Crafts for the Uncrafty

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Paint The Rainbow…With Q-tips Cotton Swabs

simple craft using q tips and paint for toddlers and kids

Here is my attitude towards crafting: I am thrilled to do it, but only if it’s easy. Massively involved, multi-step crafts involving expensive and/or specialized supplies are just not my jam. My kids have just started to get really into art (although my 1 1/2 –year-old is mostly interested in applying things like paint and glitter to herself), so I’ve been trying to come up with fun (and easy) little projects for us to do in the afternoons, during that terrible, horrible interlude between 4PM and dinnertime when things can go real bad, real quick.

The key to navigating the Witching Hour (which is actually two hours): keep those tiny hands busy, and away from things like full boxes of cereal, dog food, permanent markers in shades that look really pretty when applied to white walls, and your favorite jacket.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

The Great Pirate Party

what to wear for a pirate party

Alright, so I went into this birthday a little nervous. Because talk about a high bar; Goldie's party in August was silly-fancy. (Seriously: as much as I loved it, it was obbbbbviously a bit much for a one-year-old, and I felt the need to explain to our guests - many of whom haven't known me for long enough to be aware that my children's parties have historically included pathetically lopsided cakes rather than expertly crafted mini-bundts - that I was responsible for exactly none of it). Despite my awareness that what kids need to be happy is the permission to eat ice cream and run around like lunatics (and really not a whole lot else), I wanted to make sure that Indy's fourth birthday (!! cannot stand it) felt special, too...while still being manageable to plan and set up, because we just wrapped up a whole lot of travel and are more than a little busy at the moment.

We came up with the pirate theme (which I later adjusted slightly into a Goonies theme just because everybody loves that movie, Indy included - even if he doesn't know it yet) largely based on the fact that Indy bought a pirate sword at the Renaissance Faire we went to a few weeks ago. Slightly random or no, it ended up being a really cool theme, and the party was easy to organize (whew), relatively inexpensive (win), and fun for both kids and their parents (double win).

The Food: Oh, Trader Joe's, I love you so much. I bought literally everything (mac and cheese balls, a selection of pizzas, lemon squares, brownie bites, and pumpkin cookies) from the store and just heated up whatever needed heating half an hour before our guests arrived. For the cake, Indy decided that he wanted a Ladybug cake (go figure). Fine by me; Baskin Robbins does ladybugs very nicely.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Fourth Of July Star Jars

crafting for kids

Well, these are cute.

Since Indy is still a little too young to stay up for actual fireworks, I was trying to think of fun ways to include him in the whole Fourth of July thing, and these star jars (which are pretty and festive for non-kid-inclusive celebrations, as well) do the trick. You can put real votive candles inside, or you can use those flameless LED ones if you want to let kids handle them (or if you just want to be extra-safe, know...always a good idea).

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Make Your Own Tent (With Tassels!)


You will note, please, that I said "we" and not "I." That is because I had literally nothing to do with like 99% of this project, because I am not talented like that. I do, however, have a friend, Erin, who is, and who responded to our son's love of cave/fort things with "Well, let's make him one!"

And so we (and again, by "we" I mean "Erin and her husband, who just happens to be a master woodworker") did. And then we covered it with polka-dot flannel and added rainbow tassels, and the whole thing is just flat-out RIDICULOUSLY COOL.

Crafts for the Uncrafty

Dipped Thrift-Store Paintings

You know what no one buys at thrift stores?

The artwork. Seriously, no one: in every thrift store that I've ever been to, the corners are piled with stacks of forlorn-looking faded prints of, like, fruit. Maybe some dancing kids, or a vase of flowers. And because nobody buys them, ever, they're usually in the realm of a buck or two each.

I generally take a peek at the stacks of paintings and posters to see if any of them happen to have really good frames that I can repurpose…but then I saw the below photo on Pinterest and was all: OOOH.

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