Jan 23

Handmade Valentine’s Day Creations You Can Make

Handmade Valentine’s Day Creations You Can MakeValentine’s Day is not just a holiday for couples; it is a day to show everyone you love your appreciation. Why not express your admiration and love by creating personalized gifts and treats? Whether a delicious breakfast-in-bed or embellished Valentines, your loved ones will treasure your handmade gifts and thoughtfulness.

Breakfast-in-bed
Valentine’s Day Crafts with Perfect Glue
It’s all in the presentation. Make assorted fruit, crispy toast and fresh-squeezed orange juice a special breakfast treat by serving them with fancy china, silverware and a brightly-colored, homemade centerpiece. With just a little fabric, ribbon and the right glue, a plain glass cylinder can be transformed into a colorful vase for the breakfast tray. Use it to display a Valentine bouquet or to hold cookies and treats.

You’ll need:

Perfect Glue 1
Cylindrical glass or metal vase
Fabric (2 colors or prints)
Ribbon
Rotary cutter or scissors
Cutting mat
Ruler
Iron
Clothespin

For the bottom layer (closest to the vase), cut a piece of fabric large enough to wrap around the vase with a 1/4 inch allowance on all four sides. Fold edge of fabric over 1/4 inch on top and bottom edges and iron.

Cut another piece of fabric narrower than the first, with the same 1/4 inch allowance. Fold over and iron edges as before. Apply a thin line of Perfect Glue 1 to top and bottom edges of narrower piece of fabric; glue to bottom inside layer of fabric. Layer ribbon over fabric and glue. Once dry (approximately 1 hour), wrap layered fabric band around vase. Apply a thin line of glue to one end and glue to vase. Glue one end over the other; secure with a clothespin at the top edge while drying.

Perfect Glue offers several inspirational ideas for craft enthusiasts. Visit www.perfectglue.com for more information.
Courtesy of ARA Content

Dec 25

The Child’s Canvas

Little artistOne thing that I have noticed over the years is that art has moved from beautiful canvases to beautiful prints on your wall. Gone are the days where you have one or two canvases and many art buyers are spending hundreds on a print. Sure there really isn’t a need for a canvas anymore but there is something about a canvas that draws the eye – and if you don’t mind, the fingertip.

But forget about how a canvas looks on the wall and think about how it might feel like to paint. If you are a grown up, and not a painter, you probably haven’t given it much thought but imagine being a young child. The sound of the brush scratching across the canvas, the colors blending together; there is something about painting on canvas that ignites a child’s creativity.

For parents, this is a very inexpensive craft and requires very few supplies, many of which you can find at home. The canvases make excellent Christmas presents or can be used for any other time of the year. More than that, it is something that your child will love doing again and again.

What you need:

• Canvases: Most dollar stores offer canvases. Sometimes you can find little packs of 3 canvases measuring 3×5 inches or you can find individual canvases measuring 5×7 inches or 8×11 inches. For a buck, that makes it an excellent investment. I find that the 5×7 is the perfect size but go with one that you are comfortable with.
• Paint: Tempura paint works well on the canvases so don’t feel that you need to purchase expensive oil paints, unless you want to that is. I would only recommend oil paints for older children. Don’t forget the paint containers
• Paint Brushes: Go with several different types and sizes. If you don’t want to spend too much on brushes, dollar stores often stock paint brush kits that have 4 or 5 different tips.
• Frames: Frames are optional and the canvases still look nice without them.

Directions:

1. One thing that I always recommend when making a craft for children is to take some time before hand and introduce the materials. Painting on a new medium can produce one of two effects; either your child finds it so interesting that he takes his time creating or he finds it so exciting that he smears paint on it in thick layers until all you have is a brown smear across the canvas. For this reason, it is much better to have an extra canvas or two handy so your child can get over this little burst of energy.
2. Add paint to each of the containers. If you are using tempura paint, add a touch of dish soap. This makes clean up much easier.
3. Allow your child the time to create. Change canvases when asked and allow the art to dry before hanging. Talk about the creations while your child is creating.
4. Write the date, what the drawing was and your child’s name on the canvas.
5. Give as a gift or hang on the wall for yourself.
And then run back to the store for more supplies because I am positive that your child will be hooked on creating canvas art.

Dec 25

Christmas Crafts: Crafty Santa’s Cookies Plate

Christmas craft plate“Oh it’s beginning to look like Christmas,” and you are missing a very essential part to the Christmas holidays; Santa’s Cookie Plate. Yes, I know that Santa isn’t what the holidays are about but every year, thousands of children pile various types of cookies onto a plate before heading up for their restless Christmas Eve slumber. Why would Santa want a cookie off of a plain cookie plate?

Well, he probably doesn’t care but more than likely, you do, which is probably why you have come to this site to find out how to make the perfect Christmas Cookie Plate.

