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It’s high season for picnics, so I’m dishing up a Plastic Spoon and Fork Wreath today. Honestly, I can’t decide if it’s kitschy, cute, or a little of both. I do know that plastic spoon crafts are “hot” right now, and I’ve seen beautiful light fixtures, framed mirrors, and other projects made with plastic spoons. I want you to tell me what you think about the wreath. I hope you’ll also check out the vintage spoon crafts I’m sharing.
To make a Plastic Spoon and Fork Wreath, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 12” x 2” wreath
- Red gingham fabric, 1/3 yd.
- Plastic spoons & forks, 24 of each
- Faux fruit: lemon slices and blueberries (plastic ants would be fun, too!)
- Red ribbon
- Low-temp glue gun
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Scissors or rotary cutter and mat; ruler; craft pins
To make a Plastic Spoon and Fork Wreath:
1. Cut the fabric into 1” strips. Wrap the strips around the wreath, pinning and gluing the ends of each strip to the back of the wreath. Completely cover the wreath.
2. Glue the spoons and forks around the wreath using low-temp glue. To position the spoons and forks:
- Line up the ends of the forks with the inside edge of the wreath.
- Place the spoons so they extend 1/2″ into the center of the wreath.
- Alternate the spoons and forks as you glue them on.
3. Embellish with faux fruits or other items.
4. Tie together ends of a fabric strip, forming a loop. Pin and glue to the back of the wreath for a hanger. Let glue dry.
5. Optional: Tie a strip of fabric into a bow, and glue to the bottom of the wreath.
I pulled the 1974 book Crafts for Family Fun from my stash of vintage craft books. (Note the $1.89 price tag on this 48-page book.) It’s funny how ideas and trends cycle ‘round, and the theme of this book is transforming trash into “Simply Elegant Junk.” Reminds me of today’s repurposing trend. And, check out the plastic picnic spoon art on page 6!
So, what do you think of plastic spoon crafts? Have you made any? Or, do you say put a fork in it – it’s done!
I wish you and your family a safe and celebratory July 4th.
It’s a big week for entertaining, which makes it the perfect time to start collecting cans to make this Soda Can Christmas Wreath. This cool idea for a Christmas wreath gets kudos for ingenuity and repurposing. Depending on the cans you collect, it doesn’t even have to be a Soda Can Christmas Wreath. You could make it in the colors of your favorite sports team, or how about collecting beer cans for a man cave wreath? Maybe??
To make a Soda Can Christmas Wreath, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 12” wreath
- Soda cans, about 32 snack sized (Kathleen used red & white Dr. Pepper cans)
- Exacto® knife or Utility blade
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Old pair of scissors or knippers; straight edge; optional: gloves
To make a Soda Can Christmas Wreath:
1. Wash and dry the soda cans. Using an Exacto knife, carefully slice off the top and bottom of each can. With old scissors or knippers, cut vertically from the top to the bottom of the can and flatten it. Hint: The cut edges can have little barbs and you might want to wear gloves when cutting the cans.
2. Using the straight edge and the utility knife, score deep lines, 1″ apart, on the cans. Follow these lines to cut the cans into 1″ wide strips.
3. Cut the 1” strips into 3 ½” lengths. You will need about 120 strips to cover the wreath.
4. Hot glue the ends of each 3 ½” x 1” strip together to make a loop.
5. Glue the loops onto the surface of the 12” wreath of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Begin by gluing the loops in a row around the inside edge of the wreath. Alternate the red and white loops and overlap about ¾” as you go. Continue gluing loops on to the wreath in four rows until the entire wreath is covered.
6. Cut two longer, 1” strips for the ribbon tails. Cut the ends at an angle and glue the ribbons onto the center back of the wreath.
7. Cut out a ½” x 2” strip of can. Use a paper punch to punch out a hole at the top of the strip. Glue on to the center back of the wreath for a hanger.
Here’s another Soda Can Wreath, this one decorated with flowers made from old cans.
Pretty ingenious wreaths, aren’t they? Now, I never drink “soda”, because we call it “pop.” My grandma always asked if you wanted a “coke”, regardless of which carbonated beverage was at hand. How about you? What do you call your carbonated drinks? Soda? Pop? Or??
Tinsel Tuesdays will be back again next week!
I’m sharing crafts for kids this week, and today I have the creative, colorful, Capering Critter Hand Puppets. Kids can go to town on these, using their imaginations to decorate their fanciful creations. And then, the creative play continues as they parade their puppets on stage. Pair the Capering Critter Hand Puppets with the Wiggly Worm Marionette for a full ensemble!
