The Ultimate Art and Craft Box / Kit !

How to diy art and craft kitThis is a simple post about helping Moms, new Moms, creative and Non-creative Moms understand, how you can get alittle organized beforehand and make beautiful memories while your little one enjoys spending that special time with you.

I’ve been a craft artist for nearly two decades. I love crafting. It is not only my passion, but it also completes me.

“Crafts” is a tiny term which encompasses a whole range of activities.  Unfortunately most of us, tend to associate it with painting or drawing or probably alittle bit of cutting.  But that’s not necessarily all that there’s to it.

I’ve taught in a couple of schools but several prestigious art institutes.  I’ve held Mother & Toddler classes, Workshop for ladies and classes for youngsters as well.

Today, in this post, I will address one concern that most moms have echoed over the years to me, how they find themselves all over the place when it comes to having some craft time with the kids.

There are 4 things, I’d like for you to remember before we address the craft dilemma :-

  • Please hold your ‘fun craft time’ – as a time to explore new activities TOGETHER. It is a time when you actually MAKE MEMORIES – its supposed to be FUN. Not a task.
  • Please know, that NO ART WORK is ever “COMPLETE OR PERFECT” – it is ALL in THE PROCESS.
  • Please remember, appreciate your child’s effort, no matter how tiny. He is trying to please YOU as well.
  • Long after they have grown, they will still cherish these priceless moments. So don’t try to work on making it “Perfect”.  Remember, “its the imperfection that adds character.”

Here are some of the issues  :-

  1. Insufficient tools
  2. Inadequate know-how
  3. Unaware of places to shop at for supplies
  4. lack of energy to drive around to places for supplies
  5. Packed craft kits are expensive
  6. Packed craft kits have limited supplies

So, I’ve decided to address all of these 6 issues one by one.

FYI, One of my most visited blog post is where-do-you-buy-craft-supplies-from-in-dubai

Moms who have toddlers in their troublesome twos, realize that children need various activities besides toys, to keep them stimulated.  Hence in a desperate attempt to help the little one, they grab the first craft kit that they come across in the supermarket aisle.  However, I agree that most craft kits are aimed at a specific activity and supplies are really limited.

I’m going to advise you on how you can ease the process of crafting with your toddler/little one.

Please remember, children are not just visual learners. They learn by touch, feel, smell, sight, sound and THE PROCESS !

For the first 5 years of their life, they are still getting the hang of the hand and eye coordination – gross motor skills.

They are virtually charged 10 hours of the day to play, practice and have fun.  Thru it all, they are LEARNING.

Adapting to their environment and understanding their own movements.

Let us consider a routine scenario.

Our young first-time-Mum watches this youtube video about 5 easy crafts to try out with little Sarah.  (point2 addressed) [Google and Youtube videos ‘can be” a new Mom’s best friend since they can guide you tremendously around the process of crafting with kids]

She thinks its easy enough to try it out with her little one.  She rushes to the nearest Toy store and searches high & low for a craft kit for toddlers ! { point3 – this mom had the strength and enthusiasm to drive to the Toy store. Full marks to her but (point4) not all of us drive or have a store close by, hence we can buy online as well } Refer here

Realization – most crafts kits are aimed at children older than 5 years !!  Heaps of toys are available – but not craft kits !

FYI – one of the reasons for this is that alot of craft supplies have small objects which can cause choking hazard for little ones and companies do not want to risk getting into such waters.

Ofcourse you can opt out and buy one of those ridiculously expensive painting kits with sponges and fancy brushes (Point 5 is valid and real)  But then of course, Mom can splurge over little Sarah.

So Mom buys it and brings it at home – 2 days of fun and mess later, chances are a few of the brushes ‘may’ have gone missing under the sofa, the paint tub is all but nearly over and our little Sarah has decided, she’s had enough of Mona Lisa. (point6) Most little children have a short attention span. Give them easy crafts to work with. They may work with one painting but once its over, they need something different. 

This is where little Sarah is restless and Mom is getting frustrated too as her she realizes these craft activities are probably not her cup of tea !!

