AND LEGENDS -
CRAFTS AND ACTIVITIES
Canning Jar Candles
Materials: old wide mouth canning jars, wire ribbon, potpourri, votive candles, small glass votive candle holders, craft glue or a hot glue gun
1. Fill the canning jar with potpourri.
2. Set the votive candleholder inside the mouth of the jar. The top of the candleholder should be even with the top of the jar.
3. Place the candle in the holder.
4. Use the ribbon to tie a big bow around the neck of the jar. You might want to use a little craft glue or your glue gun to tack the ribbon in place.
Materials: checkbook boxes (or boxes about 3"x6"x1"), cardboard, 4" dowel, paint, construction paper, stickers, markers, glue or tape
1. Paint checkbook boxes (or cover in construction paper).
1. Cut 4 wheels of heavy cardboard. Draw on spokes and glue these to the sides of the wagon.
2. Tape one end of the dowel just under the front edge for the wagon tongue.
3. Cut a half sheet of construction paper and decorate it with markers and/or stickers.
4. Bend it for the cover and glue or tape it to the insides of the box.
Homemade Ink from
True ink could be very expensive so many pioneers had to make their own. Inks were made at home from many different ingredients depending on what color was needed or wanted. According to different sources, they used berries, powdered roots, nuts, and even chimney soot. Here is a simple recipe for making a good quality ink from nut shells.
Ingredients: shells from 8 whole walnuts, 1 cup water, ½ teaspoon vinegar, ½ teaspoon salt
Tools: hammer, small saucepan, measuring cups and spoon, strainer, baby food jar
1. Crush the empty nut shells with the hammer into small pieces.
2. Put the crushed shells into a saucepan with the water.
3. Bring to a boil.
4. Simmer and let the pot set until the liquid turns a dark brown, about one half hour. Most of the water will have evaporated by this time.
5. Remove the ink from the heat and let it cool.
6. Pour the ink through the strainer into the baby food jar.
7. Add the vinegar and salt. The vinegar helps the ink to retain its color and the salt keeps it from getting moldy.
Pioneer Covered Wagon
Materials: pint size milk carton, construction paper, markers and/or paint, 4 bottle caps or lids from milk jugs, glue and/or tape
1. Cut the milk carton in half as shown by the dotted line below. Keep the half with the top point, and paint it brown (adding a bit of glue will help your paint adhere to the milk carton better). Set it aside to dry.
2. Paint the 4 bottle or milk caps black or brown to make the wheels for the wagon. You can also cut small circles from black or brown construction paper and glue them to the outside of the caps. If you don't have bottle or milk caps, try to find some big buttons, or anything else that is small and round; even small circles cut out of construction paper will work.
3. Cut a piece of white construction paper about 8 inches x 5 inches. Glue or tape it over the hole you cut in the milk carton to make the cover for your wagon.
4. Glue the wheels into place! If you are using the bottle or milk caps they will be heavy and you will have to work to find a good position to lay your wagon until the wheels dry. You will want most of each wheel attached to the wagon body with very little hanging over the bottom edge.
Materials: clear glycerin, scent, mold, small toy, clear plastic, double broiler.
First, cut the glycerin and melt it in the
double boiler. Second, while the
glycerin is melting, put toys or surprises inside molds, upside-down so they
will be visible when soap is popped out.
Third, when the glycerin is melted, add scent (this can be optional),
then pour the soap mixture into the molds.
Fourth, allow the soap to harden and cool. This takes at least an
hour. If you try popping out the
soaps before they cool enough, you will bend your soap. Fifth, pop soap out of mold and
wrap in clear plastic wrap
Make a Grill & Skewer
Materials: clay flower pot at least 6" tall
and 8" wide at the top, markers, dirt, aluminum foil, charcoal briquettes, wire
hanger, 3/4" wooden dowel cut 4" long with a tiny holed drilled lengthwise into
the center but not all the way through
Decorate the pot
Fill it with dirt
to within 5" of the top edge.
Place aluminum foil
over the top of the dirt and up the sides of the pot. Some will probably fold over the top
edge of the pot.
Place the charcoal
briquettes in the middle of the foil.
Cut the wire hanger
and straighten a piece about 20" long.
Insert the wire
into the hole of the dowel handle to make a skewer.
30 minutes before
ready to cook, ask an adult to start the grill for you.
Grill hotdogs or
kebobs on your skewer.
Mix and pour a small amount of plaster into the bowls of plastic spoons. Insert the slide ring (PVC pipe ring, curtain ring, pipe-cleaner ring) before the plaster sets. When hardened, pop out the oval face. Brush all surfaces with a mixture of glue and water to seal the plaster. Draw your favorite folk hero's face on the smooth bowl side. Attach yarn for hair and/or felt for an appropriate hat if desired. Make a felt pirate hat by cutting two hat shapes from felt and gluing them together, leaving the bottom open to slide down over the plaster head. Glue it to the head. Or make a bandanna with a scrap of fabric.
The term papier mâché comes from the French phrase meaning "chewed paper." You can use papier mâché to make piñatas, masks, jewelry, and lots of other crafts. Objects to use as a mold include paper or plastic bowl, balloon, shoe box, toilet paper rolls, plastic eggs, paper cups, foam balls, empty plastic bottles, etc. think in terms of a Johnny Appleseed apple (balloon as a base), Paul Bunyon's axe (individual serving cereal box with one end opened and flattened as the axe head mold), or the head of a dragon (balloon as mold).
Materials: large bowl, plastic cup, newspapers, white household glue, water, paintbrush
Decide what object you would like to make, and find or build a mold that you can use as a base. If the shape is to be removed from the papier mâché after drying, cover it with petroleum jelly to make it easier to remove.
Now, dilute two parts of white household glue with one part water in a plastic cup.
Tear several sheets of newspaper into small pieces. Put them in a bowl and moisten them with water.
Cover your mold with pieces of damp paper, overlapping them as you go. Using a big paint brush, brush the layer with your diluted glue.
Continue building layer upon layer until the object is of desired thickness. You can "sculpt" your object by making the layers thicker in some places to form the desired shape. If you intend to remove the object from the mold, be sure not to close up the opening, or you will not be able to remove the mold.
Set your object on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or plastic wrap. Allow it to dry naturally away from direct heat.
Once your object is completely dry, you may remove it from the mold if desired. Then decorate it using acrylic paints, glitter, tissue paper, ribbon, yarn, or any other material.