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crafts

Borax Crystals

Borax Crystals with Pipe Cleaners

A few weeks ago we had our eighth snow day since Jan 1 (8!!).  It started out as a two hour delay but quickly became a day off.  At the time we were still living with my sister and all the kids were getting a little stir crazy.  So I decided we needed to so a quick little easy project with supplies we already had hanging out around the house.

Enter Borax Crystals.

For the last few weeks the kids have developed an elaborate game loosely based on Minecraft and the Greek Gods (i know…).  They have have some element and emotion that they can control.  So when I asked them if they wanted to make crystals, and before I could suggest the cutsy springy type shapes I was thinking of, they jumped on the chance to make Crystal Wands and Daggers for their game.

Borax Crystals assembly

I pulled out some pipe cleaners that I already had on hand (thank you Target Dollar Spot) and put them to work assembling their stuff.  I had to suggest modifications a few times since they were making things that would be too big to fit in the bucket of Borax solution.

Borax Crystals supplies

While they were busy building, I got to work making the solution.  It’s soo easy.  Are you ready?

3 tbsps Borax for every cup of VERY hot water.  Simple right?

Then you just stir to dissolve the powder and pour it into your chosen bucket.  Now is the kind of tricky part.  You have to hang the pipe cleaners so that they are suspended into the solution without touching anything.  We used shish kabab sticks for the beams and had to raid the scrapbook supplies for some fancy paperclips because we couldn’t find any normal ones. The paperclips became the hangers.

Borax Crystals formed

Then you move on to the boring part.  Waiting.  I let them sit about 7 hours before I even checked on them.  I thought for sure it would take over night to get the amount of crystals we wanted, but the 7 hours was all we needed.  I thought it was so cool that it even formed crystals on the surface of the solution where dust had fallen.

Borax Crystals drying

I just fished them out and set them on some paper towels to air dry for a bit.  This may have been the hardest part.  Now that they were out and being all sparkly the kids had a might hard time leaving them alone.

Borax Crystals playing

Once they got hold of them they went nuts.  They even painted their faces to get more into their characters for their game.  You do have to be careful with them because the crystals are pretty fragile but we’ve been lucky enough to escape any major catastrophes so far.

Over all I’d say it was a pretty successful snow day activity.  What are some of your favorite activities for the kids when you’re stuck inside?

Stenciled Tote Bag

I decided to finally try something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time.  Stenciling.  I don’t know why I never did it before.  It really is easy.

Stenciled Tote Bag

I had planned to do freezer paper stenciling, but I knew I would have to use my Silhouette to cut out the text and I wasn’t sure if the cutting mat would be too sticky to release the wax paper once it was cut.  In the end I just went with some scrap vinyl I had on hand.

Supplies

Here is a list of my supplies:

Tote Bag (I just bought a blank from Michaels)
Sun & Clouds Die (from Lifestyle Crafts)
Fabric Paint (or normal acrylic with a fabric medium)
Sponge Brushes
Wax Paper (to put inside bag to keep paint from bleeding through)

Now it’s a pretty easy process.

First I cut out the dies and the text.  I used my Evolution machine to cut out the dies, but used my Silhouette to cut out the text.  You don’t have to worry about reversing the text since you’re using the negative space as a stencil rather than the positive space.

transfer tape

Next, to keep the letter centers (like the circles in the o’s) in place and everything nice and straight I used some masking tape as an alternative to transfer tape since I had none on hand.  It worked pretty well, but was a little more sticky than I would have liked.  I’ve heard that lint roller sheets make a great and inexpensive alternative too.

stencil set

Once you’ve got that all set, just remove the backing and place the stencil on the tote bag.  I used my rub on tool to really make sure that the edges were sealed.  I still ended up having a little bit of bleeding, but not too much.

painted stencil

Now you paint it.  I kind of pounced it on then gently brushed to get rid of any air bubbles.  I’m not sure the brushing part was too necessary, but it made me feel better :)

drying

Then you just wait for it to dry!  It really was such a fun project and I cant wait to try it again!

LSS Coupon Code

Disclosure: I am a member of the fabric team for LifeStyle Crafts/We R Memory Keepers. I receive products of my choosing in exchange for tutorials and projects shared on MissyDear.

Card Party!

So, since we moved here to North Carolina we’ve been living with my sister.  And let me tell you.  She. Is. Fun.  And she does all sorts of fun things everyday (rather than just sit at home which has been my routine for the last little while).

Hi card

The other day she invited me to a Stampin’ Up card party that her friend was hosting.  I’ve always wanted to be better at card making, and Sue is a HUGE paper crafter (really.  you should totally see all she has in her craft room.  it’s pretty spectacular) so I’m hoping to pick a thing or two up from her.

mini cards

Anyway, at this party we made one normal sized card (i think it’s called an A6?) and 4 little gift tag cards.  Then, we got to use the new We R Memory Keepers envelope punch boards that’s available through Stampin’ Up (among other places).  That thing is totally awesome and now I want one so badly.  It’s just a series of punches and score lines.  And you can do pretty much any size envelope you want.  So rad.

punch board

envelope

FYI – I was not compensated in any way by any one for this post.  I just had a super fun time and thought I might share what we did. :)  If you’re interested in any of the stamps or papers we used you’re welcome to contact Jenae Bethers. She’s a great demonstrator and would love to help you out. Her email is thingsthateyelove at stampinup dot net. (also, excuse the lousy iphone pics. thanks!)

Nursery Pillow and a Leather Key Chain

A few weeks ago, when I realized that my sewing machine was going to be in storage for maybe close to a month, I got a little bee in my bonnet.  I made 2 skirts, a dress for Abi, a few pillows and a key chain.  Here are two of the little projects I made.

Lion Nursery pillow 1

I got this pillow panel from Purl Soho while I was in New York.  Isn’t it so darling?  It’s a print on a tea towel by British designer Sarah Young.  She also has 5 other prints (all equally awesome).  This one is Clarence the lion.  He’s very dashing don’t you think?

Lion Nursery pillow 2

After I saw how great this little guy turned out I decided to finally cut into some of the delicious leather I picked up from Mood.  I was so nervous about it.  I didn’t want to waste even a tiny little scrape of it.

Leather keychain 2

I have needed a new key chain for a few months.  I’ve had the same big, hot pink letter M for the past 10ish years and it was starting to get a little rough around the edges.  So I cut out a rectangle about an inch wide and 7ish inches wide, grabbed some fantastic orange chambray ribbon (from Purl Soho – really wish I had bought more) and decided to try out one of the decorative stitches on my machine.

Leather keychain 1

One row of stitching down the center, another to stitch the strip into a loop around the key ring and we’re good as gold.  I’m a fan, are you?

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