How to Make Fabric Flowers

Fabric flowers can be an attractive addition to your flower vases, dresses, headbands, and handbags. Making such artificial flowers is really easy, if you have a basic idea about how to use the raw materials. Simple fabric flowers can be made with plain cotton, silk, or calico cloth, or even scraps. These simple methods do not involve complex stitching techniques.

Method I

In order to make fabric flowers, you need strips of cloth, which is not stiff. You may also use the leftover strips in your home. For smaller flowers, you have to use cloth strips of smaller sizes. As the size of the strip increases, the flower gets bigger. In order to make a standard size fabric flower, you need a cloth strip, which is around one inch wide, with a length of about 40 inches. Apart from the cloth strip; you need thread, needle, buttons, and scissors.

Making flowers from cloth strips is really easy. The first step is to fold the strip lengthwise. Now, you have to make a running stitch along the folded edge. Once you reach the other end of the cloth strip, pull the thread gently, so that the fabric gathers up. Pull the thread, till the length of the fabric becomes half of the original size. The next step is to arrange this strip in consecutive layers, without cutting it. You have to arrange it spirally, so as to form a flower. Now, secure the different layers by stitching.

Method II

In this method, you need a cloth of your choice, to make petals. Materials, like needle, thread, scissors, and colorful buttons are also required. Cut six pieces of 3×3 squares from the fabric. Now, take each piece and fold it in such a fashion, that the cloth piece forms a triangle. This can be done by bringing two of the opposite corners (of the square) together. Press these triangles firmly.

The next step is to make a running stitch through the open edges of the triangle. That means the open edges must be sewn together. Once, you reach the other end, gently pull the thread and the fabric piece will look like a petal. Now, repeat the process to make petals out of the remaining triangles. Join them in a circle, so as to form a flower. You can form a single layer of petals or add more layers. Once you finish joining the petals, you can attach a button in the center. Your fabric flower is ready.

Mentioned above are the simplest methods to make fabric flowers. The raw materials are easily available, and stitching is also minimal. You can experiment with various types of clothes, colors, designs, and patterns; and come up with beautiful and trendy fabric flowers. All you need is some time, patience, and lots of creativity.

Crafts for Boys

Boys are interested in craft activities that give them something to test or to experiment with. They are equally interested in doing craft work just like girls. The difference lies in their manner or way of doing it. Boys may not be very organized or particular about the means or materials, but love to understand the work and are more interested in the outcome of the activity they pursue. They are more result oriented, however, they can also use their imagination power to its best.

Different Crafts for Boys

The craft ideas for boys suggested in the following paragraphs allow boys to exercise their skills and explore the creativity, besides having an enjoyable time all along.

Message Center
Children love to have a message center or message board in their bedroom. The material required for this kids’ craft are a wooden board, corks, blackboard paint, pegs, polystyrene, decorations, pockets, etc. Half of the board could be converted into a whiteboard by covering it with white cover seal. It is important to allow boys to decorate the board as per their choice and interests.

Treasure Chest
Many boys like to collect marbles, cards, rocks, etc. A tin or wooden box could be used in making a treasure chest. The box can also be decorated with the help of various decorative items. They have a great time keeping all their stuff in such kind of chests.

A flag could be prepared with different themes like a sports team, country, pirates, etc. The activity of making flags allows children to exercise their painting skills and enables them to make something concrete. Flags could be made from paper or fabric. Watercolor painting or acrylic painting could be used to make the flags colorful. Cardboard sticks or rulers could be used as poles for the flags. For bigger flags or those which are prepared from fabric, a wooden twig or branch can be used for the same.

Bike Helmets
A model of a bike helmet is also a nice craft idea that could be used by boys. A plastic milk jug with 1 gallon capacity is the main requirement in creating this craft work. The top portion of the jug which has the spout should be cut off from the rest of its body. Stickers, markers and paints should be used to decorate the jug.

