Claymation figures

My son Henrik loves to sculpt and make figures and creatures out of clay.  In the morning when he wakes up he is thinking of new guys to make and when he comes home from school all he wants to do is build new figures.  I have to tell him to stop sculpting to eat his meals.  You might say he is borderline obsessed with it.  One of his favorite things to do is watch instructional videos on how to work with clay, or interviews of his role models:  Ray Harryhausen and Tim Burton (he calls him Tim Burgan).  I find clay EVERYWHERE in my house!  But I enjoy watching this little boy create and be so passionate about his claymation figures.

Because Henrik makes so many different claymation figures, we buy A LOT of clay.  He has long since grown out of play dough or other clay that dries.  He needs to work with clay that is long lasting and has a lot of oil in it, called plasticine.  Several people have asked me where we buy our clay, so I thought I’d share with you where we get ours.  We have discovered the best place to get a wide range of colors and larger amounts of clay at fxsupply.com.  Henrik also uses armature wire for the skeletal structure of his creations.  You can buy the wire here.

It’s so entertaining everyday to see the new creations he comes up with.  These are just a small sampling of some of his figures.

x Meta

Wooden Doll Family Portrait

Several months back I did a tutorial on Bloesem Kids showing how to make a wooden doll family.  The inspiration for this project came from the dolls designed by Alexander Girard and my son’s drawings of our family.  Instead of the basic wooden people that you buy at the craft store I made our little family with wooden furniture legs purchased at the hardware store, and blocks found in our home.  I had such a good time making these portraits of our little family and I hope you enjoy!

If you would like to make a family portrait of your own here are the tools you’ll need:

* wooden furniture legs and a few wooden blocks

* wood glue

* primer, paint

* acrylic paint and paint brushes

* pliers

Here are the steps for making the dolls:

Step 1.  Pick out what furniture legs and wooden blocks you would like to use to represent your family

Step 2.  Unscrew the screws with the pliers.  You may want to trim or cut the wooden legs.  I used a bandsaw to trim the longer furniture leg and was able to get two dolls out of it.

Step 3.  Glue blocks onto the furniture legs to give the figures more character

Step 4.  Spray the dolls with white primer and paint.

Step 5.  This is the fun part.  Paint the faces and clothing on the dolls, each one representing a member in your family.  The possibilities are endless with what you can do.  Now it’s time to play with your dolls!

-Meta

Shadow puppets

We are on holiday! Yes! But I need to work the first week, which is not so fun. So my girls have been going to mini holiday ateliers which you can find all over Paris — little art classes and theatre classes that teach kids essential survival skills like making shadow puppets. Not a skill useful to have during an apocalypse but, none the less, a great skill to have if you want to design your own characters and put together your own little plays.

All you need is cardboard paper (preferably black), scissors, some tape, some skewers and some imagination. Cut out the characters and props and tape on a skewer (you might want to cut off the sharp tip). Hang up a white sheet and shine a lamp at it. You then make the shadow puppets appear between the lamp and the sheet.

Voila, a shadow show can commence. Also if you need some inspiration, do have a look at the French silhouette aninmation film, Prince and Princess.

- Emilie
P.S To all those Paris dwellers out there: the atelier my daughters went to was at Attrape Nuages a brilliant little theatre school in the 11e arrondissement!

Makedo Box Props


We already were big fans of the Australian company Makedo, the super smart connector system that enables the creation of objects and spaces from found materials. And now they have come up with yet another brilliant and innovative way to re-use old boxes: the Box Props! So simple, but so, so fun! The system works with very easy-to-use plastic screws that (really very easily!) screw into a cardboard box. Then, you can connect the ready to use, illustrated plastic ‘Props’ to create anything from robots, pets and monster faces, even vehicles! I love how this simple idea transforms any cereal, tissue or shoebox into a character to play with. We had fun with the ‘people’ Box Props, and transformed an ordinary tissue box into a super fun guy!

xxx Esther

Homemade Cupcake Toppers


This craft idea is so simple I almost did not write about it, but I quite liked the result, so I wanted to share it anyway. Last weekend was Violette’s birthday and she had gotten it into her head that it was going to have a bunny rabbit theme and that we were going to have carrot cake cupcakes (we used Courtney’s amazing carrot cake recipe). I, on the other hand had gotten it into my head that it would be cool to have some rabbit cupcake toppers (I just need to point out that rabbit cupcake toppers are pretty much the only impossible thing to find in Paris!)

So Coco and I made some, and we had a great afternoon of painting, cutting and glueing. First Coco painted a picture of a rabbit. We then scanned it in, scaled it down and multiplied it. We printed it out and cut the little rabbits out in circles. Then we glued 2 together and sandwiched a tooth pick between the 2 pieces of paper.

Voila, the party can begin!

- Emilie

DIY: Feather Crown

First I would like to start by thanking the Babyccino girls for inviting me to become a part of their amazing team of contributors. I’ve been following them ever since I started with my blog and have been quietly hoping for an opportunity like this but honestly I never dared to think I’d actually get one. But here I am and I’m really looking forward to sharing some of my best finds and DIYs with you – hope you’ll like them!

