How to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet for the Chinese New Year (and announcing the Solar System winners)

If you’re at all familiar with the festivities surrounding the Chinese New Year, you’ve probably noted the celebrations often include a colorful, dancing dragon. The dragon symbolizes power and strength, and chases away evil spirits; it also brings good luck to those who are worthy. The Chinese New Year begins on January 31 this year, and to celebrate, Kathleen George is sharing a tutorial to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet. Make your own Chinese Dragon Puppet and welcome good fortune in the coming year!

Follow the tutorial to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet for the Chinese New Year (or really, any time). CraftsnCoffee.com

This is a long tutorial, and I almost spread it out over two days. But I wasn’t sure if that would help or hinder as you followed along. While this Chinese Dragon Puppet isn’t an everyday children’s project (and it requires a lot of adult supervision), it’s pretty special and well worth the time. It’s a wonderful way for teachers and other caregivers to bring to life the many amazing cultures of our world.

Fun project to celebrate the Chinese New Year. The Chinese Dragon Puppet is made with girl's or ladie's tights. CraftsnCoffee.com

Chinese Dragon Puppet by Kathleen George.

To make a Chinese Dragon Puppet, you will need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • One 4” egg
    • Balls: One each 1” & 1-½”; and 8 – 12, 2-1/2” balls
  • Wood dowels, two 12” x 3/16”
  • Girl’s or women’s tights in red
  • Acrylic craft paint in red and pink
  • Wiggle eyes, ¾” (Kathleen used green wiggle eyes)
  • Felt: Red, bright green and pink
  • Foamie sheet in white
  • Chenille stems in red and green
  • Pompom trim
  • Pompoms, small
  • Red yarn, thin
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife or plastic knife; bar of soap or old candle (to wax the knife blade); paintbrush with stiff bristles; pencil with sharp point; craft pins; cardboard, 6” wide, or a paperback book

*NOTE: The serrated knife is for adult use only. Children should use a plastic knife to cut STYROFOAM Brand Foam, and should be closely supervised while using it. Children should also be closely supervised while handling a glue gun.

To make a Chinese Dragon Puppet:

Build the dragon’s head

(Follow Kathleen’s helpful diagram for Steps 1 – 3.)

1. Draw a vertical line around the 4” egg (from the narrow end to the wide end), dividing it in half. Draw a second line around the egg horizontally, 2 ½” from the narrow end.

2. Using the serrated knife or a plastic knife, make a cut along the vertical line, starting at the narrow end of the egg and stopping at the horizontal line. Make a second cut along the horizontal line, cutting from the bottom of the egg to the first cut you made. This piece is the lower jaw of the dragon head.

3. Trim away some of the interior edge of the jaw so that when the jaw is glued back in place, the mouth will remain open.

4. Glue the jaw back on to the head.

Such great detail on this Chinese Dragon Puppet! Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

By trimming away the jaw, the mouth will remain open when it’s reassembled (and show off those pearly whites!)

5. Cut the 1-½” ball in half. Glue the half balls onto the head for eyes.

6. Pinch the 1” ball between your fingers to slightly flatten the bottom and sides. Glue the ball onto the tip of the dragon’s nose, curved side up.

7. Insert a pencil into the center of the back of the dragon’s head and rotate to make a 3/4” deep hole. This is where the body will be attached.

8. Insert and glue one of the wooden dowels into the bottom of the dragon’s head.

Decorate the dragon’s head

9. Paint the dragon’s head and both wood dowels red. Paint the dragon’s mouth (and eyes, if desired) pink.

10. When the paint is dry, decorate the head using felt (eyebrows, tongue, etc.), chenille stems (antennae) and foamie sheet (teeth). You can use Kathleen’s Dragon horn & scale pattern for the horns and scales, or create your own design. (Note: To make long strips of scales using Kathleen’s patterns, repeat the pattern below without the point at the end.)

Love the details on this Chinese Dragon Puppet! CraftsnCoffee.com.

Another view of those pearly whites! Use the chenille stems for antenna, and felt for many of the other facial features.

11. Refer to the photo for placement, and glue on the felt pieces. If needed, use craft pins to hold pieces in place while glue dries.

12. Glue on wiggle eyes.

13. Wrap thin, red yarn around a piece of 6” wide cardboard (or a paperback book) four times. Cut the yarn along the side where you began and ended the wrapping. Tie the yarn together in the middle with a short piece of yarn. Trim the ends of the tie yarn close to the knot. Make two more bundles in the same way.

14. Poke a small hole under the chin of the dragon using the point of the sharp pencil. Place a dot of glue into the hole. Push the knot of one of the yarn bundles into the hole with the pencil to attach the yarn to the dragon. Repeat with the other two bundles of yarn.

