Rainy Day Crafts Fun for All Ages

Rainy days can be a drag for children and adults alike.

Despite the weather outside though, there is fun to be had inside as well.

Rainy days are the perfect time to break out the arts and crafts that will drive away the rainy day dreariness.

Crafts are perfect for all ages and ensures that nobody is left out.

Crafts for Small Children

Children age two and up can sit at the table with paper and crayons.

While the younger children may not have a long attention span, coloring will help to keep a child entertained when it is not feasible to play outside.

Cut out some shapes on paper and let the children decorate the shapes.

For more fun, break out some glitter markers and some stickers. Foam is also a good option for younger children.

Foam does not tear easily and is very versatile which makes it a good material for young children to craft with.

Crafts for school aged children

Children who are attending school are likely more adept at handling items such as scissors and glue.

Popsicle sticks are a great item to have on hand for rainy days.

Popsicle sticks can be used to build houses, picture frames and many other things.

The possibilities are unlimited and your child’s creativity is the limit.

Paints are also a good idea. Lay out some paint, brushes, paper and some water and paper towels for cleanup and let your kids paint the day away.

If the children are in middle or high school, they are adept at doing more than coloring or painting.

Craft ideas for older children include painting on a canvas, scrapbooking and other paper crafts, as well as building crafts out of wood and other items.

Cross stitching and fabric arts are good deterrents from the weather outside as they are time consuming.

Crafts for adults

There are many different crafts that adults can do.

Jewelry making and scrapbooking are two of the most popular activities.

Sewing, whether by hand or machine, is an activity that can take up a lot of time and therefore drive away the rainy day blues.

Crafting does not have to be and is not age oriented.

There are many different craft types, with different levels of difficulty available for pre-school age children all the way through adulthood.

Keeping craft supplies on hand will make a rainy day easier on everyone.

How to Make Homemade Soap

We all use soap.

In the old days, most people made their own.

Today, we are much more likely to buy it from the store.

There are lots of brands to choose from, and each brand has various formulations and scents.

But making your own soap has some definite advantages.

One of the most significant is the price. We can make soap much cheaper than we can buy it.

Making it ourselves also gives us complete control over the ingredients, so we can create a soap that’s perfect for our skin type in a scent of our choosing.

Making soap is much easier than you might think.

It is, however, important to take certain safety precautions. Here’s a basic recipe:

Basic Ingredients

* 12 cups lye crystals
* 5 cups softened water
* 6 pounds lard

Instructions

  1. Put water in a glass or plastic bowl. Carefully pour lye into water, stirring constantly with a plastic or wooden spoon. This should be done outdoors or in a well-ventilated area, because it produces caustic fumes.
  2. Mixing lye and water produces heat. When the lye is completely dissolved, set the mixture aside to cool.
  3. Place lard in a stainless steel or enamel pan. Melt over low heat.
  4. Allow both the lye solution and the lard to cool to room temperature.
  5. Slowly pour the lye solution into the lard, stirring slowly and constantly with the plastic or wooden spoon.
  6. Continue stirring after all of the lye solution has been added. Drizzle a small amount of the mixture into the pot periodically. When the soap keeps its shape for a moment before sinking into the mixture, you can add scent, color and herbs.
  7. Pour the soap into a mold greased with Crisco. Wrap in a towel, and let set for about 18 hours or until completely cooled. Uncover and let set for 12 more hours.
  8. The soap may now be unmolded and cut into bars. Let the bars cure for 3 to 4 weeks before using.

Customizing Your Soap

There are lots of different ways you can customize your soap. To make the best soap for your skin type, you may want to use different oils.

Some that are commonly used include olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and shea butter.

The correct amount varies depending on which oil you use, so look for recipes online or in books until you get the hang of it.

Essential oils have therapeutic properties and add fragrance.

Oatmeal, cornmeal and other grains can be added as exfoliants and skin-safe colorants may be used to produce the desired color.

These ingredients should be mixed together and added to a cup of the soap mixture, then stirred into the rest of the soap mixture immediately before pouring into the mold.

Making your own soap is easy, and it can be lots of fun.

Coming up with the perfect concoction for your skin is rewarding, and sweetly scented homemade soaps make wonderful gifts for any occasion.

Easy way to make your own cards

Instead of giving out a store-bought card for the next special occasion, try your hand and make your own cards.

Making your own cards does not require a lot of hard work, but rather a bit of creativity and the right materials.

Start with materials

To start creating your cards visit your local arts and crafts store to search for materials.

Most arts and crafts stores have big scrapbooking sections.

This is where you will be able to find the materials to make your own cards.

Let your inspiration guide you as the possibilities are unlimited. You can create various themed cards such as Christmas, birthday, Valentine’s Day cards and much more.

Rubber stamps are widely available and you can buy virtually any color ink to go with the stamps.

There are several stamping methods that you can use when making cards including embossing.

Embossing is the process of creating a raised image on the card and it can give the card an elegant appearance.

There are several die cuts and die cut machines available as well.

Die cuts allow you to punch a shape out with ease.

They come in all different shapes and sizes and can be very useful in achieving a layered look.

Die cuts can be punched out of different color papers to display a colorful card.

