Thrifty Thursday: Crayon Cuties

August 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Thrifty Thursday | 4 Comments
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Kids love crayons. They like to color on walls, on furniture, on everything! Kids also tend to break crayons, and I’ve noticed that a broken crayon isn’t nearly as appealing to a child as an unbroken one. In my classrooms, I would always end the year with a GIANT bin of broken, paperless crayons that had been ignored by my preschoolers. And like most preschools, we were encouraged to reduce, reuse, and recycle our materials as much as possible to keep our budget in line. So I would chip the broken crayons up, combine them in multi-colored piles, and melt them in mini-muffin tins to create brand-new crayon cuties. The children always loved them! 

BENEFITS OF CHUBBY CRAYONS:

  • Helps to develop fine motor muscles in the hands, which are important for pre-writing
  • Prevents pre-writers from “fisting” crayons, forcing them to use finger grips instead
  • Easy for even the smallest artists to grasp and pull across paper

Making your own Crayon Cuties:

1. Gather up any broken crayons you have around the house.

step 1

2. Peel off crayon papers and break into small pieces.

step 23. Place broken crayons in mini-muffin tins in solid or varied colors.

step 34. Bake in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until wax is completely melted.

step 45. Immediately place in the freezer and allow to cool completely before removing from tins. Enjoy!

step 5

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Thrifty Thursdays: Fab Blog Giveaways!

August 20, 2009 at 9:17 am | Posted in Thrifty Thursday | 2 Comments
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What can be more thrifty than free stuff?

Exactly.

Click the links to these fabulous blogs and you just may win!

 

Haute Tot & Baby Couture: Mel’s Fun Suds soap giveaway

Grey Likes Weddings: Tissue Poms giveaway

Heather Bakes: Healthy Snacks giveaway

K’s Good Eats: Clean Food book giveaway

Lovely Little Handmades: Picture Frame and Charm Pack giveaway

Taffy Talk: Happy Campers Charm Pack giveaway

Beantown Baker: Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes bundle giveaway

Thrifty Thursday: Felt Flower Brooch

August 13, 2009 at 11:20 am | Posted in Thrifty Thursday | Leave a comment
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Felt is one of the most economical fabric choices you can find. I purchase Eco-Fi felt (made from 100% post consumer recycled plastic) at Ben Franklin Crafts for $0.33 regular price, or $0.25 on sale. It’s amazing how many things we’ve created in our home using felt. My favorite thing to make are felt flower brooches and hair clips. I sell them in my Etsy shop, which is still on vacation mode as we move to the Big Island. Today I’ll show you how to make a very easy flower brooch. Minimal supplies and sewing skills are needed!

step 1MATERIALS

 

  • felt, in the color of your choice
  • scissors
  • pin-back
  • needle
  • coordinating thread
  • small piece of cardstock or thick paper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

step 2

 

 

STEP 1: Make pattern for petals on cardstock and cut out. It can be as big or as small as you want, depending on the desired size of the finished brooch. I made mine about the size of a half-dollar. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

 

step 3

 

 

STEP 2: Use the pattern to trace and cut out felt shapes. I made five for my brooch.

 

 

photo-2

 

 

STEP 3: Use a running stitch through the bottom of each petal as shown. I used contrasting thread so you can see the stitching. After running through all four petals, pull tight to gather.

 

 

photo-4

 

 

STEP 4: Add on additional felt shapes, continuing the running stitch as you go. After adding on the last shape, run a stitch through the base of the flower bunch and knot to secure. Secure the pin-back to the underside of the flower using needle and thread or hot glue.

 

 

***I apologize for the poor quality of these photos. My camera is missing! I used my iPhone camera as a substitute.***

Thrifty Thursday: Shrinky Dinks

August 6, 2009 at 8:44 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Thrifty Thursday | Leave a comment
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The definition of “thrifty” is-

1 : thriving by industry and frugality : prosperous

2 : growing vigorously

 3 : given to or marked by economy and good management

synonyms see sparing
shrinkyingredients_large
Who DIDN’T love Shrinky Dinks when they were little? I thought they were the most amazing things ever. I loved to color, cut them out and watch them curl up and shrink in the oven. So fun, but quite pricey, if I remember correctly. Here’s a wonderful, eco-friendly and free way to make them at home, using materials that you are sure to have already laying around.

Supplies:

  • Plastic containers
  • scissors
  • colored pencils or markers
  • coloring book
  • aluminum foil
  • hole punch

Instructions:

  1. Be sure the plastic container is marked with a triangle with a 6 in the middle. Otherwise the plastic is too thin and may burn or cause a fire.
  2. Adults: Cut off a flat piece from the plastic.
  3. Adults: Using a permanent black marker draw a picture. It may be easier to trace a small one from a coloring book. You can write names too for charms.
  4. Kids: Color with colored pencils or markers. 
  5. Kids with adult supervision: Cut the picture out using scissors.
  6. Adults: Use a hole punch to make a hole if you’ll be using it for a charm, a sun catcher or on a mobile.
  7. Adults: Preheat oven to 350-375 degrees F.
  8. Adults: Place the plastic pieces on aluminum foil and carefully place in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute. The plastic will curl but flatten as it’s finished. Cool before handling.

    NOTE: The plastic may shrink as much as 75%. You may want to experiment to get the correct size you are looking for.

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