Thursday, March 3, 2011

Worth the Effort

You know me and my crafty side (or lack thereof).  It has great intentions but seems to sabotage itself every now and then.  I don't put a lot of forethought into my crafts: I tend to be spontaneous.  I know when I describe them to JDubbs, his mind starts cataloging the many ways that one of these crafts could go very wrong, but I just don't think that way.  I may be naive, but with naivete comes a general hopeful expectation that all will go well.  I'd rather be pleasantly surprised every now and then than to expect the worst all the time.  So, as I say, sometimes our crafts are worth the effort, and sometimes not so much, but I almost always learn a valuable lesson from them nonetheless.  Ah, have the paper towels ON the table.  Got it.  Don't open the door with a mountain of snow on the other side and expect it won't pour in.  I'll remember that for next time.  Let the paint popsicles defrost at room temperature for a while rather than submerging them in warm water, and thus, melting them.  I see.  Lessons learned.

Therefore, all crafts are worth the effort, really.  Kids have fun, we gain experience and with it, knowledge.  But I found a craft the other day here:


and just had to give it a try.  It looked completely manageable and her daughter's pleasure was enviable.  I wanted my kids to play happily with homemade wooden dolls, too!

So I went to JoAnn Fabrics and bought these little wooden peg dolls and cups in their unfinished wood section.  Cost me less than ten bucks.


Then, I just straight up copied what the mom from Gluesticks did, because although I have great intentions, I don't have many artistic bones in my body.  So since hers looked super cute, I figured I'd just follow in her artsy footprints.

Things to consider:  What type of paint should I use?  Well, how old are your kids?  I had a ton of fingerpaint at home, so that's what I decided to go with.  I knew it was Crayola non-toxic so it would be no big deal during the painting process or if Em decided to use one as a teether.  Gluesticks mom Brandy has a toddler, not a baby, so she used acryllic paint and a spray paint layer to seal it all up.  I asked about such spray paints at JoAnns, and they weren't too keen on the idea of letting a baby suck on wooden dolls shellacked in spray paint (neither was I, obviously), so I just decided it would be worth it to make sure that the dolls were mouth-friendly in case they did make their way into Em's mouth (which they inevitably would and already have).  This caused her mouth to turn green and washed away a bit of the paint.  Solution?  None yet, but I'll just try to keep them away from her; otherwise I'll be repainting them after she sucks the fingerpaint off.  For me, better than worrying that Jax may accidentally share one with her, especially since I'm always begging him to share with her anyway.  Too much to think about and mixed signals.  Keep it simple.

So I went with fingerpaint.  Maybe not the best solution, but it is what it is.  Fingerpaint doesn't go on as smoothly as other types of paint, so be prepared to do a few coats if you are going for craftaliciousness.  I just go for get 'er done and let's paint the darn things.



Something else to consider:  Should you let your toddler help you paint them?  The easy answer is yes!  Let them experiment with all things artsy and beautiful!  The other easy answer is heck no!  Are you insane?  I think my current answer to that question is yes, let them paint one cup and then make sure you have a spouse, friend, family member around to haul them straight to the tub because they will be a freakin mess. 

Crafting with friends (and cocktails) is always more fun, anyway.  And you will want to keep painting since you went to all the effort to get all the stuff together and ready, so best be able to hand the kids off to someone else when they look like this:


Proud but filthy.  That is why I did this in the lull between dinner and bedtime.  He was getting in the bath anyway, so no extra work for the parents.

Okay, so kids are now in bed.  You can now focus and actually finish this darn thing, which has become more work than you realized you were signing up for.


This may seem obvious to you, but it wasn't to me so I'll just tell you which way I found to be the simplest to paint these.  Stick a finger in, paint the bottom and sides, then top, then inside last from above.  That way you won't have to touch parts that have already been painted.  Probably pretty obvious, but it took me three cups to figure that one out.  I'll just save you the trouble.

Then you can paint the dolls however you'd like.  Save yourself the trouble of painting their faces and just let their faces be wood-colored.  I used colored pencils to draw the face and a few blobs of brown paint for the hair.  (JDubbs was actually impressed with my hairstyles; they were all slightly different and Justin Beiberish).  And viola!


