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kids crat weekly PRESENTS

Jam-packed with creative ideas for the home,

Everyday Craft uses household items as the
foundation for fun and achievable kids craft projects.
Dive into these colourful pages and come out
the other side feeling inspired, energised and ready
to get creative with your kids.


Amber Carvan is a mother of two

who lives in Sydney, Australia. She is the
founder and publisher of the hugely
popular craft website Kids Craft Weekly.
ISBN 978-0-9804383-0-7


Craft Life
Crafting from the Kitchen Cupboard


Paper Bag Owls

Patty Pan Flowers
Plastic Bag Bunny
Drip-drop Coffee Filter Bags
Woolly Sheep
Spongy Crab
Sponge Stamping Set
Farm Play Tray
Shiny Rocket
Wooden Spoon Puppets
Junk Mail Jewellery
Bendy Robot
Cardboard Roll Dolls
Match Box Vehicles
My Favourite Play Dough
Twenty Fun Things to do with Play Dough
Homemade Clay
Managing all the Masterpieces

This mini-book is for parents, grandparents,

childcare workers, teachers and anyone else who
wants to explore creativity with the children in their
lives. All of the fabulous projects squeezed into this
little book are fun and achievable and can be made
using everyday objects.


Everyday Craft isnt necessarily about crafting every

day. Its about giving our kids access to creative
materials and encouraging them to find inspiration
in their day-to-day world.
For me, getting into the habit of crafting with the
kids has been amazingly rewarding. Its made me
understand the value of being in the present and
has helped me to notice and appreciate the way
that my children express their personalities through
And of course, crafting is just as beneficial for our
kids! As well as being stimulating, crafting encourages
them to solve problems creatively, develop
confidence and to hone their fine motor skills.
For all of us, crafting injects an enormous dose of
fun and camaraderie into our everyday lives.
It is my absolute joy to share these ideas with you
and your little people I hope that you find yourself
inspired, energised and ready to create.
Happy crafting and Ill see you next time!

Amber Carvan

Set up a creative space

Prepare a useful box

If your living circumstances allow it, consider

setting up a permanent crafting area in a
central part of your home even if its just
the corner of a desk. Use this area to store
age-appropriate art supplies such as
cardboard and oil pastels for toddlers,
watercolour paints and paper for
preschoolers and coloured pencils, marker
pens and a sketchbook for older children.

Keep a cardboard box or plastic crate filled

with crafting supplies so that you can make
anything in this book (and more!) without
having to head out for supplies. Some basics
for your useful box include:

Craft Life

Coloured paper
Coloured cardboard
White glue
Paint and brushes

Tissue paper
Sticky tape
Hole punch
Drinking straws
Match sticks
Patty pans
Cotton wool balls
Toilet paper rolls

Match boxes
Paper bags
Fabric scraps
Yarn scraps
Food colouring
Dish sponges
Empty boxes
and bottles
Rubber bands
Split pins (brads)

Organising a craft session with your kids shouldnt have to be a hassle. In fact, integrating craft
and creative activities into your everyday life will probably make it a lot easier and much more
enjoyable for you and your kids! Here are a few simple things that you can do around the home
to stimulate and encourage creativity.

Make a pasting box

Pasting is such a great free-form craft.
Kids as young as two will love using paste
to stick bits and pieces onto something
or another. Put together your own
pasting box so that you can get right into
it with only a moments notice. Our
pasting box includes dry pasta, match
sticks, buttons, ribbon, wool, cotton balls,
cellophane, aluminium foil, fabric scraps,
coloured paper, packing peanuts and
various other things that I pick up from
the floor on a daily basis. Make sure your
box is large enough to accommodate a
pot of paste for each child and something
to paste on like paper bags, newspaper or
junk mail.

