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Author Archives: Natasha

Mother’s Day Gift: Unique Picture Frame

A picture frame is always a great gift for mom or grandma! But even better than an ordinary picture frame, is a self-made, unique, one of a kind picture frame. The great thing about this craft is, it is very quick, not in the least messy and an interesting activity for children as young as two years. My two-year-old daughter really enjoyed doing this craft. She loves gluing and sticking anything together :)

Needed items:

  • 4 Popsicle sticks
  • glue gun (optional)
  • glue
  • ribbon
  • any collage materials (flowers, hearts, shapes…)
  • punchers in various shapes (optional)

Step 1:
The first thing you need to do, is stick the Popsicle sticks together to create a picture frame. I used the glue gun, since I wanted to continue crafting immediately. If you use liquid glue, then you may have to wait a few hours before continuing, so the glue can dry. This part I would recommend the parent doing on their own, of course depending on how old your child is, dealing with a glue gun can be quite dangerous.

Step 2:
Here the real fun begins. Get out all the collage materials you want to use and now it’s all about placing them. Take the flowers, hearts, shapes and whatever else you want to use to decorate the frame and put them all around it. It is entirely up to you if you want to create a pattern or just place them at random like my daughter did. In any case I am sure it will look brilliant!

If you don’t have any collage materials at home, then you can easily create your own ones. All you need is either scissors or punchers with different shapes on them. These you can usually buy in any craft supply store.

Step 3:
The final step is gluing the ribbon on the back of your finished picture frame, so you have a hook to hang the frame on. Again, I used the glue gun, but you can use any form of liquid glue.

Now all that you need to do is either stick a photo in the frame or make a nice drawing to go into it. Your personal gift is now complete.

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Painting Technique: Bubble Wrap Printing

Next time you get a parcel, don’t throw the bubble wrap away! :)
I tried bubble wrap printing for the first time and discovered it’s amazing, I love it! You should definitely give it a go. It is ideal to create a quick and awesome looking picture. The bubble wrap gives the print such a nice structure and doesn’t take long to create.
I found younger children need quite a lot of support, but children 4+ should do just fine on their own.

Needed items:

  • bubble wrap
  • paint
  • paper
  • scissors
  • paintbrush


Step 1:
Cut out of the bubble wrap the shape you would like to print. Since Easter is coming up soon, I decided to print Easter eggs. If you would like to do the same, then feel free to print my template out. Just a heads up, bubble wrap isn’t very easy to cut nice shapes out of. I would advice to choose simpler shapes and nothing too detailed.



Step 2:
I found the easiest way to apply paint on the bubble wrap is by using a paintbrush. There is no limit to your imagination. You can paint any pattern you like on the bubble wrap. I used acrylic paints, but I’m sure this printing technique works with most paints.



Step 3:
After you finished painting the bubble wrap, print it carefully onto your paper. Gently press down on it, to make sure every bit of your painted bubble wrap touches the paper. Now just peel it off. Your print is finished!
Now just paint and print and paint and print to your hearts content.


Step4 (optional):
If you would like to recreate my Easter eggs then you will need glue and some ribbon that fits to the colors of your paint, that you used to print with. Cut out the eggs, apply glue and then place the ribbon on the top and stick another egg onto it. Your Easter egg is complete and is ready to be hung up as a decoration.

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Painting Technique: Cork Printing

This painting technique is very easy and makes for a lovely pattern or a base for a variety of crafts. My daughter is two and a half and had great fun dipping the cork into the paint and printing it all over the paper plate. A big plus with this technique is that it is not very messy and needs hardly any preparation or materials.

Needed items:

  • corks
  • paint (I used finger paints)
  • paper plate or paper



Step 1:
There is very little to prepare for this craft. Just get your paint out and either dip your cork directly into the paint or of course you could also use a paintbrush to apply the paint onto the cork.
I found it helpful to have a cork assigned to each color my daughter was using. You could also just wipe the cork on a kitchen roll or something to clean it a bit, before using it for a different color.



Step 2:
After putting the paint onto the cork print it on a paper or in my cause we printed it on paper plates. Feel free to let your imagination go wild. Make a pattern or just print the cork all over the surface.