15. Trim the yarn so that the bottom edge is even.

Prepare dragon’s body

Clever! Chinese Dragon Puppet made with women's (or girl's) tights. CraftsnCoffee.com  #ChineseNewYear

You’ll build the body from girl’s or women’s tights and balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam.

16. Cut off the leg of a pair of stretchy red tights at the crotch. Note: If using small size children’s tights you may need both legs to make it long enough. For smaller tights, cut off both legs, and cut the toe from one of the legs. Turn the leg without toes inside out. Slip it over the other leg and bring cut edges together. Sew the two legs together using a ¼” seam around the opening. Pull the top leg right side out again and proceed with a longer dragon body.

17. Insert a 2-½” ball down into the toe of the tights. Hint: it’s easiest to do this by holding the ball in the palm of your hand and pulling the tights over your hand as you would a sock. Add 7-11 more 2-½” balls to lengthen the body. Leave a generous amount of space between the balls so that the puppet body can move easily.

18. Wrap a small piece of chenille stems around the tights at both ends of the body.

19. Glue the toe end into the hole at the back of the dragon’s head. Trim the other end to the shape of a tail.

20. Decorate the body of the dragon with felt and pom poms. Use the photo for inspiration.

21. Insert a second dowel into the bottom of the dragon’s body. Make a tiny snip in the tights for the dowel and push the dowel directly into the ball of STYROFOAM Brand Foam.

22. Make your puppet twist and turn and curl up and down by moving the dowels in different directions at the same time.

Follow the tutorial to make a Chinese Dragon Puppet for the Chinese New Year (or really, any time). CraftsnCoffee.com

If you’d like to build a puppet theater for your Chinese Dragon Puppet, be sure to check out the Medieval Puppet Theater. You’ll find links to a few more puppet tutorials, too.

This is so clever, and you make it with sheets of Styrofoam Brand Foam. CraftsnCoffee.com

DIY your own Medieval Puppet Theater for your Chinese Dragon Puppet.

And now, I have two winners to announce for our Solar System giveaway – Asweetberry1 and Barbara Macaskill have each won a Solar System Kit. Please contact me so I can arrange for the shipping.

Thanks so much for following along today. Do you celebrate the Chinese New Year? If so, how do you celebrate it?

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts, Recycle Crafts | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Step-by-step, you can make this Pastel Paper Clay Snowman

It’s no surprise that artist and designer Rebekah Meier can create this Pastel Paper Clay Snowman. I mean, she has mad, crazy skills, right? But I assure you, you can make this Paper Clay Snowman, too. Rebekah shares easy-to-follow, step-by-step instructions that walk you through the process. Take it step-by-step and you can make your own Paper Clay Snowman this weekend. (Don’t miss Rebekah’s Vintage, Felted Snowman, too.)

There's a step-by-step tutorial for this snowman on CraftsnCoffee.com. You can do it!

To make a Pastel, Paper Clay Snowman, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • 4” egg
    • 1 ½” ball
    • Two, 4” discs
  • Paper clay, 1 block (Rebekah used Creative Paperclay®)
  • Acrylic craft paint: Warm white, black and country red
  • Powdered blush
  • Scrapbook paper, 12” x 12”
  • Crepe paper roll in pink
  • Silver beads, four 8mm
  • Silver chenille stem
  • Silver metallic ribbon, 1/8”
  • Small, glittered snowflake
  • Crystal glitter
  • Clear sealer (Rebekah used Krylon® Acrylic Crystal Clear)
  • Glitter glue
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; decorative edge scissors; paintbrush; round toothpicks; acrylic roller; fine sandpaper; paper towels; button thread & needle

To make a Pastel, Paper Clay Snowman:

1. Twist together the 1-1/2” ball and narrow end of the egg to create a snug fit. Insert a toothpick between the two pieces and glue together.

This is the sweetest snowman! Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Once the snowman is covered in a thin layer of paper clay, you’ll form the eyes and nose, and add the arms.

2. Cover the body with clay:

  • Roll the paper clay into a thin sheet with the acrylic roller. Completely cover the snowman body in clay.
  • Using your fingers, create two small indentations at each eye area.
  • Roll a small, pea size ball for the nose, and press onto the face.
  • Roll two, 3” logs for the arms. Press and blend the arms in place.
  • Wet fingers and smooth out all seams so the body is smooth and seamless.
  • Let dry completely.

3. Sand surface with fine sandpaper. Wipe away dust with damp paper towel.

4. Paint snowman warm white. Lightly blush each cheek. Dip end of paintbrush handle in black paint and add black dots for eyes and mouth. Paint nose red.

