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One thing I remember enjoying so much as a kid was making crafts, especially for my mom! She always displayed them with such pride Actually, to this day still puts up a green wooden Christmas tree that I painted and covered in jewels and sequins when I was 3-4 years old. It always made me feel so wonderful to see my work displayed all over the house and I see the glow in my sons eyes as we place something that he painted or colored on the refrigerator or mantel. He gets so PROUD!
He takes after me in this sense too, he loves crafts (and has discovered where I stash all of my craft stuff)! So it seemed only natural that we made a few crafts for Mother’s Day, not only to fulfill mine and my sons love for crafts but also to brighten up “Nunna, Grandmama, and Mimi’s” day too!
The first thing I knew I wanted to make was a “shrinky dink” key chain of my son’s hand that I had seen on Pinterest. It involved using some #6 plastic takeout container lids that I had been collecting for just the occasion. We also needed some glossy acrylic paint, modge podge, 10mm jump rings (in the jewelry section at Michaels) and some key rings. I later found out that you can purchase actual Shrinky Dink Plastic on Amazon, but I enjoy recycling things so anytime a clear #6 comes through our house, it goes into the shrinky dink making pile.
These were rather easy and fun to make, and you can find the full details on Pinterest. Basically, we painted my son’s hand with the acrylic paint, pressed it onto the takeout container lids and let them dry. Then, I cut out the handprints and used a standard hole punch to place a hole in the plastic where I could insert the key chain later. Also, you can write the child’s name and age on the opposite side of where you painted the hand print (keep in mind you are shrinking this, so write in a normal to a little larger size, so it’s not nearly invisible when you shrink it). Finally we placed the dry handprints on a piece of parchment paper or silicone baking mat and placed them 325° oven for 2-3 minutes.
I recommend doing them one at a time and watching them with your kids because it is really cool. They will sort of shrivel up and you’ll think all of your hard work has gone to waste, and then they’ll flatten out on your own to leave you with a new cool key chain. We look forward to making these year after year.
The second thing we decided to make came from a video I saw on the WhatsUpMoms YouTube channel. I absolutely love their channel and am always trying out the things they make on their videos. These DIY Sun Catchers seemed like the perfect addition to our Mother’s Day crafts.
We set off to Michaels to get transparent plastic pony beads, some fishing line or string, and suction cup hooks to hang them off of. This craft is super easy as this one does not take a lot of prep or waiting time. It is pretty straight forward, arrange your beads how you would like. In my sons case it was pick each color he wanted and throw handful after handful into a glass Pyrex dish. We used the 2 cup circle containers, but you can choose whichever size and shape you would like. When he was done, my husband and I arranged them so that they were all hold side up (I have no idea if this is what you are supposed to do as it didn’t specify in the original video, but ours turned out great so I will probably continue to do this for future sun catchers). Then, we placed them in a 400°F oven for about 40 minutes (The original video said 30 minutes, but ours were not melted within that time frame. Also, I will mention that it gives off a significant melting plastic smell, so you might want to open a window).
After they were melted and looked remotely flat, we took them out of the oven and let them cool for about 15 minutes. Then with a little pressure they popped right out of the container. We applied a small dot of hot glue and attached a string loop so that we could hang it from our suction cup on the window.
After making our Mother’s Day ones, my son went down for a nap and I made a really tedious American Flag. I could easily see these being a fun teacher gift for the end of the year. The kids can be in charge of the design, or with your help you can design one together fitting for the teacher think: apple, music note, sports ball, school mascot, etc.
As I said before, I really love crafts and I look forward to making more of these in the future. Hope you consider making these just for fun or for a special occasion. Comment below pictures if you’ve made one!