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Totem Monarch Planter Decor

I have been inspired by all the great planter decor one can make, so I created this Totem Monarch Planter Decor with eyeConnect Crafts’ Totem Monarch.  I forgot to take photos of every step (sorry) but I have a few to guide you to the finish.

Directions:

I started by painting the  Totem Monarch Planter Decor blue with Martha Stewart Craft paint in pool.  Next I added Tim Holtz small nautical stamps with VersaFine Ink and clear embossing powder.  I heat set the powder to get a water-resistant shinny look.  I then took some white acrylic paint and splattered it on top.

After the drips were dry I took clear glue and fine glitter and applied to the Totem Monarch Planter Decor here and there.  Before the glue dried I added another layer to make the glitter muted  (this step is really important for the overall effect!).

Next, I added bronze paint to the edges and the back. I also painted the center piece bronze on both sides (at first I was going to paint it black).

Lastly, I added sequins to the wings.  After this was dry I assembled the Totem Monarch Planter Decor with black brads and hot glued a stick to the back.

Supplies:

 Totem Monarch from eyeConnect Crafts

Martha Stewart paint in Pool

Tim Holtz Nautical small stamps

white and bronze acrylic paint

paint brush

hot glue gun

stick

black VersaFine ink

heat gun

clear embossing powder

sequins

fine glitter

clear glue

black brads

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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
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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

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Hibiscus Lace Up Hot Air Balloon Scrapbook Page Embellishment

Dawn (the little mennonite) here today with this tropical hot air balloon.  I made it with eyeConnect crafts lace up hot air balloon.  Don’t know about you but I’ve always wanted to ride in one of these.  My Mom and I are planning to in the near future so I made this embellishment for my scrapbooking page when I finally get to go.  🙂

Directions:

Paint the top of the lace up hot air balloon white.  Let dry.  Paint pink hibiscus flowers (I used a stencil for a helping hand) on the balloon.  (This picture looks glossy because I had already applied the glue for the glitter when I took the photo.)

Add glitter.  (We all need a little shine!)

Paint the bottom yellow.  Let dry.  Paint green leaves.  Dry and then add green glitter.

Finally, add black bakers twine to the lace up hot air balloon.  I tried white string at first but it looked too flimsy. However, because the bakers twine is so much thicker I only used it in every second hole on the bottom.  Embellish on scrapbooking page when ready.

Please note that a third piece comes with this hot air balloon kit but I have chosen not to use it.

Supplies:

eyeConnect Crafts lace up hot air balloon

pink, yellow, green and white paint

paint brush

pink and green glitter

black bakers twine (I used American Crafts)

stencil (I used a delta Creative stencil)

 

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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

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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

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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

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Commonwealth Charter School and Box of Light use the Totem Poppets in stop motion animations!

We are so excited to announce that commonwealth Charter Schools in conjunction with Box of Light an animation studio used our Totem Poppet animals today to create some really cute stop motion animation is! 

Over 250 students signed up for this fun animation class. Box of Light and Capital Area Charter School will be traveling to all the major cities in Pennsylvania over the coming month.

You can check out the finished animations here! (I think the one with the Pegasus is super sweet. And the cat animation is just fabulous. They are all great really! Seriously check them out!!) 

http://www.boxoflight.org/commonwealth-charter-academy

And of course you can get your own Totem Poppet animals to make crafts and fun animations with your kids here on Http://www.EyeConnectCrafts.com. 🙂