Fun Kids’ Paper Crafting

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This week I hand a brainstorm about things that I save and have several stockpiles of for my post this week.   After playing around in the craft room and throughout the entire home, it dawned on me just how many toilet paper rolls I still accumulate even when give some to my bird to use as a shredding toy.  That being said, I have several crafts so I will highlight one or two for the next few weeks.  These are fund and most items can be found around the home or in a decent craft supply stash you have already.

The first one is came to me as I hung outside with my parrot enjoying the nice weather on the balcony.   With a temporary (although wishing it was long-term) warm up in temperatures, the birds are back in the area and now looking for food.   So for today, the first item is a bird seed holder.

Supplies:
Paper roll (toilet or paper towel will work but make sure they have very little or preferably no glue on them)
Appropriate bird seed – please be sure to check with animal store for a proper seed for the animals in your area
Peanut butter (I’d recommend creamy for ease)
string

Directions:
Lay a decent amount of seed on a plate or cookie sheet to ensure the roll can completely roll around width and length wise. Cover the paper roll with a thin layer of peanut butter. You don’t need a lot but enough to ensure the seed sticks to the roll. Now, you roll the paper roll around in the seed to ensure that it is completely covered on the exterior of the roll. Once it has set, I left mine for about 4 hours just because I had plenty of things to do around my home and lost track of time, I place a piece of string that was long enough to hang it from a tree near my balcony door.


Be sure wherever you decide to hang it to account for sleeping locations and “pest” factor. Also, please take into consideration any rules or regulations where you live when it comes to feeding birds. Some birds are considered pests and can’t be fed based on regulations. It was an issue where I used to live while my current area of residence is a nature preserve so it helps make sure birds are fed when in our area.

The second craft today, is a fun little one that I had seen when hanging out with my nephew a few years back. He was big into dinosaurs and dragons. His preschool teacher tried to ensure to engage her students throughout the day with fun activities all the time and this craft was a favorite…and required frequent restocking of toilet paper rolls in their house as a result. Luckily, all of his aunts and uncles kept his parents supplied with them so no crazy stuff happened as a result. This craft is a dragon mouth!

Supplies:
Construction paper- whatever color(s) you want the dragon to be
Tissue paper- colors should resemble flames (red, orange, yellow)
Scissors
Glue (I’d recommend some stronger glue than regular stick or kids glue for one portion of this)
pom poms
googgly eyes
Toilet paper rolls (or paper towel roll cut in half)

Directions:
First measure a piece of construction paper to cover the entire exterior of the paper roll. Glue that piece in place. Draw two black spots to be the air holes or glue small pompoms for the nose at one end of the tube. Go ahead and glue pom poms for the eye pop outs at the other end. I used a medium size pompom for this. Then I added the googly eyes on top of them looking out over the other end of the tube. Last, but not least, add streams of tissue paper in different colors to resemble flames. Tape or glue these to the end of the nose end on the inside of the tube. When you blow through the tube, it will look like the flames are shooting out.

As I wrote up these instructions out though, it dawned on me there is an alternate way of doing this. You can do a unicorn as well by adding a cone above the eyes closer to that end of the tube. The flames can then be more rainbow colored and it looks like they are blowing a rainbow for their friends. Just a thought since the unicorns are all the rage. Let your child go nuts and have fun!


Snuggable Sweet

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As someone who designs her own plush toys, I think it’s safe to say that I adore plushies. 🙂 Which is why I had to share these adorable creations from Snuggable Sweet when they came across my dash.

These are just some of the adorable creations made by Britta Shurtleff, of Snuggable Sweet. All the plush are her own design and have a lovely simplicity to them. She also makes use of every bit of fabric she has with her adorable scrappy series.

Taken from the bits and bobs left over from bigger projects, these adorable little blocks remind me of emojis as she give each one a unique face and personality . 🙂 If you’re interest in seeing more of her work, simply pop on over to her etsy shop to see a nice gallery of various plushies (like her adorable bears) that are all made to order.


Fall & Halloween-Themed Knits

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Happy Eve of All Hallow’s Eve, Hackers!

With this being my favorite season and tomorrow being my favorite holiday of the year, I decided to focus on some cute, themed knitting patterns for today’s post. (I am focusing my post on knit patterns since we have some other, more experienced posters to focus on crochet patterns.)

I may not have human children of my own (and my cat, Helo, isn’t thrilled about wearing things I knit for him) but I just love some of the adorable ideas that people come up with for babies and toddlers. For example, this pattern for a little fox hat and baby mitts is not only one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen, it also is a fairly easy pattern. Both beginners and experts would have little to no difficulty following this pattern and this would be a fantastic shower gift for a baby due in the fall. You will need to have knowledge of your basic knit and purl stitches but you shouldn’t need to go in to the detail of increasing/decreasing stitches. The pattern is currently marked down in price but even at it’s regular price, it is pretty affordable.