Eight new friends with eight little homes.

I finished them that night and Jax was psyched to find them on the kitchen table the next morning.  He said, "Our dollies!" and then "They are so cool!"  Wow, he's getting big.


But not too big for dollies!


So final consensus is that this was the messiest and most labor-intensive craft I've done yet (meaning it just took the longest, but mostly because I had cheap paint and paintbrushes and because I did multiple layers of paint and the dots).  Probably could have been quicker if I didn't let Jax help or if I was more truly crafty, but my slightly disfunctional craftiness makes it fun and I'm glad Jax got to help.  I'm doing this for them, not me, anyway.

I say give it a try, and please let me know how it goes if you do!  I think this would be a lovely gift for a holiday or birthday--Jax loves playing with them at the table while I prepare his lunch or dinner.  And he is definitely not a dollie kind of guy.  He really just loves sorting them and putting them in and out of their homes.  I think any kid would really like them and they are definitely worth the effort!

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39 comments:

Ross said...

Your site is great! You look so happy as a family. I look forward to checking back to see your updates.

amy g said...

Such a great idea, and they turned out so cute! I'll have to steal this one, Nia would love them. XO

Brandy said...

Those turned out darling! I never thought about the safety of the paint, but like you said, my daughter is older (2 1/2). I will have to keep that in mind and keep these out of reach when the new baby arrives. Thanks for linking back! Your photos were great!!

Tanya (a Taste of T) said...

Looks like so much fun! I love all the bright colors.

<3, New Follower
Come get a dose of laughter at A Taste of T

Ashley said...

Precious! Thanks for the idea!

Hockey Wife said...

I LOVE THIS IDEA! I am thinking of doing this but putting a hockey twist on it! I've been looking for little hockey guys, like action figures. I found one company but they just ... aren't what I was looking for. Thinking I could make a team of little hockey players! Stay tuned!

...with ♥, SB said...

Thanks for sharing this.. great idea. I love the variety of colors!


Thanks for posting your love story on my blog! I ♥'d it.

Melissa said...

I absolutley love these! How CUTE!
Thank you for sharing.

MeloMomma

SnicketyInK said...

Inspired! So many variations - you could do the 12 days of Christmas with 12 dolls (snowmen, rudolph, etc) or make your own pontipines (sp?) if your kid is a Night Garden fan...

Angel Perry said...

LOVE your blog! I stumbled upon it today via FTLOB & I'm your newest reader :)
~Angel @ www.livinginaperrytale.com

Michelle said...

Your post about the dollies is great. You could use them for all kinds of games. Match the colors. maybe put numbers on them and match them. Thanks for sharing this. I found your blog over at MBC and I'm a new follower. Great blog.

Michelle
www.scrapthosepictures.blogspot.com

Lindsey said...

These are sooo cute! Definitely want to try it in the future!

Michelle from Fun On A Dime said...

Oh, what a fun project?!?!? And it looks like your son had fun, too! I think this would be a great gift, too...hmmm I have some birthdays coming in the summer. =)

Thanks for linking up to Friday Brag Fest!

Erin Wallace said...

What an adorable post (and the photos of your little one covered in paint are too precious!). But the absolute best it that header - that face is the greatest thing I've seen in a long time!

BTW, I am your newest follower from the Weekend Wander. I'd love a follow back at Dropped Stitches. Thanks!!

Pinkie said...

I've been wanting to make some of these for my daughter. Your's turned out so nice. Great job!

Megan said...

pretty cute. they look fun.

megan
craftycpa.blogspot.com

Monica @ Equipping Catholic Families said...

So cute and I like how you described the craft too!
Lots of possibilities for different styles and themes...I bet you're going to see alot of variations from other people doing this craft!

It's a Crafty Life said...

These are definitely cute, and love that you let your little one do the painting! Thanks for linking up!

Sunshine Mama said...

I love toys like that! They are natural, and they can be so colourful too... you did a great job and your son seems to love them!

I've been making little wood peg gnomes lately and my kids love them... well, they love the one I gave them. The rest, I'm keeping in hiding until special occasions like Easter or birthdays coming up :)

Mimi said...

