The Grackle

Observations, Reflections and Miscellany from the Wacoan

COVID Activities

Make art supplies from stuff you already have around the house

2 months ago

By Claire Van Zee

Making crafts is one of my favorite childhood memories. I remember sitting in my pink and lime green room by myself, cutting paper into stars and snowflakes and (to my mother’s dismay) taping them all over the walls. I thought it was beautiful and magical. And if we need more of anything these days, it’s that cozy and nostalgic feeling of childhood magic.

So in effort to share that feeling with you, I’ve gathered a few of my favorite arts and crafts activities that I might even make my too cool 14-year-old brother partake in with me while we’re confined to the comfort of our West Texas home for the indefinite future. I hope you and your families will try a few of these out as well and let us know how they go!

Potato Stamps

  • Potatoes
  • Knife/End of Spoon
  • Paint
  • Paper/Fabric to Stamp

1. Take the potato and cut in half
2. Use one half to cut a design. Hearts and rainbows are some of the easiest and most fun, but use your imagination! (Warning this might be the hardest part, be patient and keep trying!)
3. he potato design in paint and transfer to your surface!
4. Ta Da!

Homemade Playdough

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 2 cups of very warm water
  • 4 teaspoons of Cream of Tartar
  • 2 teaspoons of Olive Oil
  • ½ a cup of salt
  • Food coloring

1. Mix all of the ingredients (except the food coloring) in a pot. Then warm it on the stove over medium heat.
2. Stir until smooth. (It will still be gooey). If needed, knead the dough and add a little more flour until the consistency is that of playdough. (This depends on how long you cook it.)
3. Separate the dough into even balls and carefully add the coloring into “wells” in the center of the dough and knead together. (FYI, this might temporarily stain your hands.)
4. Once cooled, store in an air-tight container and ta da!

Paper Bag Stars

  • 12 Brown Paper Bags
  • Glue (Glue stick would be easiest)
  • Scissors

1. Take the paper bags one at a time, and cover one side with glue.
2. Stack the bags on top of one another as you glue one side.
3. When all the bags are stuck together, take your scissors and cut into the long ends of the bags to make a design similar to paper snowflakes.
4. When you’ve finished your cut design, let it dry.
5. Then place glue on the front and back of the stack and open it carefully and glue the two ends together.
6. Ta Da! Festive and fun to hang on the windows!

DIY Air-Dry Clay

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 cup water

1. Combine ingredients in a heavy bottomed pot
2. Stir continuously while cooking over medium heat until clay forms
3. Transfer clay to bowl to cool
4. Store in airtight container in the fridge
5. Now you can use whenever you’d like and make whatever you’d like! We do highly recommend hearts and dinosaurs. Make sure to paint it when you’re done!
6. Ta Da!

Easter Bunny Ears

  • Wrapping paper (or any long paper)
  • Glue/Stapler/Tape
  • Scissors

1. Measure around the widest part of your child’s forehead where they would normally wear a hat. The long length of wrapping paper is useful for this purpose, you want the band to at least be 1.5” wide.
2. If the paper is thin, double or triple fold it and glue it together.
3. Use more paper to cut the ears to shape and test them on their head, then glue on to the band.
4. Use a stapler or tape, and fasten the two ends together on the back of their head,
5. Ta Da! Your own little Easter Bunny is ready for action!

Make sure to put your art up for display, that’s the fun of it anyway!

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