Close up detail of Pastel Paper Clay Snowman. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Dip the end of the paintbrush handle in the paint to add the black dots.

5. Glue together the two, 4” discs for the base. Wrap and glue a paper strip around the outside edge. Trace around the disc on paper and cut out the circle with decorative edge scissors. Glue decorative circle to the bottom of the base.

6. Fold in half a 36” length of pink crepe paper. Hand stitch along the edge and gently pull the thread to gather. Place ruffle around the neck, and gather to fit. Knot thread. Tie silver metallic ribbon around the neck of the snowman.

7. Cut a ¼” strip from pink crepe paper and glue to the front of snowman. Glue on silver beads.

8. Make the hat:

  • Roll into a cylinder a 12” x 1” strip of scrapbook paper and secure with glue.
  • Brim: Trace a circle slightly larger than a quarter onto paper. Cut out circle with decorative edge scissors.
  • Top: Trace around top of hat, and cut out circle. Glue to top of hat.
  • Glue brim to hat.
  • Glue hat onto the snowman’s head.

9. Glue tinsel trim around the base of the snowman.

10. Glue snowflake to the front of the base.

11. Spray entire snowman with a sealer and while still wet, sprinkle with glitter.

12. Apply glitter glue to each eyebrow and sprinkle with glitter.

So sweet! Designed by Rebekah Meier and the tutorial is on CraftsnCoffee.com

Now, I’m going to brag about Rebekah Meier for a minute, because I know she won’t. Rebekah’s known for her mixed media collage and fiber arts, and is a published author and nationally recognized teacher, too. At the CHA Show last week, Rebekah introduced her new line of gorgeous mandala stencils. Congratulations, Rebekah! Please go visit Rebekah and be inspired!

It’s Friday (hooray!) and I can’t wait to wrap up my work day and try out few new Valentine’s Day crafts. If they work out, I’ll share them with you soon. What are you making this weekend?

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Mixed Media, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

How to make Sparkling, Vintage Snowmen felted with natural fiberfill

I love these sweet, Felted Snowmen by Rebekah Meier. For one, Rebekah’s snowmen are always adorable. And two, she felted these with a natural fiberfill instead of wool roving. (If you’ve always wanted to try needle felting but you’re a little intimidated, I think this is a great way to experiment.) Three, you can dress up these sweeties however you like – jingle bells, buttons, beads, ribbons, what have you. And the final reason I love these sparkling Vintage Snowmen is that they’re just irresistible.

Such sweet snowmen! Felted with bamboo fiberfill instead of wool roving -- great idea for felting novices. CraftsnCoffee.com.

To make a Vintage, Felted Snowman, you’ll need:

(Materials are for one snowman)

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: One each 1-1/2” and 2” OR 2-1/2” balls (In the photo above, the middle snowman uses a 2-1/2″ ball, and the other two snowmen use a 2″ ball. It’s up to you and your glassware which one you use.)
  • Bamboo fiberfill (Rebekah used Fairfield Bamboo Fiber)
  • Glitter in crystal and silver
  • Round toothpicks
  • Acrylic craft paint in orange
  • Peppercorns (eyes and mouth)
  • Embellishments: 1” jingle bell, buttons, vintage jewelry, lace scraps, white ball head pins, silver beads, small plastic snowflake, Christmas greenery
  • Glassware: Candle votive, candleholder, or a small vase (Rebekah used light pink glassware — isn’t it pretty?)
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; needle felting needle; small paintbrush; hairspray; newspaper or box
Felting for beginners: Rebekah Meier made these cuties with bamboo fiberfill and Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Felted, Vintage Snowmen by Rebekah Meier.

To make a Vintage, Felted Snowman:

Cute ways to embellish a vintage snowman. CraftsnCoffee.com

Look at these sweet faces and fun hats. How would you top your snowman’s head?

1. Make the body of the snowman by inserting a toothpick between the 1-1/2” and 2″ or 2-1/2” balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam and gluing the balls together.

2. Place a small amount of stuffing on the snowman. Felt the stuffing onto the ball, inserting the felting needle through the stuffing and into the ball over and over again until the stuffing is attached to the body. Repeat, till body is covered with stuffing.

3. Glue on peppercorns for the snowman’s eyes and mouth.

4. Paint orange the tip of a toothpick and let dry. Cut off the tip and insert into the face for the nose.

5. Spray the snowman with hairspray. While still wet, hold over newspaper or a spare box, and sprinkle with glitter. Let dry and shake off excess.

6. Add buttons to the front of the snowman. (Rebekah used silver beads, pearl buttons and pearl head pins for her buttons).

