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Summertime Craft Ideas

By: Judi Cox

Spring and summer come and everyone starts opening their doors and windows, bringing in the fresh air. Tree leaves are full and flower blooms abound; birds are singing, building nests and taking care of their chicks. I am drawn outdoors by the lure of warmer days and the call of the dirt and new sprouts. Not to mention, as a mom, the kids are clamoring for more room to play. It’s a perfect time to pull out some fun out door family crafts.

Here are a few, easy to personalize, craft ideas for summertime fun or to celebrate May Day, Mother's Day or a holiday weekend. All craft supplies are easily attainable from craft supply stores or online suppliers. While making these crafts is a fun family activity, some are available in pre-assembled kits, or already made. Use your favorite search engine for more information on various ideas – keyword suggestions are offered below craft each idea.

1. Terra cotta clay pot bird bath. Invert terra cotta clay pots, from larger on bottom and smallest on top. Add a clay saucer (the part the pot sits in to catch the drained water). A waterproof saucer is necessary. Set the clay saucer on top of the inverted stack of pots. Paint or mosaic the pots if you feel especially creative. For more bird fun, add a mister. Birds love to play in the water. Note: Make two similar stands and use one for a bird feeder.

Keywords: clay pot bird bath; clay pot bird feeder; terra cotta bird bath.

2. Plant and grow an herb garden. Include herbs such as basil, thyme, sage, chives and any other favorites. You'll have fresh herbs to add to your recipes all summer long. Herbs are easy to grow, making this an easy garden for kids to help. Take it one step further and create a "kitchen garden", including lettuce spinach, tomato, cucumber or other salad favorites.

Keywords: growing herbs; kitchen garden; easy herb gardening; gardening plans; container gardening.

3. Build a toad abode. Use a terra cotta pot and a rock. Invert a clay pot and prop edge on a rock. If you have a chipped pot, that would work great too and wouldn’t require propping. Paint and decorate to your liking.

Keywords: clay toad abode; toad house; frog house.

4. A handmade stepping stone. Personalize with stones, marbles, or other memorable items. Make the project a tradition. Mark the stone with the year and include items to remember the year; a key (house or car), a toy, etc. A footprint each year could signify the walk of life and would be fun for young children to mark their growth from summer to summer.

Keywords: stepping stone craft; handmade stepping stones; stepping stone kits.

5. Personalized necklaces. Letter beads (for names or initials), a few spacer beads, a charm or two added to a simple chain makes a lovely, personal necklace for any mom or grandmother. For fun, make matching necklaces one for mom, grandmother, and daughters.

Keywords: personalized mother's necklace.

6. Bookmarks make a great craft for rainy days. Get creative – use paper, dried flowers, ribbons, needlepoint thread. Use beads and charms attached to chain or yarn to create a “book thong”.

Keywords: handmade bookmarks; handmade book thong.

7. A decorated throw pillow. A pre-made throw pillow with light colored fabric, decorated with fabric paint. Fabric glue will easily adhere buttons and other small mementos. Start from scratch and decorate your fabric before making a pillow – tie-dye, iron-on colored pictures made with fabric crayons or reverse dying using a darker fabric and bleach provide many creative ways to decorate any pillow or piece of fabric. Another variation would be decorating pillow cases.

Keywords: handmade throw pillow; throw pillow craft; decorative pillow craft; fabric crayons; iron-on transfers.

8. A tie-dye party is fun for family or a gathering of extended family and friends. Supplies are readily available online coming in easy kits.

Keywords: tie dye supplies; reverse dying.

When doing a search, try searching images also. Often time pictures of an already made item will spark some creative thoughts.

There are so many fun activities to be done outdoors during nice weather. For more ideas, or to submit your own, visit http://www.mommamuse.com/2006/04/21/summertime-craft-ideas/ .

Article by:

Judi Cox is a wife and mother of 4 children. Her hobbies include making handmade soap from scratch, gardening, crafts, web design and maintaining Mom’s Little Garden ( www.momslittlegarden.com ), an online resource for pregnant mothers, as well as her personal website, Momma Muse (www.mommamuse.com ).