THIS IS WHERE I STEP IN !! Don’t fret and fume Mama.  Read on …. there is relief for you.

We’re going to assemble the ULTIMATE ART AND CRAFT BOX for you so that every time, you want to try out an activity with your child, all you have to do is, spread the ‘drip sheet’ on your table or work space and get the supplies you need, out and voila ! Start your crafting adventure !! You never know – you might discover you really like crafts 🙂

First thing –  Chances are, you might already be having a plastic box, bucket, basket or a large container at home. Its best if it could be large and preferably with a lid. In fact, the large transparent bin with wheels from IKEA is most ideal for this purpose.  Here are a few options :

Here are some of the most basic supplies :-

I highly encourage little children who are still developing their gross motor skills to use crayons or color pencils rather than colored markers.

Please remember, a scribble made by a 2 year old, might be an entire story from his imagination. Hence please appreciate it and ask him/her questions relating to that. See how his/her eyes sparkle as he describes 3 stories from one picture !!

Avoid buying large A3 size drawing books becoz children tend to use only a partial amount of space. Infact, I keep photocopier sheets handy, which can later be framed or placed in protector sleeves and hung up on the fridge or their study desks.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble rubberband.  Also remember to pack a few of the large black paper clips.

Alot of crafts ask for pipecleaners too. From acting as the stem of a flower, to the antenae of a butterfly, pipecleaners/chenille have plenty of uses.

Several crafts require drinking straws. They are colorful, they are easy to manipulate and children associate blowing air or making bubbles with them.

Long after the clothes have been dried, these clothespin will be super handy in the craft box. From the body of an insect to decorating a recycled jam jar, there are endless uses of this innovative creation. An absolute Must-have for our craft box.

Styrofoam balls come in various sizes. Apart from the easy snow man, you will find several sites full of ideas on how to use these, creatively.

Below, you will find tiny sparkling stars in packets,  pipecleaners which are plain and sparkly, styrofoam balls, childproof scissors and glitter tubes.  I would definitely include all of these EXCEPT GLITTER tubes.  They are a highly messy idea and I would prefer the children to be atleast 6 years old  before they get their hands on glitter.

I absolutely LOVE this bumper kit. You could buy the items individually or just add 2 packets of these in our craft box and Voila !  Tip – These could be included as return gifts for birthday parties too !!

If you are not able to get crepe paper, the below tissue gift wrap paper will do the trick just as well. Most crafts for tiny toddlers revolves around tearing bits of pieces of these sheets and sticking it to various items.

I don’t think, any craft kit can be complete without a Sharpie marker. Although the below marker is NOT a sharpie, I think, it might do the job ! Traditionally these are alcohol based hence you can use these to draw on plastic and metal.

The value pack with 25 pieces is ideal.  It is always advisable to use the thicker paint brushes for children.  Don’t expect little fingers to hold tiny brushes. These kits with sponge faces are also fun for little ones. Just drop alittle paint in a paper plate and dab the sponge for endless hours of fun !!

These alphabet stampers are good when you want kindergarten children to practice remembering their alphabets OR sounds. It takes the stress off, from having to write. But they are optional.

 

  • Every mothers nightmare is the aftermath of an art and craft activity – This drop sheet should be able to solve that issue, Mom !

Just spread it on the table or floor and use the spring clamp (in the below picture) to hold it tight to an object, alternatively, you can use the white and blue striped sheet rolls, available in supermarkets. They too are efficient.
One fun item I would include would have to be these Ketchup dispenser bottles.

Use ? – You can find several recipes for puffy paint and these bottles are perfect for squeezing the paint and designing with.

Here are some more tips.

