Sunday, September 8, 2013

More Grandparents’ Day Projects

Here are some more ideas for grandparents’ day the second one does require adult help or supervision.

I'm a Little Teapot Craft

Materials:  printer,  paper,  scissors, something to color with, Magnet backing (OPTIONAL)     A photograph or hand drawn picture of the grandparent's face and a photograph or hand drawn picture of the child's face that will fit inside the circle of the flower and the circle of the sun.
To make the craft sturdier, you can paste the paper template onto a piece of poster board or cardboard before cutting it out.  (Whenever I need poster board, I usually use the cardboard that comes out of nylon stocking packages or from cereal boxes).

Print out the template of choice.  Glue the template onto poster board or cardboard if you wish to make the craft sturdier.
Color (where appropriate) and cut out the template pieces.  Younger kids may need help with this.
Cut the picture of grandma(pa) and picture of child out in a circle shape to fit in the center of the teapot and teacup.
We did it so the child was the teapot, but you can do it the other way too!.
Attach the magnet to the back (most of the magnets from the craft store come with a sticky backing, but if you have one that doesn't use a glue gun to attach)
Feel free to decorate further with sparkles, sparkle glue, sequins or anything else the kids can think of.

Here's a gift for Grandparent's Day.
I'll think of you each and every day.
And if you begin missing me,
Sit back and have a cup of tea.
With love, (child's name).

Paper Maché Tiger Book Ends

Materials:  milk carton, something heavy (rocks work perfectly and are fun to collect outside, but you can also use dried beans, dried rice or sand), scrap cardboard (the corrugated kind is best), If you only have thin cardboard, then you can just layer it together., newspaper. ONE OF:  white glue, mod podge OR paper mache paste (1 part flour to 4 parts water... boil about 3 minutes stirring constantly, add 2 ice cubes and let cool), scissors, masking tape. poster or tempra paint – orange, paintbrush. And black marker or paint
OPTIONAL:  exacto knife
OPTIONAL:  spray varnish

Prepare your paper mache paste right away so it has time to cool (if using the boil method).  Boiled paste as it's smoother and takes a lot less flour (the REDUCE part of the three R's!).
Print out the template -- the templates are B&W (or you can choose to do this free hand).
Cut out the template pieces and lay them on a piece of corrugated cardboard.
Trace the pieces onto the cardboard
Cut the tiger out of milk cartons with scissors or an exacto knife.  Adult help with this as the cardboard is difficult to cut.  Especially the mane (TIP:  have the adult cut out a smooth circle for the mane first and then let the child snip in little triangles to make the jagged edge.  This is a lot easier than trying to cut the jagged edge from the cardboard as you go.).
Cut the top off the milk carton.  This may require adult assistance.
Measure the bottom of the carton (it should be about 5 inches). 
Measure up the same height on the milk carton and make a mark.
Cut down from the top until you reach the mark you made.
Fold over the edges so you have a perfect box (it doesn't have to be a complete cube, but it helps the kids practice measuring.)
Fill the box with something heavy (this time rocks was used.)
Refold the edges and tape TIGHTLY.
(You may notice we are always using this odd green masking tape in our crafts... er, you don't have to use green -- you can use the regular color).
Tear strips of newspaper about 1 " wide and as long as you want.
Dip in the paper mache paste, but then remove excess paste.     
Cover the milk carton cube, in no more than 4 layers of paper mache (No more than 2).  If you put on more than 4 it will likely mold before it dries.
Cover each of the cut out pieces with paper mache (all the way around).  Again, no more than 4 layers.
While it's still wet, arrange the head pieces together on the front of the cube.
Let dry COMPLETELY.  It goes faster in a warm breezy place.  If it's a nice day, just stick it outside (just don't forget it if it starts to rain).  It takes a day or so to dry.
OPTIONAL:  apply a second layer of mache.  The more layers you add, the sturdier it will be.  Here a second layer was applied.  That just made sure all the parts stayed firmly in place.
OPTIONAL:  Use scrap white computer paper or toilet paper (don't laugh) for the final layer of all of our paper mache projects.  It takes less paint to cover.
Newspaper needs two coats of paint, whereas the white paper only needs one.
Toilet paper gives a rough texture which is nice for some animals.
We used computer paper for our tiger.
Paint the whole thing orange (you do not have to paint thebottom).
Use a black marker or black paint to add facial features.
Let dry.
OPTIONAL:  cover in a coat of clear varnish.  This will make it last longer (especially since poster paints aren't water proof),

Share your ideas on this or anything here on the blog either here or e-mail me at  I look forward to hearing from you!

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