Posted on

How to Make Lace-Up Sugar Skulls

It may be fall, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be colorful! One of my favorite spooky themed projects is decorating sugar skulls. It’s perfect for teaching kids about Mexican art, Dia de Muertos, and even cultural appreciation vs. appropriation. For our latest skeletal creations, we used the Eyeconnect Craft Lace-Up Skull. **Right now there is a Halloween Sale, so you can get this and many other items for 50% off!

Lace-Up Sugar Skulls

The first step of this project is to give the skull a base color, preferably either white or black. I used a Kwik Stix, because they dry so fast and are mess free!

Next, I started to decorate my face with a variety of Smooch® accents I had on hand. How decorate your skull is up to you, flowers, swirls, and simply dots are always a good place to start. Traditionally, the names of deceased loved ones would be added to the forehead of a sugar skull.

Add little touches at a time and be sure to be mindful of when it’s time to STOP decorating! Otherwise, you’re likely to have a mess-up like I did. Can you see it, I tried to fill it in, not sure it helped.

Once you’re done and your skull has dried, use the shoelace to create teeth by simply lacing it through the holes. Trim your excess lace and use a hot glue gun to secure it to your skull.

As you can see in the picture, I didn’t punch out my pieces until after I had laced the teeth. It made it much easier, even if I had to be careful in removing them once I was done.

We attached a magnet to the back of this guy and put him on the fridge, but he’d be great on a card or in a scrapbook too.

Supplies

Posted on

How to Make A Marionette Using A Totem Poppet

There are so many amazing ways to craft and use the EyeConnect Totem Poppets, but one of my favorites is turning them into puppets. Marionettes are loads of fun to play with, but if you’ve ever tried to make one, it can get complicated in a hurry! Thankfully, the Totem Poppets are made to move, so turning them into marionettes is effortless.

Here’s how I turned the Wolf Poppet into a Wolf Marionette Puppet!

Making a Marionette Using A Totem Poppet

First, I started off by coloring my totem using an ink pad. I’ve sometimes learned the easiest way to get this done is to sponge the pad across my project.

Next, I wanted to add a molted look to the coloring of the wolf, so I used a spray ink. While it was wet, it looked perfect. Unfortunately, as you can see in the picture below, when it dried the spots completely disappeared.

Since I was still dead set on creating a detailed look, I used the Smooch accents to draw on fur.

Finally, I put my totem together using the mini brads. Then, I tied both ends of a piece of thread to the front and back of the wolf.

From there I simply looped it repeatedly around the two ends of the small dowel. You can always cut two individual pieces of thread and tie the totem to the dowel that way. However, I think it is easier to find the right length when you just wrap it around the dowel. That way, if a smaller child is playing with it, you can easily shorten it for them.

 

Supplies

Totem Wolf

Mini Brads

Brown Ink Pads

Black Ink Spray

Smooch Accents

Small Dowel

String (I used a thick quilting thread)

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

Kid-Friendly Critters – Frog/Toad and Lizard

Hello, dear friends!

Lilian (The Leaf Studio) here…it’s my turn to post today!!!

Summer is officially here and so is Summer Break! What do you do when your kids are out of school?

I asked my kids if they wanted to paint and they said “yes”! So, they “helped” me with my project! =)

They chose Totem Lizard and Totem Frog/Toad to work with:

They started by painting the Totem Poppets pieces with white acrylic paint:

After it dried, they chose their own colors to paint (you can remove the pieces from the carrier before you paint, but I thought it would be easier for them…not to loose the smaller pieces):

My oldest son (6) decide to paint the Sun, sky, grass and a flower on his Totem Frog/Toad. He was also able to assemble (most of) his own Totem Poppet by himself, using Mini-Brads Assorted Greens. Using mini-brads, the Totem Poppets remain movable:

And…ready to play:

Here’s the finished Totem Frog/Toad:

And the finished Totem Lizard (I helped my youngest with the dots on the tail…but he painted the rest):

They were so happy that they could play with these movable Totem Poppets!

