Posted on

How To Make A Steampunk Hot Air Balloon

I love all things steampunk, so when I came along the Lace Up Hot Air Balloon I knew I wanted to create a great flying contraption of my own…even if it was made of paper!

Using a handful of supplies, many I’m sure most of you crafty folk already have, I made this shining balloon to use in scrapbooking and card-making projects, or you can attach it to a magnet and hang it on the fridge!

Steam Punk Hot Air Balloon

The first step of this project was covering the bracing and basket pieces with the gold label paper.

I realize that everyone might not have gold label paper, any metal colored paper will do. In fact, this might be an excellent opportunity to try out your paint or stamping techniques to create a faux sheet of metal.

Secondly, I used a bit of glue to cover the balloon chipboard piece with a cool checkered paper from an old Flow book. Have you checked these books out? They are a paper lover’s dream!

With all the pieces I just used scissors to trim away excess paper, but if you have a craft knife, it’d be even easier.

The ropes were not nearly as complicated as I thought they’d be!

First, I looped six pieces of the elastic thread through the bracing piece and then the top of the balloon. I used hot glue to secure the ends to the back of the balloon.

Second, I repeated the process with a thick quilting thread, but from the bracing to the basket. *You don’t want to glue these strings down just yet, so make sure they are plenty long enough.

Third, I stretched the bracing down to where I wanted it and hot glued it into place.

Finally, I flipped over the entire project, pulled down the basket so that all the strings were even, and hot glued everything into place.

This project was so much easier than I thought I was going to be! I’m sorry I didn’t get more complicated and create a clever steam-punk inspired pattern with the “ropes!”

 

Supplies

  • Lace-Up Hot Air Balloon
  • Gold Label Paper (or any metallic paper)
  • Checkered or Striped Cardstock
  • Glue
  • Elastic Thread
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Glue
Posted on

Easy to Make Bendy Straw Duck Puppets

It’s camp week at our house which means it’s uncommonly quiet and not once have I been asked, “Can I play on the…”. The toddler and I agree it’s a beautiful thing and it’s made craft time a little more special since it’s just us. I love working on projects as a family, but I forget how much fun it can be to spend one-on-one time making. There are fewer distractions and comparisons being made; there’s an intimacy to the moment that lets the imagination soar!

Speaking of pretend play, here’s how we made a family of duck puppets using bending straws.

Duck Family Puppets

First, gather your supplies. In the picture above you can see I started out using kids’ washable paints, they did not work well at all, and we ended up painting over them with a thicker acrylic.

Second, Paint your ducks! We went for the classic yellow and orange, but if you’re crafting with older kids, you could always get more creative with their colors.

If there is one mistake I regularly make with the Totem Poppets it’s not paying attention to the image and painting the WRONG SIDES. To be sure you don’t make this mistake paint both sides of your pieces!

To be certain you don’t make this mistake paint both sides of your pieces!

After the paint has dried, go ahead and use the mini brads to assemble the ducks, using the picture as a guide.

If you’d like you can paint the brads so that they are yellow too.

Finally, use a little bit of glue to attach the eyes and straws.

Using bendy straws instead of craft sticks of dowels was my son’s idea. As he explained, then the ducks can move even more!

Supplies

Posted on

Alligator Kids Craft Collage

It’s summertime, well, not officially, but close enough, right? The heat of the coming months makes this the season for reptiles. While we have plenty of snakes to contend with we don’t have alligators in Missouri. As long as you don’t count this alligator collage we made using the Alligator Totem Poppet.

To celebrate the start of summer the 3-year-old and I made this super simple collage to house our scary alligator. Here’s how you can make one of your own!

Alligator Collage

When you’re crafting with younger ones, you’ve got to have everything ready to go. So be sure to set out all your supplies so when one portion of the project loses it’s appeal you can move on to the next step without much fuss.

