Pinterest Challenge: Thanksgiving Crafts
If you're reading this, I'm assuming you have a few quiet hours to kill before the hellish holiday schedule kicks in. Or maybe your spouse had something better to do and left you at home with the kids on a cold, crappy day. But cheer up! Thanksgiving is close, and there are many a lark to be had.Posted — Updated
A little background: I have two daughters, ages 4 and 7. We each chose our favorite Thanksgiving craft from Pinterest, based on the following criteria: 1) The craft had to be easy enough for Dad to do without smashing something with caveman frustration or teaching the kids new words, and 2) we had to have all necessary supplies on hand (as your mental health advisor, I strongly recommend limiting your total lifetime trips to Michael's).
This craft wins for best name, of course. My daughter seemed confused when I asked whether she'd like to do the biker with a bushy mustache or the flamboyant Indian chief. The construction is pretty self-explanatory: Wrap a toilet paper tube with colored paper to add background color, clothes, face, hair, hat, and any additional accessories you'd like your pilgrim or Native American to sport.
Presenting the Schmidt People (a.k.a. Village Idiots). My wife created the dapper gentleman. I made the one in the middle, under my daughter's direction. Don't worry; you're not a perv if your mind just suggested "French maid." It does look like a French maid. Or at least a toilet paper tube in a French maid costume.
This pilgrim is called the "Nihilist" or the "Existentialist," take your pick. Perhaps it can represent the thoughts of the first pilgrims on their interminable boat ride across the Atlantic. Seriously, what the hell was going through their minds…? After a brief period of philosophical sarcasm, I decided to lighten up and turn the Nihilist into the French maid.
It's a pretty cool project. You draw the trunk and branches of a tree, then create leaves by dabbing your finger into a fall-ish pallete of paints and pressing it onto the ends of the branches and along the ground, to make the leaves. You could substitute stamp pads for the paint, creating leaves with unique fingerprints instead of paint blobs. Choices, choices…
The construction is simple:
1. Notch the popsicle stick at each end, then soak it in water for one to three hours, and pat dry.
2. Tie a length of dental floss around one notch of the stick, knotting the string at one side edge.
3. Bend the stick into a bow shape and tie the floss at the other end, keeping the string to the same side of the stick as before.
4. Make each arrow by cutting off one quilted end of a Q-Tip.
The bow works surprisingly well; even a beginner archer can easily sail an arrow across the room. How cool will it be to sink an arrow into the gravy boat from the kids' table (guess where I usually sit)? I started with a colored stick from a crafty fun-pack thing, but the wood either broke during preliminary test bends or it chipped when I cut the notches for the bow string. So I switched to real popsicle sticks from the freezer. I also soaked some sticks for three hours—triple the recommended time. The stick broke when I tried to bend the first stick after soaking it in water for just one hour.
I was forced to get Medieval. I pre-bent a soaked stick around a…well, a ramekin. So maybe it was Medieval, Martha Stewart-style. Clamped up projects drying on the middle of the kitchen counter is an all-too-familiar sight to my wife.
It did made a nice bow shape, though.
The final embellishment of my project involved weighting the tips of the arrows with a small amount of candle wax. This helps keep the business end of the arrow out front for a straighter flight and a smoother trajectory. Smart (or sick) readers might make a connection between hot candle wax and flaming Q-Tip arrows. Just don't say I didn't warn you. But seriously, don't launch flaming arrows at the grownups' table. Or the cat. Or anywhere.