Find a bead box

Establish a cutting station

Make a play dough container

Think creative

Kids as young as two will enjoy threading

large beads onto pipeceaners. Once their fine
motor skills improve they will enjoy more
elaborate beading challenges such as
threading a specific pattern of coloured beads
onto fishing line. Small and inexpensive
beading boxes are quite easy to come by and
they are a great idea to keep in your bag and
pull out when youre faced with a long wait
at the doctors office.

Get into the habit of tearing out pages from

magazines or catalogues and keeping them
together in a container along with some pairs
of child-sized scissors.Whenever the mood
strikes, sit down to a bit of cutting with the
little one its remarkably therapeutic! Keep
your cut out pictures for use in future craft
projects, perhaps even in your pasting box.

In a large plastic container store some

handmade play dough (see page 20), plastic
cookie cutters, plastic cutlery, match sticks,
buttons, bottle tops, patty pans (cupcake cases)
and anything else thats fun to use with play
dough.We keep our container in an easily
accessible cupboard in the kitchen so that the
kids can do some pretend cooking when Im
busy preparing dinner.

And of course, encouraging creativity is not

just about organising art supplies! Creativity
stems from observation, problem-solving,
playfulness and a willingness to test new
ideas. Its about making the commitment to
sit down with your preschooler to construct
a horse from tape and straws. Its about
accepting that mess is a part of the creative
process and its about seeing the beauty and
passion in the ubiquitous purple splodge!

Pantry pictures
You will need
-------------------* White glue
* Dried beans, corn
or lentils
* Paper or cardboard

Stuck at home and stuck

for ideas? If you take a
look through your pantry
while wearing your crafty
eyes you can come up
with masses of fun things
to make and do. Here are
some quick ideas to get
you started.

Crafting from the

Kitchen Cupboard
You will need
-------------------* A baking tray
* Kitchen implements
* Sifter
* Flour

Make a swirl of glue.

Carefully stick some dried

legumes in the glue. Older kids
may like to repeat a specific
pattern younger ones will just
enjoy sticking the beans

rainbow rice
(and pasta)
Dont be tempted to use dangerous chemicals to colour rice or pasta.
You can get great results with this safe and simple technique and best of
all, kids can do the colouring themselves!

Divide some rice and/or pasta

into small containers.

Add drops of food colouring
and stir.

You will need

---------------------* Uncooked rice
and/or pasta
* Food colouring
* Containers
* Sticks, for stirring

Fun with flour

Most kids love to play with flour. This activity is a simple and
easy-to-clean-up way for young kids to have a flour-y experience.

Dry in the sun.

Arrange objects on a
backing tray.

Dust with flour.

Have fun making


Or just enjoy
being messy!

Glue your rainbow rice and

pasta onto paper to create
colourful artwork, or store it
in a dry place for future use.

Use the same technique for colouring

salt it holds the colour beautifully!
Once its dry you can store it in old
spice shakers and use for sprinkling
colour onto gluey surfaces.

Patty Pan Flowers

In Australia, cupcake and muffin cases are known as patty pans.
Patty pans are a great everyday craft item as theyre very
versatile and so appealing to young kids.These patty pan flowers
are one of the most simple and delightful crafts weve tried.

You will need

-------------------* Brown paper bags
* Scissors
* Patty pans
* Markers
* Glue
* Coloured paper

Paper Bag
This is a simple and fun project suitable for toddlers and
preschoolers. Little ones will whip through it quite quickly so its
a good idea to provide supplies for a number of owls.

Cut into some colourful strips of

paper to make lovely ruffles.Then
glue them onto your paper bag.

Glue on some patty pans for eyes
and draw on pupils and a beak.
Then twist the top corners of the
bag to give Mr Owl some ears.

Paper bags make an

inexpensive and novel canvas
for young kids theyre fun
to draw on, paint on and
stick things to. Choose some
items from around the house
and glue or stick them on
paper bags to make some
funny face puppets.

You will need

---------------------* Cotton wool balls
* Patty pans
* Pipecleaners
* Scissors
* Glue
* Sticky tape
* Polystyrene
(or a potato)

Using child-friendly scissors, chop

into the edges of the patty pan.

