Sunday, December 21, 2014

No-Sew Snowman

I remember making these in elementary school for our holiday party craft one year. They are cute and easy to make. The girls love them and it's made out of things that you can normally find around the house. If not then the most expensive thing is probably the pack of socks. The items can be substituted with other things as well so don't feel like you have to use everything I used.

The Items I Used:

  • tube socks (white)
  • scrap fabric (2- 1ft strips per snowman)
  • poms
  • hot glue gun
  • eyes (normally used to for crocheting/doll making)
  • rice
  • a measuring cup or a scoop of some sort for the rice
  • Elmer's/white (water-based/non-toxic) glue - Optional (if making the nose out of fabric)
  • rubber bands
  • A nose (I used fabric)

Making the Nose (Optional Step)

This isn't a necessary step if you use something else. All I did was take a small piece of orange fabric and roll it into a shape of cone or if that isn't something that is easy, roll it into a tight tube-like shape and let it dry. 

If you used a tube shape, you'll need to trim the nose when it's done and shape it into a carrot. You'll need more glue to keep the fabric still. (Picture below for an example of how it can look after trimming.)

When you are done with that, cut the carrot nose into the size you desire. This step can happen at the end if you aren't sure how you want to have your nose.

Cutting the Sock

Left: Hat side. Right: Body
Cutting the sock is what you need to do next. The bottom of the sock (the rounded/closed-off end) is the body of the snowman. How you figure out where you need to cut on the sock, is by finding an inch or so above the halfway mark on the actual sock, not the elastic band (cuff? What is that part of a sock called?). You won't need the elastic part. The other end is for the hat. That needs to be slightly smaller than the body. (Check the next photo if you are confused.)

Now take the elastic part of it and you can throw it away or use it for something else. I'm sure you can find another craft for it. Set the part you need for a hat aside. That won't be needed until later.

Adding the Eyes

If you use doll eyes like I did, you'll want to do this part before you start filling your snowman. If you are gluing buttons, you get to skip this part.

The bottom half of the sock is going to be the bottom of the snowman. So that leaves the middle to almost the top part of the sock for you to figure out where you need to put the eyes. 1 inch, or a little more, from the opening needs to be free to tie off later. I'd say about 2.5 inches (maybe 3 inches) from the top should be a good place for the eyes.

Fill the Sock

This is the easy and sometimes messy part of the project. If you are working with little kids, I would suggest letting them work over a bin or a tray that will catch the rice (or whatever it is you are using) to keep clean up a little easier.

So, now, you fill the sock. Not all the way to the top.

Stop when you reach just below the eyes or maybe exactly where the eyes are placed. It depends on how heavy you want it.

Tie It Off

Take a rubber band to close off the top of the sock. This will keep the rice secure and won't spill  for the next step.

Separate the Head From the Body

I don't mean separate it literally. Just distinguish where you think you need to tie off the head from the body. You want to make sure you have a very elastic rubber band for this because you'll have to stretch it around the head at least twice to keep it secure.

That's how you separate it. I bent the head back so you can see it. The head will wobble a bit but that's okay. Just don't let the kids throw it around. It will either loosen the top rubber band or rip the sock. Either way it will be a mess.

In the end of this step, you'll have this cute sock creature but s/he need to have a hat. You'll need that hot glue gun ready.

Add the Hat

Now take the other part of the sock that you set aside and put it on top of the head. It will curl up a bit which is good. You'll need to fold it back a little, like the picture shown above. 

Then glue it down with the hot glue gun. I do a dot on the forehead, both sides of the head and the back of the head. It will keep it on.

Get Your Fabric And Cut It

Pick your fabric or whatever material you're using. We need to make the scarf and the bow or the tie-off to the top of the hat. as well.

You need two long strips of fabric. These should be about 1 foot long so you can have creative freedom with it. I had to tie bows several times for the girls. The extra length is good for that.

Tie On the Scarf

Wrap the scarf around the snowman's neck as you desire. Trim whatever excess fabric off the end and keep it in place with a little bit of hot glue. I always glue down the part of the scarf by where I tied it to keep it from flying everywhere. It's a preference thing.

 Tie Off the Top

Tie the top whatever way you desire. I did a bow because it looks cute and they are simple. Don't forget to trim the fabric. Add some glue if you need to keep it in place and then we have the final stages.

*Note: If the fabric is fraying too much, trim off the fray and add clear nail polish or Elmer's/white glue to the edges. It should stop it from fraying too much. There are a lot of ways to go about doing it.

Add the Details

Add the nose, the buttons, and if you decided to glue the eyes on, add those as well.




Here is another way to make them. Turn the sock inside-out to give it a fuzzy look.

There are a lot of things that can be substituted in this craft with whatever it is you have at home.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Gingerbread Houses. Again!

The last two years the girls and I made gingerbread houses as a craft. I didn't expect it to be any easier than it was last year. I was right. I started off by making the houses while the older girl, Aubrey, was at school. That was so it could set. Brynna, the youngest, really wanted to help but there wasn't much for her to do. She tried though. That's what counts. Well she tried to eat the graham crackers. Which is basically the same thing. 

I only used graham crackers and frosting. A lot of people mix things in their frosting to make it stay but I've never had to. It hardens if you let them set for a few hours. Considering the girls didn't break theirs, it works just fine. If there isn't enough time for that, that's a whole different story.

We made three houses. One we all helped with and then the girls got to make their own. I cheated and bought a kit for the decorating. It was cheaper and they had light shaped hard candies.

These are the girls' houses that they made themselves.
The hardest part about making these houses are trying to get the kids to stop eating the candy and licking the frosting. They weren't happy when I threw everything away. The candy was everywhere! I don't think this is something I'm going to be doing again for a long time.

It took about an hour and the girls sat through the whole thing but they seemed to enjoy it. 

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Getting Back Into Art

I haven't been around in several months. I guess another thing I have to get back into is blogging, not just art. I've been posting a lot of the things I make on my instagram but that's about it. Since my sister and I moved to a new place, I've been wanting to do some more artsy things. I bought some air dry clay that I plan to use eventually. It's not the paper clay that I like but it will do for now. I just want to get back into it.

Just recently, I bought a new sketch book. It's not a big one but I don't plan on using paint in this book like I normally do. I plan to start the year off with zentangles. They are time consuming but they are fun. I do enjoy them. I'm currently shopping around for good pens. My go-to pen of choice is usually always Mircon but since it's not in my price range (or when it is, they never have the sizes I need) I need to find a cheap alternative. I used a cheap craft store brand pen this time. It's the same as a Miron but they are cheaper and don't last as long.

This is the zentangle I started out with. It wasn't supposed to be a zentangle but the dumpy little flower I mad looked awful so I had to fix it up. I ended up making this. A lot of it was experimentation. Like the boarder. I saw it on Pinterest and just had to try it. 

My other practice sheet (above) is just a bunch of circles and I'm filling in the spaces. I consider this more as a reference sheet than anything. A lot of these I had to come up with randomly. Some of the patterns I found on Pinterest. This is my work in progress.

In 2015, I'm hoping to start blogging again. I want to do more art. I want to reopen my Etsy shop (and open my other one while I'm at it). There are things I need to do before then and that is make stuff. My Etsy shop(s) won't be open in the beginning of the year but I want to start making things for them. I guess we'll see how it goes.