Tag Archives: craft

Paper Mache Help from ACTÍVA Products ~ a Crew review

Activa crafting kit review

Crafting seems to be a constant around here and the idea of having some new ideas and products to work with is always exciting. When we heard about ACTÍVA Products and their Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit, we were excited. Miss L loves to create all sorts of things and these materials would be just right. And to make it even more exciting, Activa is offering everyone a copy of their free ebook ACTÍVA Products’ Favorite Sculpture KIDS CRAFTS, which has full-color pictures and directions for creating a number of projects with the kit.

ACTÍVA Products is a company that specializes in crafting materials. They offer paper mache products as well as other several other clay products, colored sand, casting materials, and even a few flower arranging materials. Their site also offers a huge number of ideas and instructions for creating projects with their offered materials. I got a lot of inspiration and have lots of ideas that I want to create.

The Kit

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit
We received the Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit for this review. When they arrived, there was a lot of excitement and we immediately pulled out the packages to look things over. In the box, were unlabeled packages and a photocopied instruction sheet. I’ll admit – these kind of dampened the excitement because I had to tell the kids that I had no clue what any of it was or how to use it. Labels would have been good and instructions on each product of how to use it would have been good.kit contents

After some research, I figured out that we had two rolls of 4 inch wide Rigid Wrap and one 8 oz package of CelluClay. But I still had to do some reading and researching to figure out how to use them. There was, on the copied sheets, instructions on the Rigid Wrap but I had to go to the website to find a sheet of instructions for the CelluClay. (I found it by searching for CelluClay. There is a link to the sheet on the page for the 1 lb package towards the bottom of the page on the right hand side.)

We did finally jump into projects but it was a bit intimidating. It was also very messy. I was very glad I had covered the table with a plastic cloth. And the kitchen floor had needed mopped anyway. These products create a lot of dust and very fine particles.

Rigid Wrap

Rigid Wrap

Miss L chose to use the Rigid Wrap and created an angel and a rose. Sculpting those from the Rigid Wrap took some patience.

Miss L working

To create the angel, she had to build up the biggest part and add the details slowly, The White Angelallowing a bit of drying time in between. The wings took some finesse but she just patiently molded and shaped until they were as desired. Then she held them in place and I fanned until they would hold their shape. After she got it how she wanted it, she set it aside to air dry. This took about 5 days to fully dry and it dried to a matte finish white. She has a collection of angels that she loves that are minimally colored and for now, she will leave this one white, as it fits fairly well into the collection.

For the rose, she cut each individual petal and one strip about 6 inches long. Dipping the roselong one into warm water, she then rolled it up for the center of the rose. Dipping each petal into the water, she would add it to the center, adjusting each petal to the shape and placement she wanted. She would then hold it in place while I fanned it to help it set and dry a bit. With so many pieces all on top of each other, it has taken a long time to dry. She had to leave for camp before it was dry so it will be painted when she returns.

I wasn’t as brave but I did want to try the snowman starproduct myself so I took on the star and snowman ornament from the ebook. Using a cardboard star cut from a box, I cut strips of Rigid Wrap and placed them over the star. Using my fingers to smooth it out and down over the edge, I covered the cardboard. After letting it dry for a bit, I took some of the scraps we had from other projects and used them to scrunch and fashion a snowman. I got the strips a bit wetter so they would stick better to the flat form. I was able to create some definition and depth by twisting and scrunching up the strips as I placed them. After it was fully dry, I painted it. While the yellow paint was wet, I shook some gold glitter down over it to add some sparkle. I hot glued the ribbon onto the back. I kind of like this little snowman. He brought some cool to the hot summer!

CelluClay

CelluClay

The CelluClay, a recycled paper product for instant paper mache, I was a bit leery of. I didn’t feel like I had good instructions. But knowing I needed to at least try it out, I dove in. This product feels like the lint from a dryer. It is just as dusty, too. Please take precaution; inhaling this is awful, causing a lot of coughing. I guessed at how much I would need to make three ice cream shaped pieces from a candy mold I have. I put it into a plastic ziplocking bag and added a bit of water. I added just a bit of water at a time, zipping it closed, and then mashing it around through the plastic to mix it up. Once I felt like it was well mixed, I tried to use it. It was like pulling soggy paper apart and I had to add additional water. I was finally able to get it to a consistency I could use.

