Make: Paper Hearts

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Heart Day is almost here. What to make? For me, this holiday is not about red roses but paper and scissors. (And maybe a bit of chocolate, too.) I like trading valentines that remind me of my school days: home-hewn, simple, with lots of pink and red.

Paper hearts fill my criteria for simple: the folds are easy enough for kids’ hands and the results are colorful, with the delicious gloss and saturation of origami paper. I used 3 x 3″ origami paper (which makes 2″ hearts) but larger paper would work well, too.

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Make: Little Things

I spent the rainy weekend making miniatures. I have made a tiny chest of drawers before (although never with leftover torrone boxes), but the wee gum ball machine was a moment of pure Lilliputian inspiration.

I’m planning to bring my creations to school and install them in the shoebox house that the students have been building in our library makerspace. Fingers crossed that they will flip out.

If you are so inclined to make your own mini gum ball machine, you need one of those plastic bubbles (which, yes, come from gum ball machines); colorful teeny beads, and some sort of spool. I think you can intuit the rest but make sure to arm yourself with a hot glue gun.

Happy 2016, folks~

 

DIY: 3D Paper Snowflakes

These paper snowflakes are the miniature version of the kind I’ve seen kids make at elementary school. Instead of 8.5 x 11 office paper cut into a square, I used 3 x 3″ origami paper in many colors. My smaller rendition does require a little extra dexterity and teeny tiny pieces of tape but it is also very easy. Even though the little coils look intricate, they are deceptively simple to make.

Materials:

3″ origami paper

Scotch tape

mini stapler

scissors

 

Step 1:

Fold the 6 squares of paper in half to form a triangle, and then fold again into a smaller triangle.

Step 2:

Make three cuts into the folded bottom side of the triangle, each cut parallel to the diagonal edge. Cut almost to the top, but leave a little space intact.

Step 3:

Unfold back to a square.

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Step 4:

Roll the innermost corners together and tape.

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Step 5:

Flip your square over and roll the second innermost corners together and tape. Repeat (flip and tape) until all of the corners are rolled together. Complete this process with all six pieces of paper.

Step 6:

Join 3 coils together and staple. Repeat with the remaining three. Then staple the two sets of three together in the center. Some instructions suggest that you also staple each coil together, but I found that because these stars are small and compact, I didn’t need to do that step.

String and hang in a window!

Creative Kid: Shoebox House

I recently opened a “maker space” in the school library where I work. In some libraries, maker space refers to a spot for a 3-D printer; in mine, it means something more basic: recyclables, masking tape, glue sticks and scissors.

The kids (grades 3-5) decided to make a shoebox house for a library elf–a mythical creature they hope to lure to our library with some luxe real estate. The project is collaborative, with each group of kids adding to what the others started. I’ve been amazed, watching as the structure grew and grew–the pad even has a pool and barbecue. Although I’ve only had a light hand in the project, I do occasionally get out my glue gun to solidify the foundation.

Our maker space rules are simple: share the space; build, don’t break; and when class is over, clean up the blizzard of little bits of paper scattered all over the carpet.

Roundup: Fall Crafts

Time for an autumn craft round-up! Why not paint leaves? I’ve ironed leaves in sandwiches of wax paper, after all. I also once sewed a patchwork cat–a pattern from a Denyse Schmidt quilt book, but things went askew for me and the kitty came out lopsided and scrawny. Do any of these inspire you?

1. Painted Leaves by Small for Big

2. Gray Patchwork Cat by Purlbee

3. Felt Leaf Garland by A Beautiful Mess

4. Printed Leaf Tags by Skip to My Lou

5. Felt Acorns by Free People blog

6. Halloween Peg Dolls by Mr. Printables