Tape a pipecleaner to the back.

For another simple flower craft, scrunch

crepe paper into small balls, dip them in
white glue and press them onto a stick.
Before long your stick will be transformed
into a colourful sprig of spring blossoms!

Glue a cotton ball to the centre.

Stab the pipecleaner stems into a piece of
polystyrene to make a flower bed. If you dont
have any, a potato will work just as effectively!

Plastic Bag Bunny

Encourage your little one to give their bunny a name and personality you may be
surprised at just how much charisma a plastic bag can have!

You will need

----------------------------* A plastic bag with handles
* Stuffing (you could use
rags, polyester stuffing,
cotton balls, shredded
* Two rubber bands
* A permanent marker
and/or dot stickers
* Pipecleaners
* Sticky tape

Stuff a plastic bag and tie
a knot with the handles.

Put one rubber band over the bag to

make a bunny head and another on the
bunnys backside to make a tail.

Coffee Filter
These colourful little bags are
incredibly fun to make. Once theyre
finished, slip some sweets inside and
your little one can give them to
special friends.

Carefully drip small drops of food

colouring onto a coffee filter.You might
want to lay down a protective sheet on
the table before you start.

You will need

-------------------* Food colouring
* Coffee filters
* Ribbon
* Staples

Draw on some eyes a nose and some

whiskers. If you have some pipecleaners
handy you can make them into whiskers
and tape them on.

Allow the filter to dry, then turn it inside out
and staple on some ribbon to make handles.

If you don't have any coffee filters use some

paper towel for a drip-drop canvas.

Woolly Sheep
Raid your bathroom cabinet to make this soft and appealing sheep.This is a great project for kids
who like to craft with glue and who dont mind getting a bit sticky be prepared for children
sporting woolly fingertips by the time youve finished!

Preschoolers will enjoy putting together this crab,

with a little bit of guidance from an adult.Toddlers
are likely to watch in awe as it is constructed and
then take great pleasure in pulling it apart!

Tape cotton buds (q-tips) onto the

cardboard roll to make legs.

Spongy Crab


Pour some white glue into a shallow dish.

Then dip the cotton wool balls into the
glue and stick them all around the
cardboard roll.

Cut a circular shape from a dish

sponge. Punch four holes down each
side of the sponge using a hole
punch. Keep aside two of the
punched out sponge pieces to use
for eyes.

You will need

--------------------* A dish sponge
* Two pegs
* Scissors
* Hole punch
* Pipecleaners
* Glue
* Permanent marker

Scrunch up some tissue paper and stuff it into one end of the roll to
make a head, then add some eyes made from black dots. Make some
horns by twisting small pieces of pipecleaner around your finger.

You will need
----------------------* Toilet paper roll
* Cotton wool balls
* Cotton buds (Q-tips)
* White glue
* Tissue paper
* Pipecleaner
* Sticky tape


Thread pipecleaner legs through

the holes and trim the ends.

Glue on the eyes that you kept
aside in step one. If you wish you
can colour in the top of the eyes
with a black marker. Finally, peg on
the pincers.


Sponge Stamping Set

Use these stampers to experiment with shapes, textures and
colours. Dont throw them away when youre finished these
stamping sets easy to resuscitate with a simple splash of water.

To make a stamp pad, cut an absorbent dish sponge
to fit in a shallow dish.Then add a good amount of
food colouring.

For your stampers, cut some shapes

from dish sponge and glue them to the
tops of the bottles using strong glue.
We have found that smelly,
child-unfriendly glues work best!

You will need

--------------------* Empty bottles with
lids on them
* Strong glue
* Dish sponges
* Scissors
* Food colouring
* Shallow dish
* Hole punch

If youre having a slow day, why not make a

play tray? You can easily spend a whole morning
painting, collecting, planning and gluing and then a
good part of the afternoon setting up the animals
and playing with them. Our play tray has proved
so popular that, a year later, its still being used!

