Archive of ‘kid crafting’ category

Ice Painted Tee Shirts

Tee Shirts for Boys _Ice Painted | a project by a happy stitch

A few weeks ago the boys and I tried out ice painting and made some really fantastic ice painted tee shirts.  At first glance, they look a bit like tie-dyed tees but they are so much more painter-ly (that a word?) when you look closer.  Awesomer, too.  Way awesomer.  Making t-shirts has become something of a summer tradition around here.  Last year we tried tie-dying and sun printing dyes and loved it. There seem to be these unplanned, looser, low-key moments in summer that allow for messy projects. It’s one of my favorite things about summer with the boys at this age.  I got the idea to try ice painting from a Sweet Paul Magazine video on Facebook, which I unfortunately can’t find anymore. Sorry.

The good news is that I took lots of pictures of what we did and remember it all so I can share our tee shirt making with you. (more…)

Boredom Busters Kit :: Making Summer Rad

Boredom Buster Kit_color the rainbow_a happy stitch

Every summer I make the same mistake.  I think to myself, “I don’t need any help or planned activities for the kids this summer! School is so structured and scripted, they need summertime freedom! They need a chance to get bored and make something up!” And then the boys spend the first few weeks of summer begging me to watch TV or play games on the computer.  Eventually I cave and they end up watchings screens way more than I would like. Or I spend my evenings scrolling Pinterest and then scrambling to find random supplies so they have an activity to draw them away from those magnetic and brain-draining screens.

Well, I’m not repeating that mistake this summer! I teamed up with Andrea from Andrea’s Notebook and nearly a dozen other talented bloggers to create a Boredom Busters Kit. The kit includes 10 different projects and bonus printables like a calendar and coloring page.  Each project just needs to be printed out and it’s ready to go. (more…)

Write A Book :: Mini Makers Summer Fun Series

Write A Book! Mini Make's Summer Fun Series |a happy stitch

When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’.  I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep.  Somehow missing the simple message.  And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time.  After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!).  I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!”  It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect!  So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son.  Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)

Radiant Home Studio blog tour :: Highland Avenue Houses

Radiant Home Studio blog tour :: Highland Avenue Houses // a happy stitch

There are lots of lessons to be learned in life.  The lesson I learned most recently is that kids are tacky.  They like to take an idea and really kick it into overdrive…make sure everyone “gets” it.  And that, my friends, is the takeaway lesson behind these house pillows.

I was so honored when Sara from Radiant Home Studio asked me to join her 2nd anniversary blog tour! It’s really exciting because I like Sara and find her patterns so useful and effortlessly classy. (more…)

Kids’ Clothes Week :: When Your Kid Wants To Be A Mailbox

Mailbox Costume

I am not normally the kind of crafty-mama that makes Halloween costumes. Everyone assumes that I do because, apparently, most of the crafty mamas in the world are all over Halloween costumes.  The truth is, my kids usually change their mind in the lead up to Halloween and they tend to want very specific costumes such as characters from their favorites games or shows. I don’t like sewing drama so I tend to stay out that last minute, this-doesn’t-look-like-Obi-Wan-Ken-Obi mess. This year, however, was very different.  J decided months ago that he wanted to be a mailbox.  I thought this idea would pass but he was telling everyone we saw “I’m going to be a mailbox for Halloween”.  Experience told me, “he still might change his mind, don’t jump into making anything”.  Another month passed and he stuck to this idea; getting more and more excited.  Thankfully, my husband was a believer and got started painting a blue box in ‘Postal Blue’.  There was no denying, this kid wanted to be a mailbox. As it was Kid’s Clothes Week and all, I finally converted to believer.  We painted a logo and I got busy sewing an entirely blue outfit with a hood to complete the look. (more…)

Backyard Art Camp :: Child-Led Art with Recycled Materials

Nurturing Creativity with Child-Led Art Projects

I am positively thrilled to announce the return of Backyard Art Camp!  Remember Backyard Art Camp from two years ago? The inimitable Jane from Buzzmills and I gathered together a group of bloggers who each created art projects for kids centering around famous artists.  It was SO MUCH FUN! And, we’ve been meaning to do it again.  As the dog days of summer approached we talked about it a little here and a little there. Finally Jane’s brilliant daughter came up with the idea of a Re-useum…that is an art gallery with art made of recycled materials! Genius!  So, in a kind of last minute, thrown-together way….I am happy to present Backyard Art Camp 2015, the Re-useum.  Along with Tara from Girl Like The Sea, Jane and I are spending this week showing off our projects, philosophies and all things recycled art projects for kids.  Be sure to check out Jane’s post from yesterday so you can bask in pure delight…she invited the whole neighborhood over and created a full-on recycled art gallery (a real RE-useum!)

Today, I’m talking about nurturing creativity with child-led art projects.  I feel a little bit silly discussing this, to be honest. I mean, it’s not like I am some expert on this stuff. (more…)

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

My oldest son, C,  turned eight a few weeks ago and it was surprisingly emotional for me.  Well, ok, I got emotional after the dust cleared.  I do not mean that figuratively; there was dust everywhere because having twelve kids play soccer and run wild in our backyard kicked up an insane amount of dust. But, by the time the party balloons were sagging and the house was strewn with bits of colorful wrapping paper and squashed juice boxes I got emotional.  Eight.  It’s so big.  It’s so definitively big.  It seems to have marked a moment for me when I stopped and noticed that his babyhood, the babyhood that introduced me to motherhood, was receding into the background.  Without a doubt.  I can only see it faintly in the distance and much as I am thrilled about the person he is growing up to be it’s hard to see it go.

One of my gifts to him was this baby blanket teddy bear.  Admittedly, he’s too old for teddies.  I mean, he still sleeps with his very special teddy bear but he doesn’t ask for new ones.  It’s all beyblades, legos and Pokemon cards.  I made the bear anyway and I made his patches out of one of his baby blanket.  This baby blanket teddy bear was made to commemorate the moment, more than anything.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

When I made the baby blanket polar bears for J, I knew that I would need to make one for C as well.  (And yes, they both had baby blankets with the same color and pattern! One in fleece, one in flannel.  Cute, huh?!)  The pattern for this bear is called Tagalong Teddy and it’s from the Betz White book Present Perfect but is also available for free (!) on Sew Mama Sew.  It was really easy to make, as is usually the case with Betz’s patterns, the instructions are clear and straightforward.  I also got to practice my embroidery…more practice than I wanted since I did a backward blanket stitch and had to REDO all of it.  Rookie mistake on my part.  Ugh. The white fabric is a soft, velour-like fabric that is super snuggly.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Perfect for a little bit of snuggling from this boy.  He’s so sweet, this eight year old of mine.  He’s private and camera shy and the most amazing big brother.  I keep telling him he would make a great teacher, he can be heartbreakingly helpful.  He’s also ridiculously funny, stoic and easily hurt and so thoughtfully aware of the world around him.  More and more I’m aware that those stories are now his and not mine to tell.

I do think that he likes his new bear.

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Baby Blanket Teddy Bear

Do see it? That tiny glimpse of babyhood?  It’s just barely there but I think I saw some. *sniff*

I’m also sharing another project on Betz’s blog today, be sure to check out my forest friends finger puppets! 

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