Twine Wrapped Vase [host gift]

03/21/2011 at 4:45 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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One thing that is nice to bring along on a trip is a gift for your host family.  I was able to inexpensively transform this garage-sale vase into something a little more stylish.

Here's what I used!

I got glue all over my fingers vase and then wrapped the twine around, a couple inches at a time, making sure to keep it tightly wrapped.

Halfway done!

When I was finished, the glue dried pretty quickly. Now I can bring this to include in my host gift the next time I go to the Yucatan.  You could even do this type of activity in the missions field, if you could find/bring inexpensive vases to wrap.  Twine can add a bit of crafty style to anything!!!

Completed Vase (disregard my ugly tile that it is resting on, and the fact that I use a shoebox lid to contain my glue and paint!)

Have you entered my contest yet? You can win lots of goodies that will save you some money…all you have to do is submit ONE (or up to 5!) ideas that are eligible to be posted on this blog.  That’s right – just leave a link from any [clean] website with an idea! Click here for the original post.


Get your Craft On!

03/15/2011 at 4:32 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Woo Hoo! Remember the awesome headband post?

I submitted it on Today’s Creative Blog for “Get your Craft on!” Hopefully this will generate some more ideas for this website!

Have you submitted your own craft idea yet for the big contest? C’mon — it doesn’t have to be from YOUR blog – any blog or website post that is applicable to a simple craft!

Wind Chimes [paint it!]

02/26/2011 at 6:05 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Painted wind chime

Easy idea for today: Painted wind chimes!   Please make sure you account for paint drying time (i.e. humidity) for this activity.

Unfinished wind chimes in all sorts of shapes are readily available at Oriental Trading.  On my second trip to the Yucatan, the Women’s ministry team brought this activity to do with the women.  As you can see, people were very proud of their work, painting/glueing/glittering/ribboning. 

This is not the cheapest idea ever but still a very nice take-home item for the women that participate, and useful for long after the team leaves.  I love the sound of wind chimes!

A few more pictures from my friend Grace who coordinated this activity:

Completed Chimes


Decorated Headbands [teen favorite]

02/18/2011 at 8:55 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Modeling a a scrunched fabric headband

Ribbon wrapped headband

This particular craft was extremely popular.  All the women wanted to make extras, although I only saw the teenage girls actually wearing these around the next couple days.

We bought plastic headbands at Oriental Trading. (Item IN-57/6392 in white).  We also brought lots of ribbon and fabric in which to decorate. The trick here is using adhesive/methods that doesn’t involve a lot of dry time, since often times the mission destination can be very humid. 

One simple way to avoid too much adhesive is to just use ribbon to wrap around the entire (or partial) headband. Adorn with a ribbon flower or bow.  One more complicated method I used was to cut strips of fabric around 2.5″ x 18″.  With this I “scrunched” my fabric along the top of the headband, tucking the edges underneath and gluing them down.  

Looks like in the photo below we have one brown ribbon headband shown and then a lot of beading going on.  Beading! Another genius favorite idea.  New post on that to come!

Fabric Headbands

Purses / Treasure Bags (Sewing, Decor)

02/16/2011 at 5:43 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Decorating Purses in the Yucatan

I don’t know about all areas of the world, but in the Yucatan, the women love to create. And I am telling you — they are CREATIVE.  They can twist a little piece of ribbon into a beautiful rose. (Mental note: learn how to do that next time.)  They are wonderful with embroidery and have lots of talents. Although as it is with us all, I’m sure they get just as busy and don’t get free range of a craft table all that much.

This craft activity during my first year in the Yucatan was probably the top favorite.  We brought small canvas purses from the Oriental Trading Company (you can see in the picture, they don’t appear to be much later than 8 inches tall) and an array of ribbon, paint, thread, beads, and threw in whatever we had left from all the other days.

I recommend going easy on the glue and to make your samples ahead of time for this one, although it is really not necessary.

I think we tied this craft to a message about giving our worries to God (putting them away in the bag). I’m not sure how the women used the bags after we left!

Paper Journals: Super Easy

02/16/2011 at 5:21 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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One activity that was treasured on a past missions trip was making colorful journals with our women.  We did this on the first or second day, so it wasn’t too complex, mostly just coloring/stamping/ribbon and getting to know their names. (Note: We also had them make nametags, out of a small section of folded manila folder. They re-used these each day and it was very helpful!)

