Winter Crafting at THE Academy
With cooler weather comes all kind of indoor crafting inspiration, it seems. Several blogs are featuring ‘show and tell’ of the various crafts that they’re working on, so I thought I’d join in with an update on what we’ve been working on around here. It helps, I think, to get into the spirit of things.
I really wanted a drum, but I’m cheap so buying one (especially as a beginner) is not on my menu. I’d like to have one for a while and play with it a bit before investing in a ‘real’ one, so I started looking up ways to make one. I found this website, which talks about making them from concrete forms. Then I found these videos, which go into detail about how to make them. And so I did…
I couldn’t find packcloth, so I was going to use deer hide, but no one shot anything on opening day of deer season, so I used oiled canvas. I used an 8″ form because I wanted it to sit comfortably between my knees if I was sitting in a chair. I also made 2 smaller ones (for the kids… kinda) that are easier to use if you’re on the ground. Now that they’re made,I actually like the smaller height drums, and I think I’d go with a 10″ or 12″ tube instead of the small one for an adult. The 8″ ones are great for the kids. Good thing this is a cheap craft! The tube was $8, the hoops were $1, the Gorilla glue was $6 and the fabric was $6 (but I’ll get multiple uses from the glue and fabric). So each drum was about $7.
The oiled canvas has a deeper sound than the material in the videos, which I happen to like. I tacked the fabric with staples, then covered the staples with electrical tape to hide them. I left the staples sticking out so that if I need to remove them, I can easily pull them out with pliers. I still need to paint them (or cover the bodies) and cut out the feet so the sounds can get out, but here’s a glimpse of what they look like. I’m a fan of the hounds-tooth head. Tres chic!
I must say, an old aluminum trashcan lid makes an excellent shield for a kid. PeaGreen has often brought home loot that other people have tossed out. Every time he goes for a bike ride, he brings back some treasure that will go into his ‘building pile’ in the backyard. He’s a pretty creative kiddo, and the shield is only a small example of that imagination and ingenuity. We’re getting him Crazy Forts to encourage this interest in construction. Here’s our ‘how-to”:
- clean up and spray paint the ‘inside’ of the lid with silver spray paint.
- We used this shield pattern (it’s a Hylian shield, from Legend of Zelda) as the main decoration. Since his shield is round and the Hylian one is not, we’ll shade the areas that were outside of the pattern and embellished a bit.
- I sealed it with an acrylic sealant, but I think waterproof ModPodge would work too, and might give some added texture. The ‘beat up-ness’ of this shield lends authenticity, I was told.
Now we need a helmet.
Birthday Fun and Gingerbread Men
LittleBoyBlue’s birthday was this past Friday, so we joined some friends at Adventure Kingdom – a medieval themed mini-golf establishment, for cake, golf and bumper cars. Contrary to what this picture might suggest, they had a blast. I’m always amazed at how little minds work. He got it into his head at one point that all of his friends only came to do the fun stuff, not to be with him. After some reassurance that this is not so, he was fine, but I wonder where he got that idea from.
I’ve never made gingerbread cookies before, so we decided to make some yesterday. We found a recipe that promised tasty and not too firm goodies and went to town. They rolled nicely between freezer and parchment paper, and cut beautifully once I got the hang of rolling dough. Then we iced them with a lovely royal icing (made with lime juice instead of vanilla; I think next time I make it, I’ll add another egg white or maybe some cream of tartar to make it a tiny bit more firm, but overall it was great). I let the kids use a new marinating syringe (sans needle) to pipe the icing – worked great! We still have 2 packs of dough left to make, so this will be an on-going craft, I’m sure.
On the menu for the next few days is candy-making and more baking and sewing; I found a craft blog with mittens made from old sweaters that I might like to try. The ‘dragon mittens’ are super cute and I can think of a few kids who might need a pair. I have some fleece blankets and outgrown sweaters that might be great for this.
What’s on your craft table?