Making Large Flowers With Pipe Cleaners

Since we had a pipe cleaner project for a little older group of kids on Monday, I thought it would be nice to do an easier pipe cleaner project for younger kids today. They might need some help holding the pieces together until the final wrap, but after that they can create to their heart’s content!

You will need a total of 7 pipe cleaners…5 for the flower petals, one for the stem and one for the center of the flower. I chose to use red for the petals, green for the stem and yellow for the center. Feel free to use whatever colors your child picks out! 🙂

The stem piece will be in the center of the petals.

For each petal, fold the pipe cleaner in half loosely as shown, making the 2 ends meet.

Place the ends in line with one end the end of the stem.

Continue bending and adding petals, placing them around the stem.

When you have all 5 petals lined up, it should look something like this:

Now take your pipe cleaner for the center and begin wrapping it around the bunch of ends.

Wrap it around and around the group of ends and try to cover up the ends so you don’t see any other colors.

Now comes the fun part! Bend each flower petal up and then design your flower! 🙂

The petals can be shaped in many ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Nicely rounded and oval shaped.

Put a little bend in the end of each petal.

Rounded petals that overlap each other. This one makes me think of a pansy!

Pointed skinny petals.

Petals bent in the middle to look like hearts.

For this flower, I bent the petals in half and looped the end over the yellow center of the flower. Then twisted the 2 pieces so they looked like smaller petals.

I’m sure you can come up with even more ideas! This is a simple but fun project for people of all ages. For older kids or adults, you could cut the pipe cleaners in half and make smaller flowers. I hope you’ll give this project a try! Maybe if we concentrate on making pipe cleaner flowers we can forgot how cold it is outside! 😉 Stay warm!

Super Cute Tiny Teddy Bear Made With Pipe Cleaners.

I found this oh, so adorable little teddy bear while I was looking through Pinterest. I had to see if I could make him look as cute as the instructions showed him and I think my second try turned out pretty well. 🙂 I didn’t have ribbon that was really thin enough so my bow might look a little bit big for him, but he’s still adorable.

This would be a fun project for kids that are a little older, say maybe starting around 8-10 years old. You only need 1 pipe cleaner per bear plus a little bow and 3 seed beads and some glue. The bears are pretty little which adds to their “cuteness factor”. They fit in the palm of your hand.

Here is a link to the Pinterest page with a video that shows you how to make the teddy bears.

Or here is another one that has written instructions and pictures in case you want to see things a little slower than the video. 😉

I hope you and your kids will give these fun little bears a try!

Uncooked Peanut Butter Fudge

Oooo! Do you love peanut butter?? How about some homemade peanut butter fudge?

I came across this recipe again the other day that my aunt shared with us quite a few years ago. I have fond memories of helping to make this peanut butter fudge when I was still a child at home. Though we often made it at Christmas time, this recipe is good for any time of year.

It only calls for 4 ingredients and there is no cooking involved. It does take some kneading by hand but that’s a great way for your kids to use up some of that excess energy! 😉 You will need 1/2 Cup of peanut butter, 1/2 Cup Karo corn syrup, 3/4 Cup powdered milk and 3/4 Cup powdered (or confectioners) sugar.

First put the peanut butter into a medium sized bowl.

Add the Karo corn syrup and stir together. If you have younger children helping, this is a good part for them to do.

Next add the powdered milk.

And finally add the powdered sugar.

Stir the ingredients together as best you can and then knead with your hands.

Turn the mixture out onto a clean countertop and knead together until all the ingredients are mixed in. You can divide the fudge among the kids helping so each can do some of the kneading.

Spread it into a pan or cookie sheet to the thickness you like. I think my mom spread it more on the thin side, maybe so we 6 kids got to have a piece or two without getting totally “sugared up”. 😉

Cut into pieces. Running the knife under hot water occasionally can help with the cutting process.

