- Sophie &Friends
I love to make. I’ve been doing it since I was 3 when my beloved grandmother entrusted me with a butter knife and a bar of Dove soap. I admit, my sculpture didn’t rival Michelangelo’s David, but I did have the most fun shaving off thin strips of silky smooth soap curls and revealing what was a very impressive Schmoo. As I grew older my passion for crafting exploded. I was the girl whose hands were never still. Even while pursuing a career as an actor, I took side jobs making props and set pieces. I have always had some sort of little project happening.
My goal is my business and life has been to share that joy with every child I meet. However, I also realize that for many the thought of putting together a crafting room can be daunting. Where to start? What to buy? How deep to go into debt?
There is just so much out there today. 25 different types of glue stand sentinel on the local craft store shelves, turning their watchful caps on the racks of tape, rows of paint, aisles of embellishments, and stacks of markers. It can be overwhelming. And, let’s face it, expensive. It's time to simplify and make arts and crafts as accessible as it was to me when I was a child.
Remember, most art can be broken into a few main categories: drawing, coloring (be it with paint, crayons, or markers), cutting, and constructing. To do this, you need some very basic tools, most of which can be purchased at your local Dollar Store.
With a hope of debunking the crafting scene - I thought it would be fun to challenge myself:
1. Create a basic crafting kit without spending more than $20.00 (including a holder for all the supplies, but excluding tax)
2. Create 20 crafts using only those supplies (and possibly things from the recycling bin)
3. Rate the quality of product(s) purchased
4. Follow up with future blog posts, where I will allow myself to spend and additional $10.00 on specialty items (“Valentine’s Day” or “Boys crafts”, etc.)
5. Create 10 new crafts using these “booster” kits as well as the starter kit.
My $20.00 art kit. (everything here was purchased at my local Dollar Tree)
1. Basket to hold everything (I made sure it was big enough to hold the pads of paper)
2. pad of colored construction paper
3. pad of white paper
4. pack of 36 crayons
5. pack of 20 thin tipped markers
6. pack of 10 wide tipped markers
7. scissors (kids sized)
9. glue stick
10. popsicle sticks
11. clear tape
12. 1 package of googly eyes
13. 1 package of pom poms
14. 1 pack of pipe cleaners
15. 1 pack of pony beads (mine are heart shaped)
16. 1 box of 32 quart sized zippered storage bags, for storage
17. 1 package of elastic cord
18. 1 set of water colors
20. 1 pack of foil stickers
Couple quick pointers when using your kit:
1. Use an old shower curtain, bedsheet, or large garbage bag to protect your workspace. if your basket/holder is big enough, store it with your supplies.
2. As you open new products place them in the quart sized zippered bags. Doing it right away will keep items from spreading out and dispersing across your work area.
3. Make sure that your young artists clean up one project before heading to another. Teach this habit from the beginning. It will also help in sustaining the quality of your supplies.
4. When using paint or glue, make sure all lids are secure before placing in their baggie.
5. Start a fodder bag or box. This is where you place items that you find around the house: bottle caps, lids, interesting packing materials, stamps, etc. At the end of your crafting session - any loose items that are too hard to sort can go into your fodder box. Ultimately they will become a treasure trove for the imagination.
6. Keep an eye on supplies - things like tape, glue, and paper often run out quickly.
7. If a brand or product does not work, or is frustrating for your crafters, dispose of it. Make a note to not to buy that product again.
8. Keep everything in it’s box/holder. Pull out only what you need for each project.
9. Use the upcoming projects as jumping off points for exploring. Don’t ever feel beholden to a project. Go off on your own tangent!
10. Be fearless. Have fun! There is no right or wrong! Nothing in this box can hurt you! (unless of course you ingest it, stick it up your nose, or insert it into any other bodily opening - use standard cautions when using any crafting materials, and make sure all items are age appropriate)
Stay tuned for 20 crafts you can make easily using your bargain basket of goodies!