Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Batman and Robin - Superhero crafts for kids

Batman and Robin - kids' craft

Mini superheroes of the egg carton kind! Unfortunately they missed the lego movie opening (villains to catch and all that), but surely it's never too late for a bit of superhero crafting?

You'll need:
Egg carton
Craft scissors
Nail scissors or similar (optional) Adult supervision required
Fine paintbrush
Craft glue
Fine black felt-tip or gel pen
Black marker pen (like a Sharpie)
Yellow and black paper (or plain to paint)

1. Roughly cut out two egg carton cones. On one, draw a pencil line around the cone, just above the bumpy joins at the bottom. Cut along the line. This will be the body.

2. The second cone is for the head, and you only need the very top part. Either estimate this, or use a pencil and ruler to mark about 1.5cm (1/2in.) from the top on all sides, join the marks and cut out. A handy way to do this is to cut up two adjacent corners to the pencil line, bend the card back and cut off the flap - it should be easier now to cut along the rest of the line.

(If your egg cones have holes in the top, brush glue inside the cone and push a small piece of newspaper up to fill the hole.)

We cut out another body and head for Robin.

3. On the body cone, lightly draw a pencil line around it, about half way up. Don't worry if the line is a little wobbly, it's just for guidance. 
Cut up the middle of one cone side to this pencil line, then wiggle and turn your scissors, and cut along the pencil line to the corner and just a little beyond.
Do the same on the other side so you've cut a 'T' shape.

Repeat this 'T' shape on the opposite side of the cone.

4. To form the legs, press the cut edges in the middle towards each other and squeeze each one into a more rounded shape. You should end up with what looks like an impressive pair of flares!

4. For the arms, cut a thin strip of card from the egg carton lid - about 5mm (1/4in.) wide and 5cm (2in.) long. Round it at the ends for the hands.

5. Either cut the arm strip in half after the painting step (Step 9) and glue the pieces either side, or, with adult supervision, use the nail scissors to make a hole in the middle of one of the arm sides (keep the scissors closed, press down and twist from side to side.)

Once you've made the hole, snip up to the top of the cone and down the other side until the slot looks level. Cut an extra sliver out to widen the gap for the arms. Make sure the slot goes far enough down the body, so when you push the arm strip in, it sits below the top part of the cone (the head will be glued here later)

6. For Batman's pointy ears, cut another strip, about the same width as the arm strip and snip both ends into a 'V'

7. Cut enough off each end so the points sit above the top of the head cone. Glue them either side.

8. For Batman's cape, fold a piece of paper (black would be best, but we didn't have any, and any colour will do, just paint or colour-in after you've cut it out). Draw half the cape on the fold - use the body as a guide, so you don't make the cape too big. Cut out.

9. Now, painting time! 

For batman, paint the body and arms grey. When dry use a permanent black marker (like a sharpie) to colour in his gloves and his superhero undies!

10. With a thin paintbrush and yellow poster or acrylic paint, dab a good layer on his chest for the batman emblem. Either paint his belt too, or (as we did) stick on a strip of yellow paper.

11. If you want, paint the bottom half of Batman's face skin colour (mix lots of white with a dab of red and a tiny bit of blue and yellow). We painted the top half white too, but only because the egg carton we used was orange, and we didn't want him to have orange eyes! If you have a neutral coloured box there's no need to paint the face, especially if you want to speed things up.

11. When the paint is dry, use a thin black pen to draw the eye and mouth holes, then the easiest way to finish off, is to colour in around them carefully with the pen. When you've drawn around the trickiest bits (and added a mouth) paint (or colour-in) the rest black.

12. Use the fine black pen to add detail to the belt and logo. Glue the cape on the back before gluing the head in place.

13. For Robin, make a cape in the same way as Batman's, but out of yellow paper (or plain and then paint it). Make it shorter and straight at the bottom.

