Yarn Gnomes

I had fun today making an adorable yarn gnome!

For this little cutie, you will need white yarn, colored yarn, scissors, glue (or glue gun), 1 small round wood bead and a toilet paper roll.

First we will make the hat. Cut a piece off the end of the toilet paper roll less than an inch wide. Anywhere between 1/2″ to 3/4″ is fine.

Next you’ll need to cut a bunch of pieces of yarn 8-9″ long. It will depend on the thickness of your yarn how many pieces you will need. I used around 34 pieces for my hat.

To begin making the hat, take one piece of yarn and fold it in half.

Slide the folded end of the yarn through the cardboard ring you cut off the toilet paper roll.

Take both ends of the piece of yarn and feed them through the folded end of the yarn.

Pull it up snuggly, but be careful not to bend the cardboard ring.

Continue adding pieces of yarn in the same manner until you have filled up the cardboard ring.

Push the yarn close together so you don’t see the cardboard underneath.

Made it all the way around!

Now push all the ends of the yarn through to the other side of the ring.

Cut another piece of yarn to tie all the ends of yarn together.

Trim the longer piece of yarn down to the same size as the top of the hat. You can trim the hat tassel more evenly if you like. Wad up a tissue into a small ball and stuff it into the hat to give the hat some shape.

Now on to making the gnome’s face/beard. You will make a pom pom in the following manner: wrap the white yarn around your hand (or a piece of cardboard) at least 50 times. Again, it depends on the thickness of your yarn. The more times you wrap the yarn, the fuller the gnome’s beard will be.

Carefully slide the yarn bundle off your hand, holding the yarn together as it’s wrapped. Cut a piece of white yarn and tie it tightly around the middle of the yarn bundle.

Cut the loops in half on both ends of the yarn bundle.

One half done…

Now fluff the pom pom up using your hands to move the loose ends around.

If you like, you can trim the pom pom down into a smooth ball shape or because it’s a gnome, you can leave his beard looking at bit scraggly. I went with scraggly. 😉 Put a good amount of glue inside the bottom of the hat.

Push the white pom pom against the hat and hold in place for a little bit.

Lastly, glue the wood bead in place to be the gnome’s nose.

Allow the glue some time to dry before handling the gnome too much. You can trim his beard to look the way you like it. All done and you have an adorable gnome of your own! 🙂

If you want to hang your gnome up, you could use a piece of matching yarn or thread and run it through his hat. Or make it a magnet by gluing a magnet on the back. I hope you will enjoy your new friend! 🙂

Fun With Perler Beads!

Have you ever done a project using Perler beads? I have seen them for years but I finally tried a small kit and found out they are actually pretty neat! If you haven’t tried them yet, I’ll give you an overview of how they work. Here is the cute Star Wars kit that I bought and tried:

(Isn’t “Baby Yoda” adorable?!) This is everything that was inside this kit (minus the paper bowl): 225 beads (enough to make 2 “Baby Yoda”), a pegboard, instructions and ironing paper. You will also need an iron. I used the paper bowl to contain the beads and keep them from running away. 😉

Follow the instructions for where to begin placing the colored beads on the pegboard.

Keep putting beads on the peg board by following the pattern in the instructions.

Adding a few more beads…it’s starting to take shape!

And there he is! All the pegs are in the correct order! We’re ready for fusing!

Heat your iron to a medium heat. Place the pegboard on a solid heat-safe surface. I used a wooden cutting board.

Cover the beads with the ironing paper – very important! Your iron should not touch the beads directly. Using a circular motion, iron over the beads and ironing paper for 10-20 seconds. When ironed properly the beads will still have an open center.

Set a heavy book or something similar on your project while the beads cool down to prevent it from warping. Peel the ironing paper back slowly to check that the beads have fused together. If there are still loose beads, iron over them a second time. (This happened to me.)

After the beads are sticking together, carefully remove the design and turn it over. Again, cover it with the ironing paper and iron the second side. Remember to place the heavy object on top again to prevent warping. The pegboard and ironing paper are reusable.

Tah dah! Your project is finished! 🙂

You could slip a thin string or thread through one of the holes if you’d like to hang your project up. Perler beads come in soooo many colors and there are kits of all types available! Be sure to look for a fun Perler beads project the next time you are in your favorite craft store! Have fun! 🙂

Do You Have the After Christmas Blues?

When all the hustle and bustle and excitement leading up to Christmas has passed, do the After-Christmas Blues show up at your house? Sometimes taking a break from all the “new” toys and kits that arrived on Christmas Day, can be a help. Try going back to some of the “old” crafts they’ve done before but haven’t thought about in a while. New toys and things will seem more fun again after the kids have had a little break from them. There is comfort to be found in the tried-and-true. Here are a couple of suggestions of things we’ve done on here before but might be fun to pop out for the kids again.

#1.) Making paper snowflakes. It’s still obviously winter and cold outside so how about doing a craft with snowflakes that don’t make your fingers cold when you play with them. Follow the link to this project:

Do You Want to Make Snowflakes?

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#2.) You can even make a snowman with your paper snowflakes.

Do You Wanna Build a Snowman from Paper Snowflakes?

