Eight retro crafts you can try with your kids this summerPosted by MomOnMars on July 27, 2012
Remember back when cartoons were only on Saturday, afternoons were made for sunbathing in the backyard and you ironed your hair in the evening? When Captain Kangaroo was the greatest TV show on earth and Bozo came in a close second? When newspaper ink actually stuck to silly putty.
Yep – I’m a child of the sixties. And, boy, was it fun.
Now granted, not everything was safe back then. Spirographs required pins, and we’d melt plasti-goop into heated metal molds.
There was even a tool set that included a table saw, the Slip ‘n Slide (and break your neck) by Wham-o, toxic bubble plastic and the ever popular lawn darts (here kids, go outside and throw metal skewers at each other). Fortunately, no one I knew ever lost an eye…but the threat was kind of always there.
Besides…what was a chipped tooth, black eye or third degree burn? As long as we were having fun. (Where were our parents back then?)
Tonight, my husband and I reminisced about some of our favorite childhood crafts…which we fortunately survived relatively un-scarred. I think we’ll introduce them to our children this summer.
Paper chains: My mom insisted we make them from scratch and use the stapler (um, okay) to link them together. My husband’s mom splurged on the pads of pre-cut paper with a backing that, once licked, would stick. He was so lucky. Paper chains are still fun to make.
Gum wrapper chains: Thinking back, we must have chewed a lot of gum. Remember how to make them yourself? Here are some instructions. Nothing unsafe here…just remember to brush your teeth.
Paper-mâché:This was a standard at my house for anytime I said I was bored. Out came the flour, water, newspapers and balloons. It’s so easy. Just mix the flour and water into a watery paste. Soak strips of newspapers in the solution and squeeze out the excess. Wrap the papers around a blown up balloon…at least three layers. Combine balloons to make other shapes. Wait for it to dry. Then paint it.
Wax leaves: Go outside and find some fabulous leaves…just make sure they aren’t too wet or too dry. Sandwich them between two sheets of wax paper. Cover the sandwich with rags and iron using high heat (no steam). Once it’s cool and the leaves are adhered to the wax paper, you can cut them out.
Homemade fashion shows: Now this was a staple for every birthday party we held at my house. My mom would pull out paper plates, brown paper grocery bags, streamers, colorful tissue paper and tape. We’d divide into two teams and create hats, shirts and skirts out of the goods. Then, we’d hold a fashion show. My mom always came up with silly categories for prizes.
Crushed ice candles: Ice and melted wax make beautifully-textured candles. This craft requires melting wax over the stove, but at least there’s no hot metal mold or mini table saw involved. Just use an old oatmeal box or milk carton. Here are some instructions – they haven’t changed much over the years.
And one – in the YES, IT CAN KILL YOU category – but absolutely insisted on by my husband because the end result is so cool…
The charcoal crystal garden: In our childhood, we’d mix a lovely concoction of laundry bluing and ammonia and pour it around some charcoal on which we had dropped some food coloring. Salt is also involved and a few more steps. Here’s a great description of safer way to do it.
What fun childhood crafts do you remember?
Paper chain: ejorpin
Jewelry Box and Paper Maché: indigo_jones
Charcoal crystal: Liralen Li