7. Make the hat:

  • Jingle bell hat: Glue a jingle bell to a small, plastic snowflake and let dry. Paint with a thin layer of glue. Sprinkle on glitter, shake off excess and let dry. Glue to head.
  • Button hat: Glue together buttons in graduated sizes. Paint with a thin layer of glue. Sprinkle on glitter, shake off excess and let dry. Glue to head.
  • Jewelry hat: Glue piece of jewelry to top of snowman (earring or brooch). Paint with a thin layer of glue, sprinkle on glitter, shake off excess and let dry.

8. Tie vintage lace around the neck for a scarf.

9. Add a sprig of greenery to the hats or around the neck (optional).

10. Display the snowman in a candle votive, on a candleholder, or in a small vase.

Sparkly, vintage, and so sweet! Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com

Sneak peek of Paper Clay Snowman tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com

Sneak peek!

I’ll have one more Snowman for your collection tomorrow, when Rebekah shows us how to make a snowman using paper clay. Don’t miss it!

And, please remember to enter the giveaway for a Solar System Kit.

I hope you’re having a good week. See you tomorrow.

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Craft Tutorial, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Needle Felting, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments

Three’s the charm: Three ways to make a Solar System model (and a giveaway)

Tutorials for making a Solar System model are always popular on Crafts ‘n Coffee. I think it’s a universal school project, and at some point, almost everyone makes a model of the Solar System. I already have instructions for a Solar System Poster, and a “Real” Solar System Model, and today I’m sharing one more option – a Solar System Mobile. If you’re frantically looking to make a Solar System the night before the project’s due (uhm, nobody does that, do they??), I hope three’s the charm and one of these three DIY Solar System models will work for you. Read on for a giveaway, too . . .

One more way to make a model of the Solar System. Always good to have on file! CraftsnCoffee.com.

To make a Solar System Mobile, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Balls: one each 5”, 4”, 3”, 2 ½”, 2”; and two 1 ½”
    • Sheet: ½” x 5” x 5”
  • Acrylic craft paints: yellow, orange, dark-blue, blue-green, cobalt-blue, light-blue, red, black
  • Wood dowel, ¼” x 30”
  • Black string or yarn
  • Teaspoon
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife*; teaspoon; wood skewers; stiff paintbrush; several jars or glasses, including one with a 3″ dia. mouth

*CAUTION: Only adults should use a serrated knife.

To make a Solar System Mobile:

1. Roll one of the 1 ½” balls on your work surface, compressing it to about 1 ¼”.

Close up detail of Saturn in the Solar System Mobile.

You’ll cut out Saturn’s ring from the 1/2″ thick foam sheet.

2. Using a sharp pencil, trace around the 3″-dia. mouth of a jar or glass on the ½” sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Draw a second, 4” circle around the first circle. This will be Saturn’s ring. Use the tip of the serrated knife to cut out the ring (NOTE: Have an adult cut out the ring; do not let a child use the serrated knife). Use the bowl of a teaspoon to smooth around the inside and outside edges of the ring.

3. Follow this handy dandy chart for painting your planets. Before you start, insert a wooden skewer into each foam ball to use as a handle while painting. After the balls are painted, place the wooden skewer into a jar or glass while the paint dries.

4. Paint the wood dowel black.

5. Cut the black yarn or string for hanging the planets. Each length should be 2-3” longer than the last, so that the planets hang in a diagonal line from the sun to Neptune. Tie the strings onto the dowel, making sure each string hangs several inches longer than the one before. Secure each string with a dot of white craft glue.

6. Tie a knot at the end of each string.

7. When the planets are dry, remove the skewers, arrange in the proper order going away from the sun (refer to the handy dandy chart). Glue the knots into the skewer hole on each planet. Test hang the mobile to be sure the planets will hang without bumping into each other. Let glue dry thoroughly.

How to make a Solar System Mobile. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Solar System Mobile by Kathleen George.

8. Label each planet. Kathleen printed out the names of each planet, and then glued the tags at a slight angle onto the dowel.

9. Tie a long string to either end of the dowel. Find the place on the string where the dowel hands straight and hang the mobile from that point.

And now you’re done and everyone can go to bed!

To help make this even easier, I’m giving away two Solar System kits! Keep the kit on hand and you can easily wrap up the assignment before bedtime. To win a Solar System kit, tell me about the last project you made with STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Leave the details below by next Monday, January 20, and I’ll announce the winners on Tuesday, January 21.

Solar system kit giveaway

I’m giving away two Solar System kits.

