How To Build A Craft Kit

25 Sep 2016

BY: trini

Crafty Time / Inspiration

by Misti Bushmire

Encouraging creativity in our kids is as simple as getting them involved in a craft! Not only does this fuel their imagination, but doing crafts and incorporate speech goals, sensory play and fine motor skills.

But for the “adult” it can feel overwhelming when you see that amazing idea on Pinterest and then the thought gathering a whole bunch of supplies from all over the house dampens the crafty impulse. Let’s make it simple with a kit! What do you need in your craft arsenal?  I’m going to answer that right now!  Let’s start with some tips and move to an actual list of what to buy/save/scrounge.

Craft Storage Tips

  • Keep it organized to make your craft time easier and more fun, have you ever noticed that kids have a lot more fun playing right after you go in and tidy up their play area?!
  • Organize those supplies!  Keep things together; paints and glues together, felt and fabric together, beads together, tools together, paper together… you get the idea.  You don’t have to have separate bins for every single category, that would get expensive quickly, but using Ziploc bags inside the bins is a really good alternative.  Keeping things organized makes sense to protect your supplies, to keep them from being damaged and destroyed.  It is super frustrating to dig through random bins thinking to yourself “I know I have _____ here somewhere” or realizing that things are torn and ruined because they were just tossed in.  Plus, it saves a lot of time when you want to plan or do a project.
  • Consider keeping the bulk of supplies up and out of reach of the kids.  Decide which things can be left in reach and which should be put away for supervised activity, some things are obvious but some are not, i.e. if you bought supplies for a particular project keep them together until it’s time to do that project.  By all means, have some things available all the time for them to use whenever they want to (paper and crayons leap to mind) but most of the items on the list don’t really fall into that category, they are project specific.
  • Keep a list of what you have available.  You don’t need to count pipe cleaners but knowing that you are out of pipe cleaners might be important to know!  Just make a list when you gather your supplies and maybe note on a Post-it note when you are running low on something so you can pick up more.

General Craft Project Tips:

  • When you come across a project that is in a foreign language have Google translate.  Sometimes you can get the gist by looking at the pictures but sometimes the words will clarify steps that I would have missed.
  • If you want to make something and don’t have what you need – what else might work? Experiment! Does it call for painting popsicle sticks?  How about trying markers instead?
  • In need of ideas?  Check our “Fun Crafts For Kiddos” board for some ideas or do a search on Pinterest or Google by topic, type of craft or material that you want to use.  There are so many available that it is almost overwhelming, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

Craft Kitshow-to-build-a-craft-kit-2

Basic, advanced and ultimate, each level expands what you can do.  These lists are by no means exhaustive, there are so many materials that I couldn’t possibly list them all!  These are just suggestions to get you started, materials that I have found to be helpful.  There are ideas of what you can do with these materials in our Crafts For Kiddos board on Pinterest.

  • Basic –
    • Kid safe scissors
    • Ruler
    • Pencils
    • Kid safe glue
    • Glue sticks
    • Stapler
    • Paint brushes
    • Colored construction paper
    • Crayons
    • Washable markers
    • Colored pencils
    • Washable paint
    • Glitter glue
    • Watercolors
    • Playdough – homemade or purchased
    • Drawing paper – printer paper works well
    • Paper lunch bags
    • Paper plates
    • Yarn

 

  • Advanced –
    • contents from basic
    • Patterned scissors
    • Popsicle sticks
    • Wiggly eyes
    • White and colored cardstock
    • Glitter
    • Tacky glue
    • Dowels
    • Acrylic paint
    • Cupcake liners
    • Pompoms
    • Coffee filters
    • Buttons
    • Felt
    • Pipe cleaners
    • Beads for kids
    • Styrofoam balls
    • Foam sheets
    • Seashells
    • Cotton balls
    • Unfinished wooden beads

 

  • Ultimate –
    • Contents from basic and advanced
    • Hot glue gun (for mom only)
    • Superglue (for mom only)
    • Paper cutter (for mom only)
    • X-acto knife (for mom only)
    • Sewing needles and thread (with close supervision)
    • Feathers
    • Colored tissue paper
    • Fabric scraps
    • Embroidery floss
    • Origami paper
    • Artificial flowers
    • Straws
    • Ribbon
    • Fabric trims
    • Clothespins
    • Balloons – for paper maché
    • Fun socks
    • Scrapbook paper

 

  • Recycled craft materials (let’s Upcycle!) – almost anything can be a source of craft materials! Ask friends to save bits for you like yarn, buttons, boxes, tubes, etc…
    • Egg cartons
    • Bottle caps
    • Jar lids
    • Toilet paper tubes
    • Paper towel tubes
    • Gift wrap tubes
    • Mailing tubes
    • Boxes of all sizes
    • Buttons (cut off of old clothing before discarding)
    • Mint tins
    • Plastic bottles
    • Cardboard in various weights
    • Newspaper – for paper maché
    • Corks

 

  • Hawaii Supplies – Because using local items makes the project more personal! Some are best fresh, but others are great when you have them.
    • Sand – We have black sand beaches, green sand beaches and we don’t have to die it!
    • Shells – and not just the whole ones! The broken pieces are great too. Go on a shell hunt after a storm, and when you go island hopping to Maui or Kauai, make time to do this too! Some islands have different types of shells.)
    • Lava rocks
    • Ti leaves (fresh is best on this one)
    • Palm fronds
    • Keep your imagination flowing… what else could you incorporate into a “natural Hawaii” craft?

 

One final tip – life is full of interruptions, as you’re aware. If one happens in the middle of a craft, how do you “clean up” without having to put everything away? Purchase a few inexpensive jelly roll pans and 9 x 13 baking pans. You can gather your project on these and set them up high on top of the fridge until life lets you get back to the fun!

What are your favorite and indispensable supplies?  What do you love to use the most?  We would love to hear from you about what projects you are doing and what you can’t live without!