Crafts, this paper maché globe illustrates the Creation story. Fun, Kids Bible Crafts such as this easy to make paper maché activity, help make Scripture and Bible lesson more memorable because children often learn best with hands on or visual experiences. Also, as educators know, when there is a pleasant association with a lesson, it is more likely to be remembered. This Bible Story Craft illustrates the seven days of Creation and is suitable for the K-2 group, while older children may enjoy helping the little ones and even making their own.

Supplies for Creation Bible Story Craft

  • Paper maché Globe*. Children can have fun making these ahead of time. They will be decorated in this Bible Craft. When doing the maché, remember to have one side of the globe light (sky blue or white) and one side night (midnight blue or black).
  • Magazine Pictures
  • Photo of child (around wallet size)
  • Paint
  • Markers
  • Stickers
  • Cotton Balls
  • Craft glue

Creation Story Paper Maché Directions

  1. These steps correspond to the sequential 7 Days of Creation. You may want to read each verse and write them on the blackboard or handouts before the children move from step to step.
  2. God created day and night: Bring paper maché globes and decorative items to the table.
  3. God created the sky: Add white puffy clouds, using white paint and cotton balls or any of the other decorative items. If the daylight side of the globe is white, paint a blue sky first.
  4. God separated the land from the waters and planted it with trees, grasses and flowers: Create these elements with magazines pictures, paint, markers and/or stickers.
  5. God made the sun, moon and stars: Add these items using decorative items of choice. Glow in the dark stars would be fun. Some kids really like having fun with this and getting creative, such as adding sunglasses to the sun or a smile to the moon; others will be more into a pretty or a realistic look.
  6. God created the birds and the fish: Stickers and magazine pictures make this step super easy for younger ones who don’t have the fine motor skills yet for drawing birds and fish. But do encourage them to know that perfection is not the goal here. Some will want to use fat markers to make a few birds and fish, while others will want to make schools and fish and flocks of birds with nests and everything. Encourage individuality but remind them to save room for the rest of the animals and their photos.
  7. God created the rest of the animals and made the first people (just like God made you!): Magazine pictures and stickers will really come in handy now for kids not into drawing. And, then add their photos.
  8. God rested, looked at everything he made, and said it was good: Now the kids can admire their creations. Hang the globes up to dry, and allow the children to stroll around to enjoy what their classmates have created..
  9. This is one of those Bible Story Crafts that you’ll want to leave on display for parents and other visitors to enjoy as well before sending home with the kids to display in their own homes.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com


Jul 23

Crafts for Kids

Looking for some fun & easy craft projects to do with the kids?  Then have a look at these fun, easy, and educational children’s craft ideas to do at home:

Easy Crafts For Kids

Little People made from pipe cleaners

Little People made from pipe cleaners

There are some really easy crafts for kids. All they need are a few supplies like pipe cleaners, construction paper, toothpicks, macaroni and a few craft supplies.

Here is a list of some kids crafts that they will enjoy. Just let them use their creativity.

Pipe cleaner people Use different colored pipe cleaners and bend and twist them into shapes. They can make people, animals, buildings and whatever they can imagine. This is great when you have more than one child and they can make up a whole zoo or whatever they want to make.

You can either save them and put them on a cork board or set on a shelve or just untwist them so that they can be used again. This child’s craft can keep them busy and entertained.

Macaroni Necklaces This craft goes back many years but the kids never get tired of making them. Just string colored macaroni onto lengths of yarn. If your macaroni is not colored then let the kids paint them.

Paint with spongesYou can buy sponge figures or else make your own. Get some cheap sponges and cut them into any kind of shape you like. You can make triangles, circles, stars, half moons, or even animal shapes. Let the kids dip them into paint and press them onto paper. The long rolls of paper or construction paper are really nice for this craft.

Make your own puppets You can buy sheets of foam and any craft store. Cut out dogs, butterflies, snakes, fish or anything that the kids like. Glue them onto popsicle sticks or tongue depressors and then they can make their own puppet show.

Toothpick art This has been around for a long time and the schools even use to use it. You can use either miniature marshmallows or gumdrops and toothpicks. Insert the toothpicks into the gumdrops or marshmallows. Just keep adding marshmallows to make any shape they want. They can make buildings or bridges and any kind of shapes, like a star, or hexagon and make then as elaborate as they want.

Paper chains We use to do this one when we were kids. Cut strips of construction paper and either glue or staple them into circles. When you have one circle done, put another strip through and glue it. Just keep adding circles until you have it as long as you want it. A red and white chain looks very nice for Christmas, or you can use red and green. The kids loving doing this chain. They can even decorate the strips with paint or sparkles.

Headbands Cut construction paper into strips and make one to fit the child’s head. Then they can glue anything on them like feathers, buttons, ribbons made into bows, or any scraps of material. They could use the sponges from the craft above to decorate their head band.


Shirley Atkinson
Crafters Love Crafts

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Science Crafts For Kids

Beluga Whales - make your own mini ocean and teach your kids about marine life at the same time.