  • A glue gun is a handy tool (almost an essential item for every Crafter) . However, it can be introduced to  children once they are over 10 or 11 years of age.
  • When working with little children, use only paper masking tape. Not the plastic kind.
  • Please don’t buy the plastic scissors for toddlers. It practically NEVER works.
  • If you want to know which is the best brand for erasers and sharpners, kindly subscribe to my blog for the next post which will have details on various brands.
  • Over the years, I have realized, aprons don’t help all that much. It inhibits their movement and if anything, the plastic rubbing against eachother is a bother to most kids. Just get them dressed in one of your husband’s old Tshirts !
  • Red, blue and yellow are primary colors, inorder to attain any other color, you just have to mix, any two of these two colors.  So you don’t need a dozen tubs of colors. A few will do.
  • I have compiled this list considering almost all homes have paper staplers and paper punches !

So there you have it !

All the pictures in this post were taken at Dollar Plus. *However please note,  this post is not in affiliation with them. I am NOT being compensated by ANY Dollar store for this post.

When I share my experience or any information with you over here – it is done purely to help, moms, teachers, crafters, students and people who don’t have the time or energy to research these avenues.  I have NOTHING to gain from it except perhaps some appreciation from people who leave kind words of gratitude in the comments.

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Creative Craft Mornings

Over the past several years, my skills have evolved.  I feel a sense of satisfaction after every completed project. Sometimes, even a little disappointed after a failed completed project – never the less, just the sheer joy of being able to create something with my own hands is exhilarating.

Till the period we were living at Arabian Ranches, I held craft workshop for ladies and art classes for children. That was, till 5 years back.  And then we moved to Al Warqa.

I missed my routine friendly creative exchanges with ladies and the young ones too.

There is such immense joy, when you have been instrumental in helping someone discover a latent talent.

Hence, moving to The Villa – Dubailand, gave me the opportunity to restart my workshops.

It was one of the best things about 2017, for me – CCM (creative craft mornings).

I was conducting craft workshops for women at my villa.

After a hiatus of nearly 5 years, I restarted this initiative and I was overwhelmed by the response.

In Dubai, we have sewing/quilt/crochet clubs, and we have quilling/papercrafting classes, however, I feel, there are far too many crafts that cannot be categorized and thats exactly, what I was offering.

There were ladies from the age group of 22 right upto 72 years !!  These were ladies, who had the zest to learn, inspite of busy schedules and running a hectic lifestyle, between career and family.   Ladies, who had to pick children from school, prepare a meal, manage their homes, attend meetings and yet they believed in giving the workshop, a chance.

I prefer to address all of them as my friends, rather than my students becoz, in essence, I learnt more from them than I taught them.  If we are really passionate about something, we will find a way to pursue it.  One of my dear friend came from Arabian Ranches and another friend from Mamzar while yet another from Jumeirah Beach Residence !!!

Finding a haven where you won’t be judged or laughed at, is precious. We learn better, we explore deeper, we grow further and we develop faster.

We did a project, where my friends had to hammer nails into a block of wood. I was really surprised to observe how quickly they learnt, steadied their hands and hit the hammer with firmness and not only that, its quite tiring having to hit the hammer 25 – 30 times.

Every project they attempted was remarkable, considering no one had attempted such projects before.

Every one learnt something new, a skill, a technique, a design,  especially me.

I learnt that, making friends with like minded creative people is A GIFT !!  And I cherish these friendships.

I was truly overwhelmed.

Enthusiasm, patience and perseverance are the only ingredients needed to brew any success story.

Needless to say, the results were amazing.

Here are some photos :-

I am determined to restart these workshops again this year as well.

I truly hope to be able to carry on with newer projects here in Mirdif too.

Do you enjoy a particular hobby ?  Are there any workshops close to where you live ? Would you like to join CCM in Dubai ?

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Organizing Craft workshop and designing masks.

Did you know, not every great artist can be good teacher.

Arts and Crafts are a very personal affair and very few of us have the flair to “teach”.

Most of us are excellent at demonstrating our skills as artists and designers but teaching is a skill, all on its own and not all of us are equipped with what it takes to be an motivational teacher.

