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 ISSUE 63   •   11  DECEMBER 2008  
   This issue: gift ideas


1. Editorial – Thank you
2. For the parents
3. For relatives

4. For grandparents
5. For teachers
6. For children
7. For someone special
8. Featured subscriber blog and giveaway
9. November photo comp winner

1. Editorial – Thank you

This is an editorial full to the brim with thanks.

The first thanks go to Kristin from Sew, Mama, Sew for encouraging me to devote a newsletter to the topic of gifts that children can make. These ideas will be featured on the Sew, Mama, Sew blog over the next few days as part of their Holidays at Home feature which is full of great ideas for the silly season.

Second thanks go to the lovely ladies at MixTape zine who have given me five copies of their latest issue to give away to Kids Craft Weekly subscribers. This issue is the 'Kids' issue and features a beautiful cover from the lovely Loobylu and a host of great kid-related craft articles and tutorials. You can also read about me as I'm the featured crafty lady in this particular issue!

If you'd like to go into the draw click on the photo below and leave a comment.

The next set of thanks is for all of the card-makers out there who have been blogging about the card swap and sending me such fantastic handmade cards! Today I had the pleasure of sitting down with a cup of tea and a letter opener to this spectacular pile of mail.

Those of you who read my sporadically updated blog will know that I've had a pretty rough six months with lots of upheaval and change. Through all this, one of the consistently enjoyable things about my life is producing this little newsletter and feeling a connection with all of you who take the time to read it.

I can barely express how delighted and fortunate I feel to be on the receiving end of your warm regards and kind support. 

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has purchased a copy of the Christmas Craft PDF and Everyday Craft Book. Kids Craft Weekly earns me just a trickle of money but this small amount makes an enormous difference to my life. This year, for example, I have been able to do most of my Christmas shopping without having to dip into my weekly living expenses – what a wonderful luxury. For this, and everything else, I thank you so much.

I wish you and your families a happy, healthy and safe holiday. I'm taking a short break but regular newsletters will begin again in the new year. I'm still accepting book orders of course! Christmas Craft orders are fulfilled instantly by email and Everyday Craft orders will be posted same day if possible.

Happy crafting and I'll see you in 2009!

Amber Carvan

2. For parents – a miniature work of art

Child-painted canvases are a great present for proud parents and doting grandparents. 
Consider purchasing a set of small canvases – one for each child perhaps.

When doing this craft with very young kids it's a good idea to think carefully about which colours you will give them to paint with, and whether you would like to prime the canvas with a different colour before you start.

You will need

• a small canvas
paint and paintbrushes
a selection of acrylic paint


1. Set up a good working space and protect all clothing. If you're working with a very young kid it's a good idea to provide only two or three colours, each with their own paintbrush. Then
let the painting begin!

It's also a good idea to protect the work space. As you can see below my son (then 19 months old) decided to start painting the chalkboard instead of the canvas! And just after this photo was taken he decided to EAT a huge glob of paint – a timely reminder for us all to use non-toxic paint when crafting with kids!

2. When it's looking good, whisk the canvas away and replace it with a large sheet of paper so that the fun can continue.

3. For relatives – a colourful framed picture

Using this technique, kids can transform their favourite artwork into something even more special – perfect to hang on the wall or stick to the fridge! We've used rectangular lids but I think these would look great with circular or square lids also.

You will need

• plastic lids
a picture to frame
transparent glue, glue tape or double-sided tape
white glue
items for decorating
knife or hole punch
fancy string or yarn


1. Choose a picture that you want to frame. Trace around the plastic lid with a pencil.

2. Cut the picture out to the size of your lid (for our lid we cut about half a centimetre inside the pencil outline). Then apply some glue tape (or other invsible glue) around the outside of your picture. Remember to put the glue on the front of the picture. Then stick the picture to the inside of the lid.

3. Squeeze out a border of white glue along the front of the lid and decorate the border using whatever you fancy. My son chose a selection of buttons and small wooden ladybeetles.

My daughter opted for some delicate paper flowers and colourful sequins.

Our friend made a pattern from coloured pasta.

