I love crafty people, I even consider myself somewhat of a crafty person. I can paint a flower-pot with the best of them, have been to the mat once or twice with a jar of chalk paint, and have spruced up or embellished plenty of boring, drab, or “regular” decorative items around the house. I also love my kiddos, from the very bottom of my heart – a love that only a mother can fathom. Then there is, dear, wonderful, Pinterest; where would we be without you? You have raised the bar in such a way, that unless it is by choice (or lack of creativity/ability to follow directions) we no longer must find ourselves surrounded by the boringly practical, mundane over produced items, out of the box birthday parties, or holiday décor for ANY season or event.
So, what could be better than combining these three wonderful things; crafting, kiddos, and Pinterest? Why, just about anything of course!
Now y’all, I have heard the tales of the perfectly set up, and proportioned craft room. I have seen pictures, and perfect accessories to include in such a room. I have seen photographs of beautifully set up inspirational places to craft, and create until ones heart is content. A place where anything that will stand still long enough is embellished. Granted, I have never seen one of these spaces with my own two eyes, my guess is that the mamas with these serene crafty retreats can smell the chaos on me, and ( likely out of sheer terror of the thought of Baby Bug pulling down each piece of perfectly stored cardstock, and Lil’ Bit wildly throwing around pens, markers, and stickers) would rather just have me remain in the dark about their space. Honestly, I can’t say I blame them. Of course, I have also seen photographs of Big Foot, and The Loch Ness Monster, so there is also the “legend” aspect to consider when it comes to these rooms. Nonetheless, when I think of crafting, and especially crafting with the kiddos I envision one of these rooms with smiling tots sitting on funky stools around a table, carefully cutting, with blunt tip scissors of course. Each darling child has a neat pile of the required crafts supplies, and an even neater pile of scraps.
Yesterday, Lil’ Bit, Bug, and I hosted a crafting playdate for our awesome playgroup. At this particular playdate, there were five moms, with twice that many children between us. Of the ten, seven were making the craft of the day: jet packs (Buzz Lightyear style) made from a cereal box, lots (and by lots, I mean LOTS) of duct tape, washi tape, solo cups, hot glue, and tissue paper. I assume this particular craft idea was born in one of the craft rooms described above, and found in the pages of Pinterest, but this wasn’t my craft idea and the mom who presented the idea got it from a photo she saw posted by someone else. So as you can already tell, we had some awesome super clear step by step directions. To be fair, it would be difficult to mess this one up, so really minimal instruction was needed.
Step 1 : Cover your box in duct tape – for such a simple step, you would think this one is super easy, but kids and tape: you either end up with a pile of tape folded on itself or the darling child runs off with your perfectly measured and cut tape (no, blunt tip scissors will not help you here). In my house, that means one side is whatever color duct tape is supposed to be, and the other side is dog hair.
Step 2: Stuff tissue in a solo cup: easy enough until an early walker grabs your tissue paper and toddles off. When you reclaim the tissue, said toddler wails as if you have just stolen his favorite toy.
Step 3: Hot glue the cups to the bottom of the box: once again simple enough, but hot glue guns with toddlers means be ready at any second to launch into an Olympic style gymnastic routine – back bends, cartwheels, some bizarrre karate kick moves, and a possible round-off to keep the littles away from the searing glue gun tip – WARNING, if you decide to eliminate the hot glue gun risk altogether, and use super glue you should stretch, and be very limber as you will have to move at a breakneck speed to keep fingers from being glued together – and before you ask, no – kid safe glue does not work, and is only effective for gluing paper to paper. Said paper glued to paper will inevitably end up glued to the floor of the mommyvan cause that stuff just never seems to dry until it has been stepped on a few times and sat in the car for a week.
Step 4: With whatever tape is left, pull off a super long strip and double it over sticky side to sticky side, and attach to your box in whatever way possible to make straps – you must do this twice as you need two straps – this is much easier to do in your mind than in reality, as duct tape is really sticky and if you mess up, it is virtually impossible to unstick from itself.
Tip: duct tape has a shiny plastic like coating making hot glue virtually impossible to make it stick to the duct tape you have already stuck to the box. This makes the craft additional fun and challenging. In other words: Good luck suckers!!
Step 5: Turn the craft over to your sweet child to wear, and accept all the credit for putting together, be ready to fix the pieces and parts as they fall off and come apart – also, and this is IMPORTANT – you must NEVER EVER dispose of this craft, as like all crafts your offspring will complete (or half-complete) throughout the preschool and elementary years, this is their favorite. Throwing it out will surely mean you are the “worst mom ever”.
Step 6: Wine, lots and lots of wine.
Happy crafting y’all!!