First, we started our river scene by glueing ripped brown and beige pieces to the sides a blue sheet of scrapbooking paper.

From there we added little scraps, here and there to break up the starkness of the page. Truth be told, I’d hoped for this to be more like a mosaic, but, the toddler had other plans.

Using this stylus (by Colorbox®) made it easy for my little artist to use ink to color in our alligator using a couple different shades of green, gold, and brown.

For the next two steps I was on my own. I used the accent ink to add spots, bumps, dots, whatever you want to call them to our gator.

Once everything dried I used the mini brads to put the reptile together. As you can see in the picture, I like to lay it out how it’ll go and use the picture that comes with it as a guide.

Now, we used a tiny bit of double-sided tape to place our alligator on the paper river, but you could always glue it down. It depends on if you want to move it and play with it. My kids always want to play with them first.

So, what are you’re plans for the summer? Do you live in alligator country?

Supplies

  • Alligator Totem Poppet
  • Green Mini Brads
  • Scrapbooking Paper (greens, blues, and browns)
  • Green Ink (at least 2 different shades)
  • Accent Ink (we used Smooch® in Green Apple)
  • Stylus Handle (by Colorbox®)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
Posted on

Using Totems to Learn About Pollinators

This time of year flying insects are both welcome and detested in our gardens. No one likes getting bitten up by mosquitos or when the squash bugs attack our zucchini. But, without other pollinating insects, like bumble bees and dragonflies, our gardens would be lost!

Teaching the kids about pollinators and how insects help plants grow is such a fun lesson. It encourages them to look at insects as more than pests and understand more about the connection between nature and our food supplies. EyeConnect Crafts Bee and Dragonfly Totem make great supplements to use in pollinator and insect studies. Here’s how we made our totems and used them in our lessons.  

 Bee and Dragonfly Totems

For this project instead of the usual liquid paints, we used solid tempera paint sticks. They worked well and dried quickly. I realized afterward that they’d make it super easy to paint pieces of the totem that had already been popped out.

Dragonflies are a particular favorite of mine; I love all the amazing colors and styles. Plus, did you know they were around back in the time of dinosaurs?

After the pieces are completely dry, we used the green and black mini brads to construct the insects. The brads are pretty small and can be hard for little hands to open without help.

Finally, after they were put together, we used glitter glue to add a bit of sparkle to our bugs. This step wasn’t necessary, but my kids are always up for adding sparkle to a project.

There are so many ways you can use these totems in your lessons here are just a few!

  1. Have students draw gardens and attach their insects.
  2. Hang the flying insects throughout your classroom or home.
  3. Just make them and encourage imaginative play!

Supplies

Posted on

Kids Craft: Feathered Dragon Totem Poppet

There are few cultures whose fables and lore are untouched by the mythical dragon. It has long been the center of fascination and to this day the cause for celebrations. Did you know, for over 2000 years the Dragon Boat Festival has been taking place in China? This year the event will be taking place at the end of next month at cities around the world.

To commemorate this beautiful creature the kids and I created our own Dragon totem. Instead of the usual green or red dragons we decided to use shades of black, white, and silver. Here’s how you can put together, and embellished, your own dragon poppet.

Feathered Dragon Totem Poppet

First, sponge paint the pieces while they’re still attached to the packaging. It is much easier and cleaner than painting them individually.

Second, after the pieces have dried, pop them out and begin putting them together using the black mini brads. You can use the photo included with the poppet as a guide.

Third, use the glitter glue to attach sequins and other embellishments to your dragon. You can use regular glue as well, the glitter just ads a bit of sparkle. You know, legend tells, that most dragons are particularly fond of shimmer and shine.

After everything has dried flip over your dragon and glue feathers to the main body to create wings.

You’ll also want to take this moment to attach a dowel or skewer to make it easier to hold and play with the poppet.

This would be such a fun craft to make during a birthday party or with a group of children. Be sure to encourage each child to use their own color palette to make their dragon unique.