The pieces will stick together so you might want to store them so they don’t touch each other. You can do layers with wax paper in between the layers. Or the way we used to do it was to tear off some rectangular pieces of wax paper…

Place a piece of the fudge in the center…

Fold the long edges in overlapping each other…

And then twist the ends closed.

And there you have it! A fun treat for the family and hopefully your kids used up some of their extra energy! 😉 Enjoy!

The Cutest Lego Set Ever!

There is a new Lego set out and I honestly think it must be the cutest set I’ve ever seen! It’s the Year of the Tiger #40491. This set has 193 pieces and is rated for ages 8+. I found it at Walmart for $9.99. Take a look at this:

It is even cuter when you make it!

This is what you’ll see when you open the box. There’s even a printed envelope for storing the extra pieces.

3 bags of Lego pieces and the instruction booklet are included.

You literally start building from the bottom up. 😉 There’s his back legs and part of the body.

He’s got front legs now.

Building on up…

Can you guess what part this is?

If you said his nose and mouth, you are right! 🙂

It’s rather hard to see without eyes, so it’s a good thing they were next!

Now working on his back…

Check out this awesome tail! It’s moveable!

Of course, he needs some ears too! And they also move!

There’s a little platform to put together for him to sit on.

And there you have it! All done!

This set was super fun to build and it’s just so cute! 🙂 I hope you can find one at your local Walmart store (or somewhere else) and have a great time building a new tiger friend!

Let’s Make Beaded Snowflakes

January is here and so are cold temperatures and snow for some of us! Let’s make some snowflakes today that won’t make us any colder! These are easy to make and so pretty! (And they are great for practicing some fine motor skills.)

You’ll need 3 pipe cleaners (or chenille stems), a pair of scissors or wire cutters and some colored pony beads.

Cut the 3 pipe cleaners in half.

3 half pieces will make 1 snowflake so you now have enough pipe cleaner pieces for 2 snowflakes. Here are 2 different ways to wrap the pipe cleaners into the snowflake shape: #1.) Fold 2 pieces into a “v” shape.

Put the 2 pieces together at the bends.

Wrap the 3rd pipe cleaner around the center of the other 2.

OR way #2.) Hold the 3 pieces of pipe cleaner together…

And give them a twist or two in the center.

Now it’s time to use the pony beads. You will need 5 beads for each “spoke” of the snowflake for a total of 30 beads. The colored beads can be in whatever order you decide to use. You can make a pattern of colors for your child to duplicate like the following pattern: green, white, blue, pink and purple.

When they have enough beads laid out in the right order, it might look something like this:

Slide the beads onto the piper cleaner spokes in the same order.

After the 5 beads are on the pipe cleaner, bend the rest of the pipe cleaner spoke into a circle and push the end back into the last bead.

Continue sliding the beads onto each pipe cleaner spoke and bending the end in until all 6 spokes have been done. Isn’t it pretty?!

You could also have your child find 5 beads of the same color for each spoke. These beads match the color of the pipe cleaner spoke they will be placed on.

This way is also quite pretty!

Or you can let your child put the beads on in any order that they like. If you would like to hang your snowflakes up, simply add a piece of thread or string through one of the circles. I hope you will have fun making these beaded snowflakes! 🙂

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! 🙂

Dollar Tree Felt Craft Kits

I found a couple of felt craft kits at the Dollar Tree store and wanted to share this idea with you. At just $1.00 for each kit, you can craft with up to 5 kids! Pretty good price, right?! So here’s the 2 kits I found:

Let’s look at the penguin felt ornament kit first.

This little guy is so cute!

When you open the package, you will find 5 individually packaged kits.

In each individual package, you will find this:

The felt pieces for making the penguin have been punched and for the most part you can gently pull them apart to get the pieces ready to use. Have a pair of small scissors handy in case any pieces need a little help getting free.