Beluga Whales – make your own mini ocean and teach your kids about marine life at the same time.

Do you struggle with getting kids interested and actively participating in learning? If so, you should try using science crafts for kids to get engage them. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to help your kids create these projects. There are thousands of science crafts and experiments out there, and most are simple to do. Here are some easy science crafts for kids that will get you started:

Mini Ocean

Fill a clean and de-labeled two litter bottle half way to the top with tap water. Mix in a few drops of blue food coloring. Add tiny plastic fish, sharks, octopus, eels, dolphins, sea shells, etc.Now, finish filling to the rim with mineral oil. You may want to use a funnel. Seal the lid on with a hot glue gun (you need to do this for the child.) Use this to teach small children about marine life. Older kids can learn why oil and water do not mix.

Stick Compass

Teach your kids how to always know their directions. Using a straight tree branch or wooden dowel (needs to be 2-3 ft tall), burrow a small hole in the dirt. Insert the stick in the hole. This creates a shadow. Make a reference point at the end of the shadow. After 20 minutes there will be a different shadow. Again, mark that shadow as a reference point. When you mark a line between the references points, you will have a West to East compass. West is at the first reference point and East is the second reference point.

Sponge Plant Anatomy

Soak a porous sponge in water. Then, roll the sponge in any small flower seed. You may want to push any stragglers in the holes. Hang it in a window that gets a lot of direct sunlight. In a few days the seeds will begin to sprout. Transfer to a pot and teach the child the anatomy of the flowers as they grow.


Combine a cup of water with a cup of corn starch. Mix until it isn’t lumpy anymore. Separate the mix into different containers and color with food coloring. Don’t just let them use the standard colors. Teach them how to combine the colors to make other colors. For example: blue and yellow make green. For different consistencies-you can boil the water first, or use a 2 part corn starch: one part water ratio.

Solar S’mores

Staple two pieces of dark black poster board together, forming one long piece. Use aluminum foil to cover the poster board. Form a cone shape from the poster board. Staple together, so the form stays, but it is open at each end. Use another sheet of black poster board to line a cardboard box. Place the cone inside of the box, with the widest end pointing upwards. Place a piece of chocolate and a marshmallow between two gram cracker and insert into a sandwich bag. Place the bag into the center of the cone. In twenty minutes you have solar s’mores. Use science crafts for kids like this one as the perfect opportunity to explain solar energy.

Remember, an intrigued child is always willing to learn. The ideas that encompass science crafts for kids are endless.


Candis Reade is an accomplished niche website developer and author.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Kids’ Craft Ideas – Growing Your Own Balloon Garden

balloonsCrafts will always be a very important teaching tool for anyone teaching little kids. Kids learn best by “doing.” Homeschoolers and especially Unschoolers can use this balloon craft as part of a biology lesson. This is a wonderful kids’ craft idea, that is fun and easy to do and also a great first lesson about plants. This craft use balloons so watch the little ones, while you are doing this craft, to prevent suffocation!

All you need for this kids’ craft idea is a medium or large sized, clear balloon, a little earth and water, some seeds, a small funnel and a piece of string. Radish seeds work well, but you could use almost any seeds that are easy to grow.

Kid’s Craft Ideas Step by Step – How to make your first balloon garden

1. Don’t blow your balloon up yet! Put the mouth of the balloon over the funnel and hold it firmly in place (this is where an extra pair of adult hands comes in useful!) Tip in around a ½ cup of earth – enough to almost fill the deflated balloon.

2. Now gradually add water, via the funnel again, until the earth is wet through. Don’t put too much water in or it will all just turn to mud and start overflowing!

3. Dry your funnel, then add your final ingredients, the seeds, into the balloon, still holding it firmly in its upside down position.

4. Still holding the balloon upside down, so that you don’t get a mouthful of dirt, carefully blow it up.

5. Tightly make a knot in the top of the balloon, then tie your string around it and use the string to hook the balloon garden up near a window or other well-lit place.

Making balloon gardens is a fun thing to do at birthday parties, and will keep the kids occupied and happy for ages – as long as you don’t mind the mess! On a summer’s day, it’s best done in the backyard.

Balloon gardens also make lovely gifts, the children can make them for an adult friend or relative and the recipient will be delighted – especially when they hang the balloon garden up and it grows green and lush.

Grandmothers and grandfathers especially love this kid’s craft idea – either to do with the kids (especially a granddad who is a gardening enthusiast) or just to receive a balloon garden craft as a gift. They will love that the kids will want to keep coming back to visit them and seeing how their balloon garden is growing.

When the balloon garden slowly dies off, it is a good opportunity to explain to your kids about the cycle of life, and to help them make a new balloon garden! Use this opportunity to teach them a variety of facts about nature, not only the cycle of life. Plants need water, fresh air, good soil etc. to grow. You can also work a lesson about seasons into this craft.

Enjoy your “Balloon Craft.”


Magriet is a work at home “Gran” with websites on family related matters.

