Photo courtesy of The Creation Station Aberdeen North & Shire
by Sara le Roux, Owner and Inspirer at The Creation Station Penistone and District
Glitter, Glitter, Everywhere!
A major obstacle to people wanting to do art & crafts at home definitely has to be the mess which it creates. I have to admit that when crafting with younger children it’s inevitable, but with a bit of preparation this can actually be minimised and will hopefully keep your stress levels down!!
Here are my Top Tips for Happy Crafting…
1. Become A Collage Hoarder!
Before you throw anything away think to yourself ‘can I re-use this’? Anything from yoghurt pots, egg boxes and milk cartons to newspapers, coffee jars and plastic bottles – these will all come in handy. Now I’m not saying that you should fill your entire house with collage materials, but definitely have a box somewhere that you fill with odds and ends. You’ll save money on materials and cut back on a few bits going into the refuse collection!
2. Cover Your Work Area
This is an absolute essential! There’s nothing worse than finding yourself still trying to remove glue and glitter off your kitchen table when the buzzer is going off on the oven telling you that dinner is ready! Whether you use an old tablecloth, bed sheet or buy a length of wipeable pvc fabric, covering the workspace means that when you’re finished you can scoop it all up and shake the rubbish into the bin.
I bought my 2 metre length of pvc many years ago from ‘The Range’ for about £6 and it still looks fab. In our classes we use lovely red spotty pvc which can be bought from the Creation Station store – it’s huge and would cover pretty much any table and would easily double up as floor covering too! To help keep my cloth secured to the table at home I also picked up some tablecloth clips for a couple of pounds from Amazon which have stopped Boo trying to pull it off the table every 2 minutes!
3. Cover The Kid!
Splash suit, apron, old shirt! Whatever you decide to use, make your life simpler and cover your little one’s clothes. It makes it so much easier to simply wash their hands, take off the suit/shirt and send them off to play whilst you tidy up.
Boo has one of our fab Creation Station Splash Suits. They are a neck to ankle washable suit of awesomeness! I know I may be a teeny bit biased, but I still say that I have never seen anything similar for sale! These are fantastic quality (and value for money!) and will fit children up to age 4. They can be bought online or from one of your lovely local Creation Station owners.
4. Be Prepared!
Get everything together before you start! You can just imagine the scene…your child is all painty and sticky and you remember that your sequins, collage or wiggly eyes are somewhere that requires you to actually leave the room….DON’T DO IT! You’ve seen the photos on Facebook of children who have repainted walls in ‘just a few minutes’….yeah no thanks! As the Scouts say ‘Be Prepared’. Get your supplies together first and your crafty time will be much less stressful.
Keep a tray handy – when you’ve finished creating it’s much easier to pile everything into a tray and move it out of the way whilst you wipe down – trying to juggle paint brushes, glue and sequins can only tempt a disastrous mess 🙂
6. Contain The Glitter!!
As the person who does most of our household cleaning chores I understand completely why the word GLITTER gives many people cold shivers. But when crafting with children glitter is almost a staple ingredient and should not be avoided (if possible!) Believe me, every week I see the absolute joy that these little twinkly flakes of fun bring to the children in my classes. The key to using glitter is containment! Rather than simply handing your little one a pot and letting them redecorate your walls in a new shade of ‘sparkle’, give them a tray to work in. In class we use shallow ‘gratnell’ trays and ask the children to place their creations in the tray and then they can use the glitter shaker to make their creations sparkle. A quick alternative could also be to use an empty cereal box with one large side cut out to create a tray. When they are done you can shake the excess glitter off the creation, into the tray, and away they go. The excess glitter can then be funnelled back into a bag and used at a later date.
So it’s definitely worth spending a bit of time getting things ready for your crafty explorations. Some things you will only need to do once, but that little bit of effort will certainly make a huge difference to whether you love or loathe your family’s creative journey.