So, the Easter holidays are over now and you can breathe a sigh of relief. Until, that is, you realise that the summer holidays will be upon you before you know it and you’ll have to keep your little darlings occupied for even longer.
Admittedly, the weather is better in summer than in spring, so that makes life easier. There are days, though, when it’s rainy, or you simply can’t do another park picnic and you fancy a little home time, so fire up your creative brain cells, then fire up the printer and make some magic happen.
That’s right! You might think that using a printer takes the effort, creativity and fun out of crafting, what with the soulless buttons and the Epson ink cartridge, but you’d be quite wrong, as these six projects will amply demonstrate.
Make your own stuffed animals
An inkjet printer can actually print on fabric, so cut a few sheets of densely-woven linen or muslin, or even felt, and get them ready. Then, using a design programme on your PC, set your imagination to work and devise some outlandish creatures. You’ll need to use mirror images, and the outlines shouldn’t be too complex if the kids are young. Once you’re happy with your critter, upload the design, feed the fabric into the printer and go. Once printed, you simply cut the templates out, perforate the edges (for younger kids) and start sewing. Don’t forget the stuffing!
Instead of anchoring information to your refrigerator, print it out on magnet sheets. Print soccer game schedules, important phone numbers, photos and even your child’s scanned artwork. Use the sheets whole or cut them to fit whatever shape you print.
You can buy magnetic sheets from larger craft or hobby stores, so you make up whatever you want on a design package – it could be a calendar, family mottos, artwork – and print on them. Get an adult to use sharp scissors or a craft knife to score out pieces if necessary.
Make your own board games
An educational resource website will have loads of free designs and templates for kids’ board games, including boards, cards, counters and even the dice! If you want the game to last more than a couple of hours, however, use heavyweight card or glue paper onto cardboard. The shake those dice.
For older kids (and even grown-up kids), a good long-term project is a quilt or a patchwork pillow. There are good online resources for printable fabric patterns that you can cobble together to make a unique piece of work. Alternatively, you can design your own squares.
Make your own designer t-shirts
Use a t-shirt transfer package like the ones you can buy from Avery and create your own individual t-shirt designs. You’re not restricted to t-shirts, of course – you can apply your masterpieces to canvas bags or even curtains. You can use a stretchable fabric pack if necessary, for synthetic blends, and Avery offers inspiration with clip art and free templates. Click here to read more about synthetic fabrics.