Many of the kids crafts can be used for science lessons and many of the easy science fair projects will actually make fun kids crafts.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

3 Simple Kid Craft Projects – Nature Crafts For Kids

Pressed Flowers

Pressed Flowers

Crafting with kids doesn’t need to cost a lot of money. With a bit of creativity and inspiration, you can make a lot of fun kid craft projects out of pretty much nothing. Many craft supplies you can be found in nature. For example, Instead of buying stamps, you can replicate similar result by using everyday objects in the kitchen or the outdoors. You can create intricate shapes by cutting a potato in half and scooping out some of the center. You can also use rocks and leaves to create patterns and transfer them onto greeting cards, bookmarks, bed sheets and more. To celebrate the end of summer and welcome the fall season, here are three simple kid craft projects using objects found in nature.

Pressed Flower Picture Nature Craft

Gather the flowers. Press them between sheets of hardcover books. When the flowers are ready to be used (after about 2-3 weeks), take a piece of stock paper and gently glue the flower petals onto the paper. You and your kids can create pictures by arranging the flower petals in desired pattern.

Beach Treasure Pendant Nature Craft

Collect some beach glasses or pebbles. Take a beading wire (about 1 foot long). Wind the wire all the way around the beach glass or pebble. Experiment with how you wire to create different results. Create a loop with the wire so you can make a necklace or bracelet by stringing a piece of ribbon or chain.

Leafy Print Nature Craft

Take a leaf and brush the underside with paint. Place the painted leaf over a piece of paper or cloth, paint side down. Cover the whole area with paper tower and press hard against it for a few seconds. Lift the paper tower and gently peel the away. Repeat until you have created a pattern with your leafy print. This method can be used to make greeting cards or to decorate a plain grocery tote.


Edda Shea is the author of Kid Craft Project  – a website for people who enjoy crafting with their kids. Edda is a lifelong crafts enthusiast and enjoys making natural crafts for kids.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 15

Pine Tar Soap Recipe

Natural birch coal tar soap

Natural birch coal tar soap

Pine tar is used on horse’s hooves to help with cracks and other injuries or problems, but is very good for soothing eczema, psoriasis, dander and other skin problems on humans. You can buy pine tar at any feed and seed store. It is kept on the isle where salve and other ointments are kept and is in a metal jar. The pine tar can be very thick, but if so open the lid and place the can in the top part of a double boiler. Let heat until the pine tar is thin enough to pour. Keep the water level low enough so that it does not boil into the pine tar.

You can add pine tar to any favorite soap recipe you make. Add as much or as little as you’d like, I’d personally not add more than ½ the jar for a 7 1/2lb soap recipe, but it’s up to you. I wouldn’t add any fragrance as the pine tar has a very strong scent and would overpower most fragrances anyway.

The recipe I have supplied is a very simple recipe that anyone can make using oils and shortening bought from the store. You can substitute the oils for any you’d rather use, just make sure to run through a lye calculator to ensure that the lye content is still correct for the modified recipe.

I measure everything in lbs on my kitchen scale.

Pine Tar Soap Recipe

This recipe will make 7 ½ lbs.

Equipment needed:

  • Rubber gloves (not necessary, but a precaution)
  • Goggles (not necessary, but a precaution)
  • 1 stainless steel soup pot (medium size will do)
  • Wooden spoons
  • Spatula
  • Candy thermometer
  • Kitchen scale
  • Heavy duty plastic pitcher or tempered glass 8-cup measuring cup
  • Mold


  • 3 lb all vegetable shortening (store)
  • 1 lb coconut oil (store, generally Wal-mart carries)
  • 1 1/2 lb olive oil (store)
  • 2 lb distilled water
  • ¾ lb lye (100% lye) can be bought at Ace hardware
  • 4 oz pine tar (Feed and seed store)

Using the pitcher or tempered measuring cup, fill with the measured amount of distilled water and then carefully pour the lye into the water. Stir with a wooden spoon until the lye is completely dissolved. Set aside to cool.

Using the soup pot add measured shortening and oils. On low heat melt the shortening and oils together stirring with another wooden spoon until completely melted. Remove from heat.

You will need to check the temperatures of the lye water and oils every few minutes until they have both cooled down to 100-105.

When the lye water and oils have cooled down to around 100-105 degrees (use candy thermometer) slowly stir the lye water into the oils with a wooden spoon. Continue to stir until well mixed, about 5 minutes.

Add the pine tar and continue to stir. Remember the pine tar will speed up the tracing from 0-60 in just a couple seconds. Stir well to incorporate the pine tar into the soap mixture. When the soap mixture is at a thick trace quit stirring and pour into your mold, using the spatula to get all the soap out of the pot. Insulate the mold. Let set 24 hours. You can then remove the soap slab from the mold and cut into bars. This recipe can make 30-soap bars depending on the size of your mold. Let cure for no less than 2 weeks before using.