Step 3: (optional)
Since Easter is drawing near I chose to make some Easter baskets to hand out as presents. This is why we printed the corks onto paper plates and not paper. Once the paint is dry, cut into the paper plates four times and stick the sides together – I found the glue gun very helpful. Now you can add a handle and some decorations and your Easter basket is complete.

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Painting technique: potato printing

This is a perfect painting method if you have some old potatoes that desperately need using. This painting technique can be used for various things. You can make lovely patterns for a card or using various cookie cutters, you can make a whole picture just using potato stamps.
Potato printing can be a bit tricky, since the painted potato can be quite slick. I would recommend using this painting method with children +4. My two-year-old daughter really enjoyed it, but made a bit of a mess, rather than a clear picture. But all that matters is that she had fun!

Needed items:

  • potatoes
  • cookie cutters
  • knife
  • paper
  • paint
  • paintbrush (optional)


Step 1:
Cut the potatoes in half. Then choose the cookie cutter shapes you would like to print on your paper and press one into each potato half. Using the knife, cut into the potato around the cookie cutter (about 5mm into the potato) and then lift the extra potato you just cut off. (This sounds very complicated, so if you are confused, take a look at the photo I made) You now have created your own potato stamps.


Step 2:
Either dip the potato stamps into the paint directly or using the paintbrush paint it on. I would recommend using the paintbrush, since else there’s too much paint on the potato to make a nice print.
You can make a pretty pattern or a whole picture, depending on what you want to do with your completed artwork.


Step 3:
Since I needed some birthday cards, I used the potato printing pattern as a base for my card. I cut out the part of the pattern that I liked best and stuck it on some colored paper. To give the card a 3D effect you can cut out some of the remaining potato prints and stick them over the others using double sided foam adhesive sticky pads.
Let your creativity go wild, and enjoy the challenge of everything is possible when you use potatoes ;)

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Introducing Marble Painting Technique


One of my all-time favorite painting techniques with children is marble painting. I guarantee you are going to be surprised. I literally mean MARBLE painting. :) Again this is not messy, easy to prep and a smooth clean up. This is suitable for all ages and even older children enjoy this relaxing painting method. In addition this is a great exercise for the child’s eye-hand coordination and can boost the child’s patience, since it takes some skill to get the marble into the paint and then across the paper.

Needed items:

  • marble(s)
  • a box (high sides if possible)
  • paper
  • paint
  • tape



Step 1:
Find a box with high sides, that the marbles inside can’t accidentally jump out and cause a massive paint mess.

Step 2:
Put some tape rolls on the back of your piece of paper and then stick it in the middle of your box, so your paper doesn’t slide around in the box. Add a few drops of paint around your paper. I’d recommend no more than 2-3 different colors of paint.



Step 3:
Drop either one or more marbles into the box. Now pick the box up and move it all around – forwards and sideways, make sure you move the marbles into the paint and across your paper. The marbles will roll over the paper and make wonderful patterns in all directions.
If your child is quite young and getting frustrated, because the marble isn’t moving fast enough, I discovered you can also just place the box on the floor and then move it back and forwards causing the marble to bounce off the sides faster. The pattern is more of a zigzag but still very nice.


Step 4:
Do this whole process over and over adding new paper and paint in the box. You can use other colors than the first time, it might just mix a bit with the former paint, but the patterns and outcome will still be pretty and colorful.


Step 5:
You now have created in very short time a whole bunch of beautifully decorated sheets of paper. You can use them for any craft you like. For example as a card, cut out a shape or in my case I made them into ice skates to hang on our windows as decorations. If you would like to make ice skates too, here is a template you are welcome to print out and use.

Happy crafting!

 

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Painting Technique: Plastic wrap print


Being a kindergarten teacher I come across loads of different painting techniques. I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorites with you to either do yourself or make with your child on a rainy day.

What I love most about this first painting technique I want to introduce to you, is that most probably you will have everything you need at home and can do this any time you feel the need for some fun creative time or your child needs some entertainment or stimulating.

In addition this painting technique is an excellent sensory activity, it is relaxing and fun. It supports your sense of touch, creating patterns and promotes creativity. My daughter found great joy in just making lots of swirls, dipping her whole hand in paint and experimenting with the colors.

