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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Camp Crafts - Part 2

In this the second installment of Camp Crafts I have a few more things to share from my camp days. Camp Crafts were a great way for me to be a positive influence in a lot of k, kids' lives and to show them the process is just as important, if not more sometimes, than just the finished project. You don't have to be an artist to make your own art.

I always wanted to kids to have lots of examples. I found that if you have only have one example then most of the kids will make their finished project look as close to that one as they can. So wanted them to see there was no ONE way. I wanted them to make it their own way with their own vision.

At a camp ground I was living and working as a Craft Hall Supervisor I was able to offer basket making. It was great for adults and teens. I even got a family with a mom, her grown daughter, and her daughter's boyfriend, who ended up being the surprise with a very nice heart shaped basket.

Paper Bag Journal

Paper bag journals were something I altered and adapted to make usable for groups and camp settings. At one camp that catered to families and various groups, they were a big hit with tweens, teens, and a few very creative Girl Scout troops. We used two colored paper bags for each, a variety of colored construction paper, markers, construction paper crayons (which are more awesome than many people might realize), yarn, and fun bits of feathers, gems, and foamies. I made ones for part of the staff at the end of the summer as a good bye present (the pockets were great for tucking in feathers, magnets, and other bits from the summer).

I've made paper bag journals with my 'Ladies Who Craft" at the nursing home, as well as for personal things. (I usually use regular brown paper bags and lunch sacks.) I made one for Christmas present for my mom as a memory book after my grandpa's death. The pockets were great for tucking in extra pictures, poetry, and a copy of his obituary. A great way to utilize scrap booking techniques for little bits.

Shrinkie Charm Bracelet
At the 4-H camp we did a lot with shrinkies (you've heard of shrinkie drinks, right?) and various knotted and braided bracelets and anklets made with colored thread. The kids loved them, both the nine-year-olds, and the teens. I tried to find ways for them to use the shrinkies they made (#6 plastic, decorated with markers or colored pencils, then heated down) other than just little melted pieces of plastic. I made a shrinkie charm bracelet with a bunch of fruit and vegetable charms and bits (I'm a vegetarian) with green and white colored thread.

Once all the shrinkies where made (decorated with holes punches) and shrunk, I set them out in the order I preferred and started to work on the bracelet itself. I used a square knot like one used in macrame with thin colored thread (think embroidery thread or something similar). The combination of colors gave a nice variance.

If the bracelet in the picture looks a bit beat up, because it is. I wore it a lot at camp and used it as an example (always with the examples).

Worry Dolls
Worry dolls made from twisty ties and embroidery floss was something I came up with. I have a few sets that I had picked up from other places, but wanted to find a way to make them myself. I was inspired by the collection of twisty ties that I could force myself to throw away, my selection of colored embroidery floss, and scraps of fabric. One of my campers even made a house for them out of a Velveeta Cheese box. It kind of resembled a mini mobile home. See More!

Macrame Butterfly
Macrame and macrame techniques were a big part of the stuff I did the kids. It seemed the more retro something was the more popular it was. Bracelets, belts, and even little macrame butterflies, like the one pictured. It was nice to experiment with different types of cord and string. The Macrame Butterfly was made from actual macrame cord that was donated (like the kind you see used in planters.)

Maybe some of these will inspire you or bring back sweet memories of summer camps gone by.

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