Friday, May 6, 2011

Treat Your Mama Right!

Treat Your Mamma Right!
It’s that time of year when we remember the special women in our lives and all they’ve done for us. Here are a couple project ideas that are not only great and unique handmade gifts for Mom, but also friendly for Mother Nature.

Blooming Hands – A Project for the Wee Little Ones

First take a clean, used

yogurt cup and decorate it with paint, stickers, or even decoupage with recycled paper. This will be your flower pot. For your stem, take a twig, popsicle stick, or wooden dowel and glue it inside the yogurt cup. You may want to glue something else in the base like a rock to keep the flower pot from being top-heavy and falling over when finished. Lastly, with the help of an adult or older child, take a pencil and trace your child’s hand onto either stiff cardstock paper or craft foam. Cut out the little hands and glue them to your stem. Each little finger makes a flower petal. Decorate as you’d like with glitter, markers, or other embellishments. As a final touch, fill up the bottom of the flower pot with rocks, shredded paper, or raffia. Enjoy a beautiful bouquet that never dies, and always brings the beautiful memory of their little hands.

Paper Bead Jewelry-Simple and Stunning
Children from ages 8-98 will enjoy this next green project . Take a piece of paper such as an old magazine or junk mail and cut it into strips or long triangles.

Taking a round tool such as a bamboo skewer or pen tube, wrap the strips of paper around, and put a dab of glue at the beginning and end of the strip to secure it. To preserve the beads, making them stronger and water resistant, there are a variety of paper bead sealants sold at craft stores and online that can be brushed on. This is especially important if you are using paper such as newspaper where the ink will rub off. Once all of the beads are rolled, coated, and dried, the beads can be transformed into earrings, bracelets, or necklaces. Simply arrange them on a strand of yarn or ribbon, or make it a little more elevated with jewelry wire and clasps/jewelry findings easily purchased at most craft stores.

The finishing touches: The Card
More important than any gift we give the special women in our lives, is the expression of our love and gratitude. When selecting a Mother’s Day card this year, use one that has been printed on recycled paper. You could also opt to make your own card from recycled paper and embellish with pictures clipped from magazines, old cards, and old calendars. There are even some companies (and DIY tutorials online) that make recycled cards and tags embedded with flower seeds, so you’re giving a 2-for-1 gift. Once Mom is done reading your words, she can plant the pieces of the paper in soil and enjoy your gift for days to come.

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