Re-batching Soap to Make Pine Tar Soap

What you will need:

  • Up to 15 regular bars of soap, but no less than 7
  • 1 cup water for 15 bars or ½ cup water for 7 bars of soap
  • Crock-pot (regular to large size)
  • Knife
  • Water
  • Pine tar 4 oz for 15 bars, 2 oz for 7 bars
  • Lined mold
  • Spatula
  • Wooden spoons

If you don’t have a mold then make one using the top from a copier paper box or similar box top. Take the box top and insert into a kitchen size trash bag. Smooth down the middle of the box and over the sides to make a nice neat liner.

Slice the soap bars into thin slices (about 8 slices per bar). Put these into the crock-pot and add the water based on the number of soap bars you are using (above). Cover and turn crock-pot on high for 1 hour. Stir the soap. Continue to stir every 30-minutes until the soap has melted down to the consistency of oatmeal. The soap will never be smooth like the original batch. When the soap has melted down to oatmeal consistency add the pine tar, again based on the amount of bars you have cut up. Stir real well so that the pine tar is completely incorporated into the soap mixture. Pour or spoon into the prepared mold. Let sit at least 24 hours before cutting into bars.

You do not need to let the soap cure for two weeks as the original soap was already cured, you just re-batched it.


Visit Grandma and Me Soaps to see the full selection of handmade soap and body products available. http://www.grandmaandmesoaps.com

Loyce Henderson, is a soap maker with 41-years of experience making cold process soap. She and her husband live in Zephyrhills, Florida, where she likes to write articles and short stories in her spare time. She is currently looking forward to obtaining her degree in Web Design.

Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 11

Stop, Don’t Throw Away That Batch of Soap!

Handmade Soap

Handmade Soap

What to do and how to save a batch of soap that has turned into a nightmare. Easy techniques for re-batching soap, which will make the finished soap just as good, if not better than before. Tips and hints for making great batches of soap.

Every soap maker has experienced a batch of soap that has turned into a nightmare, and if like me, more than once. What I mean by nightmare, is a batch of soap that is mixing beautifully until you add the fragrance oils and then all of a sudden the oils and lye water separate; or the beautiful batch of soap that when cured has pockets of oil or liquid all over the top. How about the goat’s milk and honey soap that looked wonderful until you cut it into bars and found long strands of “honey comb” like cavities throughout?

There are several more that I can mention, but these seem to be the main disasters on the forum’s I have visited.

These problem batches happen to all soap makers at some time or other. You don’t have to throw the batch away and waste those ingredients, time and yes, money. Each batch of soap is $$ to a soap maker, and to waste a batch could mean losing quite a chunk of change. With the economy being what it is, there is no room for waste.

When Oil and Lye Water Separate

So let’s talk about that batch of soap which is mixing just fine; very smooth and beautiful, until you add the fragrance oil. Maybe it was fine with the first few ounces of fragrance oil that you added, and then all of a sudden after one more ounce, the mixture starts to turn oily. You can see the oil start to rise to the top of the mixture and no matter how fast you stir, it continues until the oil and lye water has completely separated. Talk about panic mode, this is a mess to contend with.

The first time this happened to me I had been making Strawberry and Champagne scented soap. The scent was strong and filled my work room with the most wonderful aroma. I had added all but the very last ounce of fragrance oil, when all of a sudden the soap started getting thin and then thinner until the oil had completely separated from the lye water.

While growing up, I made soap with my grandmother in large batches, and I have read numerous books on making soap, but I had never encountered this problem before. What was I going to do? I had 9 lbs of soap mixture in that bowl and I couldn’t afford to pour it out. It couldn’t get any worse no matter what I did, so I decided to try and save the batch.

I took out my stock pot and poured the whole batch into it. I then heated the soap to around 120 degrees, constantly stirring. I then poured the mixture back into my mixing bowl and turned the mixer on “stir”. After about five minutes the mixture started to thicken until it looked like marshmallow cream. I then poured this “marshmallow cream” into my prepared soap mold and spread it evenly with a spatula. I covered the mold with Styrofoam for insulation just as I would any other regular batch of soap and set it aside to cool.

The next day I uncovered the soap and cut it into bars to cure. Now the soap was not smooth like a normal batch would be, it was swirled on the top where I had used the spatula to spread the thick soap. The scent was strong, just like a regular batch of soap. I let it cure two weeks and then used a bar. Although it looked a little rugged, it was every bit as good as my soap that had not encountered any difficulties.

This has happened to me a few more times since when using a new fragrance, but I always manage to save the batch by reheating and mixing. And believe it or not, it has happened with this same fragrance oil too. Now I add very small amounts of Strawberry and Champagne fragrance oil at a time to my batch of soap, making sure to mix well in-between. This has also happened with Bay Rum fragrance oil.

Pockets of Liquid on Top of Soap

The next nightmare are batches of soap that seem to be fine, mixing and tracing nicely and pouring smoothly into the mold, but after being uncovered the next day have formed pockets of liquid on the top of the soap, which could be oil or lye water or the soap may be brittle like chalk, chipping when it is cut into bars.

