Category: Crafts (Page 2 of 9)

Fun with Egyptian Stencils – Booklet review

Fun with Egyptian StencilsOne of the activities I have planned for Mika’s 8th Birthday Ancient Egyptian party is decorating t-shirts. For that purpose, I got a couple of booklets of Ancient Egyptian stencils at Amazon.com and some Tulip Fashion Spray Paint at Michael’s. The booklets were Fun with Egyptian Stencils booklet which I got as part of the Exploring Ancient Egypt Fun Kit I bought at Amazon, and Fun with Egyptian Symbols Stencils. So far I have only used the first booklet, and I’m quite happy.
The stencils are quite small, each sheet is about 5.4″ x 4″. The sheets are laminated and they cleaned up quite well (though we’ll see how many clean ups they can stand). They are, of course, too small for spray painting if used by themselves – but I cut out a rectangle the size of the stencil in the middle of a cardboard sheet, then taped the stencil there, and it worked quite well to shield the rest of the spraying surface.
Tulip Fashion Spray PaintI’m also happy with the paint. The kids had some difficulties making it spray rather than just blot, but I think it was a matter of applying the right pressure to the pump and having it at an adequate distance from the surface. I think the kids at the party will figure it out.
Both Mika and Camila were quite happy with the results. Mika painted a t-shirt she had with the ankhs and Camila just tried it on a piece of paper-cloth we had around. I got white t-shirts for the party, so I think it’ll work even better.
Mika's stenciled t-shirt
Camila's stenciled cloth

Sparkle Floam – Review

floam.jpgI just got a package of Sparkle Floam at Grocery Outlet for $2 (it sells in Amazon for $4.60) and Mika had a great time playing with it. She made a “cover” for her cell phone and loved how it looked. Of course, this is a non-functioning cell-phone 🙂
I’m not sure if the floam is supposed to dry and permanently stick to whatever surface you put it on, I really don’t care either way, but it would have been nice if it came with instructions on how to use it.
Mika and her floam phone
floamphone.jpg

Books on Ancient Egyptian Crafts for Kids

I’m throwing Mika an Ancient Egypt theme 8th birthday party, and I’ve been having some difficulty finding Ancient Egyptian crafts online or books on Ancient Egyptian crafts on Amazon. However, I was easily able to find four such books at the library, and I figured I’d blog about them for anyone in the same boat.
Egyptian Crafts from the Past by Gillian Chapman is an older book (1997) that concentrates mostly on cardboard based crafts. The crafts include: boxes (rectangular, tubal and pyramid shaped) with Ancient Egyptian motifs, clay/papier mache sarcophagus, clay/plaster scarabs, plaster relief, board game, cat mummy, reed boat, pasta jewelry, cardboard amulets, papier mache canopic jars, mirrors and make up boxes. The crafts are in the challenging side and several require materials that we don’t have at home (reeds, plaster, tubes with plastic stopper), but several look very cool and there are things I’d actually like to make. I’m just not sure we have the skills to make them. The book is beautifully illustrated with color photographs of the crafts and step-by-step drawings.
History and Activities of Ancient Egypt by Alexandra Fix includes an easy to read introduction about Egyptian life and fun as well as a few crafts: a recipe for date sweets, a fake papyrus recipe (made from a paper bag), a papier mache ushabti, and a senet game with instructions on how to play it. I think I’ll try the papyrus recipe and perhaps the ushabti. The book is illustrated with color photographs of the crafts and step-by-step drawings.
Ancient Egyptians and Their Neighbors: An Activity Guide has crafts from Ancient Egypt, as well as from Mesopotamia, Nubia and the Hittites. After an introduction to Ancient Egypt, it goes into several projects like a sugar-cube step pyramid, a tissue box garden, pillowcase costumes, a toilet roll bracelet and a clay necklace. There are short chapters on Ancient Egyptian writing, work, food and religion each with a craft or too. The crafts are illustrated with simple black & white drawings, but in general they seem simpler than those from the previous books.
The Ancient Egyptians: Dress, Eat, Write, and Play Just Like the Egyptians is full of simple, somewhat tackier crafts. These include making a paper crown, a plastic straw boat, checkedboard papyrus from regular paper, a cardboard senet game, a recipe for ful medames, a felt and plastic bead colar (which actually looks cool, but it’d probably be a pain to get the necessary beads), a yogurt cup water clock (seems cool too), a clay winged scarab and a cardboard sistrum (which I’d like to make if I can find small bells).
There are two more books, Great Ancient Egypt Projects You Can Build Yourself and Spend the Day in Ancient Egypt: Projects and Activities That Bring the Past to Life that you can buy at Amazon that were not available at our library, but that get good reviews at Amazon.
I think I have enough with what I have and I look forward to go through the books with Mika and find some crafts we can make before and during the party. I’ll blog about the ones we do and how successful we are.

Style Six Color Effects Airbrush – Product Review

airbrush.jpgI bought the Style Six Color Effects Airbrush for Mika (my 8yo) for Xmas. I wanted to branch out a little from silk screening and I thought she would enjoy this different way of decorating t-shirts. Well, she did, but the product itself was a total failure.

This kit consists of four airbrush markers, a few stencils and a machine which blows air – you put the markers on it and supposedly use it to spray the paint onto whatever fabric surface you want. Alas, the machine doesn’t work at all. It’s pretty much impossible to make any paint come out of the markers by using it – it just doesn’t blow enough air. Now, the markers work quite well if you put them in your mouth and blow through them – and that Mika enjoyed doing very much – but it’s ridiculous to pay $24 for 4 miserly markers and a few cheapy stencils. The markers don’t last very long either – they were enough to make about 3 (well covered) shirts.

To add insult to injury, the refill is super expensive (about $19 after shipping for 3 markers) and not easy to find.

So, heed my advise and do not buy this product.

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