Project Nest is P&N's sweet, little handmade haven. Lock and load those glue guns, mamas, it's about to get crafty in here!
This month we’re bringing you two easy breezy projects that add character to baby’s nursery without breaking the bank. (Bonus: They are perfect projects to tackle with a big brother or sister!)
Project one: Crayon drip art
This project floated around Pinterest for months before I finally decided to give it a try. I love that it adds major color to baby’s space, and that’s it’s so quick and simple. A very handsome eight-year-old helped me with this one; we’ve also made these as teacher gifts, and they’re always a big hit.
Total time: About an hour.
• Hot glue gun and glue sticks
• Hair dryer (not pictured)
The crayons were $5 at Target—I went for the big box because I wanted a lot of color choice, but I only used a little more than half of the pack. My canvas was $6 at Michael’s with a 40 percent off coupon. I already had the glue gun, glue sticks and hair dryer.
1. Dump out (or neatly pull out, if it’s more your style) your crayons and select the colors you’ll be using. I startedby taking out all the shades or black and brown, and also anything metallic, fluorescent or glittery. That left me with a big, pretty stack of color.
To narrow it down further, I started lining up the colors by shade and gave them all a scribble on a piece of paper; I then eliminated the hues that were very similar. Eventually I worked my way down to the right number of crayons.
2. Hot glue your crayons across the top of your canvas. I did a line of glue on the back side of the paper of each crayon so the “Crayola” sides would all be facing forward.
I attached my crayons with the bottom ends facing me so it would be easier to line them up—my line wasn’t perfectly straight, but it was close enough. (I wish I could blame the crookedness on my son, but the truth is it’s harder to create a straight line than you think! I was just as much to blame as he was.)
3. Once you’ve glued on all your crayons, find a place to prop up your canvas so the crayons will drip downward when you heat them. I simply sat on the floor and leaned mine up against the wall; be sure to cover the area underneath with newspaper or something so you don’t get wax all over the place. (I just moved the oilcloth I was working on down there with me, because it’s easy to clean.)
4. Turn on your hair dryer and hold it so the air blows downward, focusing most of the heat on the tips of the crayons. In no time, they’ll start melting and dripping. I focused on one color section at a time—when you move the dryer back and forth between sections, it tends to blow the colors across and run them together. (A little bit of that happened on mine anyway—it always does, maybe because my hair dryer is a hundred years old—but those who know me well know that I’m not one to aim for perfection on an art project, particularly one that my kids are helping with.)
I intended to take “in progress” pictures of this part, but it all happened so quickly that I missed my chance. Here’s what it looked like after we were done with the dryer.
I love it! You can melt the wax as little or as much as you’d like to get the effect you want—for a thicker covering of drips, just keep the heat on for a little longer. If you would like more controlled drips (mine are admittedly kind of wild and crazy), work with a lower heat setting and focus your hair dryer on smaller sections.
Project two: Children's book page letter
*Note: It pains me to tear out pages of perfectly good books. I definitely don’t recommend buying new books to rip up—visit a thrift store or use a book from your home library that’s a bit too tattered for donation or reading. My family loves Leo Lioni books and we happened to have a duplicate copy of “Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse,” so we used a page from it and saved the rest for future projects. To create a book-themed nursery, you could also frame a few pages from the book and/or create a paper garland—put those leftovers to use!
Cost: $4 (If you have to buy the Mod Podge, it’ll be about $6 more)
Total time: 15 minutes, plus 2 1/2 hours drying time
• Wooden or paper mache letter
• Book page
• Mod Podge
• Paint or sponge brush
• Pencil (not shown)
You can find all these supplies (minus the book) at Michael’s or a similar craft store.
1. Choose the page in the book you want to use.
2. Line up the letter on the page where you want it, and then trace it with a pencil. Carefully cut out the shape with your scissors. (TIP: If any pencil lines are visible after you cut, go back and erase them.)
3. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to the letter.
4. Working carefully, smooth your page onto the letter. Gently push out any wrinkles with your fingers. (Note that book pages are often a bit thinner than scrapbook paper or cardstock, so you have to keep smoothing the page as you go.)
5. Use a dab of Mod Podge to secure any edges that didn’t adhere, or trim up the sides with your scissors if you have more than a smidge of hangover. Let the glue dry—the packaging suggests waiting 2 hours—and then apply a thin layer of Mod Podge right over the top of the paper and around the edges to give it a secure coat. And you’re done!
Spell baby’s name, stick with a first initial, create a “READ” declaration for the reading nook … have some fun! Happy crafting!