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Filtering by Tag: crafting

Succulent Wreath

Andrea Sanchez

While I was pregnant I kept swooning over all the weavings and felt flower wall hangings that were popping up. I really like the idea of making something special for each of my children to decorate their nursery. For D, I made a sheep mobile. But for N I had my heart set on a wreath of succulents. 

For this wreath I used the succulent pattern from Lia Griffith (Part 1 and Part 2) using felt from Benzie Designs (their Succulents palette), the yarn is from Spud and Chloe (Outer in Soapstone)

To cut out the felt pieces, I cut out the paper template and then taped it to the felt with a little piece. 

I chose two large succulents and three smaller ones. I loved making these so probably could have gotten carried away with making them but felt that five was a good number. I used the sharpest scissors I had and hot glue to assemble. 

Once they were assembled I cut a small piece of felt that I used to secure the whole set. I went ahead and cut a larger piece than I needed and just trimmed it later. 

Prior to assembling the flowers I had cute and secured some lengths of yarn to the bottom of the hoop. I really just eyeballed it but they ended up being about 2 feet long. 

I put the hot glue onto the hoop at the place where I wanted my flowers and stuck them on. 

And that was it! So easy! The hardest part beside all the cutting (I did manage to do that over the course of a couple days with my still meager free time) has been to make sure the wreath is balanced. It wants to pull to the left because that's where it is heaviest so I may attach something to the back to make sure it is centered. I really enjoyed piecing the flowers together and may be up for another felt craft soon. Do you guys have any suggestions on good sites for patterns and/or felt resources? Let me know in the comments below.

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Stop Light Pom Pom Sorting

Andrea Sanchez

This week we have guest blogger Nikki Wagner sharing a fun pom pom activity for your kiddos! You can find Nikki in our Winter 2015 collection as the designer of the Sylvan Hat and Mittens, as well as on her blog, or on Ravelry. I've said it before, but she makes the best pom poms.

This week I made pom pom sorting activity for my little man in hopes that I could use up stashed yarn and find a new a fun way for him to pass time. And boy do I love to find a project that uses up my yarn stash! Make this project your own, as these instructions are a guideline to give you the basic idea of what we created.  I like crafts that are easy and fun, and with a toddler that is worth its weight in gold, amiright!? 

In my yarn stash I have some red, green and yellow - voilà - stop light colors!  Also, making 9 pom poms with 3 colors seemed attainable for me, so I went with the stop light theme. You could really do any colors that you have (and nix the stop light theme), this is really just a two-birds-with-one stone kind of way to get rid of some yarn and occupy the kiddo with a fun activity. 

In essence: Two bowls are stapled together at the rims with bottoms outward to make what I’ll refer to as a “bucket”.  One bowl is cut along the top so that little hands can stuff the color-matching pom-pom into the color-matching bucket (aka color sorting). You make three buckets and string them together and there you have it, a stash-busting, pom-pom sorting activity. 

Age Level:

Toddler (Knittin' Little note: Sorting by attribute is an important skill that students are practicing through preschool and into Kindergarten!) 

What we used:

  • Green, red and yellow yarn, approximately 20 g of each, and a little extra for yarn scrap in the color of your choice. 
  • Pom-pom maker (affiliate link)
  • 6 paper bowls
  • Stapler with staples
  • Green, red and yellow markers
  • Poster tack
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors 

Make your buckets: 

  1. First, have your child color on the bottom side of one bowl with a red marker.  If he or she can’t color the entire bottom of a bowl (like mine), no worries, just encourage him/her to color enough to recognize which color should be sorted into that bucket.  
  2. Then check out the artwork on the bottom of the bowl and pick the area where you want to cut an opening. More specifically, measure 2” from the top and make a mark so that you’ll have an idea of where the cut should be made.  Then cut across the top of the bowl to create an opening.  
  3. Choose an unmarked bowl to be the backside of the bucket.  Take the cut/red-colored bowl and match the rim together with the unmarked bowl, then staple the two bowls together with the bottoms facing outward. I used only two staples on each side of the bucket along the rim. 
  4. Punch a hole at the very top of the bucket and punch a matching hole at the very bottom of the bucket. 
  • Repeat steps 1-4 Substituting a yellow and then green marker to make yellow and green buckets. Now you have your three buckets: red, yellow and green.

