Sunday, December 28, 2014

Clothes Pin Nativity : Wise Men and Animals

I think my favorite part of my Clothespin Nativity was the 3 Wise Men.  Just made of clothespins and ribbon, then glued together with Aleene's glue and finished with sharpie marker, they turned out to be a stylish group of men.

The easiest thing about this was the fact that I used my old wired ribbon because it made it easier to affix the material in the way that looked like flowing robes. 

The donkey and the sheep body was created the same with 3 clothespins each glued together, the legs were cut off the clothes pin in the center to separate the front and back legs.

The donkey's head was just a clothespin hot glued on a just little tilted to give him an inquisitive look. The sheep's head was just a tiny piece of the bottom of the clothes pin glued in a midst a bunch of cotton balls. These animals are so fun, they just crack me up every time I look at them.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Clothes Pin Nativity

I make my friend's Christmas gifts every year, I usually make everyone a similar item, but my one very Catholic friend always requests a Nativity  every year. I think she is trying to slowly convert me to Catholicism one craft project at a time. This year I decided to step up my game and do a clothes pin nativity. 

JMJ Clothes pins

  • My materials included 
  • Clothes pins (the ones that look like people), 
  • Twine, 
  • Burlap (I had some with gold flecks that I saved from a wedding shower gift. I save everything,)
  • White and tan felt,
  • River birch sticks from outside,
  • Some garden sheers to cut up the sticks and fabric sheers for the fabric.
  • Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue and hot glue
  • Sharpie Marker
I started out by rolling the burlap around the clothes pins and fixing it with tacky glue. If you like having burnt fingertips then by all means use the hot glue because it works faster, but I'd rather be patient and still have feeling in my fingers. 

I cut the felt into rectangular pieces and glued them around the heads and folded and glued it to the bodies, to give the appearance in the picture. Mary's felt rectangle was the length of the clothes pin and Joesph's was 1/3 the length of the clothes pin. I tied the twine around the top of Joesph's head to give the appearance of a keffiyehs. (Now there is your word of the day. Go Google it now.)
Jesus was just a cut piece of the bottom of a clothes pin with the burlap glued to his head, then another piece to swaddle him in. Swaddle him just like you did your own babies, only tinier. 

I started out making Jesus's  manger bed by cutting some thicker birch pieces the same length, hot gluing them into 2 X shapes then taking one piece to hot glue across the bottom V part of the X to hold it all together. The thinner birch pieces were cut and glued length wise as shown in the picture. I misplaced my tacky glue so I just got out the Elmer's and glued on the sticks.

Use the sharpie to pencil in the eyes. I just go with simple shapes. If you screw up the eyes, the entire thing looks creepy. 

Stay tuned for the blog update for the sheep, donkey, barn, and wise men.

Grade: A
Skill Level: Moderate
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level: Moderate
Cost: $ (Cost of Felt, burlap and clothes pins)

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Batman Costume for Elf on Shelf - With Free Printable

On my local Facebook yardsale group, there was a woman selling felt batman costumes for elves at $8 each... and that convinced me people are crazy and will spend money on anything. I decided to give the same costume a try using black and yellow construction paper and tape. This basically free elf costume was totally worth the effort, especially since it amused my kids for an entire day. You can easily make them as well, just print the template below on construction paper, cut that out, tape it to the elf  and viola... Batman. I just saved you $8, you're welcome. 
Grade: A
Skill Level: low
Difficulty Level: low
Frustration Level:low

Cost: basically nothing

Free Printable

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Paper Fairies Mixed Media Art

It was love at first sight when I found Julie Nutting Prima Doll Stamps. I see them all over Pinterest and I found one doll stamp that reminded me of a fairy then away my imagination went.

  Prima Doll Stamps
  Butterfly Stamps
  Clear Acrylic Block (for stamping)
  Acrylic Paints
  Black and Gold Ink Pads
  Black Sharpie Fine Point Pen
  Tiny Scissors
  Inkadinkado Mindscapes Clear Stamps (Butterfly)
    Colored scrapbook Paper

You can buy these cling stamps on Amazon, you need an acrylic block to stick them on so you get an even looking ink stamp. I could not find an acrylic block large enough to hold the doll stamp, but I did find this Fiskers cutting thing at Jo-ann fabrics. I wish I could tell you what it was, but it was the first clear thing I could find that was large enough to stick the cling stamp on.

Its pretty simple to make these paper dolls, but the cutting is tedious. You ink the stamp and press it on several different papers, cut them all out and glue the smaller cut-outs on the larger cut outs. The largest cutout should be on heavy card stock so that the paper glued on top of it will not force it to curl up. There are craft scissors that are used specifically for this, but I used curved and straight cuticle scissors. I find them easier to use, but they give me blisters. 

I used acrylic paint for the skin and the hair. I loaded up my brush with 3 different pink (or green or blue) acrylic paint and swiped the curls to give the hair fun highlights.  Its always good to go over everything with a black sharpie marker, it just makes it pop.

For the wings, I just found this beautiful, intricate stamp by Inkadinkado. After I cut it out, I thought that maybe the wings looked too much like angel wings and not enough like fairy wings. I asked for an expert opinion (my mother) and she told me I should cut them more deeply to resemble insect wings. You can see the difference in the picture. I also cut the wings directly down the middle so that i can position each wing on the back of the fairy where they needed to go. 

One of my favorite parts of mixed media crafts is adding embellishments.  I use nail art stickers from the dollar store because they are small and cheap. 

I will finish blogging about the mushrooms and the canvas in another blog entry as soon as I can get to it!!

Happiness is playing with paper dolls!

Grade: A
Skill Level: Moderate
Difficulty Level: Moderate
Frustration Level:High (I find cutting anything is frustrating)

Cost: $$