Once upon a time I was a crafty mom. Not crafty as in sneaky, but crafty as in paper and paint, glitter and glue!
I penciled in craft time with my daughter on my calendar, researched how to make new things and planned activities according to the seasons and her developmental stages.
Then, I had a second daughter. I became tired, busy and unable to find a happy medium between the two girls' interests and abilities. So, I just stopped planning anything.
We still color, use stickers and create the occasional handprint art, but everything is done on a small scale. I started to miss the hands-on crafting that requires thinking outside the crayon box, creates huge sparkly messes and produces pieces of art worthy of hanging on the wall for months.
It has been two-and-a-half years, and I finally feel ready to put crafting back on my mommy resume.
My oldest daughter constantly asks if I have anything for her to make, and has wistfully said on more than one occasion, "Remember when we used to make...(insert preschool art project of your choice)."
My toddler is finally sitting still for more than three minutes, and she is determined to do anything and everything her big sister does.
With March being National Craft Month, it seems like the best time to jump back in to crafty mom status.
My goal is to have a craft day each week throughout the month. I choose Monday because it's a day we are usually at home, and we can keep working during the week if projects aren't finished.
I decide to set a few rules:
No TV during craft time.
I have to work on the crafts, too. Or, at least be close by for immediate assistance.
If possible, the craft projects should be something we haven't tried before.
The last rule leads me to select a general theme for our month of crafting -- sewing. Both girls find great satisfaction in digging through my sewing kit, fabric collection and related thingamabobs. This is my chance to let them.
I pick projects starting with the simplest and ending with the one I think they will enjoy most.
Craft Month Week One: DIY Lacing Card
For week one of National Craft Month, the girls will get their first chance to embroider. They'll choose a cardboard or cardstock shape with punched-out holes and a yarn color. I'll thread a plastic needle and encourage them to create interesting patterns while practicing fine motor skills.
Craft Month Week Two: Silhouettes
The girls can practice cutting out shapes on their favorite fabrics from my stash. Ideally, they will arrange the pieces on thick paper in a paper doll-like fashion resulting in silhouette art. If we run out of fabric, there's always vinyl that can be stuck to virtually any material!
Craft Month Week Three: Rainbow Stitches
This craft combines burlap and rainbows. I'll draw out rainbow shapes with markers on the burlap, give them coordinating thread with safety needles and let them follow the pattern using a simple stitch. Even if they turn out lop-sided, their sewing is going to look pretty.
Craft Month Week Four: Ruffled Streamers
Our last craft is a special treat. The girls will use my sewing machine to craft ruffled streamers from rolls of crepe paper. As they push the paper layers through the machine, it basically bunches on its own, but they feel like they are doing work. It won't take long to have mounds of ruffled goodness perfect for decorating their rooms.
I think craft month is going to be fun, and, hopefully, it inspires many more days of creativity long after March is over.