Tila is so in the princess phase right now and that was always one of my biggest fears. But I think I got over the princess phobia by finding out there’s so much more than only the pink puffy and sparkling thingies for the little royals-wannabe. Like this feather crown. I actually found the inspiration for it over on Pinterest and Tila and I both immediately loved it. I think’s it’s a nice untacky alternative to the before mentioned and still has something kids love the most – colors, lots of bright colors!

This is really easy to do and all you need is some feathers in different sizes, a fabric ribbon, glue (super glue and plain craft glue or fabric glue), scissors and some old newspaper to protect the surface.

First you need to measure the head and add a little extra before cutting the ribbon (like 40 cm – 20 for each side, you can still cut more later). Then measure from ear to ear and mark that at the middle of the ribbon and finally pile the feathers by sizes.

I started the first row with the smallest ones and made three rows ending with the longest feathers. Glue them on with super glue just because it will save you some time and nerves.

Wait until the glue dries completely and paste a piece of a ribbon over the feathers – use the craft glue or fabric one don’t use super glue because it will harden that part!

Easy peasy, right?

- Polona

Tie-dye!


I totally remember tie-dying as a child — it was such fashion back then, and I remember how fun and exciting it was. You never really knew what the results were going to be like! So I picked up a packet of fabric dye from the local drugstore (there wasn’t much choice — I used Dylon dye for hand use, colour Ocean Blue), and a few simple, white cotton T-shirts for the kids (plus a onesie for Casper of course). After pre-washing the shirts, I wet the shirts (or you can just leave them wet after washing), and put the kids around the table with each a shirt to use and a bag of elastic bands. I explained some different folding techniques to them using this page, and we started! For Casper’s onesie, I made a big donut by creating a big rosette and pushing the tip back through the rubber band. For Ava’s shirt, we made a line of small rosettes which we tied together with one elastic band. Pim used the folding technique, making vertical folds and tying them at irregular intervals. As you can see he’s very pleased with the results. And Sara made random circles, bigger and small, which also gave a cool effect I think.

After tying the shirts, I prepared the dye in the kitchen sink and we submerged the shirts in the dye for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally with a big steel spoon. Then, I rinsed with cold water and let the kids untie their shirts with plastic gloves on. The excitement and surprise — they absolutely loved it! After a quick spin in the machine the shirts were ready to wear. With pride!

xxx Esther

Make your own stamp

The other day Pim and I made a stamp together. He made the design, and I helped him cut it out!

Making a stamp is not very difficult. First, you need an eraser. (It can be a cheap one, I like to use these from HEMA.) Mark the outline of the eraser on a piece of paper, and draw your design inside using a soft pencil. Don’t be too detailed! Then, transfer the design on the eraser by rubbing it face down against the surface. As a final step, use a set of Lino Cutting Tools (I use these ) to cut out the design. Presto!

I also make stamps to make labels for jams, etc. It’s fun! If you decide to give it a try, please do share the results with us!

xxx Esther

Spring Tent DIY

My son Henrik loves to make tents and forts.  He builds one practically every day.  This year for an Easter surprise I decided to make my children a tent that they could leave up and play with all day every day.  I used the genius tutorial featured on a beautiful mess invented by Rubyellen.  I then made some of my own modifications.  I added an extra wooden piece of moulding at the bottom of both sides so that the tent won’t slide down and will stay upright on hard wood floors.

I also added a window with a roll flap that snaps open.  I lined the inside of it with a blue geometric fabric.  I trimmed the window and the outside of the tent in a solid aqua fabric bias tape that I made.  I ended up using a small black polka dot fabric for the tent.  I cut and sewed the green fabric on the bottom to look like grass and make it feel more like spring.  To make the tent more cozy I made a few floor cushions in corresponding colors (even a star pillow).

I think it’s safe to say they love the tent.

I may have also got my children two bunnies.  I couldn’t help myself.  I had bunnies growing up as a child and had so much fun with them.  Henrik named the black one hoppy and Maja named the brown one honey.

Aren’t the bow tie and bow so cute that Henrik and Maja are wearing?!  If you’re interested in some for your little ones my sweet friend makes them and you can get them here.

I hope you enjoy!

xoxo–Meta

Craft A Day

I guess we are all really into crafting these days here at Babyccino Kids, as here is another recommendation for a craft book. I reckon the truly terrible weather we have been having is keeping us cooped up inside and crafting is the only way we are keeping our children (and ourselves) sane. I do think you can never have enough craft books and this book has quickly become one of my favourites. A Craft A Day, by Sarah Goldschadt, features 365 sweet crafts. Most of them are easy and do-able by everyone without any special equipment, which is something my kids absolutely love — a success is pretty much guaranteed.

You can also download the Craft A Day Winter and Spring edition.

- Emilie

Happy Easter!

