Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Extendable Octopus Card

I really enjoy designing cute animals for cards! This octopus is no exception, with his 8 legs, his tentacle details, his big cartoon eyes and a cute bow tie - he's all ready for my nephew's Birthday! I added some bubbles in the background in pale blue and pearl off-white - I love my range of circle punches!

You may have noticed the legs extend over the edges of the card? Well, it still fits in a normal square envelope! The legs all fold in to fit inside the envelope, and then all open out for display. I love the idea of octopus legs unfolding out the envelope!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Kid's Craft Kit Ideas

Have you ever put together an arts and crafts kit for a child? They make such great presents, and you can use them to push a child's creativity and imagination. I recently assembled a craft kit for my 8 year old niece, and you might be surprised by some of my additions... So many people think pipe cleaners, pom poms and lollipop sticks when encouraging children to create, but the boundaries can be stretched so much further!!

I provided some brief instructions about the art of printing - I am so inspired by Alisa Burke's work! I included some corks and some bubblewrap, as well as a list of things that can be found around the house for printing - toilet rolls, string, lids, even plastic bags! They're things I use in my own creative life.

I printed out some kid's origami instructions I found on the internet, and prepared a few pieces of origami paper too - this is just intended as a taster set, and the paper can always be used in other ways if the recipient isn't interested.

I suppose that paper is the most common and obvious kid's craft supply. But how often do children get to play with metallic paper, or even tracing paper?! I provided several of my own template designs too, to encourage development of designs. The options are endless with stencils and templates!

The majority of this craft kit was assembled from my own stash, the exceptions being the raised sticky pads (to give a child a change from Pritt Stick!), the packet of buttons and the set of sparkly tapes (I may have also bought a set of them for myself - so sparkly!). Every thing else is from my stash - string, some different yarns, design-a-badge, neon straws and a collection of small cardboard boxes for decorating. (Well, I inherited some of these items from other people's stashes too!) Don't limit yourself to yarn though - threads, fabric ribbons, curling ribbons and raffia are other great options. A range of washi tape would be exciting for a child, and what bits have you got left over from craft kits you've completed? (I threw some beads in after these photos were taken too!)

When I was young I loved creating things based around my name and my initial - I was proud to be Helen! So I cut out some capital As (my nieces initial) from mountboard for her to decorate. I also included some pieces of funky foam, and loads of excess cut outs from both my card making and my sister's old card making days! Lots of fun little bits for decorating and inspiring. Don't be afraid to include pieces of wrapping paper with fun designs on, or cut out the designs for them. There are some beautiful images out there.

Finally I gathered all the bits into a box file, separated into mini plastic bags for ease. I created a graphic in Photoshop, "create" spelt out with a free adult colouring page. I wanted the potential for my niece to colour it in herself, and to also decorate the rest of the file if she wants to.

But don't be limited by just my suggestions! Think what materials you enjoy using now, and if they could be suitable for a child. Think about what you enjoyed creating with as a child. Yes, include some obvious stuff, but think outside the box - what could be used for creating something? What do you have in your stash that someone else could get more use from? If you can't provide a child with stamps and punches, can you provide them with pre-stamped images and pre-punched shapes? What about scraps of fabric, pieces of felt, some polyester stuffing or a pom pom maker? I don't think we should limit a child's creativity to "child-like" materials, like I don't think we should limit our "grown-up" creativity to sensible materials.

What would you include in a craft box for a child?
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