Box Robots
The boxes of different shapes and sizes are used to make box robots. Small tubes and other decorative pieces come in handy while decorating a box robot. One would also require paint, a pair of scissors and tape to complete this project.

Paper Mache
It is a craft activity which involves pasting paper strips over different forms and shapes to create decorative items. Balloons, bowls, plates and many such things are used in paper mache. The paper mache paste is used to bind or stick the paper strips to various decorative items. One should learn how to make paper mache in order to create decorations with the help of simple materials and accessories used in day-to-day life. Boys are also very interested in other paper crafts.

Crawling Spider Puppet
To make a crawling spider puppet, one would require 2 large black pom-poms, 1 black stretchy glove, glue and 2 wiggle eyes. One should first wear the gloves and glue the pom-pom behind the knuckles. The second pom-pom should be glued behind the first one in such a manner that both the pom-poms touch each other. The pom-pom which is the nearest to the knuckles should be glued with the wiggle eyes. The above procedure results into the creation of a nice puppet spider.

Children can also be presented with craft books where they can ‘pour’ their creativity out using paints and other decorations. The above mentioned arts and crafts for boys could be used in camps or just to enable the children in enjoying their leisure time at home.

Craft Ideas for Kids

Art and craft is a way to express ourselves in a fun-filled and playful manner. There are multiple types of art and craft works, some of which have been practiced traditionally, while a few others have developed in recent times.

In this article, we shall have a look at a few craft ideas suitable for children.

Different Craft Ideas for Kids

Potato Prints
The material required for this craft-work is paper, potatoes, paint, pencil and a knife. The potatoes should be cut in halves. A pencil should be used to make a design on the potato. With the help of a knife, the design should be carved out. A paint should be placed in a tray in a thin layer. By pressing the potato onto the paint and then on a paper, one can create potato prints.

Making Stamps
The material required is cork-board, erasers, inner tube rubber, styrofoam, cardboard, felt squares, ink pad, utility knife and glue gun. In this activity, rubber pieces are used to make stamps. A rubber eraser could be used to create different shapes. If one wants to make stamps from cardboard, the pieces of cardboard with desired shapes need to be glued to wood blocks. The rubber or cardboard designs should be pressed on an ink pad and then onto a paper to create the desired impressions.

Straw Sculptures
One would require bendable straws, paper clips, tape and a cardboard for this activity. The straws need to be cut at different lengths for creating different designs. Slits should be made at the ends of the straws in order to form desired shapes out of these straws. One can use paper clips to keep the angled joints intact. The clips could be bent to ‘U’ or ‘S’ shape to serve the purpose. For making tree shapes or fireworks, the slits at the end of straws should be curled with the help of a pair of scissors.

Bubble Painting
The items required for this painting activity are bubble solution, blowing wand and powder tempera paint. The blowing wand could be prepared with the help of plastic rings, tube, straw, etc. A six pack of soda should be used to make the bubble solution. The trays required for this painting activity would depend upon the number of colors one wants to use. The colors should be prepared by pouring the bubble solution by adding the powder paints (1 teaspoon per tray). The blowing wands should be inserted in the colored bubble solution in order to blow the bubbles on the paper. The bubbles after exploding would make designs and finally a unique pattern of bubble painting is created.

Colored Rice
The material required for this craft is uncooked rice, vinegar and food color. The rice should first be placed in a bowl followed by the addition of ½ teaspoon of vinegar and 5 drops of the desired color. Vinegar is used for the color to set. The rice should then be baked for 45 minutes on a baking sheet. These rice grains should be glued onto a paper with the help of white glue to create the designs. Letters, number and many other designs could be prepared using this trick.

Envelope Art
Envelopes, markers, crayons, paper and glue are the materials required. The envelope should first be sealed and then a drawing should be done to decorate it. A face with nose, eyes and in case of a cat, whiskers could be drawn. Papers cut in the shapes of ears, hair and hat helps in further beautification.

