One of my dear friends has just published her second book–it’s a book that is so filled with crafty awesome, it’s a must-have for all families.
My pal Jean is the author of The Artful Parent blog, and I’ve known her for years, often linking to her here on teachmama.com and always looking to her for cool ideas to use with Maddy, Owen, and Cora.
I’m thrilled to have been asked to be a part of her blog tour for this new book, called The Artful Year, and I’m totally psyched to have a copy to give away to one lucky teachmama reader.
Though we bookmarked a dozen different ideas to try and share with you, we settled on Melted Bead Suncatchers–and we turned ours into a Melted Bead Suncatcher Mobile, just like they do in the book.
It turned out so beautiful and festive for Valentine’s Day, that I wish we would have done it years ago.
Here’s the skinny. . .
Melted Bead Suncatcher:
We wanted to make something for the upcoming Valentine holiday, but the cool thing with this craft is that you could adapt it for any time of the year.
In order to create the Melted Bead Suncatcher, you need:
- translucent plastic pony beads
- old metal baking dishes, old metal cookie cutters
- grill or toaster oven
- power drill or metal grommets
The details for how to make these are outlined clearly in The Artful Year but essentially, you follow these basic instructions:
1. Choose the cookie cutter shapes that you want to use. We chose four heart shapes for Valentine’s Day.
2. Place the cookie cutters on the metal baking pan. We used an old 8′ x 8″ metal baking pan and lined it with aluminum foil.
3. Arrange the beads in a single layer in the old metal baking dishes.
4. Place the pan on the grill and close the grill cover. Check on the beads, but keep an eye on them. Ours took about 5-8 minutes to melt.
5. Remove the pan from the grill and let cool completely.
6. Pop the melted shape out of the cookie cutter and drill a small hole at the top, where you want the string to hang.
We connected ours, and it turned out super cute.
We love, love, love how these turned out.
And as an educator, I love how parents can really sneak in some learning opportunities here.
- Let your child sort the colors into the cookie cutter shapes. Color sorting is a great skill!
- Using a small pair or tweezers or prongs to pinch the beads is great fine motor work for little hands!
- Let your child work through the best way to string together multiple suncatcher shapes so that it hangs properly.
So many possibilities.
The Artful Year is filled with dozens of seasonal and holiday crafts and recipes.
This Melted Bead Suncatcher Mobile is just one of many, and we cannot wait to get our craft on for the rest of this year.
One of the cool things about this book is that it’s not only crafts–it’s also filled with tons of seasonal recipes, too, which is one of our favorite ways of spending time together as a family–crafting, eating, and cooking!
Jean does an incredible job of dividing activities into categories:
- activities for all seasons;
- activities for spring;
- activities for summer;
- activities for autumn;
- activities for winter.
And each section is filled with beautiful images of Jean and her girls, the crafts, and recipes. And each and every entry is concise, manageable to create, and engaging. I can hear Jean’s sweet and patient voice behind each word. I love it.
Tons of my talented bloggy friends are supporting Jean through her book launch, doing book giveaways and celebrating this work of art.
Check them out:
I’m proud to be a part of this mix and do hope you grab a copy of this book, friends.
GIVEAWAY: Your very own copy of The Artful Year, by Jean Van’t Hul.
Do you want to win your own copy of The Artful Year??! Yes, yes you do.
Two chances to win, friends:
1. Leave a comment here, letting us know why YOU need a copy of this book!
By entering this giveaway, you are demonstrating your understanding of and compliance with the Official Sweepstakes Rules.
This giveaway ends Saturday, February 28, 2015 at midnight ET and is open to residents of US, UK, Australia, and Canada. Winner will be chosen by ‘random.org’ and will be notified on or around 02/28/15. Winner must respond within three (3) days of notification or forfeit the prize, in which case an alternate winner will be selected. All Official Sweepstakes Rules apply.
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