How to Make Homemade Paper from your Recycled Paper

February 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

How to Make Homemade Paper From Recycled Paper

One of my girls’ favorite things to do when they were young was to make their own paper and then use that paper to write notes and letters to their grandparents and far away friends.

English: Paper pulp is a mix of fibers and wat...

English: Paper pulp is a mix of fibers and water. Français : La pâte à papier égouttée : un mélange d’eau et de fibres déliées. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You probably didn’t realize that you can use the paper from your recycling bin to make your own paper at home. Newspaper works best, but you can use any paper that does not have a shiny coating. So raid your recycling bin and make paper! Here’s how.

You will need:
-Recyclable paper
-Screen (you can use nylon hose stretched over a frame, an old window screen, or other flat screening). Two screens are best so you can work in batches.
-Tub or pan into which your screen fits (a rubber dish pan is ideal)
-Water
-Glue (use white school-type glue)
-Towels
-Iron (such as you use for clothing)

1. Shred the paper by tearing it into strips. Tearing exposes more surface area than cutting.

2. Put the strips into a rubber tub, such as you might use for washing dishes. Fill it about 2/3 full of paper strips.

3. Pour water over the paper strips until they are just submerged.

4. Stir the water-paper mixture with your hands.

5. Leave the paper strips soaking for several hours if you used cold water; for as little as 30 minutes if you used hot water.

6. When the paper is soft and pulpy, mix it thoroughly with your hands again.

7. Blend the pulp and water mixture in a blender. Do it in batches if necessary, but do not put the blended pulp back into the tub.

8. When all the paper pulp is blended, pour a few inches of water into the dish tub. Stir in a tablespoon of white glue.

9. Set the screen down into the water in the tub.

10. Pour about 1 cup of the blended pulp onto the submerged screen. Using your hands, spread it thoroughly over the screen, making sure to incorporate the water and glue.

11. Lift the screen from the water and set it where it can drain well.

12. Invert the screen onto a towel. Lift the screen off; there should be damp pulp sitting on the towel.

13. Lay another towel over the pulp.

14. Once the pulp is between the two towels, run a hot clothes iron over the top towel to steam out the moisture and smooth the paper.

15. Leave your pulp to dry for about 24 hours.

16. Cut into sheets, cards, etc. and enjoy!

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Make Your Own Non-Toxic Glue

February 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Make Your Own Toxin-Free Glue

Glue, as many people don’t realize, can be very toxic. Yet for many craft projects, glue is just the thing to make a project go smoothly without much expense. So what to do?

Easy! Make your own. . These natural glue recipes are not only easy to make, but they are good for the environment and your pocket book… and they’re safe for kids!

#1 This first

homemade card

homemade card (Photo credit: massdistraction)

recipe is really easy to make and fun for kids. They can even make the recipe themselves with your guidance.

Ingredients:
1 cup of plain white flour
1/3 cup of granulated sugar
1 cups water
1 teaspoon of white vinegar
Natural food dye/colors

Instructions:
Place all ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir together gently until mixture thickens. Remove from heat to cool. Store in an air tight container and the glue will keep for approximately seven days.

#2 This second recipe is more involved but makes a great all-purpose glue.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/2 cup cornstarch
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup COLD water

Instructions:
Place the first 3/4 cups water, corn syrup and vinegar in a pot. Bring to a boil. In a separate bowl mix the cornstarch with another 3/4 cup cold water and mix well. Slowly add the cornstarch mixture to the boiling mixture. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat to cool completely. Store in an air tight container and the glue will keep for approximately 7 days.

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Craft – Make your own Recycled Chinese Lantern

January 18, 2013 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Children going door to door with paper lantern...

Children going door to door with paper lanterns on St. Martin’s Day in the Netherlands (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Make your own Recycled Chinese Lantern

Here is a quick, easy and fun craft that will make use of all that wrapping paper from birthdays or your winter holiday gift giving. You can also use color magazine pages for this or really any other type of paper too.

