Friday, August 3, 2018

Sew-A-Softie Giant Ice Cream

For the past three Summers the kids and I have throughly enjoyed ourselves by participating in an event called 'Sew A Softie' organized by Trixi over @coloredbuttons we signed up again this year but life delayed me getting this simple sewing tutorial out when I was intending to in July. But better late than never, I grabbed my kiddos and we got sewing over this past weekend at Granny's house and I finally made myself sit down to share our easy 'how to' with you all.

So don't delay grab yourself a plain old pillow case today and get crafty with a needle to create a giant puffy ice cream alongside us. And be sure to check out all the other amazing bloggers that joined in Sew a Softie 2018 alongside us.

To make your giant ice cream will need:

A clean pillowcase 
Kwik Stix
A sharpie
Embroidery Thread
A needle
Pillow stuffing

Step 1

Sketch the giant ice cream onto one side of the pillow case.

Step 2

Let your children color/paint the ice cream shape. We are currently traveling so we chose to use our favorite mess free Kwik Stix to use while at Granny's house. They work really well on the fabric and dry really quickly and are washable but you might want to protect your table.

Step 3

Once you are all done coloring your ice cream its time to get sewing. We found it much easier to sew around our ice cream before we cut the shape out as the seems of the pillow case helped to keep the two pieces together without them moving around too much. Its pictured slightly differently here because I forgot to snag a picture of the kids sewing before the shapes were cut, instead here is a picture with the gap we left in the side ready for stuffing.

We sewed around the edges with a simple running stitch, this is really easy even for little ones to pick up as you thread the embroidery thread up and down around the edge. Once you have stuffed the pillow you can sew up the remaining gap and tie the two ends together in a knot. (We used some bubble wrap and plastic bags this time as we were away and didn't have any pillow stuffing at hand.)

And thats it, one super soft and super simple sew a softie to get kids sewing this summer.

Who wouldn't want a giant ice cream at Granny's house?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Summer Camp Banners

Are you basking in mid summer where you are or trying to get through the dog days of winter? Here in the barn summer is in full steam but whatever the weather and temperatures outside this super EASY and MESS FREE project is sure to brighten your day. But before we get on with the project I'll let you into a little secret, I absolutely LOVE Kwik Stix, they have been a favorite art supply of mine for a while now; you can see a few projects I've used them for here and here. Or go check out The Blue Barn Instagram feed for even more ideas. Anyway, given that I'm a HUGE Kwik Stix fan I was super excited to receive an email from the Kwik Stix team, asking if I'd like to receive a few freebies to use in a project and share it on my blog - YES PLEASE!  So that being said for full disclosure I have been gifted Kwik Stix to write this post but I totally LOVED them already so was not bribed in anyway to gush about these fabulous paint sticks.

So on with the project, this banner is perfect for summer days especially if like me your looking for some fun 'camp mom' ideas. Best of all, if you use these Kwik Stix for the banner it can be totally mess free - so perfect for indoor rainy days or if you are hosting a group of children (or entire classroom) but really don't want your space splattered with paint!

To get started you will need:

Kwik Stix
Fabric - I used some untreated canvas but an old cotton pillow case or similar would work too
Wooden dowels
Sculpey Clay in various colors (optional but nice to finish with)
Paint brush and water (again another optional addition)

Step 1

Cut your square of fabric and lay it out for your child to decorate, I recommend putting something under your fabric just to project your work surface although kiwi six are washable. I like to cut the fabric in a rectangular shape and have them decorate with the short side along the top so it hangs down like a banner. We used our Kwik Stix to design summer memories onto the fabric. The Kwik Stix are great because they glide on super easily, are vibrant and best of all dry really quickly so there is no wet paint to clean up.

Step 2

So the next step is totally optional because Kwik Stix glide on easily without the need for paint brushes and water (why they are mess free). But the kids and I wanted to see what would happen if we got out our regular brushes and water and used them on top of the paint six. We played around with blending the colors and drawing some of the paint out into other areas of the fabric. We had fun watching the colors bleed together and creating a few new colors as they mixed.

Step 3

Put your painted canvas over to one side and get out your oven bake clay. We like the colorful range of Sculpey clay that we can buy here. Breaking off two small lumps have your child roll them into two little balls. 

Then taking a long wooden dowel push the clay onto each end. Be careful not to push too hard or you'll push the dowel right through the clay and end up with a bead instead of an end piece for your wall hanging. Once you have a lump of clay on each end bake the clay on a dowel as per the package instructions for your clay.

