If owning your own business is my proverbial child, then our crafting studio is our kitchen. Out of it comes most of the things that sustain this “child”. It’s where all the best memories have been made this past year, and it’s where I sit and unwind after everyone is gone and everything is clean (well, almost everything…the bathroom sink is often as scary as the bottom of my purse, but that’s another post for another time!).
At the beginning of each month I do my “grocery shopping” and fill in the glue sticks, paints, papers, pom poms, glitter and every other crafty thing you can find. Then, I do what most Moms do – I come up with the month’s menus. The kids always ask, “What are we making?” and I almost always have an answer until it gets to the end of that month and items are picked over and you don’t have enough of this or that. This time it happened mid-month! I have tried to be frugal, but we have had more…mouths to feed than usual. We had a busy weekend and I was desperate for something affordable and fun to keep these kids (and myself!) engaged.
I headed to our recycle bin, saw that it was overflowing with paper towel and toilet paper rolls (I told you, this is a busy house!). I had my intern, Hannah, spend an entire afternoon cleaning out all of my paints, using up the almost-empty-ones by painting over thirty small rolls. Once I saw all these colorful rolls, I decided to cut up some egg cartons and let Hannah color those, as well. I then chose two painted egg cups and two toilet paper rolls and did what I do best: Pulled out all the crafty odds and ends we had, filled a table, and went to work. Soon, I had created a colorful, little habitat for my little roll creatures. I was pretty happy with this inexpensive, recycled project but was a little worried the twenty-six kids who would be dropping in for art over the next few days would not be as impressed. But as many of you crafty parents, aunts, siblings, grandparents and friends know, set out anything furry and neon, throw in some googly eyes, and it’s pretty much a winner.
The kids loved this so much, they asked if they could come back and do it again! To prove it to you, one of our studio’s favorite crafters, who is only six, let us photograph her little world so that we could feature it in this blog. So for my first feature on Go Graham Go, I decided an “anything goes” craft would be the perfect end-of-summer crafting menu item for those of you who are ready for the kids to get back to school, as well as those of you who need an excuse to clean out that supply closet!
How did I do it, you ask? Here is the simplest recipe in my book:
1. You’ll need two or three small paper rolls. You can get two out of one paper towel roll.
2. Take a recycled egg carton and cut apart some of the cups: two for the “heads” and some extras for scenery.
3. For the background, I cut two pieces of cardboard, making one jagged like grass. A shoe box would work great, too!
4. Get painting! Use up any crusty, almost-all-gone tubes you have. Using up that not-yet-but-close-to-tired paint will feel great (cathartic, even, for us paint hoarders!) and soon you can hit the craft store and get those new glittery Martha Stewart ones you’ve had your eye on!
5. Use a hot glue gun or tacky glue to help secure the “egg-head” to the body once your paint is dry.
6. Take the tip of your sharpest scissors, or an Exacto knife, to pierce holes for arms, antlers, or hair for your little creatures.
7. Take out an array of pipecleaners, pom poms, buttons, googly eyes and anything else that you and your child will love. Accessorizing your creatures and their environment really brings this craft to another level.
8. Have fun! There is no better therapy, in my book, than cooking and crafting!
Now if only I could get to that bathroom sink…
Tanya Alexis, www.originalKIDSbyta.com