Crafting ideas from the new Arran Wee Makers project

A message from Wee Makers

Entertaining your little ones when they are not allowed to see their friends can be a challenge. Even watching cartoons and playing games can have its limits. Most of them actually like making things. Since I always enjoyed “playing arts and crafts” as my son called it when he was wee, I thought, I could start a Facebook page with art and craft ideas, parents could do with their kids. Things that don’t require expensive craft kits or art material. Things that can mainly be done with stuff that lies around in the house or is meant to go into the bin. Or with material you can find in your shed or garden. The first projects will come up in the coming week. Here is one to get started…

An Egg Box Flower Mobile 

Fancy making a wee flower mobile from egg boxes with your kids? I bet you have everything for it lying somewhere at home. Unless you are vegan; then egg cartons might be a problem. But we’ll tackle a lot of projects that don’t need them later. For this one you need 3 egg cartons, paints ( water colour, acrylics, poster paint, gouache; they’re all fine, even fat felt pens) and a brush, scissors (or a paper knife, if you handle it yourself), string (cotton yarn, hemp cord or chunky wool are all fine), a wee branch of a tree ( or a piece of driftwood, a wooden cooking spoon, a length of bamboo cane, a cloth hanger or anything else you want your mobile strings attach to), optionally some beads or buttons. (Remember, children need to be supervised. I won’t be responsible for any accidents that might happen while doing this or any other project since I have no control.- Sorry, we have to have a disclaimer nowadays).

1. This is what you will need plus something to attach your mobile strands to, like a branch, a cane or so.

2. First cut off the lid and the wee flap. Keep them for later projects. Then cut the egg compartment lengthwise through the middle of the high divider cones.

3. You have now to halves.

4. Make cuts between the egg nests (two cuts in total),going again through the middle of the leftover half of the big cone.

5. You’ve got now six of these pieces.

6. With a pencil draw the outline of a flower on all four legs of each piece and cut along the lines.

7. Now paint your flowers on both sides.

9. If you use three egg boxes, you’ll have now 18 coloured flowers. Make as many as you want. If they are very wet from painting, let them dry a bit. Then make a hole in the middle of your flowers. I used a a sharp tapestry needle to get through the cardboard which was still slightly damp. Then I wiggled the needle carefully around to enlarge the hole slightly, but only as much that the string can just fit through.

10. To make up the strands, I cut three lengths of string of 1.5 metre each. I had found a few wooden beads with bigger holes in my upcycle stash. So I used them to start each mobile strand. You can easily use a button that has a big enough hole to fit the string through. Or you start directly with a flower.

11. Three fingers above my first knot I make the next knot and then a second one which I fit around the first one, so that I get a super fat knot. I do this to avoid the flower slipping over the knot and ending up on the bottom element. Depending on the size of your hole you might even need a triple fat knot at times.

12. You only need knots on the bottom of the flowers to prevent them from slipping down. In my mobile I alternated with the few buttons I had. They only needed a simple knot though.

13. This is the top bit of the mobile. I simply used up my buttons and fixed the top flower with a button on top. Now, you can attach the string pieces elegantly with eye hooks if you have any. But there is no need to spend extra money, and besides, we are supposed to stay inside, and eye hooks don’t qualify for essential shopping. So I decided to simply tie each strand to the Hawthorne branch I’ve got, and then I attached another piece of string to hang the whole mobile up. To make it super secure put a dab of glue onto the knots.

And this is the finished piece. If you and your children try it out, have fun. Let them make it as long as they want with as many strands as they have material for. Let their imagination go wild! Let them go for dots or monochrome, for glitzy or neon. Just enjoy crafting with them, and post your finished pieces in the comments! I’m looking forward to seeing them.


For lots more fun crafting ideas to get involved in over the next few weeks, see the Wee Makers facebook page