What you need:

  • One plate: I find that ceramic plates work best and white is the best color to work with since the colors show on the plate very well.
  • Christmas Stamps: I love this stamp that I purchased at the craft store Michael’s. The little Santas are from a Stampin Up set.
  • Staze-On: This is a permanent stamp ink and it can be purchased at any craft store in the stamping section. Black ink is best but you can work with many different Staze-On colors.
  • Sharpies: Any permanent fine tipped markers work but I am a huge fan of Sharpie. The colors are bright and they stay to the surface. Choose colors that will complement your stamp.
  • Sealer Spray: There are different products on the market but find one that is safe to use on items that hold food. Krylon clear acrylic is one of these.

Directions:

  1. Wash your plate and then dry it completely before you start. This is very important since a wet plate will make the images bleed.
  2. Once the plate is completely dry, figure out what type of design you will want on it before you start stamping. This can be done by laying out the stamps on the plate.
  3. Using the Staze-On, cover the stamp completely with ink. If the stamp is small, you can press the stamp onto the inkpad but if it is big, reverse the process and press the inkpad onto the upside down stamp. This gives you more control over where the ink is going.
  4. Stamp the images. Generally, if you are stamping and make a mistake, it can be removed with a wet dishcloth; however, if the image sets, you will need to use a powdered bathroom cleaner, such as Comet, to remove the ink.
  5. Once all your images are stamped onto the plate, color them in. For my plate, I used red and black as the primary colors.
  6. Allow the plate to set overnight.
  7. In the morning, spray with the sealer. It is better if you test it on a different plate before you spray the finished plate. Allow the sealer to dry completely and then reapply again. Repeat for a third coat.

Once your plate is sealed, it will be all ready for Christmas Eve. If you wash the plate, make sure you do a wipe down of the plate with a damp cloth. If you need to submerge it into the water, never use really hot water and never soak it. Also, never use hard cleaners on the images.

Dec 09

Christmas Tree Toppers: Create your own Angel

Christmas angelOne of the most cherished traditions of Christmas, besides opening the presents, is the moment the Christmas Tree Topper goes onto the top of the tree.  This tradition is usually reserved for one member of the family who bravely reaches up to the top of the tree as everyone waits in anticipation.  Once the tree topper is securely in place, plugged in if it has lights, and the same family member is back down with everyone else, does Christmas seem to begin.

Christmas tree toppers are very important to a finished tree and you can find them as stars, ribbons, angels and so many other things.  You can buy them or make them and the homemade variety can add a special finishing touch to the holiday tree.

This craft, which can be done with children of almost all ages, is an excellent way to make the Christmas tree topper much more than a treasured tradition; you can also make it a treasured memory.

What you need:

  • Foam Craft Ball (about 3 inches)
  • Small Foam Craft Cone (you want one where the ball perched above it will look like the head of an angel.)
  • White Construction paper
  • Colored Construction paper
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • White crafter’s glue
  • 2 Pipe cleaners (gold)
  • 2 buttons
  • Pink yarn
  • Colored yarn (choose a color that resembles a hair color.)

Directions:

  1. Using the crafter’s glue, attach the ball to the top of the foam cone. This will give you the shape of your angel.  If you would like a thicker neck on your angel, simply shave down the point of the foam cone.
  2. While you are waiting for your angel to dry, have your child color the white construction paper.  Let them be as decorative as they would like and you can offer them glitter and sequins to add a shiny look to the angel.
  3. Once the cone is dry, cut out a cone shape from the white construction paper that was decorated.  Carefully glue it around the foam cone.  You can have a bit of an overhang to give the appearance of a dress.  You can also punch holes into the overhang so it looks like lace.  Set aside until it is dry.
  4. Using the buttons and the pink yarn, make the angels face by gluing them onto the foam ball.
  5. Make the hair by gluing it yarn to the top of the ball.  You can loop the yard to give a full appearance.
  6. Form your halo with the pipe cleaner and attach a second pipe cleaner to the back to form a base for your halo to sit above the angel’s head.  It works best if you double the base pipe cleaner up so it has more weight for support.
  7. Poke a hole into the back of the ball and insert the pipe cleaner base.  Add a small drop of crafter’s glue to the hole to ensure a secure fit.
  8. While the glue is drying, cut out a pair of wings and attach them to the back of the angel’s body with the crafter’s glue and allow it to dry overnight.

Once you have the angel all done, all you will need to do is agree on who can top the Christmas tree with it.

 

Dec 08

Christmas Craft Materials

Christmas decorationChristmas crafts are a wonderful way to share the holiday spirit with loved ones. They are a perfect way to involve children, parents, grandparents, siblings and even friends in making special gifts for the holiday season. After all, I think the best gifts are homemade ones! Also, making these crafts can be a lot fun. I like to gather friends and family, serve apple cider and cocoa, play Christmas movies and make crafts. It is a wonderful holiday tradition my friends and family have been doing for now.

A popular Christmas craft material would be felt. Felt is a basic necessity in several different kinds of crafts. It can be used in everything from ornaments to making stockings. Another great thing about felt is it is very inexpensive and comes in a variety of colors! There is not a shortage of Christmas craft fun that can be achieved through the use of felt. It is perfect for making crafts with kids too, as they can cut the fabric with the utmost ease.

