Once again, summer is coming to an end and school bells will be ringing soon. Looking for ways to beat the back-to-school blues? Try some of these cool crafty projects and activities. The requirements are simple: a few art supplies (or creative materials), a little imagination, and access to a computer.
Back-to-School Craft Corner
My Summer Vacation Shirt: Preserve summertime memories on a T-shirt—a great way to "show and tell" everyone at school how your spent your vacation.
First you need to collect your favorite summer photos and transfer them to your home computer or to a CD (if you can't do this on your computer, nearly all photo labs can now burn a CD of your film images). Download your favorite photos, then crop and adjust the pictures to suit your fancy. You can buy iron-on printing paper (fabric on one side, iron-on adhesive on the other) at your local office supply or craft store. This paper will go through your ink-jet printer, producing iron-ons for your special shirt. You and your child can also download clip art on the computer; just type in the following keywords when searching online: school, vacation, or summer. Clip art can also be downloaded and printed on your iron-on paper. Now that you have all your materials printed, just cut, place, and press them on with an iron.
Recycled Denim Book Bag: Moms and Dads, do you have an old pair of jeans that just don't fit anymore or are fraying at the knees? Donate them to your child, and help her sew a book bag for school.
First, zip up the jeans and turn them inside out. With a pair of scissors, cut off both legs (about two to three inches from the crotch). Discard the legs, and place the remaining piece on a flat surface. Line up the bottom edge (below the pockets), and sew together with a straight seam to close. This can be done on a sewing machine or by hand with a strong running stitch. Turn the jeans right side out, and now you have a neat bag with loads of pockets. For a handle, insert a cotton sash or belt through the belt loops and bring it to the front, knotting the sash or fastening the belt. Fill the pockets with supplies and place your notebooks in the main bag. Sling it over your shoulder and you're ready for class.
Lunch Bag: Cut a 12- to 16-inch section from a jeans leg (use the discards from the above project). Turn the leg inside out and sew the bottom hem together with a straight stitch. Fold over a half-inch strip around the top of the pants leg and sew it down to make a casing. Through an opening left in the casing, thread through a three-foot length of cord or ribbon and knot the two ends together. Now, turn the bag right side out. For added fun, use your downloaded photos or clip art and left over iron-on paper to decorate your bag. Have your child write his or her name and add additional decorations with fabric paints or makers. These lunch bags are definitely handy—if they get dirty, just toss them into the washing machine!