There are several reasons this could happen. The lye water and oils were not the same temperature when combined or the lye water was poured too quickly into the oils; too much lye for the recipe; too much fragrance oil added, etc.

Whether the batch of soap has an oil problem or is too dry and chalky, I re-batch using my large crock-pot. I cut the soap into pieces and put them into my crock-pot, which is large enough to melt the whole batch of soap at one time. I turn the crock-pot on high until the soap starts to get soft and is easy to stir, and then I turn it down to low. It is important to stir the soap every so often to break up the chunks of soap into smaller pieces, which helps to melt the soap quicker.

For the soap that had the pockets of liquid, I add just enough water to assist with melting the soap. Maybe a half cup of water. It really depends on the size of the batch of soap you are re-batching. You have to use your best judgment. The melted soap should be thick, but will scoop or pour into a mold relatively easy. If the mixture is too watery and thin then it will not harden, if it is too thick then the soap will not melt properly or pour into the mold and you will still have a problem.

Dry, Chalky Soap

When the soap is dry and chalky, I add 1 ounce of oil and one cup of water a little at a time to the cut up soap as it is melting in the crock-pot. Stirring every so often to break up the chunks of soap, which helps the melting process and allows me to judge if the mixture needs a little more water or not. When the soap is completely melted as above, I pour it into a prepared mold and cover as I would with a new batch of soap.

Note: The soap will never be completely smooth when melted; there will be little pieces of soap that have not melted. This is fine as it adds a marble look to the finished bars of soap.

You will want to let the soap sit in the mold for a couple days before turning out and cutting because you have added more liquid and want the soap to be firm. After those couple days have passed then cut the soap into bars and let cure for about a week.

Note: This is really hot pressed soap because it has been cooked in a crock-pot instead of cold press where the mixture was cooled down slowly and completed the gel process overnight.

“Honey Comb” Cavities Throughout the Soap

The last problem that I have encountered is the goat’s milk and honey soap that has what appears to be “honey comb” cavities throughout the soap. The soap could be a little oilier or dry, it has happened both ways.

This has only happened to me twice in all the years I have made goat’s milk and honey soap.

I use the same crock-pot method as above. If the soap is a little oilier, I add a cup of liquid, which is half milk and half water. This again is stirred into the soap a little at a time as it is melting. If the soap was dryer, I add 1 ounce of oil to the cup of water and milk to provide the moisture that was missing. Because of the milk, I only turn the temperature to high until the crock-pot is heated then turn to low. I stir every few minutes to help the soap melt evenly and can chop the soap into smaller pieces. After the soap is melted, I pour the mixture into my prepared mold and leave uncovered until firmly set. Again this could be a couple days instead of overnight. Even though the soap has been cured while melting in the crock-pot, I let the cut bars sit for a week or more to let the moisture evaporate.

With any of the methods above, you can add a little more fragrance oils to the melted soap if you wish.

Some helpful hints:

  • Always add your lye water pouring a slow constant stream into the oils; take your time to stir well so that the lye water and oils can mix completely.
  • Always add your premeasured fragrance or essence oils a little at a time starting at the beginning of the mixing process. This allows the fragrance oils to incorporate completely with the soap and you will also get a true feel of what the cured soap will smell like.
  • Remove your mixers or stop mixing when the soap starts to trace and pour into your mold. The more you stir after your soap starts to trace the better the chances that the soap will thicken quickly and be harder to pour into your mold.
  • Make sure you have everything that you will need to make a batch of soap handy and that your molds are prepared and ready to use. Wasting time finding a spatula, ingredients or lining the molds while your soap is mixing can create problems when the soap has started to trace.
  • With new fragrances, make a small batch first to test how the fragrance oil will react with your recipe and how the finished soap bar will hold the fragrance.
  • Remember some essence oils such as sweet orange tend to create oilier batches of soap and can lose their scent or the scent can turn “rancid” if not used within a few months. Not all do this, but be aware that it can happen.
  • Some colorants or clays may take the soap longer to trace, don’t be concerned just let it mix until it starts to trace. Also some colorants may cause a thicker “ash” to form on top of the soap. This can be scraped off or washed off if needed.

I hope this article was helpful and will provide an alternative to the trash can when a batch of soap goes south.


Loyce Henderson

Grandma and Me Soaps

Handmade Soaps…See and Feel the Difference


Article Source: EzineArticles.com

Jul 10

How to Make a Stenciled Sandcastle Plate – Free Template

Ceramic Plate StencilAs many of you know by now my ongoing project is to re-decorate my guest bathroom. I think this is the third re-do since we bought the house 13 years ago. Not bad really, but each time I’ve redone it I change the color scheme and theme completely. The last theme was I suppose rain forest and featured shades of green, I can’t recall what the previous decor was only that it was black and red. This time we’re going with the beach theme, don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner! But again a new color scheme, thank goodness we went with neutral tones when repainted the house interior last year!

