Sunday, December 28, 2008

Stained glass light catcher


  • scrap tissue paper
  • 2 sheets of construction paper (letter size printer paper shown)
  • scissors
  • tape
  • white glue

  • take one sheet of construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise


  • cut out the centre piece (which includes most of the folded edge), leaving a 3cm (1.25") frame


  • open out the frame


  • take the second sheet of construction paper and cut several 2cm (0.75") strips lengthwise


  • begin arranging the 2cm strips over the frame, cutting as required to fit your design


  • tape the strips down to secure them to the frame and to each other (this is the back side of the frame)

  • cut tissue paper big enough to fit over each of the holes in your frame, dry fit them (overlay them on the back side of the frame to make sure they're the right size, but don't glue them until you're sure they are!)


  • glue the tissue paper to the back side of the frame


  • let dry overnight
  • hang on a window and enjoy!
As you can see from the photo below, if you use lightweight paper such as printer paper, the frame will be translucent. For best results, use thick opaque construction paper for the frame elements.

An advanced method (for adults) of doing this, would be to use a single sheet of paper for the frame and an X-Acto knife to cut out the "window" parts of the decoration.


Friday, December 26, 2008

Stained glass bell


(This idea came home from school.)

  • waxed paper
  • different coloured tissue paper cut into small rectangles (approx 2cm x 3cm)
  • white glue
  • construction paper

  • layout a sheet of waxed paper
  • have child glue pieces of tissue paper on the waxed paper (it's okay to have the tissue paper overlap)
  • leave overnight to dry

  • have adult cut out the shape of a bell out of the construction paper, and then cut out the inside leaving a 2-3cm outline of a bell (make sure the overall size of the bell is smaller than the sheet of waxed paper covered with tissue paper)
  • trace the outline of the outer part of the bell onto the dried sheet of waxed / tissue paper
  • glue the construction paper bell outline onto the tissue paper covered side of the waxed paper
  • let dry
  • hang on a window and enjoy!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Reindeer antler headband


(This idea came home from school.)

  • 2 sheets of coloured construction paper, about 16cm x 30cm (3" x 12 ") to make the headband - red shown
  • brown construction paper, big enough to cut out two child size hands (antlers)
  • pencil for tracing hands
  • scissors
  • clear tape
  • stickers, markers, glue etc for decorating headband

  • fold the coloured construction paper in half lengthwise (so you have two sheets 8cm x 30cm)
  • slip one of the folded sheets inside the other (keeping the folded edges in the same orientation) overlaping about 5cm (2") and tape to hold in place
  • optional: have child decorate construction paper (dry fit around child's head so you know where the decorations should stop)
  • have an adult wrap the length of construction paper around the circumference of the child's head and tape to fit
  • have an adult trace the child's open hands on the brown construction paper
  • have an adult cut out the hand outlines, being sure to include 3cm (1") for the wrists
  • tape the cut out hands by the wrists to the inside of the headband, opposite each other
  • outfit your little reindeer with their new antlers!

2008_12_reindeer_antlers_centre 2008_12_reindeer_antlers_left

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Santa mask


(This idea came home from school.)

  • paper plate
  • cotton batting / cotton balls
  • white glue
  • red construction paper cut out like Santa's hat
  • red construction paper cut into a circle for the nose
  • scissors
  • ruler
  • optional: crayons, markers, stickers, glitter for decorating
  • optional: craft stick to make a handle for the mask

  • adult: mark a "T" shape on the back of the mask (the eating surface of the paper plate)
  • adult: measure approximate width of child's eyes across face (outer corner of eyes) and mark that as the top of the "T"
  • adult: measure approximate distance of eyes to mouth of child and use this to mark the vertical length of the "T"
  • adult: cut out the top of the "T" and the very bottom of the "T" to make holes from which child can see and speak
  • have child glue cotton and nose on mask
  • have child decorate as desired
  • mask can be held up to face
  • optional: attach craft stick to bottom of mask to use as handle

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hallowe'en craft round-up

Ghost feet:


Pumpkin book:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin carving for easy candle access

Have you ever burned your hand trying to get a candle in or out of a jack-o'-lantern? Try cutting your pumpkin 'lid' a little differently.


  • pumpkin
  • carving knife

  • Prep the pumpkin for carving.


