Showing posts with label Kitchen Table Crafts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kitchen Table Crafts. Show all posts

November 12, 2023

Tea Party Craft: Felting--Part One

What a week! I've had a record number of visitors to K&K, and I'm thrilled to have found some new blogging pals. This post is one that I was really looking forward to writing, however it kind of got stuck on the back burner due to a lot of chaos around the house. But Mr. Geek took the baby out tonight and let me have some time to work. They went looking at chop saws, tools, and other manly things.

This is one of my primary crafts: FELTING! I take wool and turn it into objects like hats


and ornaments
I do a combo of wet felting (the Part One that I'll be sharing today) and needle felting which will be up tomorrow.

In wet felting, wool will felt when 3 things happen simultaneously. The wool must be wet, hot, and agitated, just like when you and your signficant other are.....wait, I won't go there! Seriously though, you need to have hot water and you need to be agitating the wool.

I start with wool that's already been cleaned, dyed, and carded (combed straight), because I just don't need to be dealing with poopy, dirty wool. Visit Lola to get the details on that.
I buy my wool from Halcyon Yarn, where you can get a big bag for $36. This is generally sold in long, combed "ropes" called roving, which is mostly used by yarn spinners. I like that you get 19 different colors. And by the way, I found this place WAY before Martha Stewart's show did.

I also use a washboard and a plastic felting mat, which looks like a sushi roller. It has plastic ridges on it, which agitate the wool. I've used things like bamboo beach mats and cut-up mesh laundry baskets, but these are easier, and they cost about $3.

I start by laying out the wool on the nubby side of the plastic mat. I pull of pieces of the combed wool, making sure that the fibers all run in the same direction and are parallel to each other.
You'll want to make the wool about 30-50% bigger than you want the final product, since it will shrink. You've probably experienced this when you've accidentally thrown a wool sweater in a hot dryer.

Next, add another layer of wool going perpendicular to the first layer. I chose purple.
Keep adding layers, making sure you have at least 4. My wool sandwich is below:

Now the felting will begin! You need a little dish soap or vinegar to keep the wool from sticking to the mat or your hands and pulling the layers apart. This is crucial for the first part of agitation. Once the wool starts to bind together, you don't have to worry about the layers coming apart.

I take it over to the sink and add a sprinkling of hot water. Then I roll up the mat.
I've rolled it up and will start rolling it between my hands.

Here's a peek at what's going on inside, after about a minute.

I keep adding hot water, and periodically turn the felt before rolling it up again. Now it's starting to felt more and more, and getting smaller and smaller.

I open up the roll every so often and flip the felt so that both sides and all the edges are worked equally.

Once the fibers stick together and I can't pull them off the top, I transfer the felt to my washboard, for some old-fashioned elbow grease.
I rub the felt on the board, turning it as I go to work all the sides. I flip it over too.

Finally! It's felted as much as I'd like, after about 10 minutes. You can't pull any of the fibers off and the felt feels thick and sturdy.
I like how the colors mingled together. It's always a surprise to see how it turns out.

The final step is called "fulling". I roll the felt in a towel
and roll it back and forth, pressing as I go. This removes excess water, and also tightens the fibers.

I flip the felt over, and give it a 90 degree turn and do it again.

And voila! A piece of handmade felt!
How does this relate to tea? Well, you'll just have to tune in tomorrow to see. I'll be demonstrating needle felting then. I'll give you a helps protect your hands from a hot beverage.

September 16, 2023

Kitchen Table Crafts: Simple Animation

Since most kids love watching cartoons, why not teach them a little bit about how animations are created? This craft is one of the simplest ways to show kids how cartoons "move" due to the subtle changes in two or more images. It takes thousands of drawings to just make a short cartoon. In an animated cartoon or movie, one second requires about 12-18 drawings! Most animated films today rely on computer generated images (CGI) so the work in some ways is a little easier.

The craft below is a 2-frame animation, where one image "changes" to another in the blink of an eye. This great website has some other paper animation projects that you can try too.

What You Need:
1 piece of stiff paper (no bigger than 4"x6")
2 pieces of white copy paper (same size as stiffer paper)
markers/crayons/colored pencils
glue stick

What You'll Do:
1. Draw a simple picture on one of the sheets of copy paper. Too much detail will make it difficult to see the animation. Bouncing balls work well.
You can color it now or wait until you finish the second drawing.