Make use of scrapbooks

Scrapbook papers come in all different colors, textures and themes. Patterned paper can be purchased as well as glitter paper and pre-scored card kits.

Card kits come with the note cards already made and ready to decorate.

The kits come in different sizes and often different colors to meet a variety of needs.

During seasonal periods, such as Christmas, card kits come out with note cards, envelopes and many different die cut shapes.

Using stickers

Stickers are available, both regular and 3D and also come in many different themes.

Disney stickers are available as well as licensed characters and many 3D designs.

Adding stickers to your cards can help to foster even more creativity when matching colors and themes.

You can further enhance your handmade cards by adding ribbon or brads. Ribbon comes in a plethora of colors, shapes and textures.

Brads can be used to hold items such as die cuts on the card without the use of an adhesive.

Simply put, making cards is a creative process that only you can foster.

Cards can be created with a variety of items found in your local arts and crafts store. You can play around using different methods to decorate the cards and have fun at the same time!

 

Simple ways to get started with cross stitching

Cross stitching is a fun way to pass the time and relax.

There are several different ways to get started.

Whether you decide to purchase a cross stitching kit or buy the supplies separately, it is easy to get started.

Visit the local store

Start out by making a visit to your local craft store.

Many craft stores carry both the premade kits and the separate supplies.

Premade kits come in handy because they provide the thread, the canvas and the needle as well as step by step instructions.

The premade kits come in a variety of styles and projects. Pictures are available as well as more detailed projects such as pillow cases, bibs, blankets and lots more. Prices for the premade kits are wide in range.

There are several projects that can be started for as low as $5 ranging up to $100 for more detailed projects.

If you choose to buy the supplies separately, it is a good idea to purchase a cross stitch book first.

These books usually contain several patterns and specify the materials needed to complete the patterns.

Among the materials needed are typically thread, needles, canvas and a hoop to keep the canvas stretched. The hoop makes it easy to cross stitch more accurately, but they are not required.

Follow the directions included in the kit or patterns to achieve the desired outcome.

The directions supplied specify the colors used and each has a specific icon that represents the color.

Follow these directions to ensure that your picture matches the pattern. There are several different kinds of stitches such as cross stitch, half-stitch and a back stitch. Each stitch is performed a certain way, so familiarize yourself with each stitch.

Knowing the stitches beforehand will help eliminate any frustration during the actual sewing.

After you have experience with cross stitching it is possible to develop your own pattern.

Do some research and choose a picture to turn into a cross stitch pattern. This is a more complex way of cross stitching so ease and experience count.

After the cross stitch is complete, it is time to frame your work!

Buy a nice frame to display your work on the wall or to give away as a gift. Congratulate yourself on a job well done.

Getting started with cross stitch can be very easy.

There are two different methods to get started, buy a premade kit or buy the supplies separately.

Craft stores usually carry all of the supplies you need to get started, so be sure to visit one and pick the best method for you.

Save money on scrapbooking supplies

How To Save Money On Scrapbook Supplies

Scrapbooking is such a lot fun, that it’s real easy to rack up quite a bill when getting the supplies in.

I know when my daughter and I visited the craft store the other week, she was just mesmerized by all the items for sale in the scrapbook aisle.

She truly just wanted one of everything!

Today, there is so much you can add to a page, stickers, embellishments, ribbons and stamps.

In this article i’ll tell you how to choose the right supplies and save money on scrapbooking.

So, how can you get all of your supplies without breaking the bank?

I have two suggestions.

Scrapbook kits

The first is scrapbook kits.

My daughter and I belong to a monthly scrapbook club.

So, every month we receive an assortment of papers, an assortment of stickers and an assortment of embellishments all in one kit.

We mix and match our kits with each other all of the time.

If we only ever bought these kits, we’d have enough materials to make awesome great pages.

The people who supply the kits  almost always offer a lower price on the kit as opposed to what you would pay if you purchased each item individually.

You’ll find kits available for certain themes, such as weddings, birthdays and summer vacations, and you’ll also find kits available for seasons, summer, winter, autumn and fall. Having two daughters, I’ve also purchased several “girl” kits.

While I don’t have any boys, I have seen baby boy kits, sports kits and car kits and such around.

Clearance sales

My second suggestion is clearance sales.

If you are a scrapbooker, you know that you’ll be scrapbooking in a years’ time.

Why not  buy scrapbook supplies, the same way you buy clothes?

After the season, once summer is over, all of the scrapbook companies make room for their fall inventory by lowering the prices on all remaining summer products.

This is the best time to buy those summer colors and grab loads of bargains before the next season.

The same is true in reverse.

If you want the darker autumn tones of paper, wait until summer is here and then stock up.

Also, look out for products which are no longer being made.

We buy a lot of discontinued products.

They work really well and you can get some high quality materials but at a fraction of the cost.

You can combine the two ideas and buy scrapbook kits on sale, after the season.

Go save yourself some money

It really is possible to enjoy your past time while saving money on the supplies.  The key thing is to look for the bargains so you’re not paying top dollar for your materials whilst still being able to make great looking pages.

Have you got a tip for saving money on your scrapbooking supplies? Share them below!