To make a Capering Critter Hand Puppet, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- 4” egg
- 1-1/2” ball (green puppet) or 1” ball (red puppet)
- Scrap piece
- Acrylic craft paint in favorite colors
- Foamie sheets and shapes in assorted colors
- Construction paper in assorted colors
- Chenille stem, 12” (one per puppet)
- Embellishments: Buttons, beads, rick rack, sequins, ribbons, glitter, found items, etc.
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Scissors; plastic knife; wood skewer; stiff paintbrush
To make a Capering Critter Hand Puppet:
1. Cut the foam egg in half lengthwise, and cut the ball in half, too. (Carefully supervise the kids as they cut the foam shapes in half with a plastic knife.)
2. The half balls are the eyes; experiment with the placement of the eyes, as you can get very different looks according to the placement. Glue the half balls to the wide end of the half egg.
3. Insert a wooden skewer into the puppet and use it as a handle while you paint the puppet. Paint the puppet. Insert the skewer into the scrap piece of foam to hold it upright while the paint dries.
4. Make the handles:
- Cut the chenille stem into two, 6″ pieces.
- Shape each piece into a U with 1-1/2” sides.
- Spread a small amount of glue on each end and push the ends into the bottom of the egg. Place the handles about 1-1/2” apart. Let the glue dry.
- To work the puppet, you will slip your hand through these handles.
5. Following the photos, decorate your puppet. Or, have fun creating a puppet with its own wild and wooly personality.
Every puppet needs a stage, like this dramatic Medieval Puppet Theater. Because it’s made from STYROFOAM Brand Foam, it’s made without power tools, and it’s light enough to carry from room to room. I share a few more puppets in this post, too.
I am a big puppet fan, from the making to the staging. I remember making puppets and putting on puppet shows as a kid. I even had a paid gig or two at children’s birthday parties. I also remember taking my daughter to her first live show with the traveling troupe from the Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia. My daughter was entranced as glow-in-the-dark, larger-than-life puppets re-enacted favorite Eric Carle story books. How about you? Are there any puppeteers in your home?
Who isn’t fascinated by the antics of an inchworm? This Wiggly Worm Marionette mimics an inchworm, gliding along on easy-to-maneuver marionette strings. This DIY inchworm puppet is a perfect rainy day craft project for kids – the bright colors, fun materials and lots of hands-on action will keep them engaged. Once the Wiggly Worm Marionette is finished, the fun continues as children can play along with the puppet. (And maybe even practice a few math facts . . .)
To make a Wiggly Worm Marionette, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: One 4” ball and eight, 2-1/2” balls; scrap piece
- Acrylic craft paints in assorted colors
- Chenille stems in assorted colors
- Felt scraps
- Pompoms, three, ¾”
- Wiggle eyes, two 1”
- Thick yarn
- Wood dowel, 3/8” x 24”
- Thick, white craft glue
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; plastic knife; ruler; wood skewers; stiff paintbrush; optional: hole punch
To make a Wiggly Worm Marionette:
1. Create the head and neck:
- Cut a small slice* from the 4” and one 2-1/2” balls.
- Twist the cut sides together, forming a snug fit.
- Glue the cut sides together. Let glue dry.
*Carefully supervise the kids as they use the plastic knife.
2. Insert wood skewers into all of the balls. You’ll use the skewers as handles while you paint the balls. Paint the balls in all of your favorite colors. Insert the skewers into a scrap of STYROFOAM Brand Foam to hold the balls upright while the paint dries.
3. Build your Wiggly Worm:
- Cut four chenille stems into four pieces. Fold each piece in half, forming a “U” shape.
- Add a dab of glue on the ends of one chenille stem U, and insert the ends into the back of the neck. Leave a ¼” loop extending from the ball.
- Insert a chenille stem U through this loop. Add glue on the ends, and insert into another ball, joining the head and neck to the body.
- Repeat, adding more balls to the body, till your Wiggly Worm is complete.
4. Decorate the Wiggly Worm:
- Glue wiggle eyes and a pom pom nose to face.
- Cut mouth, eyebrows, tail, and “hair” from felt and glue in place.
- Punch small circles from felt, and glue the polka dots onto the body.
- Place glue onto ends of 6” chenille stems and insert into top of head for antennae. Glue pompoms to the tips of the antennae.
5. Cut one 36” and two, 24” lengths from yarn. Insert and glue the end of a 24” length into the head, and the end of the other 24″ piece into the tail ball. Tie the 36” length around the joint between balls 3 & 4.