Farm Play Tray


Paint the tray to make a farm.

We used a green background,
then added a blue duck pond and
some brown mud for the pigs.

To create a great spiral stamp, roll up a thin

dish sponge and fasten with a rubber band.

Pull out some paper and

stamp away.

While the paint dries, go on an

outdoor collecting expedition to
find pebbles and twigs to stick on
to the tray to make fences, roads
and other boundaries. Add some
clumps of grass made from
scrunched up green tissue paper.

You will need

--------------------* A cardboard tray
* Acrylic paint
* White glue
* Small pebbles
* Small sticks
* Green tissue paper

Create walking paths, animal

enclosures and leafy surrounds for
your zoo animals. Paint on a simple
track and station for a toy train, and
roads for toy cars. Use paint, blue
cellophane and real sand to make a
beach in a tray. Add shells, animals,
boats and dolls for extra fun!

Wait for the glue to dry, then

add your animals and tractors
and start playing.



You will need

-----------------------* Cardboard roll
* Aluminium foil
* Sticky tape
* Cardboard
* Red curling ribbon
or strips of red paper
* Knife
* Scissors

Wooden Spoon
Shiny Rocket

You say rainy day I say puppet show! These cute wooden spoon
puppets are perfect for getting the kids in the mood for some
serious indoor entertainment.

These shiny rockets are fast to construct and make a great

distraction for those difficult afternoons.They also work
well as decorations for space-themed celebrations.

Make a small cone

from cardboard
and stick it onto
the top of the
cardboard roll.

Draw a face on a wooden spoon.

Cut out a trapezoid

shape from cardboard
to make fins. Use a
knife to disect the
rocket down the

You will need

-----------------* Wooden spoons
* Marker pens
* Curling ribbon
* Sticky tape
* Fabric scraps
* Rubber bands
or hair ties

Tape on some hair made
from curling ribbon (or string,
or wool).

If youre not prepared to sacrifice a

wooden spoon in the name of kids
craft, have your little one draw a face
on a piece of paper and tape it onto
the wooden spoon instead.You can
then reclaim your spoon in the dead
of night, safe from the watchful gaze
of your preschooler!

Wrap the whole
thing in aluminium
foil, pushing the
excess foil up the
end of the roll.

Slip the fins in place.

Stick strands of curling ribbon on some tape
and tape it on the inside of the roll to make
exhaust flames. Finally, add some windows or
stripes in a contrasting colour.


Wrap some fabric scraps around

the handle of the spoon and
fasten with a rubber band or
hair elastic.

Now, if I were a dish I would
certainly be running away with
one of these lovely spoons.


Bendy Robot
You will need
-----------------------* A colourful catalogue
or magazine pages
* Scissors
* Paste
* Length of elastic
or fishing line

Junk Mail
Use junk mail or magazine pages to make these fun
and colourful paper beads.This is a perfect craft for
kids who enjoy careful and deliberate activities or to
encourage concentration if things are getting a little
out of hand.

Cut a colourful catalogue into long strips.

Select a strip and put paste on one
side, then roll it up. Repeat until you
have a good collection of paper beads.

Youll find a whole host of items around the

home that you can thread onto a necklace:
cotton reels uncooked tubular pasta (such as
macaroni, penne) buttons with good sized holes
washers breakfast cereal with holes in the middle
chopped up drinking straws clay beads
anything you can punch a hole in!
With the help of a blunt needle you can also thread
pom poms, scrunched up aluminium foil, popcorn,
marshmallows, packing peanuts and more.

Allow the beads to dry
completely, then thread onto
fishing line or hat elastic to make
a fun necklace or bracelet.


You will need

--------------------* A dish sponge
* Pipecleaners
* Scissors
* Split pins (brads)
* Permanent marker
* Two beads

I accept that bendy is probably not a quality that is sought after

in a robot, but I think youll be sold on the idea once youve tried
it. Kids aged four and older will be able to have a go at twisting
the pipecleaners into the sponge. Once theyve got the technique
theyll be able to use it to create all manner of bendy creatures.