I believe a ‘good’ teacher is one who can inspire you, one who has patience, and one who is prepared to accept the chaff (those who may not be exceptional talented but who are zestful and eager to learn ) as well as the wheat grain.  Alot of people believe that you have to be born with artistic skills – but I don’t adhere to that theory. Skills can be cultivated and talent can be honed.  Everyone who stumbles upon a craft-kit, is not looking to build something magnificent – but he might find comfort in simply ‘trying’ to build something abstract out of it – maybe that is his prowess. That’s where the creative adroitness of the instructor comes handy.

organizing-craft-workshop-and-designing-a-mask

I’m going to talk more about crafts here, rather than arts.

I have been teaching crafts for the last 12 or so, years, in schools, art institutes, with corporate organizations, and one aspect that stands out in “crafts” is that, alot of planning and organisational skills are required for a workshop or class.

Some of the aspects, you should figure out before committing to a workshop are :-

  • The length of the activity
  • The age of the group
  • The ability of the group
  • Will any assistance be provided for a group larger than 7 or 10 participants ?
  • The venue and availability of wash basin, electric socket.
  • Hanging equipment if project needs to be hung for drying.
  • Leg work on the theme :- research the theme, source photographs, make a fancy power point presentation and have a small write-up to introduce the background story to the students
  • Plan all the supplies needed.
  • Inorder to calculate all the supplies and quantities needed, I suggest to ‘actually’ work this activity out and figure out how much time and the quantity of supplies needed. Then add that by the number of participants.  And remember to carry spares.
  • Visiting the venue atleast once before the workshop is a good idea. And it also helps to develop a smooth rapport with the coordinators.
This December, I was invited to give a workshop at DUCTAC located at Mall Of Emirates.

Crafts are so much fun but it can be challenging when we coordinate the activity with the curriculum or in this case, the theme.

The theme was Threads:  A link between two totally different cultures or countries, of a peculiar habit, tradition, game, food, ritual, structure etc. Obviously, I had to come up with a craft based on it as well.

I found this theme very exciting and after a day of relentless research, i was fascinated with what I discovered. While at it, I also realized, what separates us, are our differences, while in our similarities, we find solace and unity.

Here are just a few of the similarities I found, in my research. (ofcourse, there must be a few hundred more !!)

  • China – India                                                            ⇔ Kites

    Both the countries are known for the zest with which they enjoy the sport of playing with Kites. However, kites in China, are much more elaborate and designed in various shapes, much unlike India.

  •  U.S.A – Russia – China – Burma                       ⇔ Bells

    Amongst many other countries, these four countries are known to have Bells playing a remarkable and important historical role.

  • Egypt – Mexico – Cambodia – China                ⇔ Pyramid structure

    Although the Egyptian Pyramids are the most popular structures known worldwide, Mexico, Cambodia and China are also known to have their own ancient mystical prism structures.

  • Africa – India – China – Japan                           ⇔ Masks

    Different cultures symbolize the mask with various deities, animal, spirit or human. Made from ceramic, wood etc, communities use masks for weddings, funerals, coming of age. They ask for spirit blessings, protections etc. They use it to tell stories and impart wisdom. Used in puppetry as well as ceremonial celebrations.

  • Australia –  USA Arizona                                    ⇔ Boomerang

    Although the earliest boomerang was designed in Australia, it is widely used and played with in Arizona – USA.

  • Mexico – China                                                     ⇔ Bowls

    (Taco Bowl / Bowl to eat rice and noodles) Rice is one of the staple grains in both Mexico and China – Infact they handicraft their own bowls to eat it in !

  • Bali – Mauritius                                                    ⇔ Woven baskets  

    Both Bali and Mauritius weave their own baskets but in different designs and colors and techniques.

I decided that my subject would be Masks.  It intrigued me just as much it did, to the children.  I provided the children with cardboard after the power point presentation on how, why, when and where masks are worn,  all over the globe and then asked them to design their own masks, providing them inspiration and a whole lot of recyclable material. It was amazing what the children came up with – far beyond expectation. mask-making-craft-3

Here are a few samples from one of the groups.

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One of the reasons, I love this project is becoz it helps children play and utilize scraps of foam, cardboard, buttons, macaroni, foam cups, beads, thereby realizing and understand the main concept of reusing items found around the house.

