Cheap and easy crafts that are great to do with the kids.
About a week into summer break, you are grasping at straws, desperate to find something to keep the kids entertained for 5 minutes. Anything to give you some peace and quiet but still keep them away from their screens and prevent their brains from turning to mush.
But it's not like you can spend $100 a day on amazing, interesting projects. So, I'm working on building a library of posts on cheap easy crafts that can keep the kids entertained. This is post number one.
I tend to keep an eye out for craft supplies or craft projects in the clearance section. It might be popsicle sticks, paint brushes, glitter glue or yarn. Whatever is on sale, I try to grab it when it's super cheap because I can always think of a project or check Pinterest for an idea later. That way I've always got supplies on hand for just such an occasion.
I happen to see that the paintable wood items were on sale at my local craft store for 40% off. Generally, the big craft stores have a coupon you can bring up on your phone to save 40% on almost anything. (Me, standing in line: "Okay Google, Hobby Lobby Coupon"). I already had the paint and paintbrushes on hand, but you can get the little acrylic paints for under a dollar each on sale (I tend to find them the cheapest at AC Moore) and a little $0.99 paint brush pack if you don't keep craft supplies on hand. All in all, it cost me about $2.50, but if you need to buy those other things, it might cost you around $5.
First things first, pick your theme. I love superheroes and I have plenty of yellow and black so I went with Batman (yeah, I know that technically he is a vigilante and not a superhero). Anyway, I just did a quick online search for things like "batman silhouette" "batman symbol outline" "batman stencil" and other similar verbiage until I found a nice symbol that was printer friendly. No need to waste all that expensive ink on a big Batman that I'm just going to throw away. I also found some good Superman symbols or Wonder woman, etc. Lots of things out there.
Cut out your stencil and use it to draw on your symbol. I put the yellow coat on the whole tray and added the black around the edges prior to drawing the batman symbol on. It took 3 or 4 coats before it looked really good (which means more peace and quiet time for you while the kids paint). Paint in your symbol with your color of choice and let it dry for an hour or so.
I always recommend adding a coat of sealer to your painted objects to protect it from spills & scratches, but also to make it a bit more cleanable.
Need to stock up on craft supplies? Here are some of my recommendations from Amazon:
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Owner of Crafty Rice LLC.
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