I packed it into the mold until it was level on the back and I felt I would get good definition on the front detailing. I then removed it from the mold and added a red bead to be the cherry and to put a cord through. Then, I let it dry. It took about three times as long as I expected for it to dry. I even tried to speed it up, as they recommended, by using a hair dryer. I did that for about 15 minutes and felt like it did not really make much difference. So I left it to dry overnight at that point. When they were dry, I painted them and added the string.

ice cream necklaces

I can see several possibilities for CelluClay now that I have used it. I would love to see the company add good instructions to the kit’s box, either printed on the box or a sheet inside that addresses both products and is easier to read. The project ideas are fantastic and I would love to see more product ideas for CelluClay come with the kit, as well.

ACTÍVA Products has some interesting products and ideas. The  Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit is a great way to introduce your kids to the opportunities that abound with these products.

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Others have been creating some amazing projects with this kit, as well. Head over to the Homeschool Review Crew blog by clicking on the banner below to find other projects.

Rigid Wrap and CelluClay Quik-Sculpting Kit {ACTÍVA Products Reviews}Crew Disclaimer

Creating a Creative Habit – Middle School Monday

Creating a Creative Habit MSM

How do you encourage creativity in your students? If we don’t encourage creativity, it is so easy for students to not become creative.

“I just don’t know what to do.”

“I can’t do it.”

“I’m not good at that.”

These excuses and more are often closing doors. But if we encourage them and create opportunities, the creativity will blossom.

I want to share with you 5 ways in which we try to encourage our girls to be creative.

1 – Give them the needed materials. Whether it is needles and thread and fabric for sewing or glue and paper and tape, even glitter (I know some of you are cringing) – we give the girls the materials they need to create whatever it is that their brains are dreaming up. Cross-stitch, sewing, crafts, legos, paper, tape, glitter, sequins, beads, string, googly eyes, and more make up many, many spaces in our home.

2 – Step away. Once they have the materials, let them use them. Let them experiment. Let them read or dream and create. Without interference, who knows where their ideas will take them. At the same time . . .

3 – Provide instruction. After the experimentation, art classes or fiber arts classes or field trips to learn about the materials and how they are used can all help provide instruction and inspire further creativity. Whether it is taking a child to a specific class or teaching them at home, instruction will give direction to their ideas.

4 – Allow them time. Don’t structure their time so closely that they have no time to just create. I fail at this one quite often. I plan to work on a project with them – getting out the paints or coloring materials – and let it go right by without a second thought. Time is a critical factor in creating and seeing ideas to fruition.

5 – Remind them that no one is good at everything and sometimes, it takes a while to find out where their own strengths lie. So try things. Be willing to make and learn from failures. Because in those failures, learning occurs.
Creating a Creative Habit

These are just some thoughts that have been running through my head today as I watch my girls work with their hands on various things – Lego creations, crochet, creating projects from an American Girl book, finger printing with inks, drawing, and more. All of it is a joy to see, even when I end up with 33,000 bookmarks made by one who just learned to braid and another who loves creating with duct tape. Add to it all the drawings and finger printing – well, family just better be looking for some packages in the mail. 🙂

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Just Sit Still: 20+ activities for helping a child to sit still during recovery – Blogging Through The Alphabet

J just sit still

“Just sit still and do something.” – I have said that so many times in the past few days. One of the girls had a minor surgery this week and needs to take it easy for about 3 weeks. She doesn’t want to. In fact, she doesn’t even know how to slow down, let alone do nothing active for 3 weeks! In a single day, she has gone through everything special we have for her to do – books, movies, math games, board games, clay projects, rubber band projects, more books, more clay, creating doll clothing, computer games. And she is bored. So what now?

Take to social media, of course. Ask your friends what to do and get some really good responses! So, I thought I would share their ideas here since I know that we all have times when we need the kiddos to sit still for a while. Sometimes, they have to be still for a longer time.

j just sit still doll accessories

Some of these ideas are fantastic and we will probably implement. Some don’t apply since she already does them and/or she can’t stand or sit comfortably for any period of time. Restlessness is the name of the game for us right now and we are trying to beat it.