Chinese lanterns are usually in red or with red decor but don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to that.  No matter what color, the lanterns will be fun and your kids will love both making them and hanging them up for decorations.

Here is how to make the lantern.

(Don’t have the time to make your own lanterns? You can Buy Your Chinese Lanterns on Amazon

You will need:
-Recycled paper or paper that you want to reuse.
-Scissors
-Glue

1. Cut the paper you are using into rectangles, about the size of a piece of computer paper (9″x12″).

2. Fold one of the rectangles in half lengthwise, colored side out.

3. Starting about 1 inch in from the left side, cut the folded edge into strips or fringes about 2 inches long. End the slits about 1 inch from the right.

4. Unfold the paper.

5. Bend the paper into a cylinder shape by joining the short sides, printed side outward.

6. Glue the short edges of the paper. A glue stick works well for this.

7. While the lantern is drying, cut a strip of paper about 1/2 inch wide.

8. Glue the strip of paper across the top of the lantern, mounting the ends of the strip on the inside rim of the lantern. This is the handle to hang the lantern.

9. Depending on what recycled paper or items you have available, you can add streamers to the base of the lantern. Old hair ribbons, miscellaneous yarn pieces, or other lightweight materials make good choices.

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Cereal Box Journals

April 8, 2011 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Cereal Box Mailers

Image by Earthworm via Flickr

What do you do with your cereal boxes after the insides have all been eaten?  We usually just break them down and thrown them into the recycling bin but Michaels has a fun idea for a cardboard craft that’s great for kids of all ages – Make A cereal box journal.

Find out more details when you visit the site HERE

Cute huh?

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Cardboard tube crafts

September 29, 2010 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

When my kids were young I would save EVERYTHING – and I mean everything in hopes of using it as a craft. The one thing we definitely stockpiled was empty toilet paper rolls (and paper towel rolls). I had bags and boxes full. But it sure was worth it. As the pile grew so did the creative uses for them – and in some cases practical uses too (we couldn’t get our outside fire pit started once and used a bunch of them for kindling. It worked great!)

My girls would use them for pretend campfires when they were “camping” in the basement, They would build towers with them too. A few rolls of scotch tape (or a box of bandages in a pinch) and the tubes became binoculars, rafts for dolls and more. Simple pleasures, huh?

Our friends over at No Time for Flash Cards have some great ideas for cardboard tube crafts today too. Take a look HERE and enjoy!

How to Make a St. Patrick’s Day Leprechaun

March 1, 2010 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Faith and begorra! St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner. To liven up your home, teach the children how to make a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun. Not only will it brighten your home, it will also give the wee ones a chance to enjoy hands-on crafts.

Many people associate the leprechaun with Ireland, but don’t realize there are crafts which allow children to make them. In fact, with items found around the home, your child can make more than one leprechaun. And who knows, if you find leprechauns you may also find a pot of gold!

You may be able to find many of these things around your home. For those you can’t find, they’re relatively inexpensive or you can find and print some things off of the internet. Here’s what your child will need:

* Toilet paper rolls (enough for each leprechaun your child wants to make)
* Paper in various colors (black, green, white, yellow)
* Crayons
* Scissors
* Glue
* Brown chenille stems (may also be called pipe cleaners)
* Green craft foam
* Printer to print templates or other items off the internet

Begin by searching the internet for leprechaun crafts at websites like DLTK-holidays.com or jas.familyfun.go.com/crafts which will provide templates for various parts of the leprechaun body for this type of craft.

If you don’t have access to a colored printer, your child will most likely enjoy coloring the areas where color is needed. No matter which type of craft your child is making, the toilet paper tube will need to be covered. This can be done by using a template or measuring the length of the tube and adding half inch extra on both ends. Be sure the paper or green craft foam is long enough to fully cover the paper tube and then glue it down in place. Bend the extra over the edge of the tube and glue it to ensure the paper won’t come off.

