In the colder months we definitely tend to do more crafts. I try to ensure they have a tactile side to them just because the kids are not outside, playing in garden and the parks as often as they do in the warmer months, so I always have a bigger need to find sensory activities for them.
I also love using recycled items. One of my favourites are glass bottles / jars. I tend to keep all different shapes and sizes and wash them in warm soapy water to get the labels off. Some labels do require a bit of a scrub to come off.
This time we combined a bit of left over decopatch / decoupage paper with some scrapbook paper from the site as well as a few of the cutting practice pages. My son opted for animals and cut out multiple images before he eventually selected the monkeys and the fish.
Cutting out images to use for decoration
Because the images are going to get stuck down if the kids do cut off a fin or leg by accident you can always just glue to back together on the jar (we have done this a few times and the end result looked perfect).
We use Mod Podge glue with our bottles – you can buy it from local craft stores or online. I have used both the matte and gloss versions and they both work perfectly for this type of craft. I like this because when it dries it is completely transparent so the kids can be very messy. In fact I strongly urge mine to paint over the images with the glue to make sure it sticks down properly. I have found this is a case of being very generous with the glue.
In the picture below you can see a bottle after we had applied the Mod Podge – you can see the white glue very clearly:
Fish images glued onto a jar
But leave them to dry properly and you don’t see any of the glue:
Our decorated jars, finished!
We also really wanted to test out some of the scrapbook paper and we selected the snowflake design. I have always bought them special Decopatch paper to use so I was interested to see if printing out patterned paper would work as well.
Decorating a jar with snowflake scrapbook paper
We tore the paper into strips and then applied the strips very haphazardly over the jar. The end result was stunning.
The finished snowflake jar
Both the kids and I thought the scrapbook paper worked just as well as our store bought decopatch paper. And we really loved how colourful and crisp it looked. My son decided the snowflake jar would be a good for some pencil storage:
Using the snowflake jar to store pencils
And if you like tea light candles, we think the bottles looked really stunning at night with some lighted tea lights inside (my night photos really do not show how amazing the bottles looked).
Jars at night
Monkey bottle with tea light inside
This is a guest post from Shelly. Shelly is a home educating parent of two children aged 6 and 9. She blogs at ofamily learning together where she shares ideas on the different learning activities that they do including lots of hand-on maths, arts and crafts and anything else that is part of their home educating lifestyle.
You can find more guest posts by Shelly, and a list of all our guest posts, here.