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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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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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Summer Fun Art Journal Spread

Hello,

Lilian here today with a Smash Book Art Journal Spread using Totem Crab:

ECCACrab_2031

How-To Totem Crab:

  1. Ink the pieces with VersaMark ink pad (I leave them on the carrier)
  2. Sprinkle white embossing powder, tap off excess and heat emboss using a heat gun
  3. After it cools down, ink it with VersaMark again
  4. Repeat with red embossing powder
  5. After it cools down, remove pieces from the carrier
  6. Using Mini-Brads White, connect the pieces together
  7. Use an alcohol-based marker to color the brads in red
  8. Adhere some googly eyes and set aside

ECCAugCrab

How-To Art Journal:

  1. Apply a thin layer of White Gesso and let dry (I use my fingers, but you could use a paintbrush)
  2. Add Glaze to Raw Sienna paint, mix it and paint the bottom part of the Art Journal for the “sand”
  3. Add Glaze to Pearlescent Blue paint, mix it and paint the “sky” and “sea”. I made the “sea” look a little darker
  4. After the paint is dry, stamp different images on pages…I stamped some on the “sand” using yellow ink pad. I covered “sky” and “sea” using black and blue ink pads. On the left page, I would stamp on it without re-inking the stamps…
  5. Stamp “Summer” and “Fun” using Memento Danube Blue ink pad
  6. Add Totem Crab with foam tape on the left page
  7. Add photos or memorabilia on pages

 

Here’s a Video Tutorial (on HD):

Thanks for stopping by!

 

Supplies:

Totem Crab

Mini-Brads White

White and Red Embossing Powders (Zing! American Crafts & Ranger)

Embossing Heat Gun

VersaMark ink pad (Imagine Crafts)

Copic marker (red)

Smash Book or Art Journal

White Gesso (Faber-Castell)

Glaze (Faber-Castell)

Paints: Raw Sienna & Pearlescent Blue

Paintbrush

Retro Beach unmounted Rubber Stamps (Rubber Dance)

Memento Luxe Ink Pads – Dandelion &  Danube Blue (Imagine Crafts)

Memento Danube Blue (Imagine Crafts)

India Ink pad (ClearSnap)

Foam Tape

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Hello Spring! Wall Decor/Ornament

Hello, dear friends!

It’s Earth Day today! =)

I (Lilian/The Leaf Studio) decided to make an altered wall decoration/ornament using EyeConnect Crafts Totem Butterfly (& Luna Moth):

ECCHSpring_9515

How-To (Totem Butterfly):

ECCHSpring_9476

1. Remove Totem Butterfly from carrier.

ECCHSpring_9487

2. Using VersaMark (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko), ink one of the wings (you can use the regular pad…I used Dazzle because it was “juicier”):

ECCHSpring_9492

3. Sprinkle three different colors of embossing powders (I used purple, turquoise and white) and heat emboss with a heat embossing gun:

ECCHSpring_9499

4. Repeat with the other wing and let the pieces cool down.

5. Ink with VersaMark and heat emboss both wings with Sparkle Embossing Powder (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko).

6. Using VersaMark, ink the body, sprinkle Black UTEE (Ranger) and heat emboss with a heat embossing gun.

6. After it cools down, attach the wings using Mini-Brads in white, so they remain movable.

 

How-To (metal hanging ornament):

1. I traced the metal wall hanging ornament on patterned paper (Club Scrap – Dahlia Collection) and trimmed it about 1/4″ smaller:

ECCHSpring_9479

2. I used my Xyron machine to apply adhesive and adhere the paper on the metal ornament:

ECCHSpring_9481

3. I stained the wooden “Hello Spring” with All-Purpose Ink Green Apple (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko) and a paintbrush:

ECCHSpring_9483

4. I adhered a paper flower (Recollections) and the wooden “Hello Spring” on the metal ornament.

5. Finally, I adhered Totem Butterfly on the flower (by the body…so the wings can remain movable)

ECCHSpring_9519

Supplies:

Totem Butterfly

Mini-Brads in white

Versamark (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)

Black UTEE (Ultra-Thick Embossing Enamel –Ranger)

Turquoise and White Embossing Powder (Zing!/American Crafts)

Purple Embossing Powder (Recollection)

Sparkle Embossing Powder (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)

Heat Embossing Gun (Marvy Uchida)

Metal hanging Ornament (Michael’s)

“Hello Spring” laser-cut wooden embellishment (Michael’s)

patterned paper (Dahlia Collection/ClubScrap)

paper flower (Recollection)

All-Purpose Ink Green Apple (Imagine Crafts/Tsukineko)

paintbrush

Xyron adhesive machine

pen

scissors