6. Form a long loop in the center yarn by folding down 12”, and tying the end around the middle of the yarn. Insert the wood dowel through this loop.
7. Tightly tie the ends of the 24” lengths around the ends of the dowel.
8. To make the Wiggly Worm inch along, pull up and release the center yarn.
Do you remember the Inchworm song? I just read up on it and it turns out that Danny Kaye first sang this song in the movie Hans Christian Anderson.
The version most people might remember is the one sung on The Muppet Show.
A cute, Wiggly Worm Marionette that also makes math fun? Bring it on!
You are going to love these, and so are the crafty kids in your life. Because it’s Tinsel Tuesday, today I have a Christmas craft for the kids – Recycled Robot Christmas Ornaments. You know all of the little trinkets and doo-dads that kids love to save? Those found treasures are the perfect decorations for these Recycled Robot Christmas Ornaments. These are made by one of my all-time favorite designers – Kathleen George, of course. I’m sharing links to a few more robot crafts, too.
To make Recycled Robot Christmas Ornaments, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- 3” cube & 2-1/2” ball (body)
- Two, 1” balls (hands)
- Optional: Two, 1-½” balls (feet)
- Acrylic craft paint in silver
- Flexible drinking straws
- Found objects, such as plastic caps, screws and bolts, watch parts, tacks, sewing notions, and buttons and beads
- Chenille stems in silver and red
- Thick, white craft glue
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; plastic knife; wooden skewer; stiff paintbrush
To make Recycled Robot Christmas Ornaments:
1. Slice in half the 2-1/2” ball of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. The kids can cut the foam with the plastic knife, just watch them closely to be sure they cut safely.
2. Glue a half ball to the top of the 3” cube. This will be the robot’s body.
3. Insert wood skewers into the body and the two, 1” balls. Paint silver the robot body and the 1” balls.
4. If you’re using 1-1/2” balls for the feet, press one side of each ball on a flat surface, creating a flat side. Paint the balls silver.
5. Create the arms and legs from drinking straws:
- Cut a length of plastic straw, with the hinged portion in the middle.
- Thread a chenille stem through the straw and push one end directly into a painted foot or hand. Secure with a drop of craft glue. (Note: If you’re not using foam balls for the feet, you can substitute beads or washers, if desired.)
- Twist the opposite end of the chenille stem into a small loop, and cut off excess chenille stem.
- Cut four, 2″ lengths of chenille stems and form into U shapes.
- Thread through the loop at the end of each arm and leg onto the U, and insert the U into the robot body.
6. Decorate the robot with your found treasures. Most items will adhere with a thick, white craft glue. If some items are hard to attach, use a low-temp glue gun instead.
7. To create the hanging loop, twist together the ends of an 8” length of chenille stem. Insert and glue the ends into the robot’s head.
If you’d like a few more ideas, here’s how to make a Robot Family, including a little Robot Dog.
For even more inspiration, watch designer Candie Cooper in our Rockin’ Robot video. I bet the kids will want to watch, too.
I’ll have a few more, summertime craft ideas for the kids later this week.
It’s been a fun and busy week around here. The highlight was a visit from designer Eileen Hull, who is driving across the country with her vintage camper, teaching classes and inspiring crafters as she goes. How lucky was I to be a stop along Eileen’s “Paper Trail”, and to have my own craft session with Eileen and her craft stash? Today I’m sharing a few highlights from Eileen’s visit, along with this beautiful Coffee Filter Flower Wreath.
Eileen is a talented product designer, and the first designer to create dies to cut mat board. Eileen is a licensed Sizzix designer and has 70+ dies on the market. She also designs embossing folders for adding texture to plain cardstock. Eileen’s newest invention is a brand new way to apply ink – the Color Box® Blends from Clearsnap. The new applicator has ten times the usual amount of ink in an ink pad, and makes it easy to add inked details with no mess! Brilliant!
I’ve known Eileen for years, and I’ve had fun using her dies. One of the first projects I made with Eileen’s dies was my Raven’s Ring Halloween Wreath. I also used the Scoreboard Bird Die to craft a Love Bird wedding cake topper for a faux cake.
The last time I saw Eileen, we were wearing matching, cupcake pajamas! For this visit, Eileen pulled into my driveway with her vintage, 1976 camper, Scotty. Eileen is traveling hundreds of miles this summer on the “Paper Trail”, demonstrating her beautiful craft products along the way at various stores. She is teaching at shops in Connecticut, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island. Lucky for me, the Paper Trail was traveling through Cleveland, too.