Step 4

Once your clay has hardened and cooled off,  you need to glue it to the top of the reverse side of your banner. We used our low temperature hot glue gun but if you don't have one regular glue will do you'll just have to wait a little longer for it to dry.

And voila a pretty summer banner with no mess thanks to Kwik Stix.

What evokes your favorite summer memory? 

A dessert Island...

An English soccer game...

A sunset?

If you'd like to get your hands on your very own set of Kwik Stix you can buy them online from Amazon or Target or find them in the US in store at Walgreens.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Egg Cup Fairy Garden

We are so delighted to be participating in the Spring HOP FEST over on Instagram this week, if you've not heard of HOP FEST it is a super awesome collection of creative ladies who have got together over early mornings/late nights and coffee to bring you lots and lots of crafty Easter and Spring goodness. It kicked off yesterday with four fabulous ideas and today we are happy to make up a quarter of the next four ideas with our Springy eggy fairy garden!

So as I began trying to decided what spring craft to make I struggled and struggled until I thought of what my kids would LOVE. We are HUGE fairy fans so making a mini fairy garden seemed like something they'd all want to do and egg cups made it the perfect Easter accompaniment. So if you'd like to try your hand at making your own tiny fairy garden read on.

You will need:

White china egg cups or small bowls
Small succulents or other small flowers
Potting Soil
Acrylic Paint
Fairy garden accessories, tiny animals/toadstools

Step 1

Let your child decorate the egg cup. I gave each child three or four colors, I showed them how if they wanted to paint a stripe around the egg cup its easier to turn the cup and keep their hand still. We also used the end of a pencil to make dot patterns on our egg cups. If they make a mistake so long as your using a glazed egg cup you should be able to wipe off any mistakes quite easily with a piece of dry kitchen roll.

Once you are done painting leave your egg cups to dry completely before you start the next part.

Step 2

Once your pot is dry take your succulent and pot it up into the egg cup. If you can't get a succulent or small plant you could also plant cress seeds or grass but remember this will take a little longer to grow up before you can add the next pieces. If potting up a succulent you may need some additional potting soil to fill in any spaces left to make sure its nice and snug in its cup.

Step 3

Once you have potted up your plant give it a little water and then add the details. We placed tiny pebbles around the base of the plant.  

Next we added some little toadstools, ladybugs, paper flowers, tiny houses and rabbits. We picked all our miniature pieces up from the craft store and Amazon. Let your child decide what they want to add and where to add it, some will choose to add as much as possible and thats fine, let them design their minute garden for the fairies. show them how to add the things carefully without damaging the plant.

Changing the size of things is always a hit with the kids and these tiny gardens are no exception.

And your done. A tiny garden for the Spring Fairies to explore.

And when gardens are this tiny there is lots of space for them to multiply!!

And make sure you check out all the other fun Spring crafts this week over on the IG hashtag #HOP_Fest

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Birds on a Wire

This project was one of those that evolved directly from the recycling bin. I was about to throw away the cardboard trays my veggies had come home in and I just couldn't they were too perfect for something I just didn't know what yet so I started saving them. (I have slight hoarder tendancies anyone else?)   Anyway the stash of cardboard trays starting adding up and I decided we had to use them. I'd decided that they made perfect frames for some box pictures so I introduced the children to the idea of layering. We talked about how items are in the foreground and the background. In this case the subject was going to be the birds on the wire and the back ground 

You will need:

A food tray or piece of cardboard
Paint - we chose sunset colors

Step 1

Begin by letting your child paint the background - think landscape or sky, we opted for a sunset so I gave them a limited color palette and encouraged them to think about the colors they see at sunset and to blend and mix the colors together just as they do in the sky.

Step 2 

Print out the pdf of the birds (you may need to adjust the print size on your printer to make the birds fit inside whatever cardboard container you are using. Once you have printed out the template have your child color the birds with various black and white patterns - think dots, lines, zentangle  you name it.

Once you have decorated your birds cut them out and glue a piece of wire along the back of the birds - make sure the wire is long enough to run the length of the cardboard. 

Step 3

Once your glue on the back of the birds has dried take each end of the wire and thread or glue it to either side of the cardboard. The birds should float above the background on the wire.

Step 4

All thats left to do now is flip the picture over and glue a hoop onto the top of the picture so that you can hang it up easily on the wall. We used a pipe cleaner for this.

Turn it over and your set.

Enjoy your multi dimensional picture, now I'm thinking what can I do with the other 50 cardboard trays!!