Category: Summer Crafts

Upcycle Scraps of Cardboard into a Fun Optical Spinner

This cardboard optical spinner is the ideal way to work on a project with your little one! He or she can draw the spirals and you can help with the more difficult tasks of cutting out the cardboard and punching the holes.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time required: 30 minutes
Age range: 8+ (adult will need to help with punching holes and cutting cardboard)

Things you’ll need:
Craft twine
Glue stick
A circular item to trace
A way to punch holes through cardboard


Things to do:
1. Trace and cut out one cardboard circle and two paper circles.
2. Make two holes in the center of both paper circles as shown.
3. Color festive circles on one side of both paper circles.
4. Cover both sides of the cardboard with the glue.
5. Glue the paper circles to the cardboard and punch holes through the cardboard after. I used a hammer and a small spike to create the holes.
6. Cut the twine to 28. -30. and feed through the holes as shown.
7. Tie the twine at both ends.
8. To use, twist both sides of the twine and then pull!

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Kid Friendly Popsicle Stick and Paper Fan Tutorial

As the weather heats up, it’s nice to cool off a little with a cute paper fan. This fan is static and the base is glued in place, but if you don’t mind operating a drill, you can drill a hole in each stick and attach with a brad rather than using hot glue.

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 20 minutes
Age range: 10+

Things you’ll need:
Colorful popsicle sticks
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Scrapbook paper

Things to do:
1. Warm up your hot glue gun. Glue the four sticks together as shown.

2. Lay the sticks on scrapbook paper, placed face down. Draw a fan shape as shown, making sure you’ll be able to glue all four sticks onto this shape.

3. Cut out the shape and trace it again.

4. Glue one side to the popsicle sticks, then glue the other side. Glue around the edges of the paper to enclose the sticks completely.

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DIY Summer Time Cocktail Umbrella Wreath

This whimsical wreath will put a smile on anyone’s face! Assemble this umbrella wreath and hang over a bar area, or delight a child who would love to use it as room decor. However you display this, it will be a great conversation piece!

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 20 minutes
Age range: 10+

Things you’ll need:
Umbrella drink picks
Styrofoam wreath

Things to do:
1. Open your umbrellas by removing the band.

2. Slide the smaller ring up as you raise the umbrella.

3. Place the umbrellas into the wreath at angles.

4. This is what the umbrellas look like when placed properly in the styrofoam.

5. Continue poking the umbrellas into the styrofoam in a pleasing color arrangement.

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Kid Friendly Sea Shell Crab Tutorial

If you’ve just come home from the beach and don’t know what to with the shells your kids have collected, then is is the project for you! Shell crabs can be painted in any color, and you can change their expressions” with the size and placement of their google eyes. If you don’t have spare shells around, you can purchase a package to experiment with.

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 45 minutes
Age range: 10+

Things you’ll need:
6 – pipe cleaners
Google eyes
Acrylic paint
Paint brush
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks

Things to do:
1. Paint the exterior of the shell.

2. Pull out 6 pipe cleaners and cut 5 of them in half.

3. Wrap the 5 around each other to make legs. Warm up your hot glue gun.

4. Once your shell is dry, glue the legs under the shell.

5. Cut your sixth pipe cleaner in half and set one half aside for another shell crab. Cut one of the halves in half again.

6. Attach these to the two front legs, forming claws.

7. Glue the google eyes to the wide, front part of the shell.

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Kid Friendly Popsicle Stick Flag Tutorial

Celebrate all of our patriotic holidays with this craft stick flag, perfect for you and your children or grandchildren to work on together. Magnets on the back allow you to hang this to a metal front door, refrigerator, or even a locker. Show your support for the U.S.!

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 1 hour (includes drying time)
Age range: 8+

Things you’ll need:
Jumbo wooden popsicles
Red acrylic paint
White acrylic paint
Blue acrylic paint
Piece of cardstock
Hot glue gun and hot glue sticks

Things to do:
1. Lay out 6 craft sticks next to each other and cut your card stock slightly smaller than this dimension.