This next pattern does have at least a little crocheting, however, you can adapt it with a knitted strand instead. This too-cute pumpkin hat for babies is simple and wouldn’t require a ton of your time. And with a little change here and there, you can make it for toddlers or even adults as well.

One of the things I am most obsessed with in the fall is that it’s the perfect time of year to wear shrugs and ponchos. And for those of you who are big-time Outlander fans, this pattern from Ravelry for a Claire-inspired shrug will give you that Sassenach look with little effort and time. Find the free pattern here. (This may be the next thing on my “to knit” list since I think it’s simple and elegant and because my office building is usually set to sub-arctic temperatures.) Depending on the type of yarn you choose and the pattern, shrugs and ponchos can be worn year-round as well.

Because the fall weather can be crisp, I wanted to share one more pattern to help keep you warm from head to toe: leg warmers. While this may bring some of you flashbacks to the days of Flashdance, these simple items are a great way to keep toasty in the brisk weather, whether going out on a blustery day or just bumming around you home with a mug of tea or cocoa. A lovely pattern for chunky yarn leg warmers can be found here.

The best part of fall is the crisp, clean weather, in my opinion. Knitting and crocheting provide stylish ways to keep warm and it’s a great skill to have and hone. And as usual with my posts, these items all make for great gift ideas too!

Keep warm, Hackers! And stay stylin’.

~Scribe Sarah~

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DIY Tie Die Dog Leash.

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Hi there Thursday Crafthackers!

Love this little tutorial from StudioDIY, partly because it’s super easy, but also because it involves some minimal materials to make a great gift for you and your pooch or for another dog lover. I also love that it uses tie dye paint, which is meant to have things dipped in it, and is also meant to blend with the other colours, so makes something like this super easy.

Your first step is to get some tie dye paint – you should be able to find some at any craft store but it can also be ordered. Mix the dye with water in the bottles according to the package directions. The dyes are super bright when made this way, and if you want a bit of a softer colour, you can squeeze some into glass bowls and mix with additional water (1:3 ratio). It just depends how bright you’d like your piece.  You’ll also need to buy a white cotton leash from any pet store.

 

Next, choose which colours you’d like to use, and how long your leash is. If your leash is 6 feet long, you could choose 6 colours, one for each foot. But you can do whatever combination you’d like. Just organize everything beforehand so you don’t have to be fiddling with dye in the middle of your project.

Lay down some protective plastic, make sure you’re wearing some gloves so you don’t dye your hands, and then start dying the handle end of the leash first. Dip it into your first colour and let it sit for about one minute. Remove and continue with the next colour.

The colours will (and should) blend together, so don’t worry if there’s some bleeding or overlap. If you have an extra pair of hands, this will make everything easier, so you might want to phone a friend to come by. When you’re done, let the colour sit in the leash for 8 or more hours before you give it a thorough wash in the sink.

And that’s a super easy way to make gifts for your animal loving friends, to to have a fantastic dog leash for yourself.

Happy crafting!

~Megan


Tons of Tentacles

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’m not sure how much I have expressed my love of all things with tentacles. I am also not sure where this obsession started, save perhaps vague memories of the large octopus sculpture at the Shedd Aquarium. So I figured this week I would highlight some of the lovely pieces of cephalopod paraphernalia I’ve come across lately. First up being all of these wonderful clay pendants from Indolent Jellyfish:

The teeny pink dumbo octopus is soooooooooo cute! I also adore the sweet purple octo and the awesome vampire squid. The artist also has a plethora of very life-like nudibranchs, nautilus, cuttlefish, and (of course) jellyfish. I would like one of each, please. Up next, I wouldn’t mind giving our living room a bit of a bump with some gorgeous pyrography from Glenouther Crafts:

The patterning and shading really makes it!

Or perhaps if you or someone you love has a special occasion coming up (or maybe an important interview), consider one of these beautiful ties from one of my all time favorites, Cyberoptix:

It comes in the shade of your choice, of course.

Last but most definitely not least, I present a mug I’ve been lusting after ever since they made their debut…tentacle mugs from Dryad Pottery:

I love the blue ones best.

I hope you’ve enjoyed my tentacle-y romp this Sunday, next week will be a perfect time to start thinking about fall décor (yes, I can’t believe it’s that time, either).

Stay crafty!

~Laura


Cat Mecha Kitty Condo

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Since cats are clearly the superior pet (see all of the internet), I had to share this adorable bit of engineering Japanese toy Designer, Kuramochi Kyoryu, designed for his fur babies.

Sadly I cannot read the twitter feed to know why he decided to build this adorable play house for his cats, but he went the extra mile when he did, making a to scale design sketch for it. Not to mention the fact that it’s made entirely out of cat product card board boxes. 😀 He also shared a short video of the cats playing with each other as one tried to overtake the current mech driver. ^_^ Really this is all proof that with sound engineering you can build anything for your pets out of cardboard, lol.