Family Cardboard Creations

Working with Cardboard Tutorial
Link:  ikatbag

Begin with the tutorial above from I Kat Bag that covers everything you ever wanted to know about working with cardboard – all types of cardboard.  Before reading this post, I honestly had never thought about all of the different options in cardboard.    After watching this tutorial, you will be inspired by the following posts to make some wonderfully innovative creations – all from a box.  And don’t miss the must-have cardboard tool kit at the end of this post.

Idea Blog #1

Get Crafty with Boxes
Link: Red Ted Art Blog

Inspiration Blog #2
7 Tips for Working With Cardboard
Check out this great tool kit for working with cardboard!
MakeDo Kit’s Product Description:
So long, empty cereal boxes, plastic bottles and old CDs piling up in the trash. Hello, magical playhouse, flying car and anything else your creative mind can imagine. With Makedo FreePlay Kit for One, you can recycle common household items into limitless creations using the kit’s fasteners, connectors and plastic safe-saw. The parts are all reusable so when you’re done with one creation, just pull it apart and make another one. Whatever you decide to make, you’ll exercise creativity and coordination skills while turning trash into treasure and learning about sustainability.”

Check out their incredible website.  Go straight to SHOWCASE – you will be amazed!
Kits are also available on Amazon.

Crayons & Circles

What fun!    Food & an art project to share with  your children after reading
The Noisy Paint Box.

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Fast – Easy – Fun – Delightful

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  • Candy melts (food coloring if using white)
  • Rold Gold Honey Wheat Braided Twists
    (or break regular pretzels in half)
  • Colored paper (thinner colored paper works best)
  • Tape

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Prepare the candy melts according to the directions on package.

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Dip both sides into the melted candy. (I actually used a small spoon to pour a small amount on each end.)  Shake off the excess and lay on the waxed paper to dry.

photo (79)Note:  The store only had these Rold Gold pretzels which came yogurt covered.  DON’T use these – the candy didn’t want to adhere to the yogurt covering and it is totally unnessary to spend the extra money on these.  However, they are the perfect size for this project – just buy the regular Rold Gold pretzels.

While pretzels are drying, print the pretzel crayon wrapper templates onto colored paper. Cut out the wrappers.

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Wrap the pretzels with the colored wrappers and close with transparent tape.  I put the tape on one end of the wrapper before wrapping around the pretzel.

photo (81)Seriously – aren’t these adorable?

If you want to go all out, then why not create a crayon box?   There are lots of crayon box templates available online! (Go for it – I will the next time we make crayon pretzels.)

Wrapper Templates
I printed mine on lightweight construction paper.
Card stock or regular construction paper is too stiff to wrap around the pretzels.

red crayon – blue crayon – yellow crayon


KANDINSKY Art Projects

A Kandinsky art project for young children.
All you need is some lids and tempura paint

For older children – a video demonstrating how to use oil pastels.


Create a Button Snowflake

This project begins with my mom’s old sewing box.

Even at 96 years old, Mom was sewing on buttons and hemming drapes that were just a bit too long.   “I think this blouse would look better with short sleeves.” she said as she examined the blouse that her then 91 year old sister had sent her.  Mom was all about repurposing.  She was “green” before her time.   And she saved buttons – oh, did she ever save buttons.  I sometimes worried that she would actually remove the buttons off of garments before donating them to Goodwill.   I remember our extra large mason jar full of buttons – so that we could add a missing button to dad’s milk man shirts at a moment’s notice – buttons of all sizes and shapes.  Read more…

I haven’t thought about those buttons for years, until last week when my daughter and I were looking for a sewing needle and the only place I knew that had a chance of having one was… mom’s old sewing box.  We did find a needle and that’s when I saw all the buttons.

I remembered an ornament a friend of ours had created this year for their family Christmas tree.  I thought it might be fun to recreate the ornament using Mom’s recently discovered buttons for our January Fireflies Presents theme – S is for SNOW! [coming soon]


  • craft sticks
  • buttons
  • hot glue gun or thick tacky glue (for younger crafters)
  • white paint
  • ribbon for hangin’ or a dowel for stickin’
1.  Glue the four craft sticks together.
2.  If you paint your craft sticks white, you won’t have to worry about seeing the sticks between your buttons.

3.  The finished product.   I love the various shades created by using Mom’s old buttons.   All that is left is gluing it to a dowel or ribbon for use as a plant or window ornament.

This is a fun and easy project to do with young children.  It will take extra time when using tacky glue instead of hot glue gun.   Why not make a few, put them in some purchased house plants, and deliver with your children to a local nursing home or hospital?

Mary Byrne Kline [our Fireflies blog book reviewer and the author of “Reflections] has the best Grandma-name ever:  Button!  I’ll let her share in a future post, how that precious name was given to her, but I’ve always thought it was the best name ever!  This snowflake creation is for “Button” Byrne Kline and for the woman responsible for so many rich family memories in my life – my button-saver; my Mom.

Deni Corbett

Gift #2: Jumpstart Storytelling

For those of you who follow Fireflies, you know that each month we share ideas for our Tell Me a Story Box (TMAS).   Here is another idea that is easy to create and will spark imaginative narratives during the holidays.    Place is a small fabric bag or a 4″ by 6″ box and place under your tree.  Why not create a set for cousins or best friends?

Jumpstart Storytelling by Creating Storytelling Blocks: 2X2

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Wooden blocks (Craft store or see link below)  2″ by 2″
ModPodge and brush
Images of family members (persons & pets)
Cut the images so they are smaller than 2X2.    I cropped each of my images to 1.8X1.8
Images of places – 6
  family homes, vacation locations, historical sites, states, international landmarks
Images of things – 6
  favorite toys, misc items (nouns)

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Players roll / drop the three blocks on the rug and tell a story that must include a person, place, and thing that is face up on the blocks.  We have 12 family members that we wanted to include in our family story time, so I made two ‘person’ blocks.

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There are obviously no rules here – create whatever you want and enjoy creating memorable stories.   (Be ready to hit “record” on your phone’s audio app. and capture family storytelling treasures.)

These blocks are 1.5″ –  make sure to make your images slightly smaller so there is no overlap.

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