From there, you can use the dragon to tell a story, act out a scene from a favorite movie, or just play pretend!

Supplies

Posted on

Lace-Up Birdhouse Magnet Kids Craft

Clever Fridge Magnet Idea

Clever Fridge Magnet Idea

Can you imagine what your home would look like if you were a bird? Would it have a whimsical magic, rustic charm, or a bright cheerfulness about it? Chances are they wouldn’t be quite as playful as the ones we made using the Lace-Up Birdhouses, but it’s fun to pretend.

Here’s how we created our…

Lace-Up Birdhouse Magnets

Coloring Birdcage

First, we used stamps to ink to ‘paint’ our birdhouses. If you’re looking to keep the mess to a minimum, stamp inks are a great option, and most are quick drying!

Decorating Birdcages

Next, we began decorating and embellishing our birdhouses with Smooch® Accent inks and sequins.

Anything goes on this step, just be sure that you don’t cover the lacing holes.

Embellishing Birdcages

Now the fun part! Use a bright, colorful embroidery floss to lace-up your birdhouse. How you lace your project is really up to you.

Lacing Up Birdcage

TIP: Even though the holes are large, I would recommend using a needle. It helped me keep my floss under control and avoid tangles.

Adding Magnets

Once you’re done lacing your birdhouses you can use them in a number of different ways; to decorate a present, embellish a card or scrapbooking page, or to make a refrigerator magnet.

Cut pieces of magnet, with an adhesive backing, to fit the top and bottom of the larger birdhouse and just the top of the smaller.

We had a set of bird stickers that we also attached magnets to and the littlest in the family loves collecting the birds and putting them in their houses.

Playing With Birdcage Magnets

What colors would your birdhouse be?

Lace-Up Birdhouse Project

Supplies

Posted on

Spring Rain Cloud Kids Craft

Spring Rain Cloud Kids Craft

Hello, I’m Erin from My Very Educated Mother, and I’m a new member of the EyeConnect Crafts Design Team! As a homeschooling mother of four, it’s hard to find time to craft without having at least one child looking over my shoulder. For that reason, I like to work on crafts that are kid-friendly, and really, there isn’t anything better than sharing your passion with your family!

This first project is perfect to make in anticipation of spring days to come! The kids and I used the Lace-Up Rain Cloud to create a tissue paper cloud and glittered rain drops. Here’s how you can make a cloud of your own.

 

First, cover the raindrops with a layer of decoupage medium before sprinkling them with glitter. Be sure to cover both sides with glitter and then let them dry.

TIP: Keeping the raindrops attached makes this step less messy for both little and big hands. A paintbrush is also much easier for applying the glue.

Second, rip white tissue paper into rough 1″x1″ pieces. Wrap them around the eraser end of a pencil, dip them in glue, and then stick them to your cloud.

If you have younger kids, you may need to go back through and use the end of the paint brush to add more tissue paper and make sure everything is attached and sticking.

Let the cloud dry for an hour.

Once everything has dried, you can start attaching your raindrops to your cloud.

Originally we planned to use gray baker’s twine but realized it looked much better with this heavy quilting thread instead.

As you can tell from the picture, you WILL get glitter everywhere! We don’t mind but if you do, try using a glitter glue instead.

I ended up doing most of the threading but that’s okay, it was fun wondering around the house with my daughter as she tried to decide where to hang it!

We tried it in a door frame.

Then, it migrated to the back door, and this is where it is still.

To hang our cloud, we used mounting putty since it’ll stick to anything and the kids always get a kick out of it.

Supplies

  • Lace-Up Rain Cloud
  • Decoupage medium or glue
  • blue glitter
  • white tissue paper
  • paintbrush
  • string or thread
  • a pencil

Before you know it March will be blowing in like a lion and out like a lamb and then April showers will bring May flowers.

What kinds of projects do you like to make to celebrate the seasons?