Cut up a dish sponge into shapes
from which you can make a

Cut a pipecleaner into one inch

lengths.These pieces of
pipecleaner will connect your
robots arms, legs and head to its
body. Carefully twist the
pipecleaner pieces half way into
the ends of your sponge pieces.

Heres another robot idea thats

simple enough for the littlies. Cut
out some squares and rectangles
from felt or cardboard.Then stick
them onto paper and make robots.
Use a selection of buttons, beads
and wool scraps for extra effect.

Use the same technique

to join them to the body.

Add some buttons and eyes using split pins (brads).
We drew on a mouth with permanent marker and
added some pipecleaner and bead antennae. If youd
like your robot to stand tall, give it some feet.


Match Box Vehicles

You can make an impressive fleet of vehicles
using match boxes for a professional finish,
paint them with glossy spray paint.

Roll Dolls
With these simple and sturdy dolls, kids of
all ages can get involved.The young ones
can draw a face and glue it on while the
older kids deliberate over fabric swatches
and hair styles.When theyre finished
everyone will enjoy playing with them!

You will need

----------------------* Cardboard roll
* Fabric scraps
* Glue
* White paper
* Marker pens
* Yarn
* Pipecleaner
* Beads
* Scissors


Pull the tray from a match box

and paint each of the pieces.

Cut a circle from a piece of

paper and draw on a face,
then stick the circle to the
cardboard roll.

Glue a strip of fabric on to

the bottom half of the roll.


You will need

----------------------* Match boxes
* Paint
* Glue
* Buttons
* Aluminium foil
* Scissors

To make the car, cut the top

of the match box about a
third of the way along and
glue to the upside down tray.

For the ambulance, cut a

tiny sliver from the top of
the match box and stick it
on the top to make lights.

For the truck or utility, cut the

top of the match box about half
way. Cut the remaining half in
half again. Assemble the utility
as pictured.

Pierce a hole on either

side of the roll and
thread through a
piecleaner to make
arms.Trim the pipecleaner if necessary and pop
some beads on the ends to make hands.

Stuff some woolly yarn into

the top of the roll to make
hair. Alternatively, create
some bunches or plaits and
glue them on to the top of
the roll.

Scrunch two small balls of aluminium foil to make headlights, and
glue them on.Then glue on some button wheels. For a less fragile
vehicle, use black dots instead of buttons.


My Favourite
Play Dough

1. Make a birthday cake use real candles

if you have them, otherwise match sticks
work well.
2. Use items from around your
home (eg leaves, sticks, toy
cars, toy animals, shells) to
make impressions in the


Put together some lollipops.

Ive made plenty of play dough in my time but this recipe is the one that stands out a mile!
In fact, I believe that it is pretty much fail-proof.There was that one time that I put in half a
cup of oil by accident and things were pretty slimy, but that was my fault! If you roughly
follow the measurements in the recipe it will most likely result in a beautiful smooth dough
that will delight the little ones for many happy hours.

4. Cut out shapes using plastic cookie cutters.

7. Make snails use a real snail shell if you

have any in your garden.

Combine the water, oil, salt, cream of tartar and food

colouring in a saucepan. Make the colour nice and bright
as it will fade a little once the
flour is added at the end.

You will need

----------------------* 1 cup of water
* 1 tablespoon of
vegetable oil
tablespoon of
cream of tartar
* 1/2 cup of salt
* Food colouring
* 1 cup flour


5. Squeeze out some curly dough by using a

garlic press use it to make a nest!
6. Roll snakes see how long you can go
without the dough breaking.

8. Create a snowman.
9. Construct a house using play dough and
pop sticks.


Use buttons, plastic bottle tops, marbles, rubber bands,

match sticks etc to make faces, aliens or crazy animals.

11. Make a caterpillar by rolling small balls

and joining them together.

