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!

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! 🙂

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!