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This month's theme and many of the ideas are thanks to Alexis! Most kids will be going back to school
within the next week or so, and there just some essentials that young scholars
shouldn't be without!
- Textbooks: Cardstock jacket, cardboard pages. Make dustcover bookjackets out of brown paper (try disposable lunch bags) and doodle on them! Every child in the world has done this, so you know hearts, little warm fuzzys (little faces surrounded by a rays of hair standing on a couple of feet for those of you who are wondering!), a rock band's name, your sweetheart, etc. are fairly standard.
- Many times school is just a little too far to even consider walking (or even biking!) home. Therefore, wee (and not so wee) ones find themselves with a bagged lunch. Standard fare? Well, in north america, we tend to find peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (bread from fimo or model magic, make some peanut butter from peanut butter coloured acrylic, jelly from red acrylic glass paint), potato chips (dried green pepper seeds) and oreo cookies (if you are not familiar with this cookie, it is two chocolate cookies with some yummy creamy white stuff in between, the latter considered quite the delicacy!. Roll very tiny balls of brown/black fimo and flatten onto a ceramic tile. With a pin, poke some decoration into it-- it is handy to have an oreo before you for inspiration, then while the fimo is curing in the oven go wash your hands and then have a snack;)! Cure cookies in oven for five to ten minutes, allow to cool. Roll out some tiny white fimo balls, flatten inbetween two cookies. Cook for another ten to fifteen minutes.) To wash everything down, include a small box of milk or juice. You can fashion a small carton from fimo, then paint to your favorite brand ( In Canada we also get small boxes of sealed drinks which would be easy to imitate. Form a box shape out of fimo, paint with fruit/cow faces/ etc. Cure fimo box, then add a small straw (if you have bought a pair of shoes, or have a tag attached to a new blouse, keep the little plastic attachy thing (technical term...;)). Cut a small section of this to use as a straw) to the side.
- Need pencil boxes/rulers/scissors/maps/notebook paper, etc? Try the following sites for projects and scaled ready-to-print images!
Jim Collin's Page
Both sites have some other interesting things as well.
- For Colored pencils and pens, cut down toothpicks and color them (acrylic paints and a water based varnish would work well.
- Project folders and notebooks: Cut rectangles out of cardstock and fold. If it is a notebook, glue in a few looseleaf pages. I often use blank index cards as my source of cardstock. It comes in many colors, so check out your local office store to see what they have. Also look at the cheap duo-tangs for cardstock, some covers may have interesting textures and colors that may be useful.
- Need a bookbag? You can make one from fimo, and once cured apply some fabric and jewelry findings to decorate. Check out the different styles of bags out there. The easiest one to make would be the tube shaped style, but do give other shapes a try. One thing that is popular with the young kids (ok, some of the old kids too!) are the bags with the furry animal attached (tigers, bears, puppies are a favorite) . You can make many really sweet critters out of pom-poms (eg. a bear can be made from 7mm, 5mm and 3mm poms, a little paint for the eyes, a bead for the nose and some embroidery cotton for a bow. I have also made interesting little reindeers as well). Experiment to see what you can make.
When I was in high school, I made a cool bookbag out of denim and some decorative fabric ribbon. All it was was a long rectangle of fabric sewn together on two sides, top was hemmed and two straps were added. Try this bag with small ribbons and lace. Don't forget to add some small books (you can make covers from fimo, or follow one of the suggestions made earlier!).
- How about decorative key chains to go on things with zippers? Try seedbeads on beading wire, small charms, small crystals, tiny handmade fimo creations (like a tiny beanie baby?), or even small pom-pom fuzzies.
- Presents for the teacher! Make an apple from fimo. Roll a tiny ball and indent one end with something shaped like a small cone (empty pen tip, or something equal). If you want a green apple with a red blush, look in someone's old makeup case for powder cosmetics they were going to throw away anyway. I brush blush onto my uncured apples, and then cook. The blush will stay in! Really makes an interesting effect, too. Once apple is dry, add a small bit of twig and dried green material (from dried flowers?).
Dude, how about recess? Make some sporting equipment from fimo or model magic. Remember tether ball? Well, find a thin metal rod for a pole, a rubber tire from a model car, some thread. Make a ball from fimo, or from a charm from a real size keychain. Balls are easy to make, have some footballs, baseballs, soccer balls, etc., for your scene. Skipping ropes are thread and beads/fimo.
- Looking for a computer? Occasionally you can find a good scale toy that is better than some out on the market. Also, why not try to sculpt one yourself?
Penants: Look for pictures of penants in school brochures and cut them out. Paste onto a bit of cardstock, let dry. Apply spray varnish to the penant, and apply some thin facial tissue. Allow to dry. Spray varnish over this. This technique is used to make faux fabric rugs and would probably work here too.
- Ok, this is for the college student. They need special attention, because they are often at the mercy of bad food, horrid accomodations, and good old fashion cases of home sickness. Therefore, send a care package! Build a cardboard box out of cardstock or thin cereal box cardboard. If you used the latter, you may have to line the box with some thin brown paper. College students miss mom's goodies. Make a paper plate out of a sequin covered in paper, add some fimo cookies (if you have some little kemper cutters, you can make hearts and flowers), brownies (light brown fimo, if you would prefer fudge use a transparent fimo with a bit of dark brown and varnish) and squares (make these by layering different colored fimo together, cook and cut). "Real" food is required as well. When I was in university, many kids (not me, I was always very careful with my food money!) would find themselves a little short at the end of the month. This lead to some eating what is known as "poverty packs" aka Kraft cheese and noodles. Find an color advertisement for this product that is in the right scale, and apply to a small fimo "box". If you tuck the KD box into the big box, you won't need a back on it. Do the same with other favorite foods (ramen noodles, instant soups, etc.). What else? Well, use your imagination--stuff a small square of fabric in to appear to be a new shirt (laundry often goes missing at college), maybe a new paperback that the poor student can't afford, etc.
...And that is it. If you have an idea for a tips and hints section, please
write to me. So far I have done a few
reader's ideas, perhaps you can be next!
Please also check the archives , as there could be
an old theme that might jive with one of your own current projects!:)
if you have a good tip hint that you would like to share, don't hesitate to give me a
note about it,
You could become famous...
For older tips, check out the Mini
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