Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Easy Crafts for Children

By Misti Sandefur

Children love spending time with you, and what better way to give your children that time than creating crafts together! Following are a couple crafts that even the smaller kids can enjoy. Both crafts make wonderful gifts for anyone, and handmade gifts are more special than store-bought gifts.

Puzzle Picture

What you need:
Wooden or fabric picture frame
Puzzle glue
Tape measure

1. Buy a puzzle containing as many pieces as you wish to work with, and be sure the picture is appealing as well. If you know the person you are making the gift for, and if you know they like a certain thing (horses, dogs, cats, waterfalls, etc.), you can always try to find a puzzle that fits that theme.

2. Sit down together and work the puzzle until it is completed.

3. Take a tape measure and measure the finished puzzle to see what size cardboard and frame you will need.

4. Using your measurements cut out the correct size of cardboard. Once you have the correct size of cardboard cut out, take puzzle glue, and glue each puzzle piece to the cardboard. You will have to take the puzzle apart to do this, but if you do it carefully you have already worked the puzzle, and you should be able to fit the pieces onto the cardboard correctly.

5. Once all the pieces of the puzzle have been glued onto the cardboard, let it dry overnight.

6. Using the measurements from the puzzle, buy a frame that will fit it.

7. Place the puzzle you have just glued to the cardboard, then put the puzzle and the cardboard into the picture frame.

If everything is done correctly you should have a beautiful picture for any wall. Anyone will love this gift!

Beaded Keychain

What you need:
Pony beads
Round keyring
Suede lace

1. Decide on how long you want your keychain to be, and then cut off that much suede lace.

2. Double up the lace, take the ends of the lace and wrap around the keyring, and then bring the ends through the loop (similar to a hitch knot) and pull your knot tight. Make sure the knot goes on the bottom of the keyring so the keys can be put onto the ring.

3. Thread the lace through the concho. When finished with the lace you should have two strands of lace to place beads on. You can choose any design concho you want.

4. Put any color beads you like on one strand of lace, and then put any other color beads you desire on the other strand of lace. Depending on how long you made your lace will determine how many beads will fit onto one strand. You will then place the same number of beads onto the second strand of lace.

5. Tie a knot at the bottom of the lace to hold the beads on. You should now have a beaded keychain.

I started making and giving these keychains when I was a teenager, and now my kids enjoy making them too.

Finally, you will need a label for each gift, so you will know to whom the gift belongs.

Gift Tags

What you need:
110 lb. card stock paper (any color you like)
Scotch tape
Marker (any color that will show well on the color paper you chose)

1. Cut out a square from the card stock paper. It can be any size you desire.

2. With your marker, write "Merry Christmas," "Happy Holidays," "Season Greetings," or anything you desire on the square you just cut out. If your child can write, you canlet him or her do this unassisted. Leave room so you can write "To:" and "From."

3. Under what you just wrote write "To:," and put the name of the person you're giving the gift to.

4. Under "To:" write "From:," and put your child's name or whatever name or names should go there.

5. Using scotch tape, tape the gift tag to the package or gift.

6. Repeat steps one through five for each gift you just made.

And there you have it, easy crafts you can enjoy with your children anytime you want! Do these crafts on a rainy day, for Christmas, or just for fun if you like.

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