2. Paint 3 of the sticks red, and three white.

3. Allow the craft sticks to dry and paint with a second coat, if desired.

4. Start glueing the sticks to the card stock.

5. Your flag should like this so far!

6. Paint a navy rectangle in the upper left side of your flag. Allow to dry.

7. After drying, paint 50 dots for stars.”

8. Your stars should look similar to this.

9. Glue magnets to the back.

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DIY Cornhole Burlap Bean Bags

Love to play Cornhole? It’s such a fun summer activity, and these burlap bean bags are a bit smaller than regulation size, but will allow the younger kids in the group to compete with the adults! Trim” each set with a different color of embroidery floss to know which bags your child has thrown and which ones are their competitors’ bags. Of course, your child will win, right?

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time required: About an hour
Age range: 10+

Things you’ll need:
Large darning needle with a large eye
2 squares of regular fabric, cut to 4 3/4″ x 4 3/4″
Embroidery thread
Burlap ribbon
Bean bag filler
Regular sewing thread and needle
Fray Check Seam Sealer
Sewing pins
Sewing machine **optional

Things to do:
1. Sew your two fabric squares together, right sides together, using a 1/4″ seam allowance. A 1/4″ seam allowance means that you’ll sew 1/4″ from the edges. Leave an opening along one edge that’s about 3″ wide so that you can fill it with the bean bag filler. You don’t need to use a sewing machine! You can do a simple running stitch by hand (in/out, in/out) while knotting at both ends – just make sure the stitches are close enough together so that you won’t spill the beans out of the bag when it’s complete.

2. Turn the sewn squares right sides out and fill with the filler. Don’t pack it too full, or you won’t be able to stitch it shut in the next steps. Also, it’s a good idea to pour the filler over a bowl or trash can so you don’t drop the beans…especially if you have pets or small children.

3. Fold the raw edges to the inside of the bag, then pin and stitch the opening closed.

4. Set your cotton bean bag aside, and start stitching your burlap squares together. Place one on top of the other. Cut 4-5 18″ lengths of embroidery thread. Knot at one end and thread your needle. Stitch with a whip stitch around three sides of the burlap.

5. Once three sides are sewn, insert your cotton bag into the burlap one, and stitch the final side closed. If desired, apply the Fray Check seam sealer around all the edges to prevent excessive fraying.

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DIY Fireflies in a Jar

Long summer evenings call for all sorts of fun, don’t they? And in our house we try our best to stay outside for as long as possible now that we don’t have to do silly things like wake up early for school! Once upon a time we lived where the fireflies were plentiful on hot summer nights, but now a days we live too far north for lightening bugs. Not a problem, however, now that we have these fun firefly jars! More humane than catching the real thing if you’ve got them and a great substitute if you don’t, these also make pretty centerpieces for evening picnic or subtle lighting along a path or up patio steps. Be sure to place them somewhere in the sun during the day so they can fully “charge”.

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 10 minutes plus dry time and charging time

Things you’ll need:
Glass jars
Glow in the dark paint

Dowel rod or fine paintbrush

Things to do:
1. Wash and dry your jar before you begin.

2. Dip the tip of your skewer or paintbrush lightly into the paint.

3. Starting at the inside bottom of the jar, apply, with a light touch, small dots to the glass.

4. Work your way up, scattering dots of varying sizes around the inside of the jar till you reach the top.

5. Allow the paint to dry and then set in the sun to charge up. Come nightfall, you’ll magically have fireflies in your jar!

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Giant Clothespin Flag

Perfect for a patriotic display or rustic Americana decor, this simple flag themed giant clothespin will look lovely in your home, setting up on a mantle, near a door or as a place to display photos or cards. Use thin paint to create a rustic, worn look or multiple coats for a brighter, modern style.

