Summer Making

This is a little post for me to look at come February. I read that book (so good!) & drank that coffee, all the while sitting next to that delicious bowl of blue water. Ah.

In between reading and swimming and strawberry binges, my niece and I tie-dyed a mess of T-shirts. She was a perfect helper at age 11. My advice is don’t bother with younger kids–it’s too tricky and intensive. Can you spot the blue raspberry Coolatta camouflaged perfectly with one of our dyed creations? Forgive me, folks. I’m an imperfect guardian of nutrition. We also dyed spiral designs (not truly hard and they impress people), accordion folds (like the one pictured here), and sunburst designs. I’ve done this project for many, many summers and it’s always satisfying when you unfold the dripping bundles and reveal what you made.

During a post-lunch slow minute, we also made these sun catchers, inspired by the glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. There are many Chihuly lookalike projects online. This one seemed the simplest, plus we happened to have the materials: Sharpies and translucent plastic cups.

We colored stripes and designs on the cups (weirdly enjoyable in a sensory way) and popped them in the oven at 350 degrees. I think 1-2 minutes creates a more dimpled, wavering Chihuly-type bowl but we may have left ours in for 3-4 minutes. Ours were more like tiny Frisbees. They condensed like Shrinky Dinks. We punched holes in them and hung them in the windows. Everyone thought it was fun, even my nephew who doesn’t usually like anything that might be considered artsy or crafty.

7 Summer Crafts to Make with Kids

These 7 crafts should at least fill the first week of summer vacation with the kids. After that, who knows?

1. God’s Eye from the Free People blog

2. Breezy Friendship Bracelets from Molly’s Sketchbook at Purlbee

3. Popsicle Tote from youaremyfave

4. Tie-Dye T-shirts from Martha Stewart

5. Lemonade Stand from Oh Happy Day!

6. Cork boat by Inner Child Fun

7. Wooden Necklaces by Avery Rayne Designs

Summer Craft Camp, Again!

A rainy week at the lake with the tremendous trio of Zeke, Lila and Allie (my son & niece & nephew) resulted in a craft bonanza. We made and we made and we made. Some projects created tangible results, while others were just about the process, man.

Tie-dye spirals--in process

Tie-dye spirals–in process

The list of our productivity is long: salt dough beads (a blast, and with many production stages so we could drag it on a bit–but the wet weather made the beads kind of soggy); paper beads (less soggy); marble painting (our paintings faded but rolling marbles through paint puddles was very intriguing); and tie-dye tees (and undies for those who just couldn’t get enough tie-dye!).

Salt dough beads--somewhat soggy!

Salt dough beads–somewhat soggy!

Here are some helpful links if you happen to find yourself in a damp summer cottage with a few stir-crazy kids:

Salt dough recipe from Crafting Connections

We used this recycled paper bead kit from Green Creativity but you can make them with skewers with instructions from Rookie

Marble painting instructions from First Palette

This youtube video from Jacquard Products really helped me perfect the tie-dye spiral

I Scream for Ice Cream


In the summer, we try to balance our actual ice cream eating with some pretend ice cream eating. It keeps us slim (sort of)! My seven-year-old and I made these nifty ice cream cone replicas out of toilet paper rolls and tissue paper. Cut a line up the side of the toilet paper roll and curl into a cone shape–hot glue will hold the shape and make sturdy little cones. Then stuff with tissue. Voila. Here are the kids selling ice cream out the half door in our cottage.