I can always tell when summer is in full swing because my dirty dishes increase exponentially. Is it the same in your house? I find myself mumbling under my breath as the dishes "magically" fill the sink. The dishwasher gets top heavy and inevitably sit down with my kids happen and I say things like, "don't you know there's a draught in California!" and "you can reuse a glass, stop getting more out of the cupboard!" This year I decided to be proactive. Before we got to the "speech", the kids and I made cup coasters. The idea is that each kid gets a glass every morning and it has its very own spot to hang out, next to the water dispenser. This way they know which glass is their's and it is always where they left it. Because I included the kids in the project, I think that they are more motivated to follow through with concept, at least so far...
We started out with some light weighted craft wood that I purchased at my local hardware store. I think that it is poplar. I already had the paint from previous projects. Once I had gathers all the supplies, I laid out some paper to protect my table and let the kids have at it.
Like most art projects, I am always astonished at the color and composition choices of my children. Often my mom shines through and I feel the need to remind them to be "neat" or "not wasteful". This time though, it was smooth sailing and I let them do what ever they wanted. Bug put on so many layers that it took a whole day for his coaster to dry. Jeep's looks a lot the the Great Lakes. This project took about thirty minutes for the kids to finish and clean up, so it turned out to be a good playing break.
One of our summer goals is to learn more origami paper folds. We started and mastered the crane right off the bat and as we were folding all these birds I came up with the idea of these cute earrings. If you need help remembering how to fold a paper crane, I really liked this video and this video. I recommend folding a couple before attempting to assemble these earrings. Start with a larger square, like an 8 by 8 inch square, because the hardest part about these earrings is folding the 2 by 2 inch paper! I started with scrapbook paper, which is what my daughter is wearing in the photo above, but found that old paperback novel paper was perfect and adorable! (we are using pages from the Trapp Family Singers) So look through your house for those falling apart books, that superfine paper really did fold the best.
7. Attach crane charm to earrings!
All in all, these earrings take about ten minutes to make and that includes the drying time. These would make great gifts for friends and families, especially for the bibliophile in your life.
1. Cut out two 2 X 2 inch squares of paper. Make pre-folds. For the crane, the paper should look like the above picture, having folded the horizontal, vertical and both diagonal folds. Just to give the paper a little extra strength, I applied a little glue to the center of the folds. You can just barely see the purple tinge of the glue in the picture. Wait... no really wait until the glue is very dry. If not, the glue might glue your crane all together which can make for one hot mess later and results in no earrings, just torn paper. So wait.
2. Ease head pins through the center of the folds. This isn't hard, it's just if you push to quickly you can tear the paper. So don't rush. Once the little hold is made, take head pins out.
3. Fold crane.
4. Put seed beads on head pin and thread through the crane. I needed to slightly unfold the crane in order to slide the head pin into the hole we created in step 2. Refold crane around head pin.
5. Trim excess headpin. I took off about 1 inch of wire. This will depend on how long you want your earrings to be. Since mine were for my daughter, I wanted them fairly short.
6. Twist tops of headpins around to make the circle that attaches the earrings to the crane charm. As you can see from the picture below, I am not the hottest at this. But I like the wonky look. If you want to make it look super fancy, watch this video. Totally adorable.
You could also make a necklace! Which uses the same techniques, but the paper squares were 3 X 3 inches.
I also created a downloadable PDF document with the instructions and items needed. That way if you need to take this idea somewhere, you can! Take the list to the store or share with a class. Easy Peasy.