After a very long hiatus that can be blamed on house hunting, moving into and decorating said house, and being generally anxious and excited that we are expecting our firstborn, we have a new post!
This room is my favourite in the house, mostly because there will shortly be a baby in it. But also because it is adorable, and we are proud of our rookie decorating skills. We decided before we knew the gender of the baby that we wanted to do a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs theme, because it’s actually pretty gender neutral for a princess story. If the baby ended up being a girl, we could always play up the princess/castle theme, and if it was a boy, we’d go for a more woodsy look. Plus, I have a ton of Dopey ornaments and collectables from when I was a kid.
Can you tell what we’re having based on the room?
Mr. C made the felt apples above the changing table. A tutorial is available at Purl Bee: http://www.purlbee.com/apple-coasters/
And I made the bunting above the crib:
The bunting tutorial doesn’t exist, but I mean, come on. They are fabric triangles sewn onto a ribbon.
We also made the wreath on the door full of apples and diamonds (because diamonds aren’t just for girls- the dwarfs seemed to love them). The “I’m Grumpy” throw on the bed is made from one of those cut and tie blanket sets from Joann Fabrics, but unfortunately it looks like the item is no longer available! I’m glad we snatched it up when we did.
Now all we have to do is wait for Baby Arts&Crafts to arrive!
So one of the reasons for the lack of posts this month (aside from general laziness) is NANOWRIMO! Or “National Novel Writing Month.” It’s like a month-long holiday for crazy people who don’t like having free time and sanity. The idea is you will write 50,000 words in one month (or 1667 words a day). For most people, a nifty little tool called a word processor tallies up the word count as you type. For me, it means making the approximation that there are 350-500 words per typed page, and going from there.
Yes, I type on a typewriter and it is the greatest thing ever. The keys go RAP RAP RAP RAP RAP when I punch them (and you have to punch the keys, for god’s sake!), and I don’t have to worry about the computer crashing before I have time to back up my novel. Maybe I should worry about a house fire, but if that did happen, I would have plenty of other problems aside from a torched manuscript.
To celebrate this overcaffeinated occasion, I made (what else?) a circle skirt. Embellished with a giant red typewriter and a piece of paper with the words “It was a dark and stormy night.” They are not only the words that Snoopy uses to start most of his stories, they are also the first words of A Wrinkle in Time and a book I have never read called Paul Clifford. I don’t have much attachment to that last book, but I love Snoopy and Madeleine L’Engle, so the words were perfect for my new skirt!
For a template? Honestly? Just look up a Peanuts comic with Snoopy in and and enlarge the typewriter. I’m not doing the work for you. I have writing to do (only 5886 words to go…approximately).
Are you looking for another woodland creature craft? How about the friendly beaver? This craft is simple and in the end it’ll give the kids a puppet to play with.
Supplies required: lunch sized brown paper bags, black, white and two colours of brown construction paper, cardboard, a black marker, two large googly eyes, scissors and a glue stick.
Step 1: Create a template of the head, nose, arms, teeth, tail and wood as seen in the picture below.
Step 2: Using the templates, trace and cut out the head and arms from the construction paper that is the lighter of the two browns. Cut the nose out of black construction paper, the teeth from white and the tail from the darker brown construction paper.
Step 3: Using the final pattern, cut out the wood from the cardboard.
Step 4: Draw on the additional detail, such as the space between the teeth, the mouth and ears, as seen on the final example of the craft pictured above.
Step 5: Glue the head onto the folded part of the paper bag. Glue the tail to the back of the paperback and then glue the teeth underneath the fold of the paper bag so that only a small portion of the teeth can be seen.
Step 6: Next glue the googly eyes and the nose onto the head.
Step 7: Finally, glue the cardboard behind the arms and then glue the arms to the front of the paper bag.
Your beaver is now complete. For my sample, instead of using construction paper for the nose and
teeth I used foam paper. You may also be wondering why the beaver’s teeth are so long. Beavers actually have very long teeth partly because their teeth never stop growing. According to Canadian Geographic animal fact sheet (http://www.canadiangeographic.ca/kids/animal-facts/beaver.asp) chewing on tree trunks and branches help prevent a beaver’s teeth from getting too long. It’s a fun fact that you can throw in there while the kids are making their puppets.