Clearly the kids enjoyed it and got to take a little of History and Geography back home too !!

I believe imparting  knowledge and information is very gratifying.

I hope I have been able to inspire you into trying something new, something unique and something fun today. If so.. please do write to me.

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20 Ways to recycle fancy carry bags/shopping bags.

Hello friends. I’m so glad your visiting me today. How have you been ?

If you’re visiting me, having read the title of this post, then naturally, your a craft or a recycling enthusiast. Either ways, I am so happy to share some of my ideas with you.

Two things that are found in abundance after any seasonal holiday, are, carry bags and wrapping papers. As a nature lover, I find myself investing a lot of my time, energy and creativity around, recycling, reusing and upcycling things. There can be nothing but gains out of this initiative.

Today, I am sharing a very simple idea with you.  My children take my craft studio for granted !! They assume that any and every art related supply can be provided on a 24 hourly basis ~ free of charge ~ in my studio !! Hence, finding them snooping around in the studio at odd hours, looking for a special design paper, or a fine nib sharpie, does not surprise me anymore. What’s more, I almost expect them to arrive at the 11th hour, in need of some ‘urgent’ help for a school project !!

Such was the case of my youngest, who, comes in late one evening looking for a large craft sheet for a Ronald Dahl project. I did not have one at my disposal but I noticed I had 2 large carry bags from a baby store,  which could fit the bill. A little trimming here and there, a few snips and we had our very colorful chart ready.

Its not something extravagant. Its something very simple which cost, virtually NOTHING !!  His classmates never realized that it was just a carry bag turned into a chart paper. (until he pointed it out to them)  I am glad, that the few students in his class, now realize, that they too, don’t need to dump large, fancy carry-bags.

They too can use it in numerous ways.  If nothing else, Paper bags can be recycled with other paper items, making them as easy to recycle as tossing them in the bin or taking them to a collection center.

20 ways with carry bags

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Ronald Dahl school project

I have turned this carry bag into a chart paper for a project. However, because, these carry bags use a sturdy quality of paper so as to carry things, their general quality can serve various other uses too. For instance :-

You can :-

  • Cut bits of these in various shapes and stick it to your pencils, as pencil poppers
  • Use them to cover journals or autograph books or even book binding
  • Cut and stick large heart and star shapes onto a straw and gift it to your class friends etc
  • Cut small pieces and make a collage out of it.
  • Make a flip book from them.
  • Cut thin strips and use in quilling projects
  • Cut long and large sheets and make bookmarks from them
  • With the help of a paper punch, cut designs and use as a sticker.
  • There are several youtube videos to show you how to make small boxes with sturdy and glossy paper.
  • You could also make a simple envelope with them.
  • Making hats, calls for sturdy chart paper, replace it with our very-own-carry bag !! 
  • You can also use them in crafts like puppet-making
  • Or make large colorful flowers for a wreath !
  • Why not make a pin-wheel with this excellent material !

Another important aspect to remember is, that the cord handle of these bags are so useful too !!!

  • Attach a bell or a feather and turn it into a cat toy
  • Glue some of them into a round coil shape and you have a lovely embellishment for your cards etc
  • You could also hot glue some of them in a coil shape and attach it to a hair pin
  • Use them in string art
  • Glue them on a toilet roll and get your little ones to use it as a painting accessory for textures.

These are just a few ways of recycling fancy carry bags, but I’m certain, there are dozens more ways of recycling which I haven’t thought off !  Please share with me your efforts in recycling too.

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6th fair in Dubai.

Our last fair participation was at Uptown Mirdiff. It was a relatively small fair, mainly for the community. But it was well organized.  Being so close to Al Warqa, we were nearly in our comfort zone 🙂

With every new fair, something new is learnt and some improvements are made. You tend to learn to be better prepared.

Here are some of the pictures of the set up.

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The outdoor fair season is relatively short in Dubai, so one has to make the most of it, while it lasts.

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Upcycled chalk board tray.

Hey friends ! How’ve you been ?