As we mapped out our day, visiting a few re-sale stores was at the top of our list. Eileen loves a good trash-to-treasure project. We found several sweet, vintage accessories for Eileen’s camper, and I picked up these vintage fabric yo-yos. You may see these yo-yos again a little later this year . . .
We also moseyed around my little town, and found a few crafty supplies in unexpected places. Check out these beautiful, ombre ribbons.
And these cute tins of paper tape.
We stopped in at The Village Herb Shop. A friend of mine, Lee Ann, is the new proprietor at The Village Herb Shop, and she has quickly worked her creative, retail mojo to make the shop a must-see stop. Lee Ann is also a huge crafter, and happily, she agreed to join us for our evening craft session.
That evening, I pulled out my supplies, and Eileen brought along her dies and Sizzix Big Shot, and we were ready for a little crafty fun. Oh, and there were snacks, of course!
As I started my wreath, I first wrapped it in bright green, burlap ribbon.
Eileen suggested making flowers for the wreath using coffee filters. The Sizzix will cut through 10 – 20 filters at once, and that’s what we did. We mixed and matched the flowers, using the Flower Layers #9, Flower Layers with Heart Petals, and Flower Fringed 3D dies.
Lee Ann began combining the coffee filter flowers with flowers cut from scrapbook papers, and she did a beautiful job. I love the combinations of papers, textures and colors – thank you, Lee Ann.
To finish the wreath, I die-cut a few leaves, and Lee Ann inked the edges with Eileen’s new Color Box inks. This wreath was truly a group effort!
After a late night of crafting, Eileen was up early the next morning, heading out to teach classes a few hours away. And later that day, she would be on her way to Indiana, phew! Eileen is planning another road trip later this year, so follow along on her blog to see if she’s coming to a shop near you. It will be a ton of fun, I promise!
What did you craft this week? Share what you’re working on, too.
If you like modern décor, then take a peek at this contemporary, DIY Sleek & Chic Floor Sculpture. Perhaps you noticed this fashionable accent piece when I featured the Wallpaper Wall Art? What you might not have realized is that this is a DIY sculpture. Believe it or not, the Sleek & Chic Floor Sculpture is made with blocks of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam – kind of like building a tower with children’s blocks.
Kathleen George shares the tutorial for the Sleek & Chic Floor Sculpture on StyrofoamCrafts.com. The step-by-step instructions and a cutting diagram walk you through it. Kathleen finished the sculpture with black acrylic craft paint, Iron Graphite Texture Fierro Medium by DecoArt, and silver cardstock. You can easily switch out the colors and finishes to suit your own color palette.
It’s such a cool piece, and I hope you’ll go take a peek at this sculpture. You never know what other inspiration may come to you! And remember, it’s like building with blocks – almost. (I get questions all of the time about cutting, painting, shaping, etc., STYROFOAM Brand Foam, and if you’re curious, check out the Crafting Tips.)
I can’t wait to tell you about some crafty happenings earlier this week, when Eileen Hull and her vintage camper pulled into my driveway . . .
This week’s weather forecast calls for 90+ temperatures, so I’m happy to think about Christmas crafting. These Stacked Ornament Candleholders are a sparkling addition to Christmas décor, whether you display them on your Christmas mantel, or use them as a DIY Christmas centerpiece. Think about making several sets for Christmas gift giving, too.
To make Stacked Ornament Candleholders, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
- Stacked Ornaments Candleholder: 4”, 3”, 2 ½” balls; 6” disc
- Single Ornament Candleholder: 4” ball; 4” cube*
- Acrylic craft paint: Red, green and metallic gold
- Glitter in red and green
- Ornament caps, four
- Candle cups, two
- Gold braid, ¼” x 24”
- Gold ribbon, 5/8” x 12” (for the single ornament)
- Scrapbook paper, green
- Paper paste
- Low-temp glue gun
- Tools needed: Scissors; stiff paintbrush; chopstick; toothpicks; sharp pencil; craft pins; thin wood skewer for the Stacked Ornament Candleholder
*If you can’t locate a 4” cube, make your own from a 1” sheet. Simply cut out four, 4” squares and glue together to form a 4” cube.
To make a Single Ornament Candleholder:
1. Use the sharp pencil to score 1” circles on the 4” ball. (If you have a 1” circle punch, you can use this as a pattern.)
2. Gently but firmly press the ball onto your work surface, flattening the bottom.
3. Insert a chopstick into the flat area on the ball and use this as a handle while you paint. Paint the polka dots green and the rest of the ornament red. Let dry.