There are many different craft books available at bookstores that are very useful and creative, and could give us various new ideas. The above mentioned kids’ crafts are easy to carry out and one doesn’t need to spend a lot money. This could be made with items easily available in the house.

How to Make Crayons

Since their invention in 1903 by cousins Edwin Binney and C. Harold Smith, crayons have become an essential component in every school. No other commercial product can match the versatility of crayons. They are not sharp or messy like other painting tools. The best part is that they are nontoxic and available in more than 120 colors. In fact, you will find them available in any drawing color.

Process for Making Crayons

Crayons play a major role in developing a child’s creativity. Regarding their market standard, there are many brands that release specific types of crayons. For example, scented crayons, crayons that glow in the dark, sparkling crayons, and water-soluble crayons. The base component for making all these types is the same, paraffin wax; the additional color and scent are incorporated by supplementing specific ingredients during the crayon making process.

Commercial Process

The basic ingredients in crayons are paraffin wax and pigments that impart their specific colors to them. In the commercial crayon making process, the paraffin wax is heated first until it melts. Following this, specific amounts of the coloring agent and hardening powder are added to the hot liquid wax. After testing the density and viscosity of the liquid mixture, it is poured into a mold that consists of numerous crayon-shaped holes.

Once the liquid mixture cools down, it solidifies and the crayons are formed. Hardened crayons are removed from the mold by applying hydraulic pressure or other removal methods on it. Prior to packaging, the crayon sticks are manually checked for any defects. Well-solidified and uniform crayons are labeled and packed for release in the market. The wax leftovers or any rejected sticks are re-melted and recycled for further production. This is how crayons are made commercially on a large scale.

Homemade Process

For making them at home, you will need the following ingredients – ½ cup soap flakes, food coloring (color as per your choice), and 1 tablespoon hot water. First of all, combine the soap flakes and hot water in a small mixing bowl. Stir the mixture well to form a fine paste. Add the food coloring slowly, pinch by pinch, and stir each time so that the coloring dissolves completely. Stop adding the color when you achieve the desired crayon shade.

Add the paste into the candy molds carefully by using a small spoon. Make sure that there are no air bubbles within the molds. Leave the molds aside and allow the crayons to cool down completely. Then remove the crayons from the molds and leave them undisturbed for a day. Follow the same procedure for making different colors. If you wrap these homemade crayons in an attractive packing, then it makes a perfect personalized gift. You can also melt broken and unused sticks for making crayon chunks. One interesting fact is that a child generally uses more than 700 crayon sticks before their 10th birthday.

How To Make Colored Sand

Sand is nothing, but naturally occurring granular pieces of rock. Usually found at the bottom of the lakes and oceans, it is piled up on the coast in form of dunes. Even, many adults still get fascinated by the idea of making a sand castles on seashores. It has always played an important role in our intellectual growth. Chemically, it is made up of various minerals. Its natural color depends on these minerals. It is used as a major component in plaster material, mortar, brick making, etc. However, it is a fun fact to know that we can also do sand painting with the color of our choice.

Colored art sand is a really interesting craft material that can allow your creativity to run ahead of time. The various queer activities related to it have become widely famous amongst the kids these days. It is also a good task to give it to the kids in their free time. Preparing it at home can prove to be a great way to intensify your child’s creative vision. Once you get to know the art of making it at home, you can turn it into various sculptures, paintings, and other art forms. Regular craft sand is available at crafts stores and online.

Food colors of your choice
Container to mix
Inundate the sand with enough water in a container.
Add ample amounts of your favorite food color into the container and mix. Wait for some time as the sand may take time to get the desired color.
Now, drain out the sand on a paper napkin and let it dry out completely.
It is not required to mention that you should use different containers for different colored sands! Because black and white food colorings are not easily available you can use the following options for the same:
Black: Mix red, yellow, and blue coloring in equal amounts.
White: Use icing whitener on the sand in generous amounts.

Just keep one thing in mind, the container must be large enough to bear the desired amount of sand as well as the water.