Supplies:

Totem Frog/Toad

Totem Lizard

Mini-Brads Assorted Greens

White and Blue Acrylic Paints

Pearlescent Paints in different colors

Paintbrushes

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

Totem Bee Spring Flower Wreath

Hello, dear friends!

Lilian (The Leaf Studio) here to share a Spring Flower Wreath, plus a little surprise…a Totem Beecan you see it? =)

 

How-To Totem Bee:

1. Add Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glitter – Silver on wings and let dry:

Add color using Black Fabrico marker (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts) on body parts, as shown above.

2. Add some more color using Gel Sticks in yellow and orange on upper body, legs and eyes (I blended with my fingers after applying the colors). Add some Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glitter – Silver on eyes and let dry:

3. I asked my son to color some orange in and then, I added some yellow Gel Stick on and blended with my finger:

4. Assemble the pieces with Mini-Brads (I used white ones and colored them, except for the one on the wing, with a dark brown Copic marker). Set it aside:

 

How-To Flower Wreath:

I used my Cricut die-cutting machine and Flower Market cartridge (from Close To My Heart) for this project…

1. Cut 2 different wreaths for the cartridge, using 2 shades of green cardstock. Adhere the leafy wreath on top:

2. Cut different flowers (about 2.75″ to 3″ inches), using different colored papers. Assemble the flowers, following the directions from the cartridge’s booklet:

3. Shape the flowers and adhere them on the wreath. Add some extra “leaves”, using left overs from the cuts.

4. Tie a ribbon on the wreath:

5. Adhere the Totem Bee on one of the flowers:

6. Hang your Spring Flower Wreath!

 

Supplies:

Totem Bee

Mini-Brads – White

Fabrico Marker – Black (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts)

orange marker (Crayola)

Gel Sticks (yellow and orange)

Mod Podge Dimensional Magic Glitter – Silver

Cricut die-cutting machine

Flower Market cartridge (from Close To My Heart)

cardstock: Green, Light Green, Light Blue, Light Pink, Pink, Light Purple, Yellow

ribbon

 

Posted on

Kid-Friendly Valentine’s Day Tags using Lace-Ups Tags, Small, Arched

Looking for Valentine’s Day Tags ideas to make with your kids? Or let them make it by themselves?

Lilian (The Leaf Studio) here today to share a project:

My 4 year-old son actually made the pink tag (mostly) by himself!

Here’s the video:

How-To:

1. Paint Lace-Ups: Tags, Small, Arched with white acrylic paint, let dry and repeat on the other side.

2. Then, paint it with Pearlescent Pink acrylic paint, let dry and paint the other side.

3. Stamp small heart on white cardstock in purple and cut it out.

4. Stamp scribble heart on red cardstock in black and cut it out.

5. Adhere the scribble heart on tag using double-sided tape.

6. Adhere smaller heart with foam tape on top of the other heart.

7. Add ribbon on top.

8. Optional: Add doodles and “Happy Valentine’s Day” (on the back), using a black permanent marker. Color doodle hearts with a pink marker.

Here’s a close-up:

And this is my version:

Follow all the steps…except I painted it pearlescent blue…

…and I stamped my heart in blue, and added some silver dots with a Silver Paint Pen:

Here’s a closer look:

We hung them up on the silver Christmas Tree (yes…it’s still up!) for pictures…so, I guess you could also use them as ornaments! =)

Thanks for stopping by!

Supplies:

Lace-Ups: Tags, Small, Arched

White Acrylic Paint

Pearlescent Pink (and Blue) Acrylic Paints

Paintbrush

scribble heart (I Heart Art stamp set – Rubber Dance)

small heart (Written Hearts stamp set- Sonshine Stamps)

Memento Tuxedo Black, Lilac Posies and Danube Blue ink pads (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts)

Red and White Cardstock

scissors

double-sided tape

foam tape

ribbon

Slick Pen – Black Broad Tip (American Crafts) and Fabrico Cherry Pink Marker (Tsukineko/Imagine Crafts): for the pink tag

Silver Paint Pen (Club Scrap – for the blue tag)