I’m in charge of the crafts at my mom’s group, so once a month we ladies get together to make something (hopefully) fabulous. I’m sharing because when I started doing this about three years ago, I couldn’t find a good list of ideas all in one place. Hopefully these will be of use to you. If not, just pretend.
Our budget is about $2.50 per person, per craft. That, my friends, is not a lot. Especially when you consider my lofty goals:
LOFTY GROUP CRAFT GOALS
Not Clutter: Make something that I’d like to hang in my home or that I can give away as a gift
Fairly Easy: Make something that everyone can do independently with limited “help” (since there’s only one of me to go around)
Accessible: The ladies will be able to complete the project and feel proud to show it off
Inexpensive, not Cheap: (See Lofty goal #1 + budget above)
I’m not saying every craft achieved those goals, but here are the most successful ones we’ve done lately:
(I would upload a template for the tree, but I drew it freehand. Sorry…. )
We used 12×12″ scrapbook paper, but cut two pieces to create an 11×14″ standard-frame-size final project. It looks nicer if the leaves are color that contrasts with the background (light background, dark leaves or dark background, light leaves.)
NOTES THAT MAY HELP: The hardest part of this was figuring out how to add the leaves. They look better if they’re not RIGHT ON TOP of the branch, but kind of fanned out. The order I put our family on is grandparents at the bottom of the branch (closest to the trunk), parents coming off of them, siblings at the end of the branch with my husband & I meeting in the middle & our girls on the very top. Does that make sense? It actually took me WAY TOO LONG to figure that out, so don’t worry if you’re not following me. I wasn’t even following me at the beginning!
(Confession: We haven’t actually done this one yet. It’s coming up after our Organic Gardener Guest Speaker)
I got this idea from my Mother-In-Law, she has a similar one that hangs on her fridge. It’s nice cause you don’t have to update your calendar every year, and it’s pretty enough to keep hung on the wall. (It will even be MORE helpful when I actually fill in our family & friends birthdays on there.)
The final craft is also standard frame size 11×14″. I made a grid template on 11×17″ (Tabloid) size paper. I cut squares from scrapbooking paper that are 3.7″ wide x 3.5″ tall. I printed a separate page for the white “month” squares. Glue-sticked it all together. Ta da!
SHRINKY DINK SILHOUETTE BROOCH
Seriously? I think my favorite craft we’ve ever done. I literally wear mine three times a week. See this post for my notes (scroll past the sea captain).
GLITTER WORD BANNER
Everything is better with Glitter. We used 12×12″ glitter cardstock from Michaels. It was pricey! ($2 a sheet!) But it was worth it. There was minimal glitter shedding, and it is just so dang fancy. I found that a phrase 13 letters or less worked the best. I laid the letters out in Illustrator, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, flipped them backwards, printed them on 2 separate sheets of paper and puzzle-pieced them together on the back of the cardstock so we didn’t waste any bit of it. After glue-sticking them lightly to the back of the glitter cardstock, we cut them out and scotch-taped them to a string. To get the little holes cut (like the inside of the “e” or “o” or “a”) we just cut right through a portion of the letter. The glitter was so forgiving that you couldn’t tell the “a” or “e” or “o” was taped back together. I gave each lady a file folder to wrap their banner around because these things tangle easily. You will want to say lots of bad words when you get home and they’re a jumbled heap of sadness. But if it’s not tangled, you can hang them up on your wall and feel proud.
I got packs of wooden hangers from Ikea and shoved them in our supply cabinet till I came up with something brilliant to do with them. This is the result. We used one inch “S” hooks from Home Depot and man-handled them onto the pine crossbar thingees. It’s kind of tricky to figure out, but once you get the first one the rest will be easier. You have to kind of push-and-twist them on. But it was either this or pre-drill 60 holes into that 1/2″ dowel for screw hooks. So “S” hooks it is! (I went to Home Depot to look for hooks and there was a nice helper guy there. I didn’t want to explain what I was trying to do. I was embarrassed he’d be all, “Um, whatever lady.” But he opened the pack of “S” hooks so I could try it out and then he was SO IMPRESSED. He told me I should patent this. But since it’s a wooden hangar and an “S” hook, I’ll just share it with you instead.)
The nice thing about this craft is that it’s versatile. Some ladies were going to use them to hang aprons. Others as a key rack. We had leftover ribbon, so we also had this option for storing/displaying barrettes:
(Dude! This post is long! Almost done, swear.)
I suggest you make your cards 4.25″ x 5.5″. Because that’s a sheet of regular cardstock folded in half, then cut in half. Dude, 2 cards out of a sheet of cardstock. That’s crafty AND thrifty.
GLITTER GLUE IS NOT OPTIONAL. See how I made all the cute polka-dots on the backgrounds? They’re for you to dot glitter glue onto. You don’t have to go overboard, sometimes less IS more, but seriously, everything is better with glitter.
Random Bullet Pointed Tips:
* Size A-2 envelopes are 4.375″ x 5.75″, and fit cards that are 4.25″ x 5.5″. Do a google search for A-2 envelopes & find lots of lovely options.
* I buy reams of card stock to make my own cards, but craft stores carry nice little 25-page packs in a variety of colors that are lovely. I use a paper cutter to cut it down to the right size. If I’m really ambitious, I’ll use a butter knife to score where the paper will fold before I cut it. Then I get a pristine fold line. It’s very satisfying.
* Coloring Your Card: I think Colored Pencils are the best. Watercolors will work too (if you’ve laser-printed the designs, but if you printed it on an inkjet printer it will smear.)
* Again I say it, glitter glue is your friend. Embrace the glitter glue. For best results, color the design in first & then enhance & highlight with the glittery goodness.
Here’s a few of the cards we made for the Kidslink Project:
Phew! I think that’s it. I hope you find this useful and HAPPY CRAFTING!!!