by Netta Rabin, vice president of product development and crafty mama of 3 delicious boys
No more excuses! I bought a house in the ’burbs this year (yay!), so I can no longer complain that I can’t find a single square inch of cleared surface area for crafting. My 5-year-old Levi has finally broadened his interests beyond LEGOs, and after the twins went to bed it was time for Design & Dye.
Levi was excited to start this craft as soon as I pulled the book out of my backpack. I promise I didn’t ask him to pose with the book like this, but
hey—I guess he knows what I do for a living.
The second Levi saw the bright paints and gooey green gel he knew what he wanted to do for his Valentine’s Day cards. The first design he chose was the skull and crossbones (obviously, since that just screams Valentine’s Day).
Even though the book is age-graded 8 and up, Levi did surprisingly well tracing out his designs with the gel. With the 10 fabric swatches, he decided to do 5 different designs and 5 signed “love Levi” so we could sew the swatches together into cards that open.
He got a little gel-happy and the designs smushed together a bit, but he didn’t care, so I’m not going to let my own OCD crafting tendencies affect my sweet kindergartener.
Once the gel was nice and dry, we were ready for the next step: painting! He had SO much fun mixing together colors from the recipes in the book to create rainbow and tie-dye effects. I had to get in on the action and he let me paint a square. FUN. Why don’t we paint every night?
We then let the designs dry, soaked them to get the gel off, and washed them. We made some serious decisions on who should get which card, and sewed them together with floss we took from our Personalized Friendship Bracelets book. I made the holes and Levi pulled the thread through. I know he could probably do the sewing himself, but I wasn’t feeling brave enough at that moment.
Ta-da! We did it! Levi had a LOT of fun making these, and it was really nice to share a project that we could keep going back to for a few days. They definitely look like they were made by a 5-year-old, but you know what? I’m totally OK with that.