  • Learn cursive
  • Learn to type
  • Sewing
  • Needlework – cross stitch, crochet, knitting, embroidery
  • Puzzles – 1,000 pieces were suggested, wonder if that would keep her busy long?
  • Make paper dolls
  • Origami
  • Writing – a story, letters to nursing homes or deployed soldiers, an autobiography
  • Bakingj just sit still doll outfit
  • Lego challenges
  • Menu planning
  • Card games
  • Dice games
  • Learn/work on a foreign language
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Latch hook
  • Logic puzzles
  • Solar system model
  • Read books
  • Learn jokes
  • Do mazes
  • Design doll clothing and accessories
  • Write poetry
  • Color
  • Clay projects
  • Do anything with craft materials – make a raft with popsicle sticks, create thank you cards with glitter glue, do an art project with markers or paints

These are most of the ideas of things the giggly girl has done or someone suggested. We have been grateful for all the prayers and the cards and activity gifts send her way. It had made such a wonderful difference for her. There really is nothing quite like those who stop by and let their kiddos chat after Wednesday church, bring a bag of clay and glitter glue and stickers, drop off rubber band activities, or mail a fun little clutch bag to color. Add to that the wonderful cards received from friends and church family alike and we feel so amazingly blessed.

J just sit still fairy

Thank you to everyone who contributed, whether it be one of the specific things I named above or for ideas for helping keep her mind occupied while her body heals. You all are blessings.

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Please visit A Net In Time and Hopkins Homeschool and link up your ABC posts.

Origami Paper Dolls

origami-paper-dolls-two

As Miss L continues in her exploration of all things Asian, especially with an origin in China, she has experienced some new and different things. Recently, she was given this origami kit and she LOVES it.

origami-paper-doll-kit

She works diligently on each paper doll until she has folded and fitted and decorated each doll just right.

origami-paper-doll

The results are stunning and absolutely beautiful.

origami-paper-dolls-set

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Simple Guitars for Your American Girl Dolls

simple-guitars

Miss J loves projects. She saw a picture a while back of some American Girl guitars so she wanted to make them. This afternoon, we did just that. Took us all of about 15 minutes to produce two simple guitars that she will endlessly enjoy using with her dolls.

josefina-electric-guitar

Process:

  • Open Google and type in “acoustic guitar black line coloring page” or  “electric guitar black line coloring page”
  • Find an image you like and save it
  • Print it at as full a size on a page of white card stock as will fit
  • Color and cut out. You could add glitter or some other glitzy stuff here but Miss J wanted hers just colored.
  • Find a ribbon and tape it on the back at the places where it will hold correctly on the doll – somewhere at the back of the body of the guitar and somewhere close to the end of the neck.
  • Sling it onto the doll and put on some music so she can perform.

josefina-acoustic-guitar

Simple. That is all there is to it. Enjoy!

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Gifts to Create

There is a very sweet lady at church who often thinks of things for the giggly girls. This week, she gave them two different kits for creating bracelets. They were perfect and we spent yesterday afternoon creating with them.
gifts-to-create

One is a kit to create jeweled bracelets. It taught the girls the basics of how to design and sew in beads on leather straps. Miss J and Miss E started it and Miss J finished it. They didn’t cut it quite long enough so it ended up being a lovely bracelet for a doll.

josephinas-bracelet

The other is a machine to create twisted bracelets from embroidery thread. It was a simple process to learn how to use it and it made beautiful bracelets. Here are two that were made.

twisted-bracelets

Fun, simple crafts that grew out of the generosity and thoughtfulness of a friend. Thank you!

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Christmas Tree Craft Kit

I don’t know about your kiddos but the giggly girls LOVE to do shrinky-dinks. We laugh and enjoy the time making them and have fun watching them shrink in the oven.
shrinky-dink-tree-kit-box

A few days ago, we were in a store and found this craft kit to make a Christmas tree with shrinky-dink ornaments. We pulled it out this morning and colored and baked the ornaments. Then we decorated the tree and hung them. Our first tree is officially up. Well, we are still waiting for the painting on the tree skirt to dry but the tree is up!

shrinky-dink-tree-kit

 

shrinky-dink-tree

Isn’t it fun?!?!

Hope you have lots of joy this holiday season.

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