This time I’m determined to make most of the decor, a great way to put that Cricut Explore Air electronic cutting machine my husband gave me last year to work. So far I’ve made a Beach sign, stenciled glass vase, upcycled an old florist vase, and made a shell and ting ting arrangement. I needed more stuff!
Sandcastle Plate

I found a couple of designer ceramic plates at TJMaxx the other month, they were marked down from $22.99 to $2.50. A bargain and I just had to have them. Now it was time to use one of them, it would work perfectly for my theme. So I made this Stenciled Sandcastle Plate. It would sit perfectly on top of the shelf unit over the toilet! (I stenciled that too!)
This cute plate ended up costing me just the price of the plate, $2.50! I cut out the stencil on my Cricut and used Folk Art Enamel paint left over from a different project. I just love craft paint, each bottle is so inexpensive and goes a long way!

I love the way the plate turned out and I’m so excited to share it with you!

You can download the free stencil template by clicking below!

Sandcastle Stencil Template

Sandcastle Stencil Template

If you have a cutting machine:

  • Download the jpg template and save it on your desktop.
  • Upload the template to your cutting machine app, like Cricut Design Space if you’re using the Cricut Explore.
  • Re-size the template in your app if you need to.
  • Cut the stencil on your machine.

If you don’t have a cutting machine:

  • Download the jpg template and save it on your desktop.
  • If you need to re-size it upload the template to a photo editing app like Photoshop or to Picmonkey.com a free online photo editor.
  • Print template.
  • Cut out images and letters with a craft knife.

Ceramic PlateSupplies:

  • Ceramic or glass plate
  • Enamel Craft Paint – be sure you use enamel paint so it will stick to the plate
  • Stencil
  • Stencil Brush
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Paper Towels – fold several sheets together to make them thicker

How To:

  • Wipe the plate surface with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
  • Position stencil in the center of the plate.
  • Fill in the letters and images with paint :
  1. Dip brush in paint
  2. Holding the brush perpendicular (straight up) to the paper towel dab it on the towel in a circular motion until most of the paint is off the brush. You want a “dry” brush, not one dripping with paint.
  3. Holding the paint perpendicular to the plate and working from the edge of the stencil towards the middle, fill in the letters and images in a circular motion. When you start you will have paint half on the stencil and half on the plate. Continue these steps until you’ve filled in all the images and letters.
  4. Gently lift the stencil off the plate as soon as you’ve stenciled in the last letter. Don’t let the paint dry with the stencil on. Lift the stencil straight up to avoid smudging.
  5. Let the paint dry over night before curing it. There are 2 ways to cure – the first is to let the paint cure for 21 days – basically you can’t get it wet. Or follow the next steps
  6. Place plate in to a cold oven.
  7. Set oven temperature to 350 degrees.
  8. When the oven has reached the correct temperature set your timer for 30 minutes.
  9. When timer rings turn off the oven and let plate cool inside.

Once your plate is cooled it’s good to go. The stenciled paint is dishwasher safe, but you can not put food directly on the painted surface.

Courtesy of ArticlesBase

Jul 10

The Art of Glassblowing

This post features some of the amazing blown glass art of one of the world’s foremost glass artists, Dale Chihuly.

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

When you think about glassblowing can you imagine who would have been brave enough to attempt it the first time. When you are doing this technique you are inflating molten glass into a bubble or some other shape by blowing into a blowpipe or blow tube of some type. After certain types of glass is heated to 2400 F(-1315C) it is allowed to cool to between 1600 and 1900F (-870 to -1040C) before they start working with it. Even at the cooler temperatures that is extremely hot so who would have even attempted to handle molten glass in the first place let alone think about blowing into it to form different shapes. The individuals that do this are called a glassmiths, glassblowers or gaffers and the technique of glassblowing started in the middle of last century BC. Historians say that a glass workshop was discovered that contained fragments of glass tubes, rods and tiny blown bottles that dated back to 37-4 BC. It’s amazing how they can determine the age of certain artifacts that are discovered.

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Since its inception we have ended up with two major types of blowing techniques Free-blowing and Mold-blowing. The first technique is Free-blowing. This is a method that was the first and is still widely used today as a glass forming technique. The basics of this form is to blow short puffs of air into a glob of glass which is adhered to one end of a blowpipe similar to the way that thick honey would adhere to a straw.. By doing the short puffs you end up with more of an elastic skin which makes it easier to shape. By gently blowing, turning and swaying the pipe you can made a great variety of different shapes. One of the best pipes to use for this is the clay blowpipe of about 30-60 cm because it is easy to handle, manipulate and can be re-used several times.

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Mold-blowing the newer of the techniques involves a lot of the same basics for free-blowing except that you are your blowing your molten glass glob into a wooden or metal carved shape. This will allow your glass to assume the shape of whatever design your mold has. There are also two main types of molds, the single-piece mold and the multi-piece mold. If you are going to do tableware you would be more apt to use the single-piece mold where if you would want to get into more texture or design variances in your blowing you might want to use the multi-pieced mold.