Difficulty level: Moderate
Time required: 15 minutes plus dry time

Things you’ll need:
Giant clothespin
Craft paint in red, white and blue

Things to do:
1. Paint the area on front of the clothespin below the spring with white paint as a base.

2. Paint the top section of the clothespin blue. Allow both to dry.
3. Using your red paint, paint a long strip covering half of the lower half of the clothespin.

4. Using the end of the paintbrush, dot white paint “stars” in a circle at the center of the blue area.

5. Allow all paint to dry before displaying.

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Potted Faux Rose Fairy Garden

We love fairy gardens around here, and we’re always adding to them to please our little magical friends, making their spaces extra special and oh so fun! This rose garden is our newest addition to the fairy world. Built in a pot saucer, it’s easily movable and lightweight, meaning it can be brought inside or out as the fairies (or the dollies who sometimes use our fairy gardens for playing) take a fancy to a new location. So lovely. And so fun!

Difficulty level: Easy
Time required: 30 minutes

Things you’ll need:
Terra Cotta Saucer
Moss sheet
Potting soil
Rose Arbor
Flower Fence
Plant picks
Flower garland
Craft knife

Things to do:
1. Begin by cutting your moss sheet to fit snugly into your saucer. You can flip your saucer over onto the moss to use it as a guide.

2. Fill the saucer with about 1 inch of soil and press it down to flatten.

3. Cover the soil with the moss, tucking the edges in.

4. Center your Flower covered fence in the saucer and place your rose arbor in the center of the fenced area.
5. Using your craft knife, cut the moss away in strips or arcs where you want more “garden”.
6. Insert plant picks to add foliage.

7. Cut lengths of the garland to fit into the small garden sections and gently bend the ends down, pushing them into the soil to secure them.

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DIY Bikini Baby Onesie

A cute and practical alternative to the baby bikinis that don’t stay put! Your little one will be the envy of the pool in this polka-dot bikini.

Difficulty level: Intermediate
Time required: 45 minutes + drying time

Things you’ll need:
Onesie-one piece baby tee
Scrap paper (to cut the pattern)
Purple acrylic paint orother colors of your choice
Folk Art Textile Medium
Masking tape
Paint brush
Pencil with new eraser or dowel rod (for making polka dots)
1/4″ satin ribbon
Thread (to match ribbon)
Cardboard or heavy paper- I recommend covering with foil or wax paper

Things to do:
1. Wash and dry the garment before painting-don’t use fabric softener!
2. Cover cardboard or heavy paper with foil or wax paper. Place inside the onesie so that the paint doesn’t transfer to the back.
3. Using scrap paper, make the pattern for the bikini top. I eyeballed where I wanted the bottom edge of the bikini top and placed a piece of tape across the garment. Measure the distance across at this point (The 3-6 months size was 8″.) I cut a triangle pattern where each side was 4″ to form the top.

4. Use masking tape to mark off each side of the pattern; trim the tape for center V”.

5. Decide how high or low you want the bikini bottoms and tape straight across.
6. Using the center snap as the guide, mask of the sides of the leg holes.
7. Mix textile medium with paint, using a 2:1 ratio. Paint inside the masked area to form bikini. Let dry 1-2 hours. You may or may not need a second coat!

8. Use the same ratio to mix the polka dot color with the textile medium. Only when the base color is completely dry, dip the pencil eraser or dowel rod in the paint, and place gently on the fabric. Continue until you are happy with the dot pattern.

9. Let dry completely, about 1-2 hours, then peel off the masking tape and remove the cardboard.

10. Cut five 8″ pieces of ribbon, and tie into bows. Trim the ends so they are even.
11. Using a needle and thread, tack 3 bows onto the bikini top, and 2 bows onto the sides of bikini bottom.
12. The garment may seem stiff from the paint, but will soften after laundered. I let mine set for a couple days before washing and drying to be sure the paint was permanent.

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