4. Allow the glue to dry – this may take a while. Once it's done piece small holes in the two top corners and thread through some colourful yarn or string. And voila!

Variation: Skip step 4 and glue magnets onto the back instead. Now your artwork is fridge-ready!

4. For grandparents – a beautiful hand-crafted bowl 

These translucent paper mache bowls are simple to make and beautiful to look at. Perfect for gifts, you can fill them up with something special or simply give them as is.

You will need

coloured tissue paper
• white glue
a bowl (preferably plastic)
plastic cling wrap
something to sprinkle (such as sequins)


1. Tear up the tissue paper into pieces. You'll need a fair amount of tissue paper, for this bowl we used three large sheets of paper.

2. Make up a watery glue mixture in a jar using equal amounts of white glue and water. Then put your plastic bowl on the table (open end down) and cover with cling wrap.
Paint on a layer of the glue mixture and cover with a layer of issue paper.

3. Repeat until you're out of tissue paper or until you feel the bowl is going to be thick enough.

4. For extra bling, sprinkle some sequins over the outside of the bowl when you've finished.

5. Allow the bowl to dry – this may take some time (as long as several days in winter or 24 hours in summer). 

When you think your bowl in dry enough to stay in shape on it's own, carefully ease it off the bowl and from the cling wrap. The inside of the bowl will be wet but it too will soon dry after it gets some exposure to the air. At this point you can choose whether you want to trim the sides of the bowl or leave them uneven like we have.

5. For teachers – a colourful bouquet

Show your appreciation with a bouquet of child-made paper flowers and perhaps a gift voucher for a local book shop or department store.

You will need

colourful patty pans (cupcake or muffin cases)


1. Take three different coloured patty pans and flatten them out.

2. Place them one on top of the other – they don't have to be completely even. In fact, if they're a bit higgledy piggledy that's good.

3. Fold them in half, then roll into and cone and staple.

4. Thread a pipecleaner through the middle and add beads to make the stamen.

5. And ta-da!

For more flower ideas check out the flower issue of Kids Craft Weekly.

6. For children – a teeny bucket of trinkets or treats

Children as young as three can help to make these adorable little buckets and then fill them with whatever they fancy – a great gift for their friends!

You will need

paper cups
acrylic paint and brushes
coloured cardboard
hole punch
split pins (brads)
spotty stickers to decorate


1. Paint a paper cup and allow the paint to dry.

2. Cut a strip of coloured cardboard to make a handle. Then punch holes in each end of the handle, and on either side of the paper cup.

3. Attach handle to cup using split pins.

4. Decorate using spotty stickers.

7. For someone special – a treasure made from clay

When children work with clay it encourages them to plan and create a permanent object. These custom-created clay treasures make meaningful gifts for the closest friends.

When buying clay, make sure you get the kind that hardens with exposure to air rather than the kind that requires baking in a kiln. For those just starting out with clay, here are a couple of projects to try.

Clay beads

Roll clay into small balls (or cut it into squares using a knife) and use a skewer to make holes. Then wait for the clay to dry. Paint your beads if desired and thread on fishing line to create a simple bracelet or necklace.

Pinch pots

Roll clay into a ball and stick your thumbs in the centre of the ball. Pinch the clay around the edges to form a small bowl or pot.

Allow the clay to dry and paint if desired.

8. Featured website and giveaway

Fiona Kate :: Simple Gorgeous Storage

Fiona Kate's custom range of sturdy storage boxes are perfect for hiding away messy craft supplies.

Fiona Kate has offered a generous giveaway for Australian readers of Kids Craft Weekly – a set of three mini boxes with matching decal stickers. There are two prize packs being offered (valued at $64.95 each).

To go in the draw please register here
and say that Kids Craft Weekly sent you.

9. November Photo Comp Winner

Every month I give away a copy of one of the books from my Amazon favourites list.
To be in the running all you have to do is upload a photo to the Kids Craft Weekly group photo pool on Flickr.

The winner for November is Alida with this lovely photo of her son Reuben making Christmas cards. Alida has chosen to receive a copy of the Taro Gomi book Scribbes which is my fabourite from the amazing Taro Gomi range of creative activity books for kids. Congrats Alida!


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