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Giveaways, Kid's Crafts | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

How to make Olaf the Snowman from the movie Frozen

Hollywood comes to Crafts ‘n Coffee today. Have you seen the movie Frozen? Even if you haven’t, you’ve probably seen the goofy and loveable snowman, Olaf. As I watched the movie, you know I was thinking “we could make him out of STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam”. I also knew who could make the perfect Olaf – Kathleen George. Perhaps you remember her Minions and Monster Mike? She’s amazing! So, thank you, Kathleen, for sharing with us a tutorial to make our very own Olaf the Snowman from Frozen.

He looks just like Olaf from the movie Frozen, and he's made from Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

To make Olaf the Snowman from Frozen, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam:
    • Balls: One each 4” & 3”; three 1”; and two 1-1/2”
    • Eggs: One each 4” & 2-1/2” eggs
    • Disc: One 6” x 1”
  • Toothpicks
  • Bark wrapped floral wire
  • Brown floral tape
  • Pearl white beads, two 14mm (eyes)
  • Cardstock, small scrap of black
  • Acrylic craft paint in blue & black
  • Orange clay (this could be air-dry clay, or oven-baked clay)
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Optional: Slick fabric paint in black
  • Tools needed: Scissors; serrated knife; Xacto® knife; teaspoon with a pointed tip; paintbrushes: a small, stiff brush, and tiny, soft brush

This is the loveable snowman Olaf from the movie Frozen, all made out of Styrofoam brand foam. Craftsncoffee.com

Kathleen George designed Olaf, based on the movie Frozen.


To make Olaf the Snowman from Frozen:

Build the body

1. Using the serrated kitchen knife, cut a small slice from the tops and bottoms of the 4” and 3” balls of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Roll the cut edges on the work surface to smooth and round the edges so your balls look like big marshmallows.

2. Insert two toothpicks between the two balls, and glue them together.

3. Cut a small slice from the narrow end of the 4” egg. Cut a ¾” – 1” slice from the wide end of the 4” egg. Smooth the cut edges by rolling on the work surface, just like in Step 1. The narrow end will be the neck, and the wider end will be the top of the head.

4. Cut a 1-¼” slice from the wide end of the 2-½” egg. This slice is the “cap” for the top of Olaf’s head. Twist together the cap and the wide end of the 4” egg till the two pieces fit together snugly with no gaps. Glue the two pieces together.

What a goofy grin!

Creating his big grin will take some time, but building the rest of the body is pretty straightforward.

Create the face

1. Lightly outline a wide smile on the front of the 4” egg using a sharp pencil.

2. Slice in half a 1” ball to make two cheeks. Using your fingertips, smooth the half balls to conform to the shape of the head, and gently squeeze them into a C shape to sit at the corners of the mouth. Glue the cheeks onto the face.

3. Using a very sharp Xacto knife, cut out the outline of Olaf’s smile. Along the bottom of the mouth, cut on an upward angle. At each corner, slightly extend the mouth into the cheeks.

4. Bit by bit, remove the inside of the mouth using the Xacto knife and a sharp edged teaspoon.

5. Once the mouth is carved out, smooth the inside surface by rubbing with the bowl of the spoon.

6. With the point of the Xacto knife, carefully carve out two holes for the eye. Position the eyes where the cap is attached to the head. If needed, push in the pencil eraser to make the holes deep enough to hold the 14mm beads. Don’t glue the eyes in place yet!

7. Insert a toothpick or two between the head and the body, and glue the head onto the body.

Olaf the snowman from the movie Frozen. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

What a personality!

Finish the body

1. Legs: Cut a small slice from the tops and bottoms of the two, 2-½” balls. Roll the cut edges on your work surface to smooth them out.

2. Glue the legs to the center of the 6” x 1” disk. Position Olaf on the legs so he’s balanced and can stand. Press down firmly on the legs to make a small indentation so you can match them up again. Glue body onto the legs, and hold the snowman in place while glue sets. Optional: Cut a toothpick in half, and insert a half toothpick between each leg and the body.

3. Slice the remaining 1” balls in half. Using your fingertips, gently squish and shape three of the half balls into uneven chunks of “coal” to use for buttons.

4. Cut a front tooth out of the remaining half ball. Set the tooth aside.

Add the details

1. Paint the inside of the mouth blue. Be careful around the front edge, and leave about ¼”- 3/16” of white space.

2. Paint the inside of the eye holes blue.

3. Paint the “coal” buttons black.

4. Shape a carrot nose from the clay. If using oven-bake clay, bake in a toaster oven following the manufacturer’s directions.

I love this little guy from the movie Frozen. Tutorial for Olaf on CraftsnCoffee.com.

Olaf stands ready for a hug!

