Kid Craft: Pet Rock

I am a reluctant kid crafter. Kids are so messy! They fling stuff about in a festive manner! Glitter is the devil! But I try. I try to find quick and easy crafts with a limited number of materials involved to try to minimize the potential destruction. Sometimes I am more successful than others.

Today's craft came about because Grady insisted on bringing home a pocketful of rocks on our walk this morning. We brought the rocks home and he spent some time happily splashing away in the sink, "washing" them. From there we got into a discussion about keeping the rocks (we couldn't put them back outside because they're his friends) and instead of fighting it I decided to just roll with it. We have pet rocks now. They're part of our family and we'll love them forever.

What you'll need:

Rocks! Preferably rocks with relatively flat "faces"
Paint (we used tempera paint because that's what we had)
Googly eyes
Glue gun
Permanent marker
Assorted bits and bobs
Infinite patience

What you'll do:

Go on a rock hunt! We found lime-sized rocks with relatively flat "faces" so our googly eyes would attach easily. We then brought the rocks home and gave them a good wash.

Paint the rocks and let them dry.

Decide where your rock's "face" is and glue on googly eyes and yarn for hair. Draw on mouth with permanent marker and attach other bits and bobs (we added pompoms for ponytail holders).

Name your rocks. LOVE your rocks. Give your rocks to unsuspecting family members as "gifts."

Super bonus crafter extraordinaire pro tip: Goo Gone removes permanent marker from quartz countertops, just in case you're wondering. You're welcome.

Our happy rock family.  

Our happy rock family.  

DIY Silhouette Art

I made this on the weekend: 


Ignore the dim lighting and the weird reflectiony line at the top. It's Grady's perfect little 2-year old silhouette and I love it. 

It took a long time to make. Almost two hours (my attention span is limited. Two hours is a really long time nowadays.) But I'm so glad I spent the time capturing the last remnants of baby Grady before he completely turns into Big Boy Grady who wrinkles his nose and furrows his brow and says, "hmmmmm, I don't fink so!" when I ask him if it's time for bed.

I saw this frame on the clearance table at Michael's last week and I'd seen DIY silhouette art tutorials floating around on the web so I figured I'd give it a go. First I took a picture of Grady's profile against a light background (while he was watching television so he'd be motionless.) I actually took about a dozen photos so I could chose one where his lips weren't pursed or his head wasn't tilted - you want a natural, relaxed profile. 

Next I opened the photo up in my photo editing software and jacked the contrast way up. Then I sized it to the frame and printed the picture on regular paper.  

I taped the picture onto a window and then taped regular ol' waxed paper on top of it (you could use tracing paper if you're feeling fancy.) Then I used a pencil to (carefully! Take your time!) trace the outline of Grady's profile onto the waxed paper. 

Next I taped the waxed paper onto a sheet of black cardstock (just the edges, though) and used the surgeon-y looking craft knife I also bought at Michael's to cut out the silhouette. This step took forever. I feel like maybe I bought the wrong kind of knife because I ended up just using scissors for most of it. My only advice for this step is: go slow. Make tiny cuts. You can always cut more away, you can't add it back if you cut too much. 

My final step was to paste the black silhouette on my beigey-grey cardstock and then slap the whole thing in the frame.  

This project wasn't easy but it wasn't difficult. It was mostly just time consuming and kind of annoying. It took a lot of patience (not something I have an abundance of right now) but like I said, I'm so glad I tackled this project.  I hung the picture on our bedroom wall and every time Grady sees it he says, "that's Grady! That's Grady!" It's perfect.