One really very interesting implication of sand art is to use it in weddings, it is called ‘sand ceremony’. This ceremony is really a trendy way to make your wedding unique. It helps both the families to come closer to each other while doing the fun task of sand craft. The bride, the groom, and their selective family members use different layers of different colored sands and arrange it in a pot. This ceremony is a way of showings vows of commitment, love, and respect towards each other as well as their families. Various colors signify various emotions:
White: Purity and devotion
Blue: Patience and tranquility
Green: Health and luck
Yellow: Harmony and balance
Purple: Dignity and strength
Red or Pink: Passion, love, and romance
Silver: Creativity and inspiration
Brown: Health and home
Now that you have learned how to make colored sand, all you have to do is use this to make various art and craft forms of your choice! This proves to be a good chore when given to the kids in their free time or as a summer task. It is one thing that has the ability to fascinate both kids and parents equally!

Decorating with Tulle

A well wrapped gift always gets a person to smile. Whether it is birthday presents, anniversary gifts, graduation presents, or presents for any other occasions, we are always receiving and giving. How often do we ponder over making the outlook of our gift as special as what holds beneath it? Only rarely. Decorating is an art which can be mastered by anyone, if one chooses to. The way a particular place or thing has been presented shows the personality and taste of the decorator. For those who think of decorating as a tedious and herculean task, worry not! There are a billion ways of doing it and if you run out on those, another zillion ways are waiting for you to discover them!

The very finely knitted, lightweight fabric, known as tulle serves as a great help for making your decorating style simple, yet classy. Tulle is woven using many fibers such as silk, nylon, and rayon. Very commonly used by brides for their veils and gowns, tulle gives that extra edge to the occasion.

Tulle for Weddings
Tulles can make wedding locations look exotic. It can be used to tie up the gifts for party favors, bows for the chairs, pew bows, draping the gazebo, or decorating wedding tables. Tulles are available in brilliant colors such as American beauty, Paris pink, Ivory, lavender, white, and gold which can make the wedding theme look straight out of your dream. The glimmer shades of tulles can make your special day the most romantic one!

Baby Showers
What can be a better way to surprise an expecting mother than some prettily packed baby gifts? Baby shower gifts can be wrapped in tulles to make them look cute. To add an extra touch of sweetness, baby colors such as pink, blue, light yellow, white, and silver can be used. Presentation of gifts in such a way maintains the delightful mood for the people gifting, as well as those receiving it.

Making Dresses
Starch keeps the tulle from collapsing and the holes in the material maintain air circulation. Beautiful wedding dresses can be made using tulle. It gives the dress the desired lacy look, which adds to the femininity of the dress. The bride can pick from the wide range of colors that are available. You can also make some lovely fairy dresses with tulle for your little princess!

Gift Wrapping
Tulles make an excellent option when it comes to wrapping gifts. They make the whole gift look classy and creative. Tulles are an inexpensive alternative but are equally elegant. To give the gift a personal touch try to find the favorite color of the person you’re gifting, this will surely make your gift stand out!

While gifting or decorating a place, please keep in mind the demographics. If the crowd is young choose vibrant colors. The colors play an important role in making the whole experience of decorating and gifting special. Experiment with tulle to create spectacular designs for your decorations, and double the joy of presenting by unwrapping expressions!

Decorating Ideas for Gingerbread Houses

Making gingerbread houses is like a family tradition in many areas of the world. These edible centerpieces are popular among children and adults alike. These are no longer restricted only to occasions like Christmas. The thought of a brown, yummy, and gooey gingerbread house surely does make my mouth water. Making your own house is more fun rather than buying it from any store. The joy of decorating and planning new patterns for the house is something that cannot be described. Thinking and creating patterns requires a little effort but the end result is surely worth all the amount of time that is put in by the entire family.