5. Cut two, 4-½” lengths of bark covered floral wire for the arms. Shape a small length into a tiny V for the branch “fingers”, and tape the V onto the arms using brown floral tape.

6. Push the arms into Olaf’s sides. Use a dot of white craft glue to secure.

7. Cut two small pieces of bark-covered wire for the top of the head. Add a wire branch or two using brown floral tape. Insert into the head, and secure with white glue.

8. When the paint is dry, glue the eyes and tooth pin place.

9. Add a tiny dot of black paint onto the bead eyes. (Optional: Use slick black fabric paint if you want the eyes to have a realistic shine.)

10. Glue the nose in place.

11. Cut out two tiny curved eyebrows from black cardstock. Glue in place with white craft glue.

Did you see the movie Frozen? Did you like it? (Or, did you feel like you were living on the set of Frozen this week?)

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Craft Tutorial, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

How would you design these Vintage Snowmen? And planning for 2014

As I was planning for 2014, I came across these sweet, Vintage Snowmen by Beth Watson. Last year, I featured a Valentine’s Day version of these snowmen, and thought you might like to see the original design, too. I know you’re creative, and you’d put your own spin on these, right? For example, at the moment I’m thinking about decorating a few mason jars with these cuties.

Pretty Vintage Snowmen. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

The original Vintage Snowmen by Beth Watson.

Vintage, mixed media snowmen for Valentine's Day. CraftsnCoffee.com

Here’s the Valentine’s Day version of the Vintage Snowmen.

For the original Vintage Snowmen, Beth skipped the heart motifs. She perched one snowman head on a mini set of drawers, which she covered in pages torn from a dictionary (look closely and you can see she chose a page about “snow”.) Then, Beth added rub-ons with winter sayings to both the drawers and the glass jar. Instead of red pompoms, she filled the containers with silver pompoms to look like snowballs.

This is adorable! Vintage Snowman on CraftsnCoffee.com.

This little guy’s drawers are overflowing with sparkly “snowballs.”

Such sweet details on this Vintage Snowman. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Glittered snowflakes, jingle bells, pompoms, ribbons — the embellishments really make the snowman.

While the basic instructions are the same, you can change these up with the embellishments. Accent with blue or purple or pink. Use mini, knit hats and stocking caps. Fill the jars with candy. Use the supplies that you have on hand. How would you change up these Vintage Snowmen? You can use the Vintage, Valentine’s Day Snowmen tutorial as a starting point.

Guess who's coming to CraftsnCoffee.com!

He’s goofy!

As I’m working on the 2014 blog calendar, let me know if there’s something you want me to include. Lots of Christmas crafts? More home décor? Kids projects? Or?? I’d love to hear about what you’d like to see on Crafts ‘n Coffee this year.

Wait till you see tomorrow’s special guest! Any guesses?

Happy crafting!

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Home Decor, Mixed Media, Recycle Crafts, Valentine's Day Craft, Vintage Crafts, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

A few springtime, floral crafts to help you warm up

Originally, I had planned a Snowman Craft for today but it’s just too cold! I cannot bring myself to write a blog post about snow today. Instead, I’m sharing a little sunshine and springtime with a sweet, flower centerpiece. This Pink Posy Purse can be wrapped in an endless variety of pretty papers, and then topped in your choice of flowers. Designer Diane Flowers chose pink gerbera daisies and a pretty crystal handle. It’s easy enough to make multiples for a ladies’ luncheon, bridal shower, or make just one for a Mother’s Day gift. I’m sharing a link to seven more springtime flower crafts, too.

Cute DIY centerpiece for a luncheon or bridal shower. Mother's Day gift idea, too. Easy enough to make multiples. CraftsnCoffee.com

Pink Posy Purse by Diane Flowers.

To make a Pink Posy Purse, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 8″ x 4″ x 2″ block
  • Decorative paper, 12″ x 12″ sheet
  • Silk gerbera daisies, eight, in color of your choice
  • Beaded garland with leaves, in coordinating color
  • Paper glue
  • Low-temp glue gun
  • Tools needed: Scissors; pencil; ruler; floral shears

To make a Pink Posy Purse:

1. Trace sides and bottom of foam block onto back of decorative paper; cut out. Use paper glue to adhere paper to foam; let dry.

2. Cut a 24″ length from the garland and bend it into a handle shape. Use floral pins to secure handle ends to narrow sides of block near top edge. Dot ends with hot glue for added strength; adjust leaves to cover pins and exposed glue.

3. Trim daisy stems to 2″ long. Glue and insert stems into the top of the foam block.

I wish I could give each and every Crafts ‘n Coffee readers a springtime bouquet, but this will have to do. If you need more thoughts of spring, the photo below links to an earlier round up showcasing seven more easy, springtime centerpiece designs. Enjoy!

