Dear not-so-crafty Mommy

I hear amazing moms tell me all the time that they can’t make the things I do because they aren’t “crafty”. You know who you are! This excuse is terrible and I disagree because you’re all amazing creative people! But for those of you who call yourselves “not-so-crafty” here is a quick fun project that your kids will love. Great for a long weekend like we have here in Toronto.

The things I hear from these mamas formally known as “not-so-crafty” are: “I don’t have the patience/time/space/ideas to do crafts”. I am going to address each of these concerns and if you keep it simple and follow the tips that help me keep my sanity; I think you will surprise yourself oh-so-crafty mama! These tips are specific to painting with kids (the messiest of crafts!) and below is a fun project that you can try right away!IMG_6563

How do I have the patience?

Stella started painting at around 8 months old on paper on the floor. Around 14 months I brought out brushes and RULES! Expect a few painful teaching lessons before the fun painting sessions begin… Stella knows now that brushes don’t get thrown on the floor, paint doesn’t go in the mouth and we only paint on paper. Once she got the rules I let her take the lead and it’s not stressful for me. Because I am not stressed it’s easier to be patient while my little artist creates her masterpiece!

How do I find the time?

Start to finish painting is a 30 minute activity – you all have that! Make clean up easy and quick; Tape down paper everywhere so you can just toss the mess in the recycle bin, throw the kid in the bath (well not literally) and wash brushes… Or buy cheap ones and toss them if that’s too much time for you.

How do I find the space?

As for space, we do painting at the dining room table – I like that she’s in a comfy seat that she’s familiar with and multifunctional spaces are a must in my tiny home. If I have space then you do too!

How do you think of these things?

I am all for crafty projects that you: 1- already have all the supplies for at home, 2- doesn’t cost you a lot to put together and 3- is super simple for little hands to tackle! With that criteria I head to Pinterest and start browsing projects. This Potato Stamp Project is super simple; a great intro to painting and kids will love it!

Potato Stamp ProjectIMG_6544

Suitable Age: any age once they can hold small/medium sized objects

Supplies: potato, small knife to carve, paint, paper

Potatoes are usually a staple in most pantries and you don’t have to have a creative bone in your body to carve out a simple heart, circle or smiley face. Today we chose X and O to make kisses and hugs wrapping paper for daddy’s Valentine’s gift. Potato stamps are old school and kids love that they recognize them! No potatoes? You could also try celery stocks (crescent shape) or entire end of a celery bunch (rose shape)… get creative I would love to hear what other veggies you paint with.

I use containers that I would otherwise recycle, as paint trays all the time (today we used tea tin lids!) and Stella loves going through my stash and picking out her own tray to use. If you have toddlers I would definitely recommend having a supply of fun paint colors on hand. I liked these washable Crayola colours for our Valentine’s crafts and we have used them for weeks.IMG_6560 How can you go wrong with glittery red and neon pink?! They were on sale at Michaels – they always have coupons and great colour selections so it is my go to. If you want basic primary colors Dollarama is the best deal. Lastly paper… What you see here isn’t fancy (it was packaging in Ikea cabinet boxes!) if you were making something to keep and hang I would recommend card stock as it stands up to the paint best. I buy art paper by the roll from ikea here … Now that you realize how simple all of this is your going to be doing lots more painting too I am sure!

As you see it quickly progressed from potato stamps to finger painting

IMG_6550IMG_6540IMG_6557…and then full on handprints but that’s the fun for me, seeing where she takes it. Hope Stella and I have inspired you to try painting at home if you haven’t tried it already! Share your potato stamp creations with us using #craftycelebrations

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy painting to all of you not-so-crafty oh-so-crafty mamas!

-K

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