This caught my eye on Tip Junkie. So original and fun. My kids are grown but I want these more myself! Love them!

Mimi said...

Sorry - already posted but forgot to say that your adorable header picture {and title} makes me smile! He is all boy! Precious

Jessica said...

What a neat project!!

I am blog hopping today and would really like for you to stop by my blog and say hello (and become a follower if you aren't already one).

I have two blogs and you are welcome to stop by either or both of them:

So Stylilized is where I am currently offering FREE Custom Blog Designs at http://sostylilized.blogspot.com

Jessicas Lil Corner is where I blog about life and family at http://jessicaslilcorner.blogspot.com

Hope to see you over at my blogs.

Have a blessed Wednesday!! :0)

At The Picket Fence said...

These are so adorable and I love the pictures of the kids painting them. Priceless! I had a thought, I wonder if you could seal them with some type of "food grade" sealer or varnish. I know they make it because people use it to seal their butcher block countertops. Just a thought. :)

As always thank you for linking up to Inspiration Friday At The Picket Fence!

Heather

Emily said...

I found you through Paisley Passions- what a really lovely idea- I love the way they are rainbow coloured- a great idea for helping with sorting skills and colours!
Maybe some soft wax to seal them either??

Jill said...

These peg dolls are absolutely adorable! Great job and fantastic post!

I would love if you came over and linked this project to my weekly Round Tuit party at:
http://jembellish.blogspot.com/
Have a great week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Kassi @ Truly Lovely said...

Such a fun idea!!! Looks like your little guy had a GREAT time!! :) We featured this today in our features from the Fancy This Fridays link up! Hope you'll check it out and grab a button! http://trulylovelywiththelaneysisters.blogspot.com/2011/03/fancy-this-features-edition-16.html

Ashley said...

what a cute idea!! I loved that you let them help, so fun:) Thanks for linking up!!

Beth said...

They're simply adorable! And I'm glad you pointed out that they're available at JoAnn's. I've wanted some of these wood dolls and thought I had to order them online. And let me share with you the blog where I've seen these darlings....

http://weefolkart.com/

she does gnomes and toadstools and such....super cute.

jenn said...

ahhh they're so cute and your son looks super thrilled! Sometimes the messy crafts are worth it...sometimes not though!

Here from home sweet farm:)

BigBearswife said...

I am in LOVE with the orange one! I love the color orange anyways but still haha. Very adorable!

Patti said...

First of all, HE is adorable and I want one :-)...and this is a cute idea! Stop by Pandora's Box for a chance to win some vintage linen

The Activity Mom said...

so fun!

TexNan said...

I didn't read all your comments and someone may have already suggested this, but have you tried Koolaid? It makes a good dye, and dye makes a good wood stain, so-o-o...

I haven't tried it myself and don't actually know that it would work, but it may very well do.

Your son's darling! Pretty cute dolls, too.

Amie {Kitty Cats and Airplanes} said...

This is so cute! Love that your little guy got to participate, makes it that much more special!

Jill said...

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a great weekend!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

@pril said...

These are so cute. I saw you at Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints on the Fridge.

Today is my blog's first linky party. I would love for you to add this: http://koolbeenz-blog.blogspot.com/search/label/Funky%20Fresh%20Fridays.

Hanna said...

Wow, these are so so adorable!! Thank you so much for sharing this idea and linking up:)

xoxo Hanna

Jenn Erickson said...

Becky, it was so wonderful have you link up to "A Little Birdie Told Me..." at Rook No. 17! For a self-sabotaging crafter, you sure pulled this one off with flying colors (no pun intended). I love your writing style, good humor, and wonderful pictures. I love it that you let your toddler paint! I agree, it would be nice to be able to seal this sweet wooden toy with something non-toxic. What about a Mod Podge product? I know they're non-toxic and are great at sealing projects.

Thanks again for linking up. I hope you'll come by again soon!

Jenn

Marriah said...

Those turned out great. I feel the same way somtimes that my crafts try to sabotage me somtimes, lol. www.mylifeunzipped.blogspot.com