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art

Getting into the art of glassblowing can be fairly expensive. It’s not because of the clay pipes that you need as much as the three types of furnaces that are required. The first being what is referred to as “the furnace,” which will initially heat your glass to the proper initial temperature. The second one called the “glory hole” and is mainly used for reheating a piece that you are working on and the final one is called the “annealer.” This is a furnace that is used to gradually cool your glass project to prevent it from cracking. Historically all three types were contained in one unit and some cultures still use this method. A few other major items that involved in this art are a marver, which is made from polished steel because it can handle the heat of rolling a warm piece of glass on it, Paddles, used for pushing against the hot glass, tweezers and different types of shears.

Dale Chihuly Blown Glass Art 5If you are ever fortunate to see a master of this craft at work, take the time to watch. It’s really amazing what they can do with a glob of melted glass.


Lanette Herrmann is co-founder of Something and More Hand Crafted Gifts, http://www.somethingandmore.com, and has enjoyed woodcrafting and other types of crafts for many years. She started out learning how to braid rugs with her grandmother. She got her love of hand stitching and weaving rugs from her mother. She also enjoys quilting, using the scroll saw and many other woodworking tools. When she isn’t working at her full time job, Lynn’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

Photos: 1: Doug MacDonald, 2: Phil Landowski, 3: Doug MacDonald, 4: Courtney Francis, 5: Doug MacDonald

Jul 10

Differences Between Crocheting and Knitting

Knitting and crocheting both have similar definitions in the dictionary which is a method in which thread or yarn may be turned into cloth or other fine crafts. Although they have similar definitions in the dictionary and can both produce beautiful results there are differences.


Crochet Heart

Crochet Heart

Crochet derives from a French word meaning hook and consists of pulling loops of yarn through other loops. It’s hard to pinpoint the beginning of crocheting because there were not any surviving examples prior to the 1800’s but there were knitted products that they had discovered. To crochet you are basically working with one active loop and using a single crochet hook you pull your yarn or thread through that loop. There is an art called Tunisian crochet where you work with more than a single loop but generally you only use a single loop. The size of your crochet hook will determine the denseness of your item the bigger the hook, the looser the crocheting. Some of the early crochet hooks were as simple as bent needles where they had added a cork handle but there were some more expensive ones that were crafted out of silver, brass or ivory and set in a variety of handles. Today crochet hooks come in a variety of sizes and materials such as aluminum, plastic, steel and even bamboo. If you are fortunate enough to know a talented wood turner you can even have one made for you and then you can decorate the handle by added beads or decorative stones to it.




Knitting is derived from the word knot, which is believed to originate from the Dutch verb knutten, but it is similar to the Old English cnyttan which means to knot. Knitting consists of using two knitting needles where you pull a new loop through an existing loop. Your existing loop is held on one of your knitting needles until another loop is passed through them and it switches over to your second needle. When you get into knitting circular projects such a seamless sleeves, you may use up to 4 needles or a set of circular needles. There are basically 3 types of needles, or sometimes they are called knitting pins. The most common type consists of two slender sticks anywhere from 10-16 inches long that are tapered to a point on one end and typically a knob on the other end to help prevent your stitches from slipping off. Dropping a stitch in knitting can mean unraveling your work back to your dropped stitch and starting again. If you do drop one hopefully you notice it right away to safe yourself some frustration. Another type of needle is straight sticks that have tapered points on both ends. These will allow you to knit from either direction. One of the variances on this type is the cable needle, which usually isn’t straight, but dimpled in the middle to temporarily hold stitches while others are being knitted. The third needle is a circular needle which is long, flexible and pointed on both ends. Typically there is about 5 inch rigid tips on each end, with the flexible cable in the middle.

No matter if you are crocheting or knitting you can find some great patterns for anything from hats to rugs so make sure you give this a try. Either craft is a perfect hobby for a relaxing night at home.


Lanette Herrmann is co-founder of Something and More Hand Crafted Gifts, http://www.somethingandmore.com, and has enjoyed woodcrafting and other types of crafts for many years. She started out learning how to braid rugs with her grandmother. She got her love of hand stitching and weaving rugs from her mother. She also enjoys quilting, using the scroll saw and many other woodworking tools. When she isn’t working at her full time job, Lynn’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

Jul 10

Tips on Felting Wool Yarn

Handmade Felt Balls

Handmade Felt Balls

If there is one thing that I have been able to do when it comes to doing laundry through the years is shrink clothes so that’s why felting is fun because you shrink items on purpose. Natural wool fibers become felt when they are exposed to heat, moisture and pressure. Can you imagine what would happen to our domestic sheep if we didn’t shear them? Eventually their wool would felt over time so lucky for them that we shear them on a regular basis. Felting has been around for many years; in fact archaeological digs have produced garments, tent and even shoes in Europe that have survived showing the durability of felted fabrics.

Here are a few tips if you are going to try felting for the first time.