If you’ve been following me, then you know, that the past couple of weeks have been nothing short of a roller coaster ride for me. I have been participating in several weekend fairs and exhibitions. Not only has it been exhaustive but for a change, we have been such an “outdoorish” family !!

I have been loving the fairs, interacting with people, getting little hands to try out crafts and just having a blast letting these events dry the creative juices out of me !! Its been fun.

I am one of those people who works best under pressure. I have a tendency to try out a dozen projects for a couple of days, and then there are those ‘slumpy’ days when I am glued to pinterest/fb and almost never enter the studio for weeks.

This particular chalk board tray was from ELC, I think. The boys used it for a couple of years until we moved into Warqa House and then, it gave in 😦  I loved the thin wooden tray used to keep chalks and dusters on both sides.  It was a shame to let it go, given it was made of wood and I really like those cheerful snakes/worms. So I unscrewed the trays and it remained as a stationery organizer sitting parallel to eachother on Sawaab’s desk.

Long story short. While the past few weeks have been full of finding dumped tree trunks and branches and utilizing them in various ways.  I decided, I could give that tray a facelift. The best way to organize on a busy study desk is to go vertical  ! I cut out two chunks of wood trunks and used the drill machine to drill some holes in them from above and bottom.

From not having a place to keep the pair, we not have 2 boys quarreling over who gets to keep it to display their stationery !!

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I decided against painting the trunks ~ Love the rustic look against the comical child-like colors of the trays.

Upcycle chalkboard tray

I love how the little branch protrudes from the main trunk. I deliberately trimmed it and kept it that way. I feel it adds character to piece. Do you ?

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This was one of my fastest projects to date !! It was over in just a matter of minutes. So if you too have any two pieces of shelves that could be given a similar look, please share it with me.

I am sharing this project with my friends at the following parties including Creativity unleashed & Funky Junk Interiors

Thank you for visiting me today & I hope you enjoyed my little creative idea.

If you like what you see at my blog, you could subscribe to my blog using any of the following media or simply ‘like’ me or ‘join’ me on the various platforms below 🙂

                 

 

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Setting up a craft-stall in a fair in Dubai.

Hello friends !

I am back from a long haitus with a bag full of creative posts !!

My creative plate has been full of ideas and events.

We visited Saudi Arabia on our Hajj pilgrimage and It was an absolutely amazing experience. Returning from the trip, I participated at the Al Tamimi stables family fun day on 17th and 18th of October.

I was rekindling my love affair with ‘fairs’ after 2 years and totally loved the experience.  It turned out so good, that I hope to join a couple more of fairs in the near future. Inshallah.

There was a steady flow of students, happy to learn a new activity and it was all the encouragement, I needed.

The fair lasted for 2 days over the weekend, and we were much more prepared on the second day. As always, the entire family helped out, from carrying/transporting cartons of supplies to managing the stalls, the boys did it all and more. Mashallah.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Colorful pails hosting scissors, paint brushes, colors, popsicle sticks etc.

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My fantastic assistants. Son # 1 Bilal  and Son # 3 Eman ~ catering to the needs of the creative enthusiasts. Son # 2 was helping me out with the projects.

These are three amazing boys, without whose help, I don’t think, I could ever follow my dreams.

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Their creative enthusiasm is infectious !

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Boys and girls ~ figuring out, which activity, they would like to go in for, first !

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craft table set up

Our workstation on Day 1 was a little petite and I felt, I could have made it more organized (which we corrected, the following day 🙂

DONT participate in any fair unless you are carrying the following “tools of the trade” in your bag  :-

Masking tape, scotch tape, double sided tape, ribbon, cord, scissors,

rubber bands, stapler and stapler pins, Markers, pen,

calculator, clothespin, paper pins,

BUSINESS CARDS, panadols, a packet of battery cells.