  • Mark where you're going to cut the 'lid.' The front (shown as top of the photo) will be a semi-circle, while the back will extend all the way down the back of the pumpkin.


  • Using your favourite method, clean out and carve the pumpkin.


  • Now you're able to put a candle in through the back of the pumpkin, with much less risk of getting burned!

    pumpkin_carving_04 pumpkin_carving_05

[Remember to keep children away from lit flames and matches!]

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hallowe'en mobile


This was created at our local Ontario Early Years Centre.

  • white, orange or black construction paper
  • orange or black crepe paper
  • orange or black string or yarn (yarn shown)
  • paper towel roll (shown one is cut to about 20cm in length)
  • stickers, crayons, markers for decorating
  • glue
  • scissors
  • masking tape

  • Have an adult cut out fun Hallowe'en themed shapes and have child decorate with stickers, paper, markers etc.

    mobile_halloween_01 mobile_halloween_02 mobile_halloween_03

  • Attach one length of yarn to the back of each shape using masking tape (vary the lengths to make the mobile more interesting)


  • Attach the other end of the yarn to the paper towel roll, using masking tape. Cover the roll with crepe paper to hide the taped yarn. Place a last piece of yarn through the paper towel roll and knot. This last piece will be used to hang the mobile.


  • Hang your mobile and enjoy! [Remember that long lengths of string / yarn present hazards to young children. Safety is your responsibility.]


Friday, October 17, 2008

Dynamic Fall centrepiece



  • Take the unopened milkweed pod and place in the bottom of the vase.
  • As the pod dries out, it will crack open.
  • As the long silky hair, attached to the seeds, dries out, they expand, forcing the pod to open more and accelerating the drying of the pod contents.


  • With time, the pod will completely open and the seeds will be suspended throughout the vase on the fluffy silky hairs. (Little hands may also be happy to assist with the process!)





CAUTION: Place out of reach of curious little hands and / or paws, unless you wish for a milkweed filled house!


Friday, October 10, 2008

Autumn collage

autumn_collage_1 autumn_collage_2

  • construction paper
  • white glue
  • things found on the ground at Autumn (leaves, acorns, flowers etc)

  • Send your youngster out to collect things specific to Autumn (leaves, acorns, flowers etc)
  • For pre-schoolers, have the child tell the adult where on the construction paper they'd like to glue items down. Have the adult apply the glue to the paper and the child place the item on the glue.
  • For older children, have them glue items to the paper as they see fit.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Gift idea: pop-up colouring card for kids

pop_up_colouring_card_printed_front_decorated pop_up_colouring_card_printed_inside_decoration

(This post assumes you're familiar with my more detailed instructions of how to make Horizontal Fold Pop-up cards.)

Recently, Ask Moxie had a post titled "Q&A: Does 'no gifts' really mean no gifts?" Should you feel uncomfortable going completely empty-handed, making a personalized colouring card like this (optionally including a selection of appropriately themed stickers) is a nice compromise.

  • 2 sheets of 8.5" x 11" cardstock or construction paper
  • X-Acto type knife
  • glue (stick-glue or white glue or rubber-cement)
  • template with measurements (PDF file*) or template without measurements (PDF file*) (use this legend to decipher the folding symbols)
  • optional: a selection of stickers to include in the card for the child to use

  • create the front cover of the card (text on the lower half of the letter sized cardstock)

  • create the inside of the card (text on the upper half of the letter sized cardstock, offset to allow for the pop-up mechanism)

  • create the decoration for the pop-up portion of the card (in this case, the recipient is turning four)

  • print off a copy of the inner template

  • I transferred the template onto the inside of the card using the pinpoint method
  • trim the pop-up decoration to size

  • create the pop-up portion following steps three and four from making Horizontal Fold Pop-up cards

  • glue the decoration onto the pop-up portion of the inside of the card

  • if desired, add additional designs to be coloured on the front of the card

  • glue the inside of the card into the outside of the card
  • optional: include a selection of stickers for the child to use to decorate the card
Write your message to the birthday child and deliver!


(*) When printing out PDF documents, be sure to set "Page Scaling" to "none" (you'll want the document to print at 100%). You may need to adjust the template on your paper depending on your printer's "offset" settings.