  1. When you are initially knitting your project make sure that you use knitting needles that are at least two sizes bigger than what the pattern calls for because felting it will definitely shrink the original size. The best way to make sure your end up with the correct size is to do a small sample and see how much it will shrink first so you don’t end up spending a lot of time on a project where the size doesn’t work out.
  2. After you have your item knitted be sure to finish all the ends securely including any seams that you might have before you start the felting process. You could end up with a mess if you don’t take the time to finish your project correctly.
  3. If you have one available a zippered pillow case will work great for putting your items in to be washed. If you don’t have a zippered one just securely tie the opening closed before you put it in the machine.
  4. Adding a pair of jeans to the load to help with the agitation or even an old towel will aid in helping the felting process. You can do it without adding anything but you may have to do it more than once to achieve the look and size that you are aiming for.
  5. You will only need to add a small amount of wool wash for detergent so usually a teaspoon full will be adequate.
  6. Just run a short cycle with your machine of hot water and a cold water rinse and if your machine doesn’t let you stop and drain the water before the spin cycle be sure and use the gentle spin cycle
  7. Gently roll the item in a towel to remove as much moisture as possible and then lay it out in the shape you desire on a dry towel to let it dry. Once you reach this step and you find that your item is not felted enough you can just run it through again but be careful because once it is too small you will not be able to unfelt it. Rewetting the item and stretching it will increase the size some but maybe not enough for what you need.
  8. If you use wool that has been bleached for a light dye it will sometimes affect the way that the wool reacts to felting. Always make a small sample swatch and try felting that first so you will know how the fabric will react.

Hopefully these tips will help make your felting process more enjoyable. Felting is a fun way to take an item that may look huge and out of shape and come out a completely different fabric after running it through the wash. To save some frustration start you may want to start out with some simple squares and make a set of coasters first.


Lanette Herrmann is co-founder of Something and More Hand Crafted Gifts, http://www.somethingandmore.com, and has enjoyed woodcrafting and other types of crafts for many years. She started out learning how to braid rugs with her grandmother. She got her love of hand stitching and weaving rugs from her mother. She also enjoys quilting, using the scroll saw and many other woodworking tools. When she isn’t working at her full time job, Lynn’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

Photo: Olga Zielinska

Jul 10

How to Paper Mache

Paper Mache Watermelon

Paper Mache Watermelon

Paper Mache comes from the french word Papier-mache which means chewed paper. I realize that thinking of paper mache as being chewed paper doesn’t sound very appealing but it’s pretty amazing what you can do with it and you really don’t have to chew the paper. It’s true definition is a composite material which consists of paper pieces (could be pulp) bound with an adhesive like glue, wallpaper paste or starch. Sometimes the paper pieces are reinforced with textiles for extra durability. I will give you tips on how to do it and it’s something you can do with your kids for fun.

One of the great things about paper mache is how versatile a craft it is, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it and you probably have everything you need at home right now. Here is a recipe to make the paste if you don’t have any liquid starch available to use.

Paper Mache Recipe

This is a no-cook recipe and the only materials that you need are water and flour. Simply mix 1 part flour to 2 parts water together and stir until it’s the consistency of glue making sure you don’t have any lumps in the mixture. Depending on where you live and the humidity in the area you may have to add a little bit more water or flour to get the right texture. Add a few tablespoons of salt if you are in a high humidity area to help prevent mold and even add a little cinnamon to make it smell great. If you store the mixture in a sealed container in the refrigerator it will last for a few days.

The only other materials that you need to paper mache is a structure to put your paper mache on and old newspapers. The structure that you start with can consist of any thing from pieces of cardboard that you can add different shapes to it with duck tape or a simple balloon.

  • Start by tearing old newspapers into strips and I would recommend that the strips start at least 1-2″ in width for your first layer, then adding narrow pieces if your project requires it.
  • Dip one piece of your torn newspaper into the paste mixture and gently run it through your fingers to remove excess paste. (Kids really love this step because it can be messy so be sure you have your floor or table covered.)
  • Now place your soaked strip of newspaper on to your form that you want to paper mache and smooth it down with your fingers. Just keep repeating this process until your structure is completely covered. Be sure that you overlap your pieces and you don’t have to worry about putting them in a neat row, run them in all different directions for stability.
  • Once you have the first layer completed you have to allow this to dry completely (approximately 24 hours) before you add a second layer. I would recommend adding at least 3 layers to your paper mache project and be sure to let each layer dry completely before adding another one.

Once you have all the layers on that you need to create your project all that is left is to decorate it. You can paint it, add crepe paper or finish it anyway that you would like. Paper Mache is a great way to make pinatas for kids parties and getting them involved by helping you decorate it. As with so many types of crafts the only thing that will limit you is your imagination. Be creative and have fun.


“Lanette Herrmann is co-founder of Something and More Hand Crafted Gifts, http://www.somethingandmore.com, and has enjoyed woodcrafting and other types of crafts for many years. She started out learning how to braid rugs with her grandmother. She got her love of hand stitching and weaving rugs from her mother. She also enjoys quilting, using the scroll saw and many other woodworking tools. When she isn’t working at her full time job, Lynn’s favorite pastime is spending time with her family.”

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com

Photo: Maria Herrera