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!
2. Subscribe to teachmama.com via email or newsletter. We’ll be giving away a second copy of this book to email subscribers only! So get your name in the mix now!
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.
fyi: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Forever and always I recommend only products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” For more information, please see teachmama media, llc. disclosure policy.
Always looking for bright new ideas for craft projects with the children – we’ll definitely be giving these sun catchers a go on Saturday, a family valentine’s activity, lovely!
I need a copy of this book because my children are getting a bit older, and are no longer satisfied or entertained by the basic toddler-level crafts that I can easily come up with on my own. I want to keep our family craft times going, so I desperately need some new and better ideas! (I’m also a newsletter subscriber!) Thank you!
This homeschooling family needs to up our art and creativity and connection to holidays; drawing and painting on paper is no longer doing it for my kiddos and their friends. I would love to try the ideas in this book with them throughout the year! Thanks for the opportunity!
We just started homeschooling and I’m scrambling for ideas to cover his “Arts & Crafts” section. I came upon this post and am really exciting to try out the crafts in the book. Even better, my son is also really into cooking and baking, so new recipes are a warm welcome in this household!
I think this book will help me have so many wonderful ideas and recipes at my fingertips. Its more fun to browse through a paper copy and I can really get extra motivation of what things I would like to do with my kids. Thanks for the opportunity!
This sounds like such a wonderful book! I loved The Artful Parent, too.
I’d like to win this book to have such great ideas to do with my daughter.
Thank you for the giveaway.
LOVE THIS IDEA — I need all the DIY help I can get
What a lovely offer! I love Jean’s work and would get so much use out of this book! x
My 5 and 3 year old are insatiable when it comes to art, craft, and baking activities! I love giving them the chance to look through books for ideas for new activities rather than me just searching the web! I had her other book out from the library and loved it- would love to have a copy of this one! Thanks!
I’m so craft-challenged, this would really help me come up with some creative play dates.
I love this project! Jean has a ton of them. I’d love to win a copy of this book!
So excited about Jean’s new book and the opportunity to win! I’ve checked out her previous book from the library numerous times and look forward to exploring this one. I love that it includes recipes because I love both cooking and making art with my daughter.
I love crafts but with two boys who love vehicles, vehicles, vehicles, sometimes I am at a loss of how to encourage them to participate in more crafting activities. I would love to try some of Jean’s ideas of incorporating fun and easy crafts into the other activities of the seasons or holiday times. Thanks!
I need ideas for those cold winter days when we can’t get out of the house.
I would love this book! I can never get enough ideas for things to do with the kids.
MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author and presenter
When it comes to books of creative ideas, I have a few favorites, some of them my own, LOL! But seriously, “The Artful Year” is truly amazing –– I LOVE IT!!! I’m not usually so taken by a book, but this one is really beautiful, easy projects, colorful, delicious, creative, all of the things you want.
I purchased the Spring and Summer ebooks when they were still available, but then, because of the book deal, the ebooks were no longer available. I was so sad! I can’t wait to see what fantastic projects are featured for fall and winter!
This would be great! We are at a place where we need to more to more creative crafts beyond just coloring sheets and stamps to keep the kids entertained, but I’m not inventive and crafty at all. I’d love to win this!