Some Pointers :-

  • I always carry extra folding tables for all my supplies ( The work station should always remain appealing and not cluttered with jars of embellishments and other stationery and supplies.
  • I prefer to keep the embellishment racks slightly away from main work station for various reasons, one of which is security as well.
  • I also carry spare folding chairs too.
  • Carrying display risers is always an excellent idea.
  • Inorder to save on space, I kept a wire rack stand to carry all my paint tubes on. When in doubt with space ~ GO VERTICLE !!! (my mantra)
  • Baskets always add an appeal of its own and they are so handy and functional too.
  • A banner or bunting is excellent advertising as well as adds color to your stall and makes it look, more professional.
  • If your going to have activities, make sure, you have a plastic covering for your table, lest the paint runs on the table cloth. (you’ll need masking tape to adhere it)
  • One of the things to discuss beforehand with the organizers is the availability of a wash room and an electric connection.  Why ?
  • Your going to need to wash off the excess paint and your going to need an electric connection for the glue gun.
  • Tissue boxes don’t help much (they would for a regular craft table )but carrying the kitchen tissue roll is a better suggestion for activities table.
  • If any of the activities involve beads, its best to provide children with plastic bowls or plates or ELSE expect, the beads to be scattered all over the place !
  • Keep a few price tag stickers at hand for those misplaced while being transported.
  • I like to keep, a neutral color to the set up while providing enough pops of color with pails, baskets, jars and plates.
  • However, a bright (non-designed) table spread is a ideal is your going to sell stuff.
  • Investing in a solid trolley cart is really a good idea.
  • Short change is always in high demand in fairs ~ so carry lots of short change.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of the humble “camera”. You want to cherish all the memories and whats more, you want to learn from your mistakes !!
  • Last but not least,  I cannot emphasis enough, the importance of displaying your business cards upfront !

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Plenty of embellishments and beads to play around with !

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Although carrying so many embellishments can be such a bother, but it is very gratifying when children go thru heaps of embellishments, just to pick one of their best ones. The jars are from Ikea.

Day 2.

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I always carry my wire racks with plenty of additional embellishments for children to buy and add to their creative projects. The white board is very helpful in indicating the various activities and rates. (also from Ikea)

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The above colorful plates are from Ikea. They add a pop of color to an otherwise very white setup.

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You can buy the above baskets from Daiso for dhs 7.

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Al Tamimi stables fair was well organized, well advertised and a large crowd turned up, inspite the relentless weather. There were dozens of activities to keep the young ones busy and amused, plenty of food outlets ~ not to mention the beautiful animals on the property, making the entire experience, wholesome, for the visitor.

I am linking this post to the following parties, here.

Make it pretty Monday

Wow us Wednesdays

Thank you for visiting me today. I hope the photographs could give you a glimpse of the fun and frolic had at the fair.

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Upcycle Cans to 8 Tealight designs.

Upcycling cans is such creative fun. However alittle caution while cutting the cans is necessary.

I have made 8 different designs out of the cans. Ofcourse, there are many more designs which can be created but for now, I am pleased with these designs.

Tealight holder 1
Very straight forward ~ just cut the cans and snipe the ends to leave a pointed end. I masked the end with a little tape and spray painted the rest. After it dried (which is relatively soon). I peeled the tape and here’s what it looks like.
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I’ve cut thinner stripes here. Once cut and spread on a flat surface. I folded the stripes inwards in half. Its quite simple but has a lovely effect. Then I spray painted it.
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This one is probably the easiest. I cut the stripes wider and then spread it on a flat surface. Then I masked tape at two random measurements and spray painted it. when dried, I had the tapes removed to leave me with this lovely effect.
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This probably looks abit complicated but its really quite easy. Like the rest, I cut thinner stripes and instead of folding it inward, I had them fold inward horizontally and hide behind the alternate stripe. kept continuing till all of them were folded and then spray painted it.
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This one is slightly tricky. Cut 1/3 of the can ~ all except two stripes on the sides. Attach those stripes on the top with a stapler and spray paint the can.
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Here I have just curled the stripes slightly down wards to give it a spider effect.
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Using the end of a paint brush, roll the stripes inward and voila ! Spray paint.
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Around 1 cm from the bottom of the can, make straight cuts toward the top. continue to do so. Once you have cut enough stripes, just squeeze the can gently to form the lantern shape. Give a gentle pull to help get the stripes out. Spray paint.
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The tab of the drink can be used to hang it from a branch or a stand.