14. Keep the arm strip out and paint it green. Paint the legs green too and the body red. If you want, paint the face a skin colour and the hair brown, but if you have a neutral coloured cone, you could just leave the face and paint or colour-in the hair, to speed things up. 

15. Dot on some yellow paint with a fine paintbrush for buttons and paint a belt, or stick on a thin strip of yellow paper, as before.

16. Use a fine black pen to draw a mouth and eye holes - then colour-in around the eyes to form the mask.

17. Use the black pen to add detail to the front of Robin's tunic and to colour-in his hands (gloves). Glue the cape on the back before gluing the head in place.



Batman and Robin

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Sunflowers - simple summer crafts for kids

sunflower craft

This is something I’ve been thinking about doing with the kids for a while, and seeing as we’re in France surrounded by sunflowers it seemed like a pretty perfect time! 
Surely it’s impossible to ever tire of fields of sunflowers? Stretching way into the distance, like a sunny bright, cheery yellow sea.

This is a quick and easy project - you'll need:

Paper plate
Brown paint ( or red, yellow and blue to mix)
PVA glue
Dried lentils (or something similar)
Sheet yellow tissue paper

1. If you don’t have brown paint, mix red and yellow to make orange, then add a small amount of blue until you’re happy with the shade.
Mix your brown with an equal amount of PVA glue (we mixed them in an old yogurt pot)

Paint the middle part of your paper plate with a good, thick layer of your gluey paint, then sprinkle liberally with dried lentils (or something similar from the kitchen cupboard) and leave to dry.

3. While that’s drying, fold a sheet of tissue paper over a few times to make a strip (roughly 5cm/3in. wide) Snip the end into a good ‘V’ shape for the petals and cut off. (Use the folded pieces cut away from he sides too, if they’re a good shape)

Snip the petals a part if any are still joined together.

4. Brush glue around the rim of your plate and stick the petals down. You could do one layer only, overlapping as you go. (If you go for this option, we found it looks better if you cut away part of the rim first, so you don’t see it between the petals.)

OR. don’t overlap the first layer of petals, space them out evenly instead, and add a second in-between, to fill the gaps. Just dab a bit of glue at the base of the circle of petals. Add a third ring of petals too if you want.

Two of my not so little sunflowers!

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Shell hedgehogs and other animals - simple summer crafts for kids

We thought we'd share a few simple craft ideas that are fun to do during the summer holidays, whether you're home or away. There maybe a few Star Wars/Batman projects in the mix too, but even these don't need much planning, or a suitcase of craft supplies!

This one definitely doesn't,  just slip a Sharpie (other permanent markers are available..) into you bag and you're good to go!

I love collecting shells - happy memories of summers spent with my family on a beautiful beach near Tyrella in Northern Ireland. I'd walk slowly along the tideline with my head down and my eyes fixed on the scattered shells washed up by the sea. There was always plenty to choose from, but what I really wanted to find was a cowrie or a pelican's foot, because there weren't so many of them. It was like finding treasure when you did.

I think I've past this love onto my daughter, judging by the buckets and bag full of shells that come home after beach trips. We have made all kinds of shell creations with a trusty tube of UHU glue - the shell lady and little baby in a pram are ones I used to make with my Mum.

These are even easier - really just a case of looking at the shell shapes and seeing what they remind you of. The little hedgehogs are made from dog whelk shells which are common on UK beaches.

Simply squiggle and scribble on the main part of the shell with your pen, as far as the first natural groove near the pointy end.

Once you're happy with the squiggly back, draw a nose on the point, 

put it down on a flat surface, and dot eyes either side of the nose.  

That's it! So quick. We made a hedgehog family in minutes.

Limpets made good lion heads too!

Once we got going, the kids had heir own ideas. This is the best kind of craft session for me, when you see their imagination click in.

These needed a squeeze of glue to stick the heads to the bodies.

We only have a black Sharpie away on holiday with us - you could have a lot of fun with colours if you have them. I drew this peacock on a cockle shell a while back.

Hope we've given you some ideas for your next beach trip!