Let me just start this post by stating: I should be doing laundry. Sometimes in life, we should be doing something, but there a moments I believe, it’s good to let yourself do something else for awhile. A mini vacation from life’s should-do’s!
I also probably should have made lunch, but on a whim I decided I wanted to drive a crazy number of hours all the way to Santa Cruz and buy pizza at Pleasure Point Pizza. I then realized that whim was a bit much, we didn’t even have jackets in the car, so scaling it back a bit I decided to splurge on In-N-Out instead. In-N-Out is just one of the many reasons living in the Sunshine state is wonderful.
My kids could not have been happier over their grilled cheese and fries with ketchup.
And, Micky Mouse Clubhouse. Life is so good as a little person in our house right now.
Look at the toys-on-toys going on here. Random pillows on the floor from another room? We’ve got that.
So in addition to laundry I should also be cleaning… but instead – mini-life vacation to the rescue!
Today I have absolutely nothing to share that is amazing from my heart, but only a simple solution to a problem I encountered when my kids started bringing home their work from preschool and kids church. I’ve had an entire grocery bag FULL of art, and school crafts piling up since September. I don’t like clutter, so I’m not really into the fridge idea. I did however want my kids to feel like every piece of artwork was special and important to all of us in the family. Who doesn’t like an audience for hard work, right?
So I prayed for a solution. Sounds silly, I don’t care what it sounds like, that’s what I did.
And, surprise surprise – I got an answer. Now, God did not speak to me like, “DO THIS CRAFT TO CONTAIN ALL OHER CRAFTS, thus sayest…”. That did not happen. I just prayed something like, “Snap God, look at all this work the kids did, it’s still sitting here in my pantry making me feel bad like it should be up or something, and they are going to keep bringing home cooler and cooler work – what am I going to do? You know how haphazard I am with the crafts!”
So when an idea popped into my head, and it felt simple enough I was like, “yep, that be my answer.”
So, I introduce to you, the Craft to Contain All Other Crafts.
I actually learned about a Christmas version (posted at the bottom) of this at a Mops meeting and I just modified it a bit. I feel like all the credit of this craft rests upon our fearless craft leader from Mops named, Carly. Thank you Carly. She makes signs, they are amazing, you can see them at Sweetly Spoken Signs.
I like this craft because it is:
- easy enough
- versatile based on decor preferences
- easy to change out the art/crafts
Here’s what you need to accomplish this one:
- 2 pieces of wood from a lumber store (I know, this sounds taxing, but it’s not THAT hard) You need 2 pieces of 1×4: it measures 1 x 3 1/2 but I’m assuming they round up? They come in lengths of 6 feet at my store, so with two, I had my husband cut each one into three sections of 2 feet each. If you are nice at the lumber store, they will cut if for you.
- clothes pins (you will need 48 if you follow the steps exactly)
- craft paper: like scrapbook paper, or even wrapping paper, newspaper, it’s up to you
- elmer’s-like glue (regular old glue)
- glue-gun and glue sticks (the dollar store totally sells both of these)
- mod podge
- white craft paint
- two paint brushes (small for the mod podge, larger for the white paint – mine are from the dollar store)
- some twine or ribbon if you prefer
Everything but the wood and elmer’s like glue is shown in this fancy burlap background photo
Here’s a bin I keep my craft stuff in, see how often I do crafts? It’s really that I’ve just done the one… in varied forms.
And antique looking santa Christmas card stuff.
Here is what you are making (x 6 if you like)
Here’s two of them together. With the supplies I listed, you will have six total. Scale back on the supplies if you want only a few. I have three kids, two are dedicated to each kid.
And here’s what they look like on the wall.
You can start one of two ways, depending on your feelings. At step 1, and then 2 or reverse it.
Step 1: I recommend starting with the wood. Go outside. Cut two foot strips (if you haven’t already), or whatever length you prefer. Then dust them off with your hand or an old towel, you don’t want wood chip pieces painted on your board. Then give each board a light coat of white paint. Cover it ONLY once lightly if you want the farmhouse look, or beach-house look. The wood grain peeking through in spots is pretty cute, plus it saves time. Be sure to cover the sides (the cut ends) as well, otherwise it will look unfinished. It dries in about 20 minuets.
While it’s drying, head back inside and begin step 2!
Step 2: Select the craft paper you want to use, and how much. I glued 8 clothespins to each board. So I selected 3 papers for each board. Two papers were represented three times, the one just two. You can make the pattern however you like, abc,abc,ab as I did or use four papers for abcd,abcd, or even abcdefgh if you want to use 8 papers. Your’e choice.
Cut out all your paper for ALL your boards, each paper the size of your clothespin.
I did each paper selection twice, so my son’s boards are the same, and so are each of my daughters. I have two “sets” of the same three boards.
Step 3: Once you’ve finished cutting and arranging all your clothespin patterns, glue the strips onto each of the clothespins with simple white glue. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you cut a larger piece then needed, once it’s dry you can go back and trim them up if you like.
Step 5: Go retrieve your dry wood. Set all your boards on a large flat surface (like a kitchen counter) that is close to an electrical outlet. It is time to hot glue. Prior to gluing, space your clothespins out evenly.
Step 6: The hanger. Gather your twine or ribbon to set a loop on the back so you can hang them. Prior to flipping your boards, make sure ALL the hot glue has had time to dry.
Once dry, flip your board and eye the center of the board, go about two inches on either side to create a loop . Measure it out and cut your twine. I used hot glue to adhere my twine. So far this has worked. I also used a lot so that it would hopefully never fall off the wall and splatter everywhere. If you can think of a better way to hang your Craft to Contain All Crafts, by all means, go for it.
Step 7: Let your glue dry then get to filling those clothespins with crafts!
FULL disclosure: If you have EVER sent me a Christmas Photo card, you can be sure that I’ve saved it. I don’t keep A TON of random sentimental things, I do however collect these, and plan to one day put them in book. That being said, up for dibs on my display is a random display of last years beauties, which we kept up on the wall until March this year, because I like seeing all my friends and their beautiful children and animals. What can I say?
Without Christmas photo cards, so empty and sad.
Up close and personal
As always, thanks for reading!