Cutting Duck Tape

I love duck tape.  They come in so many different colors and designs and they are sticky!  But they can also quickly gum up my scissors and become very frustrating to work with.

In comes parchment paper.  I first started using this method because I needed to cut strips of duck tape for a project with lots of kids.  Trying to cut them on the fly while running the class would not have worked.  I was so pleased to see that the parchment paper really helped to prevent the scissors from gumming up with all the sticky stuff.

You can also make duck tape sheets by overlapping strips of duck tape onto the parchment paper.  The tapes comes off beautifully ready to be used.

Puppet pattern

Just want to make a plug for Clif Desmond’s puppet pattern for moving mouth people made from 9×12 felt pieces (not affiliated to him in any way shape or form other than being an end user of his pattern).

I have made probably 20 of these puppets and have used them during Vacation Bible School for the past maybe eight years. These are great inexpensive puppets that can be put together quickly. For the body I do all of the sewing with a sewing machine, some parts very carefully and creatively though I don’t think that’s what the instructions call for. All the materials are also easy to buy from the local craft store. I have tried to make foam puppets and looked into other options but felt they were too cumbersome and frankly, we don’t have too much storage space. With these, we’ve found that the stuffing need to removed and aired out, which also reduces the space needed for storage.  We often use toddler clothing to simplify the prep work.

Anyway, if you are looking for a solid, cheap, easy people puppet pattern, try the one from Clif.

Pinata attempt

Okay, here goes another attempt at making pinatas.

My kids know me as the master of making tough pinatas.  My first attempt was a colossal fail.  I had paper mached so many layers that the pig (aka rock) was literally unbreakable.  I was able to stand on that thing and when I tried to hit it with the stick, the ricochet almost made me drop the stick.

For church during VBS, I’ve finally settled on 1 paper bag for the little guys, 2 paper bags for early elementary kids, and 3 paper bags for the late elementary kids (BTW, no paper mache paste between the layers of bags, tried it once and it was too hard for the kids).  Of course decorated on the outside with crep paper.  (A search for paper bag pinata should give you lots of ideas).

But this time we are talking about kids (including teens) from Tae Kwon Do.  Last time the store bought one was ripped open on the first kick by an 8 year old.

In the past, I’ve used Costco cardboard milk carton and just filled it with candy and it lasted through quite some beating.  This time, I decided to be more creative and opened the top and bottom of 2 milk boxes, rounded them into cylindrical tubes, glued two together (top and bottom), and glued a piece of cardboard circle to the bottom of the whole thing.  And to make sure that everything stays strong, I actually used some wood glue that I have sitting around (okay it’s the same paranoia that led me to make that fateful unbreakable pig on my first pinata attempt).  I spray glued black wrapping paper to the outside of the tube and sectioned off the inside with poster board circles so there are layers of candies.  So we’ll have a serious heavy duty “heavy bag” pinata for the party.  Hopefully it’ll be one that everyone can enjoy for a period of time.  But no, it’s not crazy hard like my first pinata which would probably break someone’s foot.


Literally score with my Silhouette Portrait.  It not only cuts but also scores.

As I was trying out the Noah’s Ark paper frame for VBS, I realized that it’ll take the kids too long to cut and score the paper but cutting and scoring for 50 sets was not an appealing process.  But that’s what machines are for right?  Up to this point, I’ve only used my Silhouette Portrait for vinyl but it does a great job with card stock too.  So I see many more things done with the Silhouette cutting machine in the near future.  Meanwhile I’m pinning like crazy paper craft ideas.

Isn’t this true with stuff in our lives.  Sometimes we see a thing or even people for limited purposes when there’re so much more good to them.  Look around today at what you have and who you have around you.  Realize that there’s so much more to each and be thankful for all that you have.

That being said, I’m still regretting my choice of getting the Portrait instead of the Cameo.  I ‘need’ that 12″ cutting width!

Noah’s Ark Craft

I’m always surprised at how things in life can coincide.  I’ve been looking at an easy way to generate templates for making paper frames of various sizes and more or less got part of it to where I want it, I was tasked to get another Noah’s Ark craft together.  I don’t like doing the same craft from one year to the next.  Anyway, here’s one that I came up with.  This is just a picture of proof of concept so I didn’t spend any time coloring the pieces.

And here’s the pdf file with the images.