Cut out the head, hat, ears, feet, and arms. If the paper these have been printed on is flimsy, your child may want to glue them to an index card to give them extra stability. Then glue the pieces to the covered paper tube. The leprechaun is ready to stand guard over a pot of gold or whatever else your child chooses.

If your child prefers, they can use many of the same ideas using craft foam. Draw a circle around the tube and another one about half an inch larger. This will be the brim for the hat. The center of the circles can be the top of the hat.

Wrap brown chenille stems around a pencil to create spirals which can be glued to the tube. Leave enough room for a face. Either paint the face onto the tube or use one of the templates found. Draw the detail (eyes, mouth and nose) onto the face as well as any other details such as the hands, arms, belt, or a flower in the pocket. Let your child look at pictures of leprechauns to give them an idea of what they should look like.

Once your child learns how to make a St. Patrick’s Day leprechaun, they can use the same basic ideas to make similar crafts for other holidays. Remember, however, since these are made of paper, you’ll want to store them in a box to protect them if your child chooses to keep them. Enjoy the leprechaun and hopefully you’ll find your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

St. Patrick’s Day Children’s Party Ideas

February 3, 2010 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

St. Patrick’s Day is a great holiday. Adults love to celebrate it, but children love it even more. Incorporate some of these St. Patrick’s Day children’s party ideas when planning your own party. And even if the children in your life don’t have a drop of Irish blood in them, they can still have fun at a party to honor St. Patrick.

Costumes

Many children love to dress up at Halloween. There’s no reason they can’t dress up as leprechauns or fairy-folk for the party. Encourage the children all to wear green, whether they choose to wear a costume or not. Have a contest for the child that shows the most St. Patrick’s Day spirit by what they’re wearing.

Decorations

Shamrocks, pots of gold, rainbows, green and gold balloons, and Celtic crosses can all be used as decorations. Ask the children to begin making decorations for the party so you don’t have to do all of the work. They can trace each other on large pieces of paper, and then “dress up” their drawings to look like leprechauns.

Games

Who hasn’t played Pin the Tail on the Donkey at some point in their life? Use the same idea but give it an Irish twist by having the child pin the hat on the leprechaun. You may want to find a picture of a leprechaun in a coloring book or on the internet and print it out. Then make a hat out of black construction paper.

Music

Find Irish songs to play in the background during the party. Many Irish songs can be found online as free downloads. Make a compact disk of Irish songs you can enjoy during your St. Patrick’s Day children’s party and at all other times of the year.

Clear a space for the children to dance. They may not have the moves for a correct Irish Jig, but they’ll enjoy themselves. If you know someone who actually does Irish step dancing, you may want to bring them in to teach the children.

Food

Serve plenty of foods which are green. Dye hard boiled eggs green, vegetables dipped in green dip (add food coloring to a white dip), cut up green apples, green grapes, or kiwi. You may also want to add some traditional Irish foods to the party menu such as Colcannon (mashed potatoes, cabbage, onions, and bacon), Irish stew, or Irish soda crackers with green dip.

When planning a St. Patrick’s Day children’s party, ideas like these make the planning process easier. The party doesn’t have to be elaborate; do what you can to make it festive by using traditional Irish motifs and lots of green. Remember to make the party full of fun activities, music, and food, and the children will enjoy themselves.

Thanksgiving Craft: Pilgrim Hat & Bonnet

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Every Thanksgiving, moms and kids have a fun time creating Thanksgiving crafts, especially the making of Pilgrim hats. It also seems that every year, the traditional black hat with a belt buckle is ingenuously created to wear, hung as an ornament, or made as a centerpiece.

In researching favorite Thanksgiving crafts, there is one item that has rarely been mentioned – a Pilgrim’s Bonnet. While you may see plenty of assorted Pilgrim’s hats for men and boys, it’s time to share a few tips on how to make Pilgrim bonnets for women and girls.

