Crafty Craft Ideas

Crafts keep the kids busy and provide some unique gifts for giving. Use these craft ideas to bring out the creative side of children and adults and kick start your summer fun. The whole family can join in creating these great home made crafts. Have fun and make some timeless family treasures as well.

Dried Flower Arrangement

You'll Need:

1. Drying Methods. The following plants are hung upside down in bunches and left to dry for a month somewhere warm - mignonette; poppy seed heads; Chinese lanterns; hare's tail grass and all other grasses. Beech nuts are gathered with as much stem as possible and can be left natural or painted with silver or gold paint.

Craft ideas Tip: Always dry your own flowers for the best savings on craft supplies. Get a book from the library on drying flowers and/or plants to learn what types of plants and flowers dry well and how to do it. It's really easy!

2. Push a piece of oasis firmly into the container and using the glycerin leaves make a basic outline, trimming the stems until you have the size you want.

3. Fill in the shape gradually, using flowers and leaves of the right size and shade to make a beautiful and everlasting arrangement.

Wreath Craft Ideas

Collect any enclosed shape, of just about any material, to form the base for your wreath. Craft ideas hint: Wreaths don't have to be circular!

Recycle, wire clothes hangers, screen and window frames, picture frames, steering wheels, bicycle tires, dried tree branches or drift wood (wire together to create your own customized shape.), old lampshade frames, simple wood cut outs, etc. Use your imagination, it's the only limit you have when being creative.

Use wire, hot glue, florist pins or sticks, to attach dried or silk flowers, glycerin flowers, little trinkets, etc, based on the wreaths theme. For example, a mechanics wreath might be made from an old discarded steering wheel and include tools, miniature car toys, etc in the design. Customize to suit the theme, color, or style desired.

Everlasting Leaves

You will Need:

First, soften the ends of stems. Lightly hammer about 2 1/2 inches at bottom of branch stems.
Fill the jar 2/3 full with hot water and the remaining 1/3 with glycerin
Stand branches in the jam jar for several weeks, leaves will feel very soft
Stand the branches in a tall empty vase and they will last for months. The leaves will gradually turn different shades.

Craft Ideas Tip: You can use these preserved branches as greenery for a home made wreath. Create one as a gift!

Summertime Craft Ideas

by Judi Cox

Spring and summer come and everyone starts opening their doorsand windows, bringing in the fresh air. Tree leaves are full andflower blooms abound; birds are singing, building nests andtaking care of their chicks. I am drawn outdoors by the lure ofwarmer days and the call of the dirt and new sprouts. Not tomention, as a mom, the kids are clamoring for more room to play.It's a perfect time to pull out some fun out door family crafts.

Here are a few, easy to personalize, craft ideas for summertimefun or to celebrate May Day, Mother's Day or a holiday weekend.All craft supplies are easily attainable from craft supplystores or online suppliers. While making these crafts is a funfamily activity, some are available in pre-assembled kits, oralready made.

Craft Ideas

1. Terra cotta clay pot bird bath. Invert terra cotta clay pots, from larger on bottom and smallest on top. Add a clay saucer (the part the pot sits in to catch the drained water). A waterproof saucer is necessary. Set the clay saucer on top of the inverted stack of pots. Paint or mosaic the pots if you feel especially creative. For more bird fun, add a mister. Birds love to play in the water. Note: Make two similar stands and use one for a bird feeder.

2. Plant and grow an herb garden. Include herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, chives and any other favorites. You'll have fresh herbs to add to your recipes all summer long. Herbs are easy to grow, making this an easy garden for kids to help. Take it one step further and create a "kitchen garden", including lettuce spinach, tomato, cucumber or other salad favorites.

3. Build a toad abode. Use a terra cotta pot and a rock. Invert a clay pot and prop edge on a rock. If you have a chipped pot, that would work great too and wouldn't require propping. Paint and decorate to your liking.

4. A handmade stepping stone. Personalize with stones, marbles, or other memorable items. Make the project a tradition. Mark the stone with the year and include items to remember the year; a key (house or car), a toy, etc. A footprint each year could signify the walk of life and would be fun for young children to mark their growth from summer to summer.

5. Personalized necklaces. Letter beads (for names or initials), a few spacer beads, a charm or two added to a simple chain makes a lovely, personal necklace for any mom or grandmother. For fun, make matching necklaces one for mom, grandmother, and daughters.

6. Bookmarks make a great craft for rainy days. Get creative - use paper, dried flowers, ribbons, needlepoint thread. Use beads and charms attached to chain or yarn to create a "book thong".

7. A decorated throw pillow. A pre-made throw pillow with light colored fabric, decorated with fabric paint. Fabric glue will easily adhere buttons and other small mementos. Start from scratch and decorate your fabric before making a pillow -tie-dye, iron-on colored pictures made with fabric crayons orreverse dying using a darker fabric and bleach provide manycreative ways to decorate any pillow or piece of fabric. Anothervariation would be decorating pillow cases.

8. A tie-dye party is fun for family or a gathering of extended family and friends. Supplies are readily available online coming in easy kits.

There are so many fun activities to be done outdoors during niceweather. For more ideas, or to submit your own, click here.

Judi Cox is a wife and mother of 4 children. Her hobbies includemaking handmade soap from scratch, gardening, crafts, web designand maintaining Mom's Little Garden an online resource for pregnant mothers, as well as her personal website, Momma Muse.

Craft Ideas Tip:In the above craft ideas, save money by always recycling items whenever possible, instead of purchasing new craft supplies.