Star Mobile

As I mentioned in my cocktail umbrella wreath post, we had a rainbow themed party for my son.  One of the decorations that we did for the dining room, was to spice up our light fixture with a star mobile.  This is basically the same craft that I did in my Butterfly Mobile tutorial, but I made it a little more pro this time because it wasn’t just a whim.

Here’s what I used:

  • Craft foam in various colours
  • scissors
  • elmer’s glitter glue
  • crayola glitter glue
  • vinyl thread
  • needle

I cut out craft foam stars in 6 different colours and had my kids decorate them using glitter glue.  I then used clear vinyl thread to attach them to the light fixture.  I used a needle to get the thread through the foam and tied a double knot so the thread wouldn’t pull all the way through.  I then tied the other end to the light fixture.  This gave the illusion that the stars were just hanging in mid air, which definitely impressed the 5 and under crowd 🙂

Home Made Play Dough

My kids are play dough lovers, but not always so good at remembering to put it away before it dries out.  That’s where home made play dough comes in 🙂  Much less expensive than the store bought stuff and I like to make it nice and soft so my kids can use the noodle making tools on their own.  The recipe I use is a combination from the Feed Me I’m Yours book by Vicki Lansky and a recipe that I picked up at the Early Year’s Centre in Olreans.  Here it is:

Mix in a medium bowl:

  • 1 cup white flour
  • 1/4-1/2 cup salt ( I found in Ottawa 1/4 cup was enough, but out here on the coast I need closer to the 1/2 mark)
  • 2 Tbsp cream of tartar

Add:

  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup boiling water

Mix with a wooden spoon until it is cool enough to knead with your hands.  At this point I usually have to add a little more flour.  Again, I didn’t when I was in Ottawa, but the maritime environment is just too humid!  I always have to use the max or extra flour in bread recipes too.

Now add the food colouring.  When the kids were little I used to just make it all one colour, but now that Danny is older, he likes to mix colours.  I take the opportunity to divide the play dough to give him the chance to try out a few colour combinations. Today we used Club House Neon liquid food colouring for a fun change.

Thanks to Crayola’s creative colour naming, Danny decided to give them all names.  The blue one is Blue Wave Swirl, the pink one is Pink One’s Kitchen, and the orange one is Orange Trombone Blast.

Butterfly Mobile

This craft got five stars from both my kids, and as usual, it’s not quite what I had in mind when I started.  However, the end result was more awe inspiring than the original would have been.

This craft really started with a buy one get one for a penny sale on craft foam at Micheal’s.  I decided instead of buying a second pack of regular foam I would buy a pack of pre-cut butterflies.  Once I got them home I sort of regretted the buy because I thought a few might be fun, but it was going to get boring decorating a whole stack of butterflies.  So the butterfly foam pack has been sitting in my craft closet for a few months and I had been mulling over the idea of doing a mobile with some of them to at least deplete the stack .  Yesterday when Danny wanted to craft he spotted them and asked to make some butterflies.  I sold him on the mobile idea and we started to decorate.  We actually had lots of fun and between the three of us we decorated 11 butterflies!  I had planned on dismantling his planetary mobile that we made a few months ago and replacing the planets and stars with butterflies, but as I was laying them out to dry on the dining room table, I looked up and realized that our light fixture would make a really great mobile base.  My son was more than thrilled to have his work on display in such a high traffic area of our house 🙂  It does add a certain je ne sais quoi to the ambiance in our dinning room (and by je ne sais quoi, I literally mean I don’t know).  My husband claims that he know exactly what it adds, and judging by his tone it wasn’t all good… Oh well, he’ll just have to get used to it.  I suspect having a mobile in our dining room is going to be a recurring project idea 🙂

Okay, so here’s what we used to make this mobile (so many substitutions are possible, so just use what you have!)

  • pre-cut craft foam butterflies
  • peel and stick craft foam flowers
  • peel and stick sparkly craft foam (I cut it into small rectangles)
  • Crayola pip squeaks glitter pens
  • Elmers Shimmer and Shine art glaze
  • crochet thread
  • darning needle (a.k.a yarn needle)

And here’s how we made them:

  1. Gather all your supplies and decorate the butterflies.  The kids don’t need a lot of help with this one, so I decorated some butterflies as well.  I found that my decorating gave the kids ideas for how they could decorate theirs.
  2. Thread your needle with crochet thread and use the needle to pierce the foam butterflies.
  3. Tie crochet thread to your mobile base (in this case my light fixture).

NOTE: After I hung them all up I realized that we could have let them dry completely and decorated the other side as well before hanging them.  We may do that next time, although the effect is still quite impressive with only one side decorated.