Eyes for All Sorts of Crafts

This collection of eyes that my personal graphic artist (aka my husband) IMAG0471designed for us have been awesome!  While I love googly eyes as much as the next person (maybe even more), sometimes we need something bigger or just different.  It’s nice to be able to choose whichever color and size we want.

Download All Eyes pdf

What I especially like is that he created so many different options.  There are sheets of all different sizes but the same color.

Blue Eyes

And sheets of all different colors in the same size.

Oval Eyes

It’s been fabulous to have so many options.  Whether you are using them for a specific craft or just leaving out a whole bunch for the kiddos to create with, the possibilities are endless!




Handprint Keepsakes

Writing about our rock mosaics yesterday P1020261reminded me of the handprint keepsakes we made this past Christmas. Mainly because we used the same air-dry clay. I thought I would share them because it took me a long time to find a method I liked, really longer than it should.  I am probably the only person who hadn’t thought of this yet, but just in case you haven’t either, I thought I would share.

I had wanted to make cheap, simple handprints of the girls for a few Christmases. One year we tried the plaster handprint kits as well as some other plaster molds but they took too long to harden or cost too much money.  Salt dough had been suggested but I don’t like the rough texture and cracking of the salt dough.  And I didn’t want to do one of the professional kits.

P1020259Then we came across the Crayola Air-Dry Clay. It worked perfect! We just rolled out a small round section, pressed in the handprints, and let it dry. I wanted them to look homemade so I kept the rough edges.

I liked the white color of the clay but we had the girls paint them to make them more special. And then we sprayed them with a sealant. My only suggestion is to not roll them out too thin.

These are wonderful keepsakes for yourself but also make very special gifts for grandparents.


Rain Sticks

These rain sticks are one of my favorite crafts we’ve done so far.  I love them!  I always thought it would be fun to make rain sticks but couldn’t think how to make them sound like a real one.  My husband and I started brainstorming and this is what we came up with.  The only thing is that there is quite a bit of prep so plan ahead.

  • Paper towel tube
  • Toothpicks
  • Exacto knife (helped to put in the toothpicks)
  • Rice
  • Some cardboard
  • Wire cutters for toothpicks (scissors could work)
  • Newspaper & Starch (for paper mache)
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint
What to do:
  1. Stick the toothpicks through the inside of the tube.  Be sure to put them across going all different ways so that the rice will trickle through them and to line the tube from the top to the bottom.  I found it was easiest if I poked holes in the tube with the exacto knife and then pushed the toothpick through.  After the toothpicks are in, you want to cut off the point tips that are sticking out either side.  Don’t cut right against the tube or the toothpicks won’t stay in.  It’s alright if they are sticking out a bit because the paper mache will cover them.
  2. Trace the tube on the cardboard and cut out two circles.  These will be the ends of the rain stick.  Hot glue one circle to the end of the tube.
  3. Add the rice to the tube.  I did between 1/4 and 1/2 cup of rice.  I’m sorry I can’t be more specific but I started with a 1/4 cup and didn’t seem like enough so I added more.  You can close one end with  your hand and practice tipping it to see if you like the amount of rice in there.  Then seal up the other end of the tube with the second circle of cardboard.
  4. Paper mache the tube.  We covered the paper towel tube in paper mache for a few reasons.  It covers up the toothpick bits that are sticking out around the tube.  It also made the whole thing stronger so that little preschoolers could play with it without worry.  And finally it made the whole thing look more like real wood.  We also papermached over the ends so that the rain stick became one solid piece and the ends couldn’t come off.
  5. Finally the kiddos can paint it!  The girls picked out a few colors and then we encouraged them to paint the entire thing.  I think they look beautiful.  And they sound super cool!

The girls love playing with them, especially after we listen to the rain during this monsoon season.  And I’ll admit it, we love playing with them too.  They sound so relaxing, both of us have found ourselves just tipping the rain sticks back and forth.

Having a wild dance party with their rain sticks


Cardboard Airplane

With the air show at our military base this weekend, I thought I would share one of our favorite airplane crafts.  It’s pretty easy but looks cute and is sturdy enough for kiddos to play with.  We actually got this one from Miss Lilly, our super fabulous art teacher with our local parks and rec department.  I also had us make these when we hosted for our military moms playgroup.  And I included some other airplane ideas too.

Supplies: cardboard, paint, pipe cleaner, foam circles, elastic string, glue, hot glue, other decorations (sequins, jewels, stickers, etc.)

The directions really are pretty self-explanatory.  Just cut out the airplane and wings using the stencil included.  I used a piece of a cereal box to make the stencil when I had to cut out a bunch.  For the airplane, we used thick cardboard without writing on it from an old box so that it would be nice and sturdy.  I assembled the plane pieces ahead of time and the girls painted them (well, parts of them).  Then we glued some jewels on the wings.

Airplane Template

We just glued the front wheel directly to the bottom of the plane towards the front with a big glob of hot glue.  For the back wheels, we punched a hole towards the back and ran a 2″ piece of pipe cleaner through it.  Then attached the other two foam circles.

The propeller is also a pipe cleaner.  We punched another hole at the front to run a piece of pipe cleaner through that tied two other pieces together so that they could all fan out into a propeller shape.

Finally the elastic cord went through the top and allowed the girls to bounce the plane around.


Looking for another cardboard airplane?  We also made this one too…  (well, by we I mean my husband).

Ed cut a cardboard box into an airplane adding wings and a propeller from other other cardboard boxes.  The girls had a blast decorating it.  When he attached it to their wagon they thought it very cool!

Although that later caused him to get this idea and now we have a rather large but super fun and awesome airplane!

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist including pictures of our airplane.  I’m so proud of my husband for making it, that I am sure it will make it’s way into other blog posts.  🙂


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