No you haven’t clicked on the wrong website – yes I am writing about easy craft ideas. And no I haven’t been bodysnatched.
If you’ve read my blog for a while you’ll have noticed me mention (on more than 139 occasions) that I hate craft. Like literally cannot stand it. Even in my ideas to keep young kids entertained at home post I try to avoid it.
I’m not at all creative when it comes to it, and basically the reason I hate it so much is that I spend more time setting it all up and clearing it away than my boys (aged 3, 3 and 5) spend actually DOING IT!
Why I hate doing crafts with my kids
My other reason for not getting the pens, scissors and glue out at every opportunity is this…
I currently have dried on pritt stick glue stripes along my hallway walls, and graffiti in at least 50 per cent of the rooms in my house.
Junk modelling is pretty much the only thing I can tolerate. And that’s because it doesn’t involve paint.
But last week I was on BBC Radio being interviewed, and presenter Gordon Sparks (or should I say Sparksy) set me a challenge.
I’ve chatted to him on air several times now, lots about lockdown and how it was for us mums and he knows that I hate craft. So he *kindly challenged me to come up with a blogpost for easy craft ideas for mums who hate craft. Thanks for that, Sparksy.
So here it is. I’m not claiming to have come up with a single one of these ideas myself. Because, well, how could I when I don’t have anything remotely creative or crafty up my sleeve?
But I called on my fellow bloggers, lots of whom LOVE a bit of crafting, and they’ve all written before about easy craft ideas by the truckload. (You should go follow them all).
I reckon even I could manage at least a few of these. Click on the links in blue to get more detail.
EASY CRAFT IDEAS FOR MUMS WHO HATE CRAFT
So on the face of it this looks like one of those pretty easy craft ideas I could handle. Cerys from Rainy Day Mum suggests starting off simple with some coloured paper such as blue for under the sea and a set of fish stickers. You can create a comic book style for older kids or for younger children just create pictures with your stickers.
She said: “Why not use your stickers and create a simple game – there’s a ‘farm animal are you my mother?’ game which is great to play together as you teach your little one the names of the baby animals on the farm.
Or create a game to practice colour matching. It’s great for little hands to do and works on colour recognition as well.” Find out more here.
I love the look of this rainbow wreath idea from Emma Bradley at Emma and 3. You essentially only need a polystyrene wreath and pom poms you can buy on Amazon, a pencil, ruler and a glue gun. And believe it or not, I do actually own a glue gun! Cut the wreath in half to form an arch, measure out equal sections for the different colours, and stick the pom poms on. I am definitely loving this as one of my easy craft ideas.
Emma also recommends Easy DIY Macrame Rainbows which look great. But to me the words ‘easy’ and ‘macrame’ don’t sit well in the same sentence!
Anthea Barton from Blue Bear Wood blog suggests trying out these cute yarn monsters. She said: “This is such an enjoyable craft from start to finish and my girls just adore playing with these little critters, plus they look really cool dotted around the house.”
You’ll need various colours of yarn, pipe cleaners, googly or sticker eyes, scissors and PVA glue. Read Anthea’s yarn monster post and video here to find out how to make them.
MAGAZINE AND LEAFLET COLLAGES
Now this is something I do actually DO! And especially did in lockdown. My boys, especially the younger ones, love to do some cutting and sticking, so my lovely mum cuts out pictures of animals and birds from all her nature magazines and gives them to the boys to make collages. She would even post us envelopes full of them every week during lockdown!
Jenni Grainger from Chilling with Lucas said: “Gather unwanted catalogues, leaflets and magazines, along with construction paper and glue to create collages. Have children come up with a story to tell through pictures or have them find images that would illustrate the theme of a favourite book. Collages can also be used to create imaginative, abstract art. Layer and tear the paper, adding paint, glue and sparkles for truly unique artistic designs.” Find out more about how Jenni does it here.
MARDI GRAS MASQUERADE MASK
Louise McMullen from Messy Little Monster suggests anything from a printable template is ideal for us mums who hate craft. And this Mardi Gras mask looks great.
She said: “Make a colourful Mardi Gras mask using a printable masquerade mask template. Decorating your mask template with glitter, sequins or feathers is a must! These Mardi Gras masks are perfect for toddlers and preschoolers to make, but older kids (and even adults) will love making their own colourful carnival masks too!”