2. For the second "frame" of the animation, you want to keep many of the first drawing's elements the same, but change a few to make it "move." For example, I decided to change the facial expression, the arms and a foot. If you make too many dramatic changes, the animation won't look like it's moving.

You can either freehand your first drawing, or do like I did and trace it while holding it up to a window (and not tracing the parts that will change).
Don't be cheap, I mean, a good recycler, like me and use paper with lines on the back, unless you can still see the drawing amidst those extra lines.

3. Once you've traced all of the parts that aren't going to change, bring the drawing back to the table and draw the parts that will change (ie. move). Color both drawings.
4. Glue the first drawing, the background one, to the stiff paper with a glue stick. This will help keep the first paper flat when you are moving the top paper during the animation. You could start out on the stiff paper, but it's a little harder to trace the other image, since light doesn't shine through stiff paper when you hold it up to the window.

5. Staple the second drawing at the top to the first drawing, which will be underneath.
2-3 staples at the top should work just fine.

6. With a pen or pencil, tightly roll the top drawing up to the top.
Once rolled, you'll move the pencil quickly up and down, repeatedly exposing and hiding the bottom image with the top image. This will trick your eye into thinking that the image is moving. You should keep at least a bit of the top paper curled around the pencil while doing this.

Here's an example from one of my students, who was illustrating a jumping girl (hence the motion lines underneath her feet)
In my experience, these can keep kids entertained for hours once they know how to make them. I love that they use few materials, and ones that are easily available in your home. Have fun!

September 7, 2023

Kitchen Table Crafts: Origami Box

I can't believe it's nearly Autumn already, and once that hits, Christmas is right behind. Today's Kitchen Table Craft relates a bit to Christmas--an origami box. This folded box can be used to hold little Christmas trinkets (or anytime trinkets for that matter) or also be hung on the tree for decoration.
It's also a great way to recycle all of those Christmas cards that you're not sure what to do with. It's a shame to throw them away, especially when they have nice sentiments inside. I save my cards for kids to use at art workshops that I teach during the holidays. They're great for cutting up to make gift tags, handmade cards and to decorate your home.

What you need:
  • Old greeting card or stiff paper
  • scissors
  • spoon or bone folder (optional)
  • pencil/ruler (optional)
  • tape (optional)
What You'll Do:
1. Open up the card and cut it in half so you have two pieces to work with (front and back of the card). It's best to use a larger card so that you'll have a larger box. And cards that are made from thinner stock are easier to fold. You may need to use the spoon to press a little harder for thicker papers.
2. Take the front part of the card and put the back panel aside (you'll be using it later). You need to cut out a square from the front piece. You'll want to make sure that the image that will be on the top of your box will be the most interesting, so the center of the square should be the center of the image that you want to use (for example, a face). You can measure out a square with a ruler and pencil, and then cut, or do what I've done by folding one corner down so that the edge lines up with the side of the card.
3. Cut out your square or in my case, snip off the bottom of the card (the white part above).
4. Fold your square in half from corner to corner (mine is already folded from making the square. Then open it and do the same with the opposite corners. You can use your spoon from here out to make the folds if you wish.
5. Next, open your card to the inside (white side) and fold the points of two of the opposite corners into the center.
6. Then fold the edges into the center. These will eventually form the sides of the box.
7. Open the paper and do the same for the other sides, folding in the corners to the center and then the sides.
8. Now for the tricky part. You'll open the card a little bit while standing up the two opposite sides of the box.
There will be some creases already that will guide your folds. With your two index fingers, push in the upper folds of the box while folding the corner point along its folds. It will form the third side of the box and the point will fold down flat into the inner bottom of the box. It's hard to explain, so hopefully the pictures help.
9. Do the same on the other side.
10. The inside of the box will look like this.
11. An alternative to those folds would be to cut the box a bit with scissors. Technically this wouldn't be considered origami, but it might be easier for little hands to fold.
You cut along the folds as shown above, making sure to leave the center square intact (there will be four little "squares" in the center from fold lines...don't cut into those). Then fold the sides in like this
and fold the two flaps over them to hold them in place.

12. If you want, use a piece of tape to keep the points together.
13. Congratulations! You've finished the lid of your box. Now with the back of the card that you set aside earlier, follow the steps again to make the bottom of the box. They are sometimes a little tight to try and put them together, but just wiggle the paper to fit the lid over the bottom.
14. Believe me, with practice, these become so easy to make. I can make an entire box in less than a minute. Granted, I learned how to do these in 5th grade, so I've had years of practice.
My little box family
Related Posts with Thumbnails