  1. Cut out all the shapes.
  2. Score along the dotted lines.
  3. Color the shapes.
  4. Lay the frame rectangle horizontally and color the lower half inside the frame as ground and upper half as sky.
  5. If you want to color the frame itself, flip the paper over.
  6. Fold along the dotted lines so the lines are all hidden.
  7. Tuck the corners of the frame into each other.
  8. Fold the small rectangles accordion style.
  9. Glue two of the accordions to the back of the ark and one to the back of the large cloud to give dimension.
  10. Glue the pieces to the frame per picture.

Animal stickers can be used instead of the ones provided.  Also, if you don’t care to use the accordion pieces to provide dimension, foam mounting tape would do just fine as a substitute.  Also, I’ve thought about just sticking some Easter grass into the bottom of the picture before gluing in the ark.  That would be kind of cute.

I will see about eventually posting the instructions as a video.  In the mean time, I hope the brief instruction is sufficient.  Enjoy

Broken board print

I remember reading up on transferring photos to wood in posts such as this.

Wouldn’t it be cool to have this done with the broken boards from testing?  Transfer the photo of the break onto the broken board.  Once done, then secure the gap in the break and hang the board.  Hum.  I think I will give it a try.  We certainly have enough broken boards lying around the house.  Unfortunately, I don’t think any of us knows which board belongs to whom.

After thinking about it yesterday, I stopped by Hobby Lobby and bought some Mod Podge Photo Transfer Medium and tried it.  Put down an even layer of the medium and carefully laid a reverse print from the laser printer right on top of the image.  Unfortunately, I’m still trying to get into the habit of taking pictures of the things that I do, so there’s no photo of the process.  After waiting overnight (I was being good), I was able to get much of the paper off by rubbing with wet fingers and yes, had to practice patience between rubbings which was not always successful.

I have not secured the gap  but I figure couple metal strips and liquid nail should work.  Nor have I put a hanger in the back.  But looking at this sample, I think next time I’ll leave the bottom blank and probably add some words on the bottom or maybe an engraved metal tag commemorating the event.

I think this will work fine.  Will definitely explore more in the future.

Crafting makes me happy…

UpNaaman Twist pop up card

It’s VBS craft time.  Today I made  a prototype for the craft for the Naaman lesson.  I based it off the twist pop-up cards.  There are lots of tutorials online if there’s some confusion as to what needs to be done.  I’ll include my template for the card.

Naaman in water with leprosy spots.
Open the bottom flap, and Naaman is clean.
Open the top part of the card and it’s a cross.

Okay, this look quite primitive, but as I mentioned, this is just a prototype for test of concept.  Hope this is something that you can use.

Here are the instructions:

Materials needed:
3 pieces of card stock (double sided printing needed)
1 sheet protector cut to 3-1/2″ x 4″
glue stick
double stick tape
1 red permanent marker
markers or stickers to finish decorating the card

1. Print the template onto the card stock, makes sure that the back of the person is blank.
2. Fold along the dotted lines as directed (valley/mountain folds). I usually like to score the paper first and the easiest way is just to trace the lines using a straight edge. This helps a lot with the actual folding process.
3. Take the piece with the word “glue” on it and fold it according to direction and it should look like this when you are done.

4. Put glue on the triangle parts and center it on the card. The side should line up and the tip of the triangle should be at the fold line. Close the card to finish gluing.
5. Open the card and put glue in the squares that says glue.
6. Lay the word strip “Nothing but the blood of Jesus” over the the glue parts and affix.
7. Close the card.
8. Cut the sheet protector apart to get a 3-1/2″ x 4″ piece.
9. Align the piece of plastic with the top of the card.
10. Put a piece of double sided tape below the words “What can wash away my sin?”.
11. Close the bottom flap to affix the bottom flap to the plastic.
12. Put some red dots on the plastic piece over Naaman to show his leprosy.
13. I just drew in some blue waves for the water as a quick illustration (remember prototype only).  You could get really fancy with this part.  Color and decorate the card.

Download the template here.

Getting ready for Vacation Bible School

I can’t believe today’s already Memorial Day. Summer is here! Vacation Bible School is just around the corner. This year we’re doing a series called one way. One of the lessons in there is The Prodigal Son. I was going to try to make 3D plaster pigs using chocolate molds, but that was turning out to be a disaster. So instead I ordered ceramic piggy banks from Oriental Trading, they were cute and reasonably priced. I’m glad I did that, it’s so much easier then pouring the pigs from plaster. Now I just need to decide if I want the kids to paint it or use markers or other ways of decorating it. That’s one craft down and four more to go.