Once all the pieces are separated, you are ready to put your penguin together. I would recommend using a craft glue like Tacky Glue instead of Elmer’s glue. I used the Elmer’s glue when making my penguin and I had some trouble getting the pieces to stay together. I switched to the Tacky Glue.

There weren’t any instructions included in the package, but you can figure out how to put the penguin together by looking at the picture on the front of the package. (Remember, this kit only cost $1.) 😉 And here is my finished penguin! I think he’s a cutie!

Now let’s look at the second kit I bought. This kit is for making animal finger puppets.

They are cute too!

I had more difficulty getting these felt pieces separated and I did resort to using a pair of scissors at times. Also this package did not have the kits divided into separate kits already, so you will have to figure out which felt pieces go with each finger puppet. It’s rather like making a puzzle. 😉

Here they are separated into the pieces for each animal. I didn’t go ahead and make the puppets because I wanted to save them for a fun project for some kids I know. 😉

These kits might be a little too difficult for really young children but I’m sure ages 7 or 8 and up will enjoy making them. I’m not sure if the felt pieces will stick together well enough to be used as finger puppets, but they would definitely make some very cute ornaments to hang around your house. 🙂 Mark these down as 2 more fun projects from Dollar Tree! 🙂

Let’s Make a Christmas Tree With Buttons!

Hi there! Today we’re making another Christmas craft using buttons. Yep, it will be a Christmas tree! What’s nice about this project is that there is an easy version for younger kids, but also a more challenging version for older kids or even adults. 🙂 You will need some green buttons, 1 brown button, 1 star button (or sticker or cutout), a piece of cardstock and glue.

Start making your Christmas tree by laying 1 green button in the first row, then 2 green buttons in the second row, and 3 green buttons in the third row. Look at the following picture to see how to place the buttons. You can glue the buttons down as you go or get them all in place and then go back and glue them.

Continue in this manner, adding 1 more green button for each new row until you have laid out 6 rows of buttons.

Add the brown button at the bottom in the center for the trunk of the tree. And put the star above the top button.

And there is your Christmas tree! 🙂 How cute is that?!

Next, I’ll show you version #2, which is still a simple version, but uses different colors and only 5 rows of buttons. This time you’ll need 6 red buttons, 9 green buttons, 1 brown button and 1 star.

Row #1 is 1 green button. Row #2 is 2 red buttons. Row #3 is 3 green buttons. Row #4 is 4 red buttons. And finally row #5 is 5 green buttons. Add the star to the top and the brown button for the trunk at the bottom. And this tree is done! 🙂

For the last (harder) version for today, make the tree part with all green buttons and add in as many rows as you’d like to make the tree larger. The tree shown here has 9 rows of green buttons. I used slightly different shades of green for my Christmas tree. I used 2 brown buttons for the trunk of this larger tree.

If you would like to decorate your tree, make sure all the tree buttons are glued in place and have had a chance to dry before continuing. I had some tiny heart shaped buttons that I used to make it look like 2 strings of lights on my tree.

Or you can place your decorations randomly around the tree for this effect.

You could also use bits of pretty yarn or thin ribbon to decorate your tree. So whatever skill level your kids are at, I hope they can have fun making their own Christmas tree! 🙂

I’m back! Let’s Make Santa’s Hat!

I hope you all had an amazing Thanksgiving holiday and weekend! I’m sorry I didn’t get to post last week but things were pretty crazy here! I’m here now and I have an adorable craft for you today. I’ll show you how to make Santa’s hat using buttons and a pom pom. 🙂

You’ll need an off white or darker colored piece of cardstock, approximately 15 red buttons and 7 white buttons and 1 white pom pom. And glue to hold it all in place. The number of buttons will vary according to the size of buttons you use and how large you want to make your Santa’s hat.

Start by placing 1 red button toward the top of your piece of paper. In the second row, place 2 red buttons. You can glue the buttons down as you go or go back and glue them down after you have them all in place.

