By Larraine Roulston:
Summertime can be a great opportunity to test your ability to create any number of the latest crafts that appeal to warm weather fun.
If you have children who play in a small backyard kiddie pool, they will love your making huge bubbles for them to stand under. For this, your kiddie pool should be made of hard plastic. You will also need a hula hoop as well as the perfect homemade bubble solution, which consists of 5 gallons of water and 10 cups of Dawn Regular (not antibacterial) dish soap. Let the solution sit overnight. You will have more success making bubbles if you keep the foam to a minimum, and bubbles will last longer if there is less splashing. I actually saw this being performed by a street entertainer.
Another kiddie pool activity is to make cork sail boats for racing. Simply bind a few wine corks together and attach a little sail. Both of these images are shown on the link below.
To add an artistic design to your garden, try arranging some colorful container pots or decorated mason jars. Including an old window frame, a bicycle with a carrier basket of flowers, an antique sled, a pair of worn jeans or work boots filled with soil to grow herbs can create a magical touch. You can also hang a wicker basket with some LED lights. To make a little pond within your garden, dig a space to repurpose an old tire. Line it with plastic, and decorate the rim and surrounding area with interesting stones or bricks.
DIY crafts can involve cool food ideas as well. Over the past few years, we have seen creative pumpkin carvings; the same can be achieved using watermelons. Why take traditional watermelon slices or cubes in a container to a friend’s party when you can enter with pizzazz?! It’s always impressiveto slice any melon in half, scoop out the inside and refill the shell with a variety of balled melons and other fruits. You can even decorate the rim with a few dangling leaves; however, if you have the time and interest to be really creative with this favorite summer fruit, check out the images of the shark watermelon. You can even let your own imagination run wild to create a different character.
One of my memorable childhood crafts during the summer was to sit with friends and braid friendship rings and bracelets from different colored wool. If you like to braid as well, make yourself a small rag rug or hot pot holder. It’s a good way to use up worn clothing that you cannot give away. To begin, rip the material into strips. After you have braided a short length, form your oval and attach by weaving another piece of the same material through the strands. (Using a blunt needle makes it easier than poking it through by hand.) As this type is not sewn, avoid machine washing. Alternatively, you can sew it together with a needle and thread. Personally, I find fastening it with strips of cloth much easier and faster.
Perhaps for a trip to the beach or camping, you could use a new carrying bag suitable for the occasion. The site showing Images for triangular bag pattern offers photographs, patterns and instructions for many different styles of useful cloth bags.
Crafts can be done alone or with a group of friends. They can even involve creating a mural or a quilt with a group of people. Whatever the case, if you like to be creative, crafts can be a part of your summer fun.
Larraine authors a children’s adventure books on composting at www.castlecompost.com