Handmade Costumes- Pocahontas Headdress

We all know that children (and adults) love to dress up. Dressing up in costumes and using props is an important developmental step for children. It encourages them to use their imagination, tell and invent stores and interact with others.

Children should be encouraged to dress up, invent costumes and put on plays in front of an audience. For older children writing plays, producing props and costumes and directing are also other ways to engage children in Performing Arts.

I have been working on a range of costumes for a production and also making some extra to add to our dress up box.

Inspired by the Disney film Pocahontas this feathered head band was super easy to make and suitable for children of all ages.

I love working with felt. It is easy to cut,  glue and sew.

Other items you will need are:

  • Sewing machine or needle if sewing by hand.
  • Thread for sewing (The type of thread will also be determined by the type of sewing hand or machine)
  • Felt in a range of colours
  • Ribbon or hat elastic
  • Florist wire (If you want your feather to stick up)

 

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Poly Clay Bead Making

Poly Clay is an oven bake clay mineral clay. It is not actually made out of natural clay rather a mineral material. It is easy to use and quick to bake. It has a similar consistency to plasticine and is slow to dry out in air. To get the best of your clay it should be stored in an air tight container out of direct sunlight.

I have been playing with Poly Clay or Polymer Clay lately. I have tested out a variety of brands and experimented with the best ways to make different shape beads and jewellery. Different brands feel different and some seem better for children than others as they are softer and easier to work in to different shapes.

It is extremely easy and a fun way to create a lovely item to wear and show off. Also a great gift for a loved one.

The clay is easily moulded when it has been heated up and worked with your hands. It is then shaped to create the ideal item. To create a perfectly round ball roll your hands close together in small circles. These can then be flattered out or kept circular. I am not a perfectionist and like items to show their imperfections especially if they are original handmade one off items.

There are a range of tool on the market that can make make perfect beads easy. Bead rollers and trays can help to make perfectly circular beads. this may be something you look at if you wish to make a rather large necklace with all the same size and shape beads.I found a range of items around the house that I knew would work to get me started.  I used a non stick rolling pin, sharp knife, skewers, tray and tin foil to hold the beads up off the surface so they held their shape.

Since beginning to experiment with the clay I have found endless ways to create patterns, designs and to decorate the individual beads.

I have since bought some tools to make the job a little easier and to experiment with. I bought a cheap set of very cute dotting pens, a sharp art knife and sharp hole puncher.

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It is fun to experiment with mixing colours together in different ways to create patterns, designs and new colours or tones. To make the swirls roll out two long skinny sausages and then twist these colours together until you are happy with the design. Roll out as beads. The beads below where constructed in a similar way. Roll out a sausage to the size of the beads you want. Cut out shapes from a different colour and stick them on. Roll the beads out gently.

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The clay is then baked in the oven following the brand instructions for a short amount of time. usually 25-30 minutes. If the oven is too hot the clay will bubble and burn.

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Playing with Washi Tape

Who doesn’t love Washi (pronounced wa-sh-eee) tape? For those of you who don’t know what this is. It is a Japanese paper tape. It can be stuck on anything and easily removed. Easily ripped and a great and quick way to decorate presents, planners, diaries, book, word documents and anything else you think of. It is also very fashionable at the moment to use this tape to hang pictures or prints on your wall instead of having them framed. I use it a lot to stick up inspirations, photos and fun things I find in my studio.

One reason I love it so much is it is a great craft tool for little children and little fingers. It is easy to stick down but not so sticky that it gets stuck to their fingers. A fun and quick way to decorate or to jazz up a work of art.

If using this tape with small children or toddlers I recommend ripping up a few colours into a range of sizes and attaching them to the edge of the table for easy peel off. Washi tape can be purchases online at a number of stores or at stationary retails and at some budget shops.

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Make Your Childs Room a Work of Art

Decorating my child’s room has become a hobby of mine lately. I recently saw a papier mache stag head for sale in a children’s clothing shop that caught my eye. I have been on the look our for a blank paper mache stag head to create my own version.

I found this one at Spotlight for about $25.00. It is all ready to be covered in your favourite medium. I have chosen to cover mine in fabric.

You will need approximately a meter of fabric. I recommend choosing a dark colour as the brown paper background will show through. Otherwise paint the bust white first. It was easiest to rip the fabric in to strips when covering the antlers. This will give you a straight line to work with. Fabric that is not cotton will need to be cut.

To make the glue you will need an old container, a stick to stir, PVA glue and water. I made a mix of runny sticky glue that was easy to dip the fabric into and then smoodgy around on the bust to it filled each groove.

I have since covered a range of other items in the same way. I am working on a set of polystyrene bunny rabbits for easter covered in a range of floral fabric and a set of cardboard love heart boxes for gifts.

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Mini Cactus Sculpi

It felt appropriate to share a little project about cactuses to keep in line with the blog title. I have had a box of modelling clay sitting in my studio for years waiting for the perfect project. And finally it occurred to me that the colours would be perfect for mini cactus statues.

 

This type of modelling clay is perfect for little fingers once it has been warmed up. It also takes a while to dry so if left out it can be re used, again idea for kids to create with.

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As it is sticky it is easy to join colours and pieces together and easy to separate colours. Great for small fingers and also a great activity for using fine motor skills.