8 upcycled cans tealight holder designs          

I’m sharing these tealight holders with my  favorite parties here.

Do you like to recycle ? Have you made any lanterns or tealight holders lately ?

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I’m so glad your visiting me today.  Please remember to subscribe to my blog !

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Pizza Box to Canvas for mixed media 2

Dear friends,

Thank you very much for liking my pizza box canvas in the last post and taking the time to leave all the encouragement in your comments. Being appreciated for creativity is great but being appreciated for applying innovative ideas in repurposing household goods, really give my creativity a huge boost !

Like I mentioned in my previous post, I am driven these days to work on mixed media. I find it the perfect medium for me becoz I get to play around with different elements like fabric, paper, inks, tissue, buttons and whats even great is that with a little bit of prep work (gesso) , you can start your project right after a pizza meal !!! Exactly ~ on the pizza box !!! Earlier I have shown you how you can use a pizza box as a shadow box here and here, and a canvas here.

Today I am sharing my second project in this series. Don’t throw away those cords from rice bags or cat food bags (nuggets) or even the shoe laces ~ Roll them in a circle with a little hot glue on a small piece of round cardboard  and you have yourself a pretty flower. I added a tiny pearl in the center.

The other flowers are rosettes ofcourse (for which you will find many tutorials on youtube ) The last time we visited the tailor for my suits, I managed to get the boys to collect a pile of thin long pieces of pretty fabrics lying around to be dumped !! (what all, my baby boys do to please me !!)  The black and white checkered flower is a result of that collection.

A few paper flowers with pearls glued in them ~ a digi stamp of a vintage clock ~ diecuts of some flowers and swirls ~ are what make this project up. I have used very earthy colors for this project as well. There is no particular technique used in painting except the card technique.

The five blue circular looking stones ~ are a first time for me.  Whenever I try out a new look, I generally ask the boys to get a neutral answer to know if they would/could recognize, the look I was aiming for. In this case, my youngest tells me it looks like blue gems !!  Bingo !!   Wow ~~ Job well done I guess.   Ofcourse this is not my idea.  I was really fascinated by one particular craft artist who had a tutorial to produce the effect of this stone on the side panel. I love this technique and I so apologize why I did not save your blog address, so If you are reading this post, kindly leave me your name and address, I will be glad to give you credit for this technique.

So that’s that !!

This message is something, I have grown up with ~ so it is really close to me and I hope to inculcate this virtue of humility in my boys too. My grandma, (ni ) used to advise us always to strive for the stars but never forget where we stood and never forget our past. It is very profound. Perhaps I never understood the importance of this saying while younger but it helped a lot when success followed me in my career and at some point almost overwhelmed me. Such reminders often times, show up when least expected and you have that  “sparky” moment ~ almost like the Almighty is trying to give you a direct message. I know I felt that way. Have you ever been in a difficult/confusing situation and came across a line or quote that almost felt like you were being guided by the Almighty ?? Please share with me if you have.

Anyways, back to my pizza box. Fotor110422634 Fotor110424111

Recycled materials : Fabric, cord, pizza box, scraps of paper from my stash of DP. DSCF6043

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I am linking this repurposing project with the following parties :-

The Sunday Showcase Party at Under the Table and DreamingSunny Simple Sundays Party at Sunny Simple LifeSundae Scoop at I Heart NaptimeThink Pink Sundays at Flamingo ToesNifty Thrifty Sunday at Nifty Thrifty ThingsIt’sParty Time at Three Mango Seeds,  SilverPennies Sundays at Silver PenniesFrugal Crafty Home Blog Hop at A Blossoming LifeDIY Showcase Party at Minette’s MazeInspired Sunday at Sunday View

I am so glad you popped over to visit me today ! Please leave a line in the comments or subscribe to my post and I’ll make sure, I visit you back too !! Cherish each day ~ its one of a kind !  I’ll leave you with that beautiful thought.

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