AIR-DRYING CLAY CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS
Jo Boyne from A Rose Tinted World says making air-drying clay Christmas decorations are one of the best easy craft ideas.
She said: “Little ones love to make their own Christmas decorations and I am always on the hunt for easy and not too messy ways of making pretty decorations that look great on our tree. These air-drying clay decorations tick all the boxes in my house. They are quick and easy to make, look great and are not too messy. They are that easy that even a small toddler can make them.”
This is what I like to hear, Jo! All you need is some air-drying clay that feels like play doh so the kids love it, a rolling pin, small cookie cutter to make the shape, a cocktail stick or skewer, some stuff to make imprints on the surface, and some paints or nail varnish to paint them once they’re dried. Look pretty cool, don’t they?
A good one for Halloween or if your kids like all things spooky are these simple spider webs from Claire Bayliss of Big Family, Big Fun blog. She said: “We made Spiders Webs, in the same way as making snowflakes at Christmas, just cutting rectangles rather than different shapes, then sponge-painting them with black paint, and adding spiders cut out from coloured card.”
I don’t know about you but the whole painting rocks thing has been pretty huge in our area. Wherever you went people would have decorated rocks and large stones, and hidden them for others to find. The idea was to find them, then hide them somewhere else for more children to find. We’ve had great fun finding and hiding them, particularly at our local National Trust gardens. But I’m guessing you won’t be surprised to hear that we’ve not actually PAINTED any ourselves. Because, well you know, paint…
But Claire Casswell from The Happy Weaners, can show you how to do it in this fab video.
Whilst you’re out and about collecting rocks to paint, get your kids to pick up some smaller pebbles too. Mine children do this constantly anyway, mainly because we have a gravel driveway, the contents of which often makes an appearance around my house.
Anthea from Blue Bear Wood also suggests using pebbles for pebble art is an easy craft idea. And don’t they look great? Anthea said: “The simplicity of pebble art pictures is mesmerising and I love how easy it is for children to be involved in all stages including the initial trip out to collect the stones, talking about the shape and texture, followed by hands on placing and design through to to framing the finished piece.”
All you need is some small preferably flat pebbles, sticks, pencils, pens, a glue gun and picture frames. Check out Anthea’s post for full instructions.
STICKY NATURE CARDS
Sarah Whiting from Craft Invaders says these sticky nature cards are one of the best ever easy craft ideas. She says all you need is some card and some double sided sticky tape – and to get out in nature. Get your kids to collect bits and pieces such as petals, leaves, seeds and grasses. Then bung them all on the double sided sticky tape and voila! Don’t they look great. I could DEFINITELY manage this. Sarah says it’s a great activity to do whilst you’re out and about if you prepare the card and tape before you go.
UNICORN TOILET ROLLS
Now anything out of a toilet roll has to be a winner when it comes to easy craft ideas, right? Even I collect my loo rolls on a ‘just in case’ basis. Obviously there are now a LOT of them sat in a pile waiting to be turned into something amazing and beautiful.
Ella Jones from Typical Mummy says one of simplest things to make out of a toilet roll is a unicorn. Although beware, it does involve GLITTER!
She said: “First you need to paint the toilet roll white, then once that’s dry, paint the nose on in pink and give your unicorn nostrils with black paint. Next, cut a triangle out of cardboard and glue it into a cone shape to make the horn. Cover it in glue and coat in glitter before gluing it onto the end of the toilet roll. Whilst you’ve got the glue and glitter, you can give your unicorn a line of glitter down its forehead too and then stick googly eyes either side of the line.
“Cut a couple of ear shapes out of cardboard, paint them white and pink and glue them behind the horn. Then get different coloured ribbon, strips of paper or wool and glue or tape them into the end of the toilet roll under the horn.”
MESS FREE FIREWORK PICTURES
The words ‘mess free’ are very attractive here, right? This idea is from Jemma at Thimble and Twig, who loves doing crafts with her four children. She said: “We made mess free firework pictures by popping washi tape and some flourescent duct tape onto black paper. This kept our little ones engrossed for ages, ripping the tape and sticking it down – they loved that their was no need for scissors! And even my 16 month old could have a go!” This is my kind of easy craft!
DIY CARDBOARD HOUSE
So if they’re anything like my boys, your kids will probably love playing with a cardboard box. Especially one big enough for them to actually get into. So why not make it even better for them?