Another great pro to this technique is, it is not messy at all and cleaning up only takes a few moments.




Needed items:

  • plastic wrap
  • tray
  • paints
  • white paper
  • paper plate


any items you need to then create your craft (scissors, glue, colored paper…)


Step 1
Take the tray and wrap plastic wrap a few times around the whole thing, covering everything. Don’t worry about wrinkles in the plastic wrap. These give the print some nice structure, so the wrapping around doesn’t need to be perfect.


Step 2
I found the easiest approach to this painting technique was putting the colors you’d like to use on a paper plate, that way if they get mixed it doesn’t matter. Now you can begin. Dip your finger in the colors of your choice and paint patterns and pictures on the tray. Make sure you keep going and don’t take too long breaks, so the paint stays wet for the print.


Step 3
When you are satisfied with the amount of paint, the pattern or picture you drew on the tray, take your piece of paper and print it on the pattern you made. You just made your own picture print.
Now you can start over again and create as many different prints as you like.


Step 4 is optional
If you chose to make patterns instead of drawing a picture, you will have a bunch of papers with nice patterns printed on them. You could now use these papers as a base for a craft. My craft suggestion is a snowman, since it is winter here where I live.

If you’d like to make a similar snowman:
I cut out 3 circles sizes 14cm, 12cm and 10cm. Then I cut out a hat, carrot nose, arms and using a circle punch I made the eyes and mouth. For a special effect I chose real buttons to go on the body of the snowman.

Glue it all together and there you go, your snowman is done in no time!

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A walk down memory lane part 2

Create a memory box

A new year has started, so on this note Happy New Year to you all!

Is there a better way to start the year, than with a fun project to accompany you for many months to come?
Have you collected items over the years that have sentimental value to you and you don’t know where to put them? Here is an easy to do craft project, of what to do with these things – create a memory box. You will benefit from this for a lifetime and some memories that you didn’t want to forget, will be treasured in here.

needed items:

  • shoe box
  • wrapping paper
  • glue and scissors
  • or

  • shoe box
  • acrylic paint and paintbrush

 

Step 1:
First you need to find the right size box. Since the box is bound to look quite boring, you definitely want to pimp it up a bit.
Either using the wrapping paper of your choice, cut and glue it all over the shoe box (including the lid) or you use the acrylic paint to paint the box.

Step 2:
When it is dry you can write the name of the person it is for on the lid of the box. If the box is for yourself you could write a nice poem or saying on it. You could also add the date of when you started this memory box.

Step 3:
Then the fun begins… you collect items that are special to you, things that you want to remember or you once want to tell your child about.

I made my daughter a memory box, that I will give to her when she is an adult. I made myself a memory box when I was a child and I still add items… concert tickets, books, special gifts I have gotten and anything else I don’t want to forget.

I love looking through the box and going back down memory lane.

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Merry Christmas

My dear friends and readers,

On behalf of all who live in Bucklethorn Forest, we wish you a wonderfully blessed Christmas!

May you find hope, joy and peace on this very special day!

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Christmas is near…

A lovely 4th advent Sunday to you! Less than a week to go and the hectic and stress right before Christmas is at its peak. If you’d like to relax a minute, then think about this.

Deep down in the dark and calm woods of Bucklethorn Forest some animals are finding peace and joy at lighting the forth candle and the thought that Christmas is so close. They do not feel the pressure of buying the right presents or cooking the perfect Christmas meal. To them Christmas is a celebration revolving all around friendship.

Here is the promised solution to the 10 hidden ladybugs in last weeks picture. See if you were right and found them all :)

Can you find the one difference in the picture, as appose to the picture I posted last week? Yes, of course, the fourth candle is lit! Happy 4th advent everyone.

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Happy 3rd Advent!

Time is flying! It is already the 3rd advent Sunday and we are moving closer and closer to Christmas Eve. If you would like to relax a bit and just get your mind off things, then here’s a little task for you.

Ladybugs from far and near have come to celebrate the 3rd advent together with Puck, Fiona and Mrs. Weaver. See if you can spot the 10 hidden ladybugs in Bucklethorn Forest. Next week the results will be posted, so if you don’t find all of the ladybugs just come back next Sunday to figure out which ones you missed.

Have fun and may the search begin.

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