Row 3 will have 3 red buttons, row 4 will have 4 red buttons and row 5 will have 5 red buttons. Your Santa’s hat should look like this so far.

Now it’s time for the white buttons. They will go in row 6 along the bottom to be the white edging on Santa’s hat.

Add your white pom pom to the top and you’ve finished making your Santa’s hat! Great job!

I wanted to use the darker brown craft paper for my background, but I didn’t have any on hand. I would suggest using a darker color of cardstock than I did for mine because the white of the hat will show up better. Here it is on green:

And one more time using a blue background.

Which way is your favorite? I think I like the blue background best. 🙂 You can make Santa’s hat as a decoration to hang up or make it on the front of a card for a special Christmas card. Whatever you decide to do, I hope you will have fun making a Santa’s hat from buttons! 🙂

Let’s Make Simple Yarn Dolls

The other day I was thinking about the yarn dolls that we used to make. I can’t quite remember who taught me to make them but I think it might have been a family thing that was passed down to me.

At any rate, making yarn dolls can be fun and all you need is yarn, a piece of cardboard and a pair of scissors.

The size of your yarn doll will be determined by the size of your piece of cardboard. My cardboard piece was about 6″ long. Begin by wrapping the yarn around the piece of cardboard.

Wrap it around at least 50 times. Then cut the yarn.

There is a step that I forgot to do while I was making the pink doll, so I will be showing that step with the orange yarn I used for a second doll. While the yarn is still on the cardboard, cut another piece of yarn about 5-6″ long and slide it under the yarn on the cardboard. (I added the yarn to the pink doll but at a later time which made it harder to do. Ooops!)

Pull it up toward the top and tie a knot. This piece of yarn will help keep the doll’s head in a nice shape and can be used to add hair or to hang the doll.

Slide the yarn off the cardboard.

Back to the pink doll! Ha! Using your scissors, cut the yarn on the opposite end from where it’s tied.

Keep the yarn bent in half.

Cut another piece of yarn to be used to make the dolls head and lay it out on your work surface. Lay the folded yarn on top of it.

Tie a knot with the additional piece of yarn and that makes the head.

Separate a section on each side of the body. I did approximately 15-18 pieces of yarn in each side section.

Using a small piece of yarn, tie the 2 side sections close to the ends. Trim and there are your doll’s arms. 🙂

Cut another piece of yarn and lay under your doll, just a little past the arms. Tie a knot. This will make the doll’s waist.

I made this doll to be a girl wearing a dress. So all I did to finish her was trim the bottom yarn to look neater. She’s ready for playing!

Now, what if you want your doll to be a boy? There are just a couple more steps for that! We’ll pick up with the orange yarn doll at the point where we’ve already made his arms and waist.

Divide the bottom yarn into 2 sections.

Using 2 more pieces of yarn, tie around each leg in the same way you did the arms. Trim, and your boy doll is now finished too! 🙂

The dolls are ready to be played with now and this is how I remember them. But if you are feeling ambitious, I’ll show you a way to add hair to your doll. Get some more yarn…can be the same color or different. Wrap the yarn around your hand 20 times or so.

Slide it off your hand, keeping the loops together. Cut one end of the loops like we did for the doll.

This time you will lay the hair pieces out flat.

Lay the yarn bundle up at the top of the doll’s head. Using the yarn that is tied to the top of the doll’s head, put one yarn string on top of the bundle and the other yarn string under it. This is so you can tie the hair to the doll.

Tie the knot.

Now you can arrange the hair as you would like. I put it into 2 pony tails and tied each with a piece of yarn tied in a bow.

One more extra detail you can add is to give the dolls some eyes. Simply glue on a pair of wiggly eyes. (I actually prefer the dolls without the eyes, but that’s your choice.)

You can leave the string on the top in case you want to hang the doll up or you can trim it close and get rid of it. I’ve show you one doll done each way.

Yarn dolls are fun and easy to make! I hope you will try a few! 🙂