Pom-poms: 

  • I am in love with my pom-pom maker and for this project I made my 9 pom-poms with a small pom-pom maker; 3 pom poms for each color.  Use approximately 5g of yarn for each pom pom.  If you do not own a pom-pom maker and want to try to make a pom-pom here is a helpful video tutorial by Bernat Yarns: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSFZ42uq6x4

Assembly: 

  • Cut a 11” piece of scrap yarn in your choice of color with which to hang your pom pom stoplight. Then cut that 11” piece of yarn into 3 separate and smaller pieces: 1 piece – 5” long and 2 pieces – 3” long each. 
  • The red bucket is placed on top. With the 5” long piece of scrap yarn, thread the yarn through the top hole of the red bucket.  Secure the ends of the yarn with a tight knot. 
  • Take a 3” piece of yarn and thread it through the bottom hole in the red buck and through the top hole of the yellow bucket, and then secure it with a tight knot. 
  • Take another 3” piece of yarn and thread it through the bottom hole in the yellow bucket and through the top hole of the green bucket, and then secure it with a tight knot.
  • Optional: Place a little piece of poster tack on the back of each bucket to hold the buckets in place along the wall. Not crucial, but a nice touch. 

Hang your creation with the yarn attached to the top of the red bucket, we used a wall tack to secure it to the wall. Get sorting! 

If you make this activity with your littles, be sure to share it with us on Instagram using #knittinlittle or tagging us @knittinlittle.

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Photo Board Book Tutorial

Andrea Sanchez

When we were planning our trip to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival I really wanted D to enjoy himself as well. I always want to make sure he is exposed to new experiences in ways that are fun but, more importantly, meaningful to him.

I read a post quite a while back about taping pictures into old board books and thought that might be a fun idea. He has a huge collection of board books but none were in enough disrepair for me to consider taping over them and to be quite honest, I couldn't imagine how nice that would really look, with illustrations peeking out below (there was an incident with a dog, a diaper, and poop on a board book, but no way was I keeping that one)

What I found was Pint Size Productions, a board book maker and publisher out of New York. While they do make and sell custom board books where you can upload photos and text to their site, I wasn't super excited with the $25/book price tag. However, at $6 a pop, blank board books are right up my alley. Besides, my whole point with the book was to make the trip and memories meaningful, so why not just make it ourselves?

photo board book.png

What you need:

  • Blank board book (ours is the 6"x6" version)
  • Photographs (7 pictures for our 6 paged book and cover)
  • Modge podge ($1 in the Target Dollar Spot!)
  • Paint brushes
  • Stickers: letters, farm animals, etc. (whatever goes with the theme of your book)
  • Markers: Permanent markers work the best, just require a bit of supervision

1: Trim the photos and determine your order

I trimmed all the photos to fit within the width of the book. While I did have them all printed on 4"x6" size, I wanted to make sure none would hang off the sides. 

I also spent a couple minutes letting D decide which order he wanted them in ("What did we see first? What will come next?"). 

2: Glue/seal the photos

Paint an X in Modge Podge across the back and stick it to your cover. Coat the cover liberally making sure to cover clear to the edges. I did the cover page on my own (D is 2 after all). While you could always just glue or tape the photos in, I'd at least Modge Podge the cover to make it last longer. This took me less than a minute and was completely dry within a half hour. 

For the inside pages we simply glued them in using a glue stick. I had considered sealing all the photos but didn't want this project to take an entire week.

3: Jazz it up!

We used the letter stickers I had for the text which we kept very simple. You could also hand write it in or type up your text and print it out. D decorated each page with tape and stickers. 

He's a minimalist.

He's a minimalist.

4: Read!

Your book is ready to be read!

I ripped the  a  as I was putting the title on. Keeping it real here people. 

I ripped the a as I was putting the title on. Keeping it real here people. 

The whole purpose behind this activity was for D to make connections to his experiences in a meaningful way. This helps build vocabulary and develop schema (how we think about and organize our world). Because he was there as each picture was taken, we are able to carry on great conversations about the animals we saw ("Remember when we saw the Lincoln Longwool? Did you touch her fleece? It was so curly!"). 

I'm very happy I found Pint Size Productions! I love making books with my students but for younger kids, something sturdier is in order. I ordered a few books and have some more projects planned to help D create some new additions to his library!

Let me know if you try this project. I'd love to see your finished books! Share them on instagram or twitter with #KnittinLittle.

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