There are various ways in which one can make a gingerbread house look tempting and equally edible! Various types of chocolates and candies can be used creatively to decorate the house. Tiny green-colored candies can be used for the yard of the house. This acts like grass. Even smaller red or pink colored candies can be placed on these green candies that look as flowers growing out of the green grass.

Make a paste of almonds and use food coloring to give it different shades. These can be used to create vegetables or flowers in the garden. Yummy mints can be used as floor planks or even on the window shutters. Mints can also be used generously on the roof. Tiny balls of candy can be used to decorate the doorway. These can accentuate the chimney and can also be used as berries on the bushes. Delicious melted dark chocolate can be poured over the roof. If you wish to avoid candies as decoration for the roof, you can sprinkle chocolate chips over this melted chocolate.

Make a combination of two mini candy canes. These will form the shape of a heart and can be used at the doorway. Marshmallows are appropriate for the walls of the house. These will give a brick-like effect and being sticky, the marshmallows will also hold together very well.

Gingerbread cookies can be used to create miniature people around the house. You can even use these to create window panes or furniture such as benches in the yard. Pretzel sticks can decorate the house in many ways. These can be used to create railings, baskets, tables, chairs etc. Rice crispies can be used in an innovative manner to create a pebble stone path. A large marshmallow that is balanced on a humbug acts like a mailbox for your gingerbread house!

Sugar icing helps glue different elements together. This icing can be poured over the roof and allowed to drip. This creates the effects of snow falling off from the roof. A small amount of icing can be placed into the hands of the gingerbread people so that it creates the appearance of a snowball fight. Brightly colored candies can be used for the window and roof edges so that it appears as if the house is lit!

These decorating ideas should give you an indication about the various possibilities that can be used when making your own gingerbread house. I am sure you won’t have the heart to devour the house very easily once you put in plenty of effort into the design!

How to Make a Gingerbread House

Who can resist the beauty, or even the tantalizing aroma, of gingerbread houses? Yummy gooey gumdrops, chocolates, peppermint candies, and even jelly bears―gingerbread houses are a delight for any child or even an adult. They are also used as important centerpieces for any function, these are not limited only to Christmastime anymore. The joy of making gingerbread houses is something we all are aware about, especially during the holiday season. Be it a teen or a tween, making these can sure be a delicious treat for the entire family. For those who are wondering how to make a gingerbread house, can take a peek at some useful tips compiled below.

Tips for Making a Gingerbread House

Begin by planning the basic structure of the house. With proper planning, your gingerbread house can turn out to be a tempting treat! Once the basic concepts of the house have been decided, you need to cut the structure of the house as per the measurements from a poster board or cardboard. Your main concern should be whether the house will stand on its own once the poster board pieces are placed together. Choose any shape for the house, but if you are new to this, it is better you stick to a normal structure. Always remember the dimensions of the house should be made bearing in mind the dimensions of a baking tray.

Use plywood for the base and cover with foil. You can even place a sheet of gingerbread on this base. The dough that is used for the walls of the house need not be more than 3/8 inch thick. The walls of the house that bear the maximum weight can have thicker dough. Next, you also need to plan for the icing that can be used on the walls. Apply a thin coat over the sides of the house and let it dry. The walls need to be assembled together with icing glue. Icing not only helps as a decorative element, it even holds all the pieces of the gingerbread house together.

You can even bake separate gingerbread pieces for the house with the help of some dough. This will enhance the look of the entire house. If you do not have time for baking, you can use pretzels or gumdrops to create the fence of the house. Candies can be used to create a yummy window frame. Tiny cookies can be glued to the side. A generous helping of frosting can also be used to create the effect of snow on the house! The kind of options you use depend largely upon the creativity.

As mentioned earlier, the icing is the most important thing that binds the whole house together and keeps it upright. You can make a combination of 2 large egg whites with a 2 and 2/3 cup of powdered sugar. Blend these together. However, if you are planning to consume the house entirely, the egg powder can be kept in the microwave for a few seconds. Once done, you need to use an electric mixer to beat the mixture on high-speed till it turns stiff.