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Chicken Socks Book Review
Jul 3rd, 2010 by Craftylocks

chicken-socks_flowerMy darling husband is slightly challenged in the gift purchasing front but this time he got it right!

He went for a trip to Australia to visit family and came back with presents for us all. He didn’t try to get me perfume or clothes that I would not like, he bought me something I would use, a paper crafts for children related book! Just my thing … the Chicken Socks ‘Make your own Paper Flowers’ book. I think that these books are really great as they introduce not just paper crafts, but all sorts of activities, in a way that makes it so easy for the children (and this grown-up) to follow.

chicken-socks_vase The technique it uses is on the rather basic side so it is probably not that fabulous for at home use. You could just follow the Tissue Paper Flowers Tutorial for a similar result. However it is brilliant if you are going to be traveling and want to bring out an activity that has everything already all sorted, nothing to cut, or glue!! It also has some fun add ons like stickers, tags, a doily holder and the watering can vase pictured. It would be a very safe gift for any little girl.
chicken-socks_snap One change I suggest to the instructions is to roll the top of the pipe cleaner into a spiral and not to twist it around itself on the stem as pictured here. I found that when I twisted it around the stem it made it harder to push the petals up the pipe cleaner – not impossible, but I thought it could be frustrating for small fingers.

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Flower Pencil Topper
Jun 1st, 2010 by Craftylocks

This decorative topper for a pencil ticks lots of paper crafts for children requirements!

It is quick and easy and the results are great. And although mess is an important part of arts and crafts with children, sometimes we need something that is no mess, and this craft is one of those. It is also a cheap way of making a useful little gift for someone. We have used paper already printed with a pattern for our flower pencil topper but to make it more personal you could use decorated paper from something like painting with balls or wheels or leaf printing.

I have made a flower pencil topper tutorial which shows all the steps, but in summary the steps are …
1. You need an oblong/rectangle piece of paper.
2. Fold it a few times and cut slits in it from one end almost all the way to the other end. Cut parallel to the fold lines but make sure you do not cut the fold lines.
3. Unfold and then wrap the paper around the pencil and tape in place. Pattern to the inside and cut bits at the top.
4. Bend down the cut bits of paper to open them up like a flower. If you want you can also roll some of the paper strips around a pencil to curl them.

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Flower Pencil Topper Tutorial
May 31st, 2010 by Craftylocks

One of the mess free paper crafts for children! You need a pencil, some paper, sticky tape, and scissors.

pencil-flower1 Start with an oblong piece of paper, the size of half a piece of photocopy paper is about right.
pencil-flower2 Fold the paper in half and then half again and cut slits from one end to about an inch from the other end. Make sure you do not cut through the folds on the sides.
pencil-flower3 Wrap the paper around the top of the pencil, taping the paper firmly to the pencil.
pencil-flower4 Bend the paper strips out and down to create the flower.
pencil-flower5 If you want to create even more shape to your flower, roll some of the strips around a pencil to curl them.

Download the printable version of the worksheet. PDF Worksheet – Flower Pencil Topper.

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Paper Hand Lily Tutorial
May 6th, 2010 by Craftylocks

For this speedy paper craft you need children’s hands to trace around, paper and scissors, tape, and chenille sticks or pipe cleaners to make the stem and stamen.

hand-shape The basis of these lilies are hand shapes. So the first step is to trace around a hand and cut the shape out.
hand-lily1 Roll the hand into a cone shape and tape it near the base. Leave a small hole at the bottom of the cone shape.
hand-lily2 Wrap each finger around a pen …
hand-lily4 … to curl the petals
hand-lily_pipe-cleaners2 Twist the end of a green piece of pipe cleaner around the middle of a short piece of pipe cleaner. Fold that short piece up and curl over at each end.
hand-lily Push the pipe cleaner stalk through the lily to make the stalk and stamen.

To see these in red have a look at some other Hand Shape Lilies.
Download the printable version of the worksheet – PDF Worksheet – Hand Lilies.

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Accordion Pop-up Card
Apr 21st, 2010 by Craftylocks

This uses a couple of paper crafts for children, both much easier to make than they look.

accordian-card1
I have used lots of fun paper crafts in this card. Like all my favorite crafts, this one is easy to make but still has ‘wow’ factor. It is made up of a few elements. The first thing you need a piece of card or heavyweight paper that you make the accordion pleats in. Make the pleats by first folding the card in half, and then folding it back and forth from each side, ending up with the pleats inside the card. The pleats do not need to be very big, but you can make them bigger than I have.

accordian-cardOn my one I added a separate piece of card for the front and back, but you do not need to do this. I had to because I mucked up and used the wrong weight for the inside, it was too light weight to stand as a card, and also my flowers were poking out from the inside – whoops, but it looks great with my wee fix!

accordian-card-sideThen you just need something to attach to the pleats to pop-up when the card is opened. I had lots of little origami flowers that I had made that I needed to use – perfect! I made lots of flowers as they were also really easy and fun – if you want to make some of these check out the Origami Tulip Tutorial and Origami Stalk and Leaf Tutorial.

Something else I have done on this card that is effective and very easy to do, is to layer up a few shapes of decreasing size for putting the message on. It makes a big difference to the writing, it really frames it.

I found the idea for this card in a cool book by Sandi Genovese – Pop-Up Cards. I liked that it covers some basic concepts and shows lots of cool ways of using them. Some cards would be too tricky for kids to attempt on their own though. Templates at the back are supposed to be enlarged on a photocopier – I found them really useful as a guide for what I need to do but did not bother to copy them, that would be a pain.

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Origami Tulip Tutorial
Apr 20th, 2010 by Craftylocks

All you need for this paper craft for children is a piece of square paper! Once you have finished it you will also need an origami stalk and leaf. I just happen to have a tutorial for that handy! Origami Stalk and Leaf Tutorial.

origami-valley1 Fold the paper to make a triangle.
origami-tulip2 Fold the corners up. Set them slightly off to the sides of the center point as shown.
origami-tulip3 Turn the model over.
origami-tulip4 Fold the side points in as shown.
origami-tulip5 Turn it over again and you now have a tulip flower head.
origami_tulip-leaf Glue an origami stalk and leaf onto the tulip.

Download the printable version of the tutorial – PDF Worksheet – Origami Tulip

See how the origami tulip has been used in my Accordion Pop-up Card.

For more info about Origami and some basic folds check out the paper crafts for children ‘What is Origami?’ article.

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