Claire from The Happy Weaners, shows us how to make a pretty cool DIY house in this video. But also warns it should be done after bedtime when no little ones are around to interfere! This is much more my kind of thinking.
SALT DOUGH DINOSAUR FOSSILS
My boys are slightly dinosaur-obsessed so I know they’d love these salt dough dinosaur fossils. And according to Emma Reed they’re one of the best easy craft ideas to do.
You basically need to make salt dough out of plain flour, salt and water. Then let your kids loose making various shapes and imprints on them. Cook them in the oven on a low setting for three hours then paint or varnish them, or leave them plain.
Come to think of it, bookmarks are one of the best easy craft ideas – because they actually have a USE. I mean, seriously, what was I supposed to do with this Jurassic Park the five year old had to make during homeschooling? Other than *hide it in the spare room for an appropriate amount of time before I could bin it without anyone noticing.
Vicky Lowes from Blossom Education said: “Bookmarks can be as easy or complex as you like. Simply cut a width of card of your choice – we love the pearlescent effect. Next, use old magazines to cut out letters to spell their names or even the word ‘read’ or ‘love’. Stick them down, add some stickers or drawings and then laminate to make them last longer.”
MAKING A CEREAL NECKLACE
My lovely friend Carly from Mom of Two Little Girls is on my wavelength when it comes to hating craft. But this idea is an awesome one. You basically give them a bowl of circular cereal you’re likely to have in your cupboard already, and some thread. Get them to make a cereal necklace. Then go and make yourself a nice hot cup of coffee.
Carly said: “I set the girls up with a bowl of oat cereal, a piece of string or cotton thread and told them to make their own Oatie necklaces. Not only is this a healthy snack they can eat, but the threading activity is great for their hand-to-eye co-ordination.”
Okay so I know leaf printing is one of the simplest easy craft ideas you could possibly do. Especially in the autumn, but funnily enough it’s not something I’d rush to do because, well, paint. But maybe I should suck it up and get on with it. According to Kirsty Lloyd Hall from Navigating Baby the kids would love it.
She said: “ I love this craft activity as it gets you and your toddler out and about then doing the craft itself. You can actually fill a whole morning with this activity without it feeling like water torture. We start by heading out in the local area and collecting different types of leaves.”
Kirsty said you then need paper, paint in autumnal colours, glitter, and leaves. Then cover up their clothes, let your kids dip the leaves in the paint and get printing. You can then add glitter (although that’s unlikely to happen in my house.)
FROZEN FLOWER EGGS
Now I’m going to push the boat out a bit here and add a couple of ideas to this list myself. And they could literally not be simpler. Don’t worry though, they’re not stuff I’ve come up with myself – they’re things we had to do during the dreaded homeschooling.
The frozen flower eggs were pretty much my favourite of the easy craft ideas we were set by the school. All you need is some eggs, some bits and pieces such as petals, leaves and grass from your garden or elsewhere, some water and a freezer.
Start by making a hole the size of a penny in the top of the eggshell then carefully drain out the egg and discard (or use to bake the copious amount of banana loaves we all loved so much!). Then insert the leaves, petals etc into the eggshell, filling it as far up to the top as you can. Fill it up with water then stand it back in the egg carton so it doesn’t fall over and pop it in the freezer. Leave for a few hours or overnight, then peel away the shell. You’re then left with a very funky frozen flower egg! My boys loved doing this.
Another easy gem from the homeschooling days was to collect bits from your garden and arrange them into the letters of your name. But you could make any kind of picture with leaves, twigs, petals and flowers. This was probably my best homeschooling activity as it was so easy. The five year old just huffed and puffed the whole way through it.
I couldn’t compile a list of easy craft ideas for us mums who hate crafts and not include junk modelling. It’s pretty much my go-to activity when the five year old wants to do something creative. I have a constant collection in our spare room of ‘interesting’ items from our recycling bin, and woe betide my husband if he even dares to throw away an egg box or kitchen roll holder!
I like this because it takes little effort, other than providing him with sticky tape or glue, and plenty of rubbish to play with. It’s amazing what they can come up with when left to their own devices. The only slight problem is getting the correct answer when they ask you to guess what it is!
So there you have it, 15 easy craft ideas for mums who hate craft. I can’t promise it’ll suddenly make you the world’s most enthusiastic crafter but they look pretty simple, right? Right??
Let me know how you get on and show me the results!
How did I do?
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