Heat on the stove until warm,

then remove from the heat, add
flour and stir.

12. Use cupcake liners to make pretend

muffins or cupcakes.

18. Hide items in the the dough for

your little one to find.

13. Make lollies by wrapping small balls of

dough in cellophane.

14. Cook pretend crepes and roll them up.

Knead for five minutes or until
dough is smooth.

15. Stick feathers into the dough to make

funny birds.
16. Sculpt a play dough self-portrait.


17. Press dry pasta into the dough

try to make a dinosaur skeleton!


Make a sea urchin.

20. Bring out the potato masher!


For extra fun, keep aside a portion of clay
and colour it!

Squeeze a small glob of acrylic paint onto some

of the clay and put it into a plastic ziplock bag.

Mush it around until the paint is
completely mixed in with the clay.

Homemade Clay
This homemade bi-carb soda clay has a gorgeously smooth texture and is an absolute delight to
work with.This clay will air dry after which it and can be painted with acrylic or watercolour
paint. However, in order to harden properly it cant be too thick so keep this in mind when youre
making things with it.We have successfully used this clay to make small beads, pendants, small
plates, small bowls, snails, cookies (decorated with gravel), letters and numbers.

You will need


* 1 cup corn flour

or corn starch
cups bi-carb soda
and 1/4 cups water

Allow it to sit for a while, then tip it out

and knead. Dont worry about getting
paint on your hands somehow the
paint just gets absorbed into the clay!

Have fun using contrasting colour in your designs.


Combine all ingredients in a

saucepan and stir constantly over
low-medium heat until its thick
enough to hold the spoon up.

Tip clay onto a piece of baking
paper and knead until smooth.


1. Make two long snakes one in each colour and line them up.
2. Roll them into a spiral. 3. Press down hard on a flat surface.
4. Then turn it over! If you want you can make a hole in it using a
skewer so that you can hang it up when its dry.


Managing all the

Encouraging creativity is one thing, keeping
the creative output under control is another
issue altogether! Here are some ideas to help
keep the volume of art and craft in your
home at a manageable level.

Create a

Art Gallery.
Establish a dedicated gallery space
in your home where kids art is
displayed and admired. Replace older
works with newer ones on a regular
basis and use this as an opportunity
to sort out which pieces will be kept
and which will be culled.

Blog it.
Keep an online record of your childs
creative endeavours to share with
friends, family and anyone else who
is interested.


Put Together

a Portfolio.
Make and decorate your own portfolio in
which to keep artwork. Alternatively, store
artwork using plastic sleeves in a ring
binder, paste them into a project book or
create scrapbook pages.

If you dont have space in your home
to store large amount of kids art and
craft, capture it on digital camera or
scan it to your computer. Display the
images on your screensaver, in a
digital photo frame or print out your
favourites and put them in an album.
Another great idea is to make a book
each year, using or
something similar, that features your
favourite work.


the Love.
Use large scale works as wrapping
paper for gifts. Smaller pieces can be
cut up to use in other crafty
endeavours. Also, send pictures to
family and acquaintances or anyone
else who may still have some space
left on their fridge!

Kids Craft Weekly presents:

Everyday Craft
Fun stuff to make from everyday objects
First published in Sydney, Australia
October 2007
ISBN: 978-0-9804383-0-7
2007 2009
Amber Carvan/Kids Craft Weekly
All rights reserved. No part of this
publication may be reproduced, stored in
a retrieval system or transmitted in any
form by any means without the prior
permission of the copyright owner.

Written and produced by Amber Carvan

Designed and illustrated by Meiying Saw

and Recycle

by Stealth.
There comes a point in every crafty
objects lifetime when it simply has to
go.When the kids are asleep,
dismantle the masterpiece, store any
re-usable parts in your useful box,
and hide anything thats left in the
recycling or the bin.

To check out more fabulous craft ideas

Through the website you can also sign
up for the free email newsletter and
send in your photos for the Kids Craft
Weekly photo gallery.

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