Another great vessel for making fun yuletide crafts would be beads. Beads and other pretty and sparkly embellishments are wonderful for decorating ornaments, stockings, door hangings and more. I love to make simple Christmas balls using pretty beads to decorate them. Also, if using felt to make a stocking I love to use beads for extra embellishment. Every year I like to make a felt stocking for a local child or pet in the neighborhood. I then pack the stocking with candy for kids, or bones for dogs, and take it to the family.

Glitter is also a great item for making Christmas crafts. Again, this is perfect for making Christmas ball ornaments. You can buy simple glass balls and roll them in various shades of glitter. This is perfect for entertaining the children. If glass is an issue craft stores will also sell a variety of plastic and other kid-friendly ornaments for decorating.

However, I have to say my favorite Christmas craft materials are the edible kind! I love to make gingerbread houses first and foremost. After purchasing a house you can pick up frosting, sprinkles and edible garnish that children will love to make! Another great idea for some edible crafts is to make edible Christmas trees. All you need is a foam cone, and some individually wrapped candies. You simply pin the candies on the trees and you have a wonderful edible Christmas craft!

Nov 15

Christmas Craft Ornaments: Painted Ornaments

Christmas BallI love Christmas, so much so that I usually put up two trees in my home every year. The first tree is an artificial tree that I purchased years ago when I was living in an apartment. It isn’t the prettiest tree but it is so nice to put up a tree a few weeks early and fill it with all the little ornaments that I have collected for it.

The second tree, and the one that Santa hides all the Christmas presents under is the real tree that we purchase somewhere around the second week of December. This is the tree where all of the special ornaments go; the ones that were given as gifts or the ones that were made by hand.

The handmade Christmas ornaments are always the important ones to me. The tree could be completely bare except for those simple handmade ornaments and I would find it to be the most beautiful trees in the world.

If you love Christmas ornaments, especially ones that are made by hand, then you have come to the perfect place. This craft can be done by people of all ages from infants right up to adults. It is fast, easy and leaves you with beautiful ornaments to use throughout the holiday season.

What you need:

• Clear Glass Ornament Bulbs: You can purchase these at any craft store. They are completely plain and clear and come in all different shapes and sizes. I find round works best but you don’t need to use just round.
• Liquid Tempura Paint: Choose Christmassy colors. My favorite to use is blue, white and silver or straight white and silver but play around.
• Egg Carton: This is for drying
• Ornament hooks: You can also use gold string for hanging.
• Optional: Ribbon

Directions:

1. Remove the tops from all the ornaments (the metal part that the hook attaches to). If you are doing this craft with young children, purchase clear plastic ornaments instead or have constant supervision.
2. Choose your colors of tempura paint and squeeze a small amount into the glass bulb.
3. Swirl the paint around the inside until the ornament is completely coated.
4. Place into an egg carton upside down so the excess paint drains from the ornament. Repeat if you are doing more than one ornament.
5. Finish off with the hanging hook and ribbon if you are using it. Simply tie the ribbon around the top of the ornament.

Optional: You can turn your ornament into a snowman by painting on a face and using felt to make a scarf and earmuffs. Finish with the hanging hook.

After the ornaments are dry, you can hang them on your tree or use them for decorating your home.

Feb 22

Welcome to Crafts at Uteki!

Paper cranesRibbon; check, glue; check, glitter; check, a thousand and one ideas; check.

When it comes to crafting, there are always a thousand supplies that you need and a thousand things that you can make but sometimes getting from the craft store to the completed project can be a difficult task in itself. That is where this site is going to help you.

If you are like me, you may not be the craftiest of people. Oh sure, you can wield a glue gun like you wield a butter knife but coming up with the ideas may leave you completely at a loss. There are tons of things to do, but how exactly do you do them.

When I first navigated the crafty waves of the creative ocean, I was often lost. I would pick up one craft and completely lose my way before I dropped it to the wayside and picked up another. It was a horrible time because I wanted to be the Martha Stewart of my home, making beautiful centerpieces that wowed my guests and made me the envy of the neighborhood but I just couldn’t get to that point.

What I did learn, through trial and error is that, a) I don’t want to be Martha, although I love her amazing detailing in all her crafts, I just don’t have the need for all the meticulous details, and b) If I lowered my standards, even by just an inch, my creations can still be beautiful, maybe not completely a-symmetrical but still beautiful.

So what does my epiphany mean to you? Well first, you don’t have to be Martha Stewart either. Don’t you feel much better all ready? Second, you came to the right spot for all your craft ideas.

Here you can find crafts that can be done by anyone. Whether you are an experienced crafter that puts Martha Stewart to shame or a complete novice, you will be able to reproduce some amazing crafts that will awe anyone that comes to your home.

We truly believe that everyone can be crafty, all it takes is an excellent how to, a few helpful tips and all the support and resources that we offer here. Oh, and a good glue gun to pull all those projects together.

Now that you are here, why don’t you browse through our crafts, add a few ideas when you have a new one and remember that the key to making an excellent craft is not in the perfection but in the little flaws that personalize the finished product.