If you are good at sewing, there are plenty of online sites where you can print out a pattern and make a lovely bonnet. If you would like to keep it simple, you can make a bonnet out of white paper. At your local office supply store, you will be able to locate 12×15 white paper. Lay it out on the table, and fold the back underneath about two inches and scotch tape the fold to the back of the paper. Take both corners of the top section and fold them down so they meet in the middle, then scotch tape both corners to the middle section. This is the basis of the hat. In order to wear it, fold it over your head or that of your daughter, and take a hole puncher and punch a hole at each bottom end. Take two pieces of thin white ribbon and put each one through the hole, knotting it from the inside. Now you can take each piece of ribbon that has been secured in place and tie it around the chin. Voila!

There are some wonderful traditional Pilgrim hats which can be made as centerpieces. One such hat was made using black felt material which lined a flower pot. Then a beautiful large buckled strap was placed around the middle of the pot. What was so unique about this piece was the black felt was draped to lie flat, so that when set on a table, it made a lovely centerpiece.

There are so many ways in which you can use Thanksgiving crafts to make Pilgrim hats. Be sure to include bonnets as well. Whether you make them to wear, or have the kids cut and paste to hang them proudly in their room or the kitchen. Either way, it is not only fun, but you can also start a new tradition by having the entire family wear hats and bonnets this Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving Craft: Indian Headdress

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

The most colorful and creative Thanksgiving craft you and your kids can engage in is making Indian headdresses. Whether you prefer one feather, or the full regalia – they are beautiful and fun to wear as well.

Let’s take a look at how to make a few of these headdresses. Basically, it’s one stop shopping at your local craft store. Purchase a plain headband; then choose a wide variety of colored feathers, long, short and in-between. In addition you will need some gold sparkles or stars or any color your kids choose.

Next, have your kids decorate the headbands with the sparkles using glue. Then take the feathers and one by one, glue each feather to the inside side of the band. Start with the first row of short feathers, then the next row of medium sized feathers glued to the first, and so on, until the last row contains the longest feathers. Mix up the colored feathers and place the band around the forehead and Voila! You have a superb looking Indian headdress.

Perhaps one of your children doesn’t want to be the Indian chief, but an Indian girl. In that case, one feather on a colorful band made by your daughter will be just as attractive.

In addition, there are some Indian headdresses which call for a feather placed from the bottom of the headband to the chin, denoting a specific tribe. Your kids may want to name their tribe as well by choosing a logo which they can also place on the headband.

Indian headdresses can be as simple or as ornate as you wish. There is no right or wrong way to make a headdress. The only requirement is that the kids have fun and you take lots of pictures for your scrapbook or family album. Oh, and don’t forget to tell the kids they have to make up an Indian dance as well so you can capture it on video to view for years to come.

Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids

November 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Preschool Crafts

Textured craft card, in a variety of colours. ...
Image via Wikipedia

Are you looking for some fun ways to keep your kids busy during the Thanksgiving holiday? Here are some fun Thanksgiving craft ideas for kids:

Turkey wreath – Buy a straw wreath and various Thanksgiving decorations, let your kids glue on the decorations to make a holiday wreath to hang on your front door.

Turkey cups – With the Thanksgiving family dinner coming soon, you’ll probably have a house full of kids, buy small kid-sized plastic cups and craft markers. Give each kid a cup and let them write their name on it and decorate it.

Turkey placemats – Give your kids colored construction paper and let them make turkeys. After they are finished, mount each turkey on a separate sheet of construction paper, then laminate it. Now they have their own special turkey placemat.

Pinecone turkey – Gather pinecones, then cut out colorful turkey feathers from colored construction paper. Use red felt to cut out the turkey’s comb. Glue your Thanksgiving turkey together, inserting the feathers in between the pine comb leaves.

Thanksgiving flower pots – Buy the smallest red clay pots you can find at your local gardening store (these are super cheap), a bag of potting soil, and packages of various flowers, vegetables, or herb seeds. Let your kids write the name of the seed on the outside of the pot with a magic marker. Next, have them pour potting soil in each pot and plant the seeds. When the seeds begin sprouting in a few weeks, let your kids take their Thanksgiving pots to the local nursing home and give them away as Thanksgiving gifts to the patients.

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