Is it snowing for you outside as well? If you’re stuck inside like us, here are some last minute Easter craft ideas. Happy Easter!

xxx Courtney, Emilie and Esther

Bunny Masks

Bunny Egg Warmers

Chick Sugar Cookies

PomPom Easter chicks

Newspaper Easter eggs

Last year we had some friends over for Easter with us at home. It was an especially rainy one, so we did some crafts.  We loved doing this ones with newspaper.

Great fun we had! And quite easy and cheap!!! ;-)

- Maria

MakeDo London Bus

I wrote about MakeDo (whose concept is simply genius) a good while ago… so I thought I should just mention to you the London Bus ‘Find & Make’ Kit. I do need to mention that I might be mother to the biggest double-decker London bus fans in the world. My girls would actually travel to London just to get on a bus and sit at the top level. If they then get to sit on the two front seats, right over the drivers head, they are in heaven!

But how cool is this kit? You will find stickers, a plastic-safe saw and clips. All you need to add is whatever is in your recycling bin (we actually had to go to the local shop and ask for some cardboard boxes, but even that was fun!). There is also an inspiration booklet included in the packet, enough to give you an idea on how to structure the project, but also vague enough to let kids do things their own way.

And what better place to get this London Bus kit from than the London Transport Museum? (Which is a great shop to browse by the way — I love the posters!)

- Emilie

DIY: Pom-Poms


A couple of weekends ago it was yet another snowy, wet, cold weekend in Paris and crafting was an absolute necessity. I think there is possibly nothing worse then bored kids hanging around an apartment on a snowy, wet day.
But in this case, Agathe, Coco’s little friend was over for a playdate and she asked me to teach them how to make pompoms. Luckily enough, I actually did know how to make pompoms! It is super easy, but I reckon I have not made one for 20 years at least.

So here are some pretty loose instructions on how to pull together a little pompom.

Using a small drinking glass as a guide, cut out two circles and cut out the inside of them so you end up with a donut-ring with a thick edge.

Loop the wool around both rings and continue until the cardboard is completely covered by wool several times and the hole has almost disappeared.

Cut the wool between the 2 cardboard rings and slip a wool loop between the rings and tie firmly. Your pompon is ready.

We ended up stitching in onto a little woollen hat that needed a bit of a new lease of life!

- Emilie

Stitch ‘n Kids: Donna Wilson’s ‘Make your own Magpie’


Sara was given this ‘Make your own Magpie‘ kit for her 7th birthday, and last week on a boring, rainy saturday she made the above bird — all by herself! The kit consists of a pre-stitched magpie shape, a bag of stuffing and some random pieces of fabric and felt, most probably the cuttings from some of Donna’s gorgeous designs. A sewing machine is not required, just a bit of hand-stitching, which Sara was capable of doing all by herself. She got so into it, that once her magpie was finished, she made it a little hat, built a house for it (with a nest of course) and played with it for hours and hours. So cute! There’s also a ‘Make your own Monster‘ kit, which I think is equally nice.

xxx Esther

DIY: Love Arrows

Valentines day is here! This past weekend we did a very easy but fun DIY. We will use them to decorate the teacher’s present! We used straws, laces, decorated paper, washi tape…

Hope you like them and you try at home this weekend, very rainy here in Spain!.

Maria

Easy Valentine’s Day cards

I sat down with the kids last week and we made the easiest Valentine’s Day cards. (Things have to be easy these days because I’m either carrying around a baby in the sling or feeding her with one hand and trying to multitask with the other!) Anyway, I thought I would share them in case you’re also juggling too much (which mother isn’t?!) and looking for an easy Valentine’s Day card to make with the kids…

All you need to do is cut a heart shape out of craft paper, fold the sides of the heart inward, turn the heart upside down and fold up the bottom, and then fold over the point of the heart. And voila! You have a little envelope! Seal with a sticker and send to someone you love! (Don’t forget to write your love message on the heart before you fold it.)

xx Courtney

Don’t forget the birds!

This is a project I remember from when I was a child. Every winter my mum would buy a big bag of peanuts, and we would sit down and string them together in long garlands, to decorate the trees and feed the hungry birds. This week, the birds must be especially hungry (it’s freezing cold here in Amsterdam), so I put the kids to work. And they loved the exercise! We used plain red baker’s twine (like this), and a big ballpoint needle. Kids happy, birds happy, mama happy — a good hour spent!

xxx Esther

A day fishing

Today, I would like to share the pictures I have made for Panasonic, in a challengue about changing photography. I was one of the 10 bloguers chosen to do this. I had to choose a subject I dont usually deal with, so I chose “fishing”.  The photos are taken in my adored Asturias, where I live.

I made Nico a bamboo fishing rod, matching the wooden piers. And some felt fishes…

We had a lovely day and we enjoyed our beloved Asturias, the sea, the views, and even the weather!.

Hope you like it.

- Maria

DIY: sock puppets

I think it is a classic to make puppets out of socks. But it is something we have never done at home. Last weekend we finally did it and it is a nice way to spend an evening. It is a really easy DIY and very fun. I  very much like changing “normal” things into toys.

Simple but fun! And great for all the free time during wintery afternons!

- Maria

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