4. Brush thin craft glue onto the polka dots and sprinkle with green glitter. Let the glue dry. Brush craft glue onto the rest of the ornament, except for the flattened bottom, and sprinkle with red glitter. Let dry.
5. Spread paper paste or paper glue onto the sides of the 4” cube of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Wrap a 4” strip of paper around the cube. Spread paste on the top of the cube, and cover with a 4” square of paper. If needed, hold paper in place with craft pins while glue dries.
6. Assemble the candleholder:
- Place glue on the ends of two – three toothpicks, and insert halfway into the middle of the foam cube. If needed, make a small hole in the paper with the tip of the scissors first, and then insert the toothpicks.
- Spread glue on other half of toothpicks, and on the flat side of the ball.
- Press the flat end of the ball onto the toothpicks.
7. Paint the candle cup gold, and let dry. Insert and glue the candle cup into the exact center top of the ball. (If the candle cup isn’t centered, the candleholder may tip over.)
8. Press an ornament cap into the side of the ball.
9. Glue gold ribbon and braid around the cube. Optional: Add a bow to the ornament.
To Make a Stacked Ornaments Candleholder:
1. Score design lines on the foam balls. Add polka dots, like Step 1 above. Or, divide the balls into sections with rubber bands, and score along the rubber bands to create segments.
2. Following Step 2 above, flatten one side of the 4” ball.
3. Paint and glitter the balls, following Steps 3 & 4 above.
4. Spread paper paste around edge of 1” disc, and cover with 1” wide strips of scrapbook paper. Glue a 6” paper circle on top of the disc. If needed, hold paper in place with craft pins till glue dries.
5. Glue ornament caps to each ornament.
6. Following Step 6 above, attach 4” ball to the center of the 6” disc.
7. Firmly insert a wooden skewer into the exact center of the 4” ornament, pushing it through the ball and into the disc. Hold the skewer straight and be sure it’s inserted straight up and down.
8. Thread the 3” ornament onto the skewer till it rests on the 4” ornament. Add glue between the ornaments. Repeat for the 2-1/2” ornament. Snip off any excess skewer.
9. Paint and add the candle cup, following Step 7 above.
10. Glue ¼” braid around the disc.
Where would you display these candleholders?
Stay cool, and happy crafting.
P.S. I can’t wait to tell you about my day today! I’ll give you a behind-the-scenes peek later this week!
Tomorrow is Flag Day and I’m sharing six DIY flag crafts from the past here on Crafts ‘n Coffee. Most of these are easy, and you can make one of these flags in a summer afternoon. So, get out your duct tape and let’s get rolling. (And I’m announcing our mystery winner today, too . . .)
The Duct Tape Flag is a super-fast DIY, and one the kids will want to get in on. You can make quite a few flags from the three rolls of duct tape, so this is a great project for scout troops, summer camps, and other kids’ groups.
I selected fabrics in vintage prints and hues for my Vintage Ruffled Flag. If you prefer, it’s easy enough to change it up with a more vibrant, red, white and blue palette.
If you can wrap a package, you can wrap a rectangle of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam in a striped fabric to make this America-the-Beautiful Flag. Don’t you love the button stars?
Below is a favorite, stash-busting craft, in which you push squares of fabric into your foam base. Kids love it, too, so let them help make your Punch Fabric Flag. (I used this same technique to make my Patriotic Bandana Wreath.)
This “Quick Tuck” Flag Wallhanging is another favorite of mine, from the faux quilted look to the button stars.
For the finale, here’s Johnnie’s amazing Faux Pallet Art Flag. This DIY flag will take some time to make, but crafting it from STYROFOAM Brand Foam sure beats lugging home a heavy, discarded pallet and hauling out the power tools. Johnnie shares an easy-to-follow, step-by-step tutorial over at Saved by Love Creations.
It’s Friday the 13th, but it’s a lucky day for the winner of our mystery giveaway. I had so much fun with this one! First of all, thank you to everyone who participated and posted a comment — there were lots of great questions. You are all the best! Second, we’re big readers at my house, and it’s so exciting to give away this series of crafty mysteries. And third, I love supporting author and craft designer Lois Winston.
The winner of the four mystery novels with Anastasia Pollack is Nancy D., who asked about needle felting on STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam. Please contact me, Nancy D., to arrange for your prize. Lois and I are talking about another giveaway later this year, so if you didn’t win this time, you may have another opportunity . . .
Enjoy the summertime weekend!