DIY easy spring flower arrangements. It's so cold out -- I need to "think spring"! CraftsnCoffee.com

It was -10 here last night, and here’s how our little buddy kept warm. How’s the weather where you are? Are you staying warm today?

Keeping warm when it's subzero outside. Craftsncoffee.com

Here’s one way to keep cozy & warm!

Happy crafting, stay warm, and think spring!

Sharon

Posted in Bridal Showers, Craft Tutorial, Flower Designs, Gift Ideas, Home Decor, Paper Crafts, Spring Crafts | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Recycle plastic shopping bags to make a Snowman Picture

I really debated about sharing another Snowman craft today, as I bet a lot of you have had enough snow already! But I also know that a lot of Crafts ‘n Coffee readers love Snowman crafts (four of the top 10 projects on Crafts ‘n Coffee last year were Snowman crafts). This  Snowman Picture is so cute, he might make even those who are snowbound smile. Another plus – it’s a recycle craft made with plastic shopping bags. It’s a great Snowman craft for the kids, too, especially those with cabin fever.

This cute Snowman Picture is made with plastic shopping bags. Genius! CraftsnCoffee.com

To make a Plastic Bag Snowman Picture, you’ll need:

  • STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 1” x 8″ x 12” sheet*
  • Plastic shopping bags: Approximately 3 white and ½ in a color. (The actual number you’ll use may vary depending on the size and placement of the store logo.)
  • Acrylic craft paint in blue
  • Pompom, one ½” orange
  • Black construction paper, just a scrap
  • Straight pins, extra long with large heads
  • Two twigs (arms)
  • Optional: Snowflake sequins
  • Thick, white craft glue
  • Tools needed: Scissors; 1” stiff paint brush; marker; wood skewers; optional: ¼” hole punch

*Note: You can glue together two smaller 1” foam sheets to make a larger size. Or, cut a larger sheet down to size. The Top Tips show you how.

To make a Plastic Bag Snowman Picture:

1. Paint blue the front and sides of the sheet of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Let the paint dry.

2. Cut white plastic bags into 2” squares. Avoid the printed areas on the bags, and don’t worry if the squares aren’t perfect. You’ll trim away the ragged points at the end. Hint: Smoothing and folding the bag into a 2” strip will allow you to cut more than one square out at a time.

3. Once the paint is thoroughly dry, use a marker to outline a snowman and his scarf on the foam sheet.

4. Cut off the pointed end of the wood skewer and discard. You’ll use the blunt end to attach the plastic squares to the foam background:

  • To start, squeeze a small dot of tacky glue onto the foam where you want to insert a square.
  • Center the plastic square over the dot of glue, and center the blunt end of the skewer over the plastic square.
  • Push the skewer straight down into the STYROFOAM Brand Foam about ½”.
  • Twist the skewer a tiny bit and pull it out leaving the plastic behind.
  • Hint: Work along the outline of the snowman first, and then fill in the inside.

5. Repeat, inserting plastic squares every 1/2” or so. Once you get the hang of it, you can squeeze on several dots of glue at a time to speed up the process. It may look a little strange, but try not to touch or adjust the plastic until the glue is dry.

6. Insert plastic squares along the bottom of the picture, creating snow-covered ground.

This is such a cute snowman, and it's made from plastic shopping bags. Genius! CraftsnCoffee.com.

You’ll use the colored plastic bag to fashion a scarf.

7. Cut 2” squares from the colored plastic bag, and insert them in the same way to make the scarf.

8. When the glue is dry, stroke your hand across the top of the plastic to fluff it out and even out its appearance. Fill in any empty spots. Use scissors to snip off any points of plastic that stick up too far.

9. Punch out two, ¼” circles from the black construction paper; or, cut them out by hand. Glue each circle onto the head of a straight pin, and then insert the pins into the snowman’s face for eyes.

10. Glue on the orange pom pom nose.

11. Carefully insert two small sticks for the arms at the sides of the snowman.

12. Optional: Glue on snowflake sequins.

This snowman picture is so cute! And he's made from recycled plastic bags. Love this idea! CraftsnCoffee.com

Plastic Bag Snowman Picture by Kathleen George.

Isn’t he cute? If you’re crafting with a group of younger kids, check out the Plastic Bag Flower Garden Picture, too. It’s a little easier and will take less time to complete.

A craft idea that teaches kids about repurposing -- the flowers are made from plastic bags! #GreenCrafts

Plastic Bag Flower Garden Picture by Kathleen George.

Thanks for joining me today. How’s your weather? Is it snowman weather where you are? Or are you enjoying warm weather and sunshine?

