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 ISSUE 77   •   27 SEPTEMBER 2009  
   This issue: five minute crafts


1. Editorial
2. Paper Bag Owls
3. Patty Pan Flowers

4. Pantry Letters
No-glue Collage

1. Editorial

Last week was TV Turnoff Week – did any of you participate? I loved reading through the excellent TV-Free Brainstorm for participating families at Unplug Your Kids. I particularly love the rock flipping idea!

Yet again, I completely forgot about Turnoff Week but it didn't really matter this time around as I made the bold move to get rid of our television several months ago.

Well, maybe it wasn't so very bold.

In actual fact our big bad box died a natural death at a very inconvenient moment – just before the grand finale of Master Chef Australia! Appalled at the ensuing tantrum (mine that is) about missing a TV show I decided to go cold turkey and not replace it.

I'm pleased to report that the change in dynamic between the kids has been quite extraordinary and immediate. They play together more often, they are more and more creative in coming up with games and they're definitely reading more.

On the downside all this playing has resulted in a lot more fighting. I am quietly optimistic that all the 'sibling incidents' are improving their negotiation skills and leading them towards a long and successful career in international diplomacy – but as yet I'm not entirely convinced.

You probably won't be surprised to hear that the person who had the most trouble adjusting to life without TV was definitely me – I ended up following the Master Chef finale on Twitter! I have been indulging in a fair bit of DVD watching on my laptop, but I'm getting into the swing of it now. I may even read a book at some point in the future but let's not jump ahead of ourselves :)

Lately my newfound spare time in the evenings has been spent on planning crafty ideas for Christmas. There will be new Christmas PDFs this year so if you were planning on buying the old Kids Craft Weekly Christmas Craft PDF you would be well advised to hold off for a couple more weeks.

Before I leave you to explore some of my favourite five-minute crafts I want to tell you about the lovely feature on Kids Craft Weekly in the current issue (Vol 10 No 1) of Creating Country Threads magazine.

I have three copies of the magazine to give away to Kids Craft Weekly subscribers who enjoy patchwork, quilting, sewing and the like. Due to the cost of postage I'm only able to offer this to Australian-based subscribers. Apologies to the rest of you. To go into the draw please send me an email with your name and postal address before 5pm (AEST) Wednesday 30 September.

Happy crafting and I'll see you next time!

Amber Carvan

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2. Paper bag owls

This is a simple and fun project suitable for toddlers and preschoolers. Little ones will whip through it quite quickly so it's a good idea to provide supplies for a number of owls.

You will need

• brown paper bags
• scissors
• patty pans
• markers
• glue
• coloured paper
• permanent marker


1. Cut into some colourful strips of paper to make lovely ruffles.

Start to glue the ruffles onto your paper bag.

3. Glue on some patty pans for eyes and draw on some pupils and a beak. Then twist the top corners of the bag to give Mr Owl some ears.

Fun, isn't it? Trust me, you'll have a whole family of owls in your house before you can say 'what a hoot!'

2. Patty pan flowers

In Australia, cupcake and muffin cases are known as patty pans. These easy patty pan flowers make a perfect project for very young crafters.

You will need

• patty pans (cupcake or muffin cases)
• cotton wool balls
• pipecleaners
• scissors
• glue
• sticky tape
• polystyrene (or a potato)


1. Using child-friendly scissors, chop into the edges of the patty pan.

2. Tape a pipe cleaner to the back.

3. Glue a cotton ball to the centre.

4. And there you have it! If you want you can stab the pipecleaner stems into a piece of polystyrene to make a flower bed. If you don't have any, a sweet potato will work just as effectively!

3. Pantry letters

I'm sure you've noticed that I'm a big fan of craft ideas that make use of the materials that we have around us. The pantry is one of my favourite places to find craft materials – for this activity we used dried beans and peas but you could just as easily use lentils, pasta, rice, seeds or breakfast cereal.

You will need

• paper bags (or just paper)
white glue
pantry supplies for gluing


1. Write the shape of a letter or word using white glue.

2. Stick pantry supplies along the shape of the letters.
This was a big hit with my almost three-year-old – check out the concentration!

And ta da!

3. No-glue seasonal collage

This no-glue collage is such a simple craft that even toddlers can get involved. It's also a lovely way to appreciate the seasonal changes in your natural environment.

You will need

• clear sticky contact
a selection of colourful things from outdoors


1. Collect a range of leaves, grasses, flowers/petals and other things that are in your backyard this season.

2.  Find a clean flat surface and peel the back off a large piece of sticky contact. You may need to put something on each of the corners to keep them from folding up.
Start placing your leaves and other outdoor objects onto the sticky contact.

3. When you've finished, place a piece of card over the top of your collage and fold the contact around the card.

4. And there you have a beautiful seasonal collage.

Ours is more than a week old now, and still looking great! It's proving to be a great way to teach the kids the names of the plants in our garden.

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