Recommended Reading: Beaver is Lost by Elisha Cooper (wordless picture book)
Have you ever gone to work with crazy looking hair because you didn’t have enough time to fix it in the morning? Do you need a valid excuse to explain why it might look unkempt? How about a crazy hair themed story time? There are some really good stories about hair out there and you can try this fun craft.
Supplies required: construction paper in flesh tones, scissors, a pen or a marker, glue, tape and a Popsicle stick, stir stick or straw and something that has a hair-like quality such as feathered thread or yarn. Remember, the more colours you have as an option for the hair the crazier the hairdos can be!
Step 1: Create a template of the head, eyes and mouth as seen below.
Step 2: Trace and cut out the head template on flesh toned pieces of construction paper. Cut the eyes out on white paper and the mouths out on black.
Step 3: Draw on any additional detail on the cut pieces such as pupils on the eyes and nose on the face.
Step 4: Cut various lengths of hair material.
Step 5: Glue mouth and eyes on a face.
Step 6: Choose however much hair and whatever colours you like and glue them on top of the head. Some creative kids might even choose to add a bit of facial hair as well.
Step 7: Let it dry.
Step 8: Once dry you can attach the head to the stick or straw using tape.
Now you have some puppets with some crazy hair and a reason to mess yours up a bit!
Recommended Reading: Crazy Hair by Neil Gaiman Illus. by Dave McKean
Aaron’s Hair by Robert Munsch Illus. by Alan and Lea Daniel
Monsters under your bed? In your closet? Forget about it! They’re now on the fridge! Make various monster faces using miscellaneous monster parts. This craft is inspired by magnetic poetry, but instead of rearranging words to make new sentences you’ll be rearranging noses, eyes and mouths to create new monsters.
Supplies required: foam paper in various colours, scissors, a marker, glue and magnetic strips (though old fridge magnets that companies often give away can also be used).
Step 1: Design various monster pieces such as eyes, mouths, noses, hair and horns. See the pictures below for some ideas. Remember, the crazier they are the more fun they’re going to be.
Step 2: Trace and cut out the pieces on different colours of foam paper. Construction paper will also work though it won’t be as nice.
Step 3: Draw on any additional detail such as pupils on the eyes as needed.
Step 4: Cut magnets to appropriate lengths and glue them onto the back of each monster piece. You can purchase the magnetic strips with sticky backing which work much better than glue.
Step 5: Place the pieces randomly on the fridge or some other magnetic surface.
Step 6: Now the kids (or the kids at heart) can make monster faces by rearranging the pieces. The combination possibilties is limited only by your imagination. If things get boring, add additional pieces. Maybe a nice purple beard or a blue mustache? How about some orange eyes?
Have fun and stay creative!
Recommended Reading: Jeremy Draws a Monster by Peter McCarty
Here’s a fun craft that will have you shooting for the stars. All you need is some coloured construction paper, scissors, glue, a straw, a marker, a bit of tape and a printer (optional).
Step 1: Print off and cut out the rocket template. The colour and number of pieces that are required are written on each piece of the template.
Step 2: Trace each piece of the template on the colour of construction paper indicated.
Step 3: Glue the fins and the flames to the back of the rocket. Then glue the exhaust and cap to the front.
Step 4: Using a thick marker name your rocket. As a default, I suggest the child’s first or last name however you should let them be as creative as they want.
Step 5: Print out and glue on or draw a flag of your country of origin on the front of the rocket. At this point you can also add any other decorations or embellishments you think your rocket needs.
Step 6: Tape the straw to the back of the rocket.
Step 7: Blast off!
Now you have a rocket you can fly around the classroom or living room with. If you’re super ambitious you can try a different colour combination or make a whole fleet!
Recommended Reading: Harry and Horsie by Katie Van Camp Illus. by Lincoln Agnew