Happy crafting.

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Craft Tutorial, Kid's Crafts, Recycle Crafts, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

The Top 10 Craft & Home Decor Projects from 2013

Happy New Year! I’m so glad you’re back! Are you ready for another year packed with brand, spanking new craft and home décor ideas? I hope so! But first, I’m going to revisit the top 10 crafts and home décor projects from 2013 on Crafts ‘n Coffee. There are some favorites here, and I wanted to share them one more time. I’d love to know if you have a favorite from last year, too.

Coming in at #1 is How to make a Solar System Model.

How to make a Solar System using balls of Styrofoam brand foam. Perfect for class projects. CraftsnCoffee.com.

How to make a model of the Solar System is tops on Crafts ‘n Coffee.

Another top 10 kids’ craft idea is How to make a Lollipop Tree.

Here's how to make a Lollipop Tree. Kids love these!

Lollipop Topiary from Meet the Dubiens

I’m sure it’s no surprise that four of the adorable Snowman crafts designed by Kathleen George were in the top 10. (Tune in tomorrow when Kathleen shares a brand new Snowman craft!)

Snowman Cloche

Genius! Made with a plastic soda bottle. So cute, and not hard to make. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Snowman Cloche by Kathleen George.

Handful of Snowmen

Super-sweet snowmen made with an old glove. Tutorial on CraftsnCoffee.com.

A Handful of Snowmen by Kathleen George.

Snowman Swag

These little faces are too cute! An easy DIY using a white tube sock and balls of Styrofoam brand foam. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Snowman Swag by Kathleen George.

Sweater Snowman

Another fun sweater craft! This knitting snowman is made with an old sweater. Fun idea. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Sweater Snowman by Kathleen George.

I know we all love to change up our homes when we’re nesting during the winter months, so don’t miss Fast & Fabulous DIY Wall Art Ideas.

Make beautiful wall art from scrapbook paper and squares of STYROFOAM Brand Foam. Easy and cheap. CraftsnCoffee.com.

Vibrant Bistro Wall Art

Here’s another wall art project that ranked in the top 10: DIY Custom Wall Art with Fabric + Foam.

How to make fabric & foam wall art collage.

Fabric Wall Art designed by Tam at Sew Dang Cute Crafts.

If your New Year’s resolution is to purge your wardrobe, consider making our Super Fast T-Shirt Wall Art with a few favorite t’s.

how to make wall art using t-shirts

Purging? Save a few old, favorite T’s to make T-Shirt Wall Art.

Christmas season is over, but you’ll want to file this one away for later this year: Top 10 ornaments kids can make.

Really cute collection of Christmas ornament tutorials for easy crafts the kids can really make. Supplies are cheap & easy to find, too.

Be sure to bookmark this collection for Christmas 2014.

I’m going to squeeze in project #11, too, as a reminder that spring is coming! This round-up of 14 Easter bunny crafts is not to be missed.

A collection of 14, super-cute Easter crafts. CraftsnCoffee.com

Three Baby Bunnies & a Very Large Carrot

Thanks for joining me in the top 10 project review. Do you have a favorite from last year?

Sneak peek of a new Snowman craft featured on Crafts 'n Coffee.

A sneak peek . . .

Don’t miss a new Snowman craft from Kathleen George tomorrow. You know it’s going to be adorable! Who knows, maybe it will be your favorite craft in 2014.

Wishing you a new year filled with peace, love and lots of crafts!

Sharon

Posted in Christmas Crafts, Christmas Ornaments, Easter Crafts, Fabric Craft, Great Decor in a Flash -- Without a Lot of Cash, Home Decor, Kid's Crafts, Recycle Crafts, Wall Art, Wintertime Crafts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Wishing you a magical holiday

Can you believe that 2013 is almost over? I hope your year closes with a very Merry Christmas, and a wonderful New Year. I’ve had a lot of fun this year, and I thank you all for joining in the crafty adventures here at Crafts ‘n Coffee. I appreciate every single reader, and all of your comments, too. How lucky am I to have the chance to talk and share with you every week?

In the spirit of the season, I thought I’d also share a vintage craft from the 1973 book A New Look at Plastic Foam by Virginia Laird. The three Wise Men are made from STYROFOAM Brand Foam and dressed in wrapping paper. Aren’t they lovely?

A vintage Christmas craft from Crafts 'n Coffee.

“We Three Kings” from the 1973 book “A New Look at Plastic Foam” by Virginia Laird.

I hope your holidays are filled with family, friends, and many moments of joy.

I look forward to seeing you again in 2014.

P.S. Yes, our tree is finally up and decorated!

Sharon

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 10 Comments