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#3.) Hide and Seek Snacks. Try making up a fun snack in little cups and hiding the cups for the kids to find. Look for that post here:

Hide and Seek Snacks

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#4.) Make some craft stick snowflakes. These are easy and fun! Follow the link to see how they’re made:

https://wordpress.com/post/thekidsniche.com/3254

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There are over 450 posts here on my blog so I hope you can find some fun things to do with your kids to help everyone get back on an even keel again. Those new gifts will look even better afterwards! Have fun! Hugs to all of you! 🙂

Let’s Make a Crazy Hair Octopus!

Welcome to another week of fun with The Kids Niche! Today we’re making a crazy hair octopus! Won’t you join us? 🙂

Just some simple supplies are needed for this project…an empty toilet paper roll, 2 wiggly eyes, some markers or crayons, some yarn, glue, a pencil, a ruler and a pair of scissors.

Let’s start by working on the octopus body. Measure up about 2″ and make a pencil mark all around the toilet paper roll.

Next, make a small mark on one end of the roll and a second mark that is about half way around the roll on the other side. Can you see the 2 little marks?

Using your scissors, cut on one of the little marks straight up until you reach the 2 inch line.

Turn the roll around and make another cut the same way on the second small mark. Next cut the two pieces in half so you have 4 sections on that end of the toilet paper roll.

Cut each of the 4 sections in half so that you end up with 8 sections.

What part of an octopus has 8 pieces? It’s legs, right? The 8 sections will become the 8 legs on your octopus. 🙂

Let’s switch to working on the crazy hair part now. We will be making a pom-pom for the crazy hair. Cut a piece of yarn around 6-7 inches long and lay it out on a flat surface like a table or countertop.

Now take the end of yarn that is still attached to the skein/ball of yarn you are using and place it across your hand like in this picture:

You will now be wrapping the yarn around your hand approximately 50 times. You can use 3 fingers for an adult or wrap around a child’s whole hand.

After you’ve wrapped the yarn 50 times, cut the end of the yarn you were wrapping with. Carefully slide the wrapped yarn off the fingers, keeping it together in a bunch and lay it on top of the first piece of yarn you cut. The wrapped bundle should be placed on the piece of yarn so its approximately in the center of the wrapped bundle.

Using your first piece of yarn, tie it in a knot around the wrapped bundle. You will have loops on both sides of the knot.

Use your scissors to cut through the loops on both ends.

Using your fingers, fluff the pom-pom until it resembles a ball shape.

Trim any pieces of yarn that are extra long and sticking out.

Let’s go back to the octopus body now. Using your markers or crayons, color the entire outside area of the toilet paper roll.

Using your pencil, carefully roll each of the 8 leg sections (one at a time) up around your pencil.

Slide the pencil out and unroll the leg as much as you like.

After rolling each of the eight legs, your octopus might look something like this:

Glue on the 2 wiggly eyes.

Your octopus is taking shape! 🙂

Put a line of glue all around the top edge of your octopus.

Place the crazy hair in place and hold for a little bit while the glue starts to set up.

Give your octopus a smile with a marker!

And your crazy hair octopus is finished! 🙂 Great job! Find a nice place to put him/her so everyone can enjoy seeing him/her! I hope you had fun making your crazy hair octopus!

Re-Purpose With Duck Tape

Here we go again with another re-purposing idea! Today we’re turning an empty Ovaltine container into a fun place to store something awesome. Never heard of Ovaltine? It’s an awesome chocolate powder that turns ordinary milk into yummy yummy chocolate milk! Mmmm! 🙂 It’s sad when the Ovaltine container is empty, so here’s a way to cheer you up even when the chocolate is gone. 😉

The Ovaltine container is made partially of cardboard so be careful cleaning it. You can wash the inside of the container but avoid getting the outside wet. Dry it quickly and completely and you’re ready to start decorating. There are many colors and prints available in Duck Tape, so find one you like.

I found this neat variegated blue with tiny stars.

Remove the lid of the container and set it aside for later. Wrap the first piece of duck tape around the top on the container, being careful to keep it as straight as possible. Following along the top edge will help.

For the next piece of tape, I chose to go along the bottom edge in the same way I did the top edge.

Add one more strip of duck tape around the middle of the container, overlapping on both the top and bottom strips of tape.

The can part is done! Now let’s make the lid look great too. If you have a compass, you can place the point of the compass in the center of the lid and extend the pencil to meet the inside edge of the lid.

Keeping the compass in this position, you can draw a circle that will fit the lid. A great place to find a cool picture for your lid is by using old magazine pages.

Draw the circle using the compass and cut the picture out with scissors. Using glue or double-sided tape, attach your picture to the lid. Here are a few pictures I found that I liked. Flowers…

More flowers…

A hummingbird with flowers…

Maybe you like animals better than flowers? How about this adorable kitten?

Or this beautiful foal?

There are so many things you could use to decorate the lid! You could color your own picture or use a circle of colored paper and decorate using stickers. Let your mind think up something fun to use from things you have around the house. If you don’t have an Ovaltine container, look around for something similar…duck tape works on just about any surface. If you use double-sided tape on the lid, you can change the picture later when you’re ready for something new.

I hope you enjoyed this project and you use your imagination when looking for containers to re-purpose using duck tape! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