Friday, September 29, 2017

Framed Felt Boards

                Felt boards are a fantastic teaching tool for your little ones. You can make alphabet boards, color boards, and shape boards. They can be made for any situation really. I have been wanting to put one together for La-la and finally got a chance to do it. Here is what I did.

                I took a frame from my stash and stretched thick felt, cut larger than the opening, across the back of the frame. The color is up to you. Grey worked well for us since it will contrast well with bold bright colors. I did not worry about the gap between the lip of the frame and the felt because it would allow for several layers of felt and different inserts to be placed inside. Also, it would act as a support for the larger felt pieces. The grey is the only felt that is secured in place. Felt will stick to other felt and can be repositioned any way you want. 

Staple on the flat part of the frame.

The black felt is just laying on the grey.
                Since this Sunday is October 1st, I figured I would make a Halloween playset. If you do not celebrate Halloween, you can always choose a different subject such as Fall or ABC’s. With the background being dark grey, I just built off that and made a spooky night time scene. For the ground, I made sure that the width was right for the frame which is 20” and cut a shape to use as the ground.

                The pumpkin is done in parts so she can build it for her own. I drew a pumpkin shape on orange felt and cut it out, cleaning up the edges as I went. My normal marking pencils did not show up very well so I used a felt marker made for fabric. You can also use wax paper as an iron-on pattern. Just iron the paper with the glossy side down and use that to draw the pattern. Once you cut it out just peel the paper off and you have a pumpkin. The face is cut from black felt and loose so she can choose how her jack o lantern should look.

                The ghosts are cut from white felt in the same way as the pumpkin. This time I did draw on the faces since they are so small. The moon is a circle of natural batting. It has basically the same feel as the felt and will stick to the board just fine. I liked the color of the batting better for the moon and used the fabric markers to draw on craters.

I have it leaning against the wall for her in my studio.

                You can get as simple or complex with this as you want. Ella was having fun with the ghosts so I may make more of them with different poses to use as a matching game. She likes to group shapes and colors. I see several more versions of this in our future and we can use the same frame and grey felt using different inserts. I will be making a fall/Thanksgiving insert soon.

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Monday, September 25, 2017

What We've Been Doing

     It has been a minute since my last new post. Ella has been sick and then decided that she forgot how to sleep so we have been dealing with that. She is doing so much better now and is sleeping even better than she had been. I'm so proud of my little pumpkin!

     I have still been working on a few projects. Thanks to Pinterest, I found so many little toy patterns and just had to make this little unicorn for Lala. She couldn't wait for me to finish it and would play with parts that I had done while I worked. It was adorable. I'm really glad that I kept it small so she could carry it around easily.

She really loves helping.

     We have also been working on Halloween costume ideas and I think we are doing a unicorn.She really has loved anything unicorns or horses. We took her to a horse sale over the weekend and she was so excited to see them all. She kept pointing out her favorites. It really is amazing that we did not come home with 6 new horses. I have a unicorn costume almost finished for her. There is a backup plan since the costume is pretty thick. That fantastic fall weather can come pretty late down here so we may have to go with a cooler option. Even if she does not wear it for Halloween, she can just play dress up so I'm not too worried.

     Over the next few weeks, we will be making cute animal headbands and I am going to try making her a Peppa Pig hat. We saw ready to wear Peppa costumes but there is no way she would wear a giant stuffed pig face on her head. So, I want to make her one that does not have as much stuffing. She may wear it if it's not so huge.

      Things have calmed down so I can get back to posting fun crafty things next week so check back soon. Happy crafting!

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Saturday, September 2, 2017

Let Your Baby Paint!

            Now that Ella is more active, and has more energy than anyone would ever need, we have been doing fun little projects during the day. Her favorite has been painting. She is just like her mama. I just knew she was going to be an artist. I have non-toxic paints and loads of canvas just sitting around doing nothing so why not let her have fun.

At first, I wanted to let her play outside but the weather had other plans. Since it has been pretty yucky with the rain and all we had to paint inside. I wanted to make sure she could have fun and it would be fairly easy to clean up. The canvas that I had set aside for her to use was the perfect size to fit in the tub so that is what we did. With tub emptied of all her toys, I laid the canvas on the bottom and striped the little squirrel down to her diaper. I really don’t like doing more laundry than is really necessary.

It took a bit of coaxing but, once she got started, there was no stopping her. Most of the painting ended up in the tub which got a bit slippery. She doesn’t like sitting down now so we had to get her cleaned up. Her little masterpiece is adorable. She even signed it with her little foot print.

Everything was covered in her little green paint mix but since we were already in the tub playtime just turned to bath time. She even helped me clean up the tub. Really, everything cleaned up really easily.

If you don’t want the mess at all, you can still let your little one paint. Just use either a small canvas panel or paper that you seal up in a freezer bag. They can push the paint around through the bag without the need for bath time right after. We did this so she could play with homemade slime and she loved it. The freezer bags are sturdy but I would recommend taping up or gluing the top closed. We had a small mishap where my bag popped open and slime oozed all over my counter. I taped it up and had no more issues.

Either way you choose, you will want to make sure that your paints are non-toxic. You can also find recipes for edible, baby safe finger paints using yogurt and food coloring on Pinterest. We haven’t tried any yet but she loves yogurt so I’m sure we will soon.  I hope you and your little one have a blast making a masterpiece.

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