If you follow me on Instagram then you may have already seen this series! If not then it's pretty simple, you submit your burning craft questions right here at emilymakesstuff.com using the contact form and then I answer it on Sundays in an IGTV video! What kind of questions? Literally anything related to crafts. Whats my favorite material, what was the hardest project I've worked on, what type of glue is the best, where do I shop for fabrics, etc. It's kind of like that episode of Parks and Rec where Ron goes on Joan's show and he's supposed to be answering questions about the park but then he's like ask me about any of my hobbies: woodworking, fishing. It's like that! Ask me about crafts, wholesale, lines sheets, retail, house plants, dogs, New Orleans, whatever!
What started as a fun IGTV project is now something I'm sharing on YouTube & now on my website so you can find it on whatever platform you like best!
"I have two girls and for the holidays we want to give a photo of them to family members in a frame they made. Do you have suggestions for cheap materials to use that would be suitable for kids to work with."
So I have a lot of ideas but lets break it down by material first and then you can decide which direction you want to take it based on what you have on hand and what materials are easiest for your child to work with. I would either use paper or clay since these are both really accessible and cheap materials.
Let's start with paper! If you decide to go this route I would say this option has a little bit more prep for the parent to do ahead of time.
- A cardboard frame. This is as literal as it gets, just cutting out the exact shape of a frame out of cardboard. This would have to be done by the parents since you'll want to use a box cutter or xacto knife. You can then let your kid decorate this frame by wrapping it in pipe cleaners, yarn, or even strips of fabric. They can add more embellishments to the outside and then you can use another piece of cardboard or even just cardstock to secure to the back of the frame and glue your photo in place.
- Popsicle stick frame but use paper straws. I mean you could also use popsicle sticks but I love the idea of using paper straws because there's a lot of flexibility. You can use fun patterns and colors, they even have metallic straws! You can flatten them or keep it rounded, cut them down to make a small frame, you can make it thicker by layering more straws together and play around with color combinations. To secure the straws together I would use a low temp hot glue gun that either you use or if you feel safe let your child use. Another alternative to this would be to use rolled up pieces of magazine paper if you don't have paper straws. I'm all about using what you have on hand!! The method is very similar to making paper beads, you use a skewer or chopstick to roll the magazine starting from one of the pointed edges. And again after you construct the frame they can add beads, buttons, sequins, and gems to make it their own.
A good tip if you're not comfortable with your kid using a hot glue gun is to have them string their beads, bells, and sequins onto a pipe cleaner and then wrap the pipe cleaner around the frame to decorate.
Next up is clay! This is such a fantastic material to work with and is so kid friendly. While paper required some parental prep work clay does not which means your kid can be involved every step of the way. With clay your two main options are to buy or DIY.
- BUY air dry clay. I've used Das air dry clay that I picked up from Michaels in white but I know it is available in terracotta color as well. Some version of air dry clay should be available at most arts and crafts supply store. The biggest mistake I made the first time I used air dry clay was not kneading it for long enough or adding enough water. It does take quite a bit of time to work it into a smooth consistency. But the good part is that this is basically play do so its very kid friendly. They can be entertained helping with a little piece while you use your grown up muscles to knead the bulk of the clay.
- DIY salt dough. This is sooo easy and really popular around the holidays for making handmade ornaments. It's literally salt, water, and flour! There are so many variations of this available on Pinterest. I've even seen one with cinnamon so your ornaments smell amazing! This one is so great because it's ingredients you most likely have in your kitchen right now and if you're not a big crafter you don't have to invest in a pack of clay that you may not use again.
To make the actual frame out of clay is super simple. You can just look for items in your home or kitchen as cutter like bowls or cups. Cookie cutters are excellent especially if you have the same shape in a variety of sizes to cut out your center hole for the photo to go in. Make sure to poke a hole in the clay before drying for hanging the frame from string or if you want to add holes to then string embellishments like bells or tassels from.
Let me know in the comments if you've tried any of these crafts. If you have a burning craft question you'd like me to answer in this series please send it in using the contact form in the main menu.
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