I don’t have a lot of great pictures for this one (I am being lazy) but it did require a little prep work before we left on the trip. We took lots of sheets of plain colored paper and cut them in half (8.5″ x 5.5″).  We cut some manila folders down to the same size for the top and bottom of the journals. We fed all of these through a two-hole puncher to create evenly spaced holes on top (you can see the paper in the picture).

Making paper journals in the Yucatan

When it came time to make the journals with the women, we had them select 15 sheets of paper that they wanted (Our demo version was all the colors, which is what most of them ended up doing as well) plus 2 of the thicker manila folder paper.  They tied their journals together with ribbon and then stamped/drew on the front page.

On a side note, you can use styrafoam (like meat package type) and foamies to cut to make stamps. So they made stamps right there and decorated the journals with them. (For more on styrafoam stamps, see here.)

We tied the theme of the day towards talking to God, writing down our thoughts/prayers, drawing what is special to us (for non-readers).

Assembling her journal


Stamped journal

Fabric Flowers (Pins, Headbands, Decor, Etc)

01/25/2011 at 4:20 PM | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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Nylon Flowers

These flowers are just the most adorable accessory ever.  I knew when I first saw them at this blog site I just had to feature the idea here.

I’m going to re-post several of the pictures and instructions just in case anything ever happens to Christy’s site. (She has a great name!)

As soon as I have a chance to try this out myself I’ll try to update with my own pictures, just so I’m not plagiarizing quite so much.  But I did get permission, don’t worry!

Get some fun nylon fabric and cut it into concentric circles. Perfection is not important here.  You could do this step before leaving for your trip if you wanted to have things prepped. I’ve found there are usually several girls hanging around the kitchen who are more than willing to help sort/cut/prep the women’s crafts if you don’t have time to prep.  Circles from 1 to 3-4 inches seemed to be the easiest to work with.

Hold the flower petal very close to the flame - quickly!

Hold the circles close to the flame so the edges curl up just enough. Less is more here – too much heat will cause a big curl on your petal. 

Post-burning flower petals

Stack the circles and sew them together with cute beads, a button, or even using a metal brad (the plain kind, or glue a crystal on it for more bling!)  

Using various beads for the centers

You can sew pins on the back of these to wear on shirts, or sew them to elastic headbands, on a bible cover, really the possibilities are endless.  Perhaps sewing a row onto a thick ribbon for decorating a hammock or kitchen area.

Much brighter with the flash!


Final Note: In order for my beads to have a little “extra” to hold onto when sewn, I cut a small (1/4 -1/2 inch) circle out of stiffened felt, colored it blue to match the flower, and attached it to the back of the flower to make it a little more sturdy when these get attached to their final destination.

Some Updates (3/15/2011) – Some friends and I tried to “mass produce” these in my kitchen and I have some additional helpful information.

  • We used organza fabric.  Nylon tulle did not work.
  • Do not have piles of fabric AND lit candles all over your table.  This is a fire risk. 🙂
  • Along the same line, it is much easier to cut all your circles out at once (stack and pin your fabrics and cut up to 10 layerss at a time — first cut 5″ circles, then a stack of 4″, 3″, 2″ and then put away all your scraps so they don’t get in the way when you are buring them.

Berry Basket Crafts

05/17/2010 at 6:19 PM | Posted in Craft | 1 Comment
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One medium that can be used for mission trip crafts is berry baskets.  Inexpensive and light, if you can think of a good use for them (to hold note cards, napkins, anything!) this could be a good idea.

Items Required: Berry baskets (cheap online), tissue paper, modge podge, brush, ribbon, scissors

I created my first basket by cutting up primary colored regular tissue paper into large strips. I modge-podged it onto the basket, adding several layers. I thought it looked AWFUL!!! 

Then the modge podge dried! All nice and shiny! I did a second layer of smaller strips that overlapped a lot and got a nice end result.


I made a second basket with a similar method, although I wrinkled up my tissue paper and glued it on very messily.  Lastly, I tried wrapping a basket with ribbon.  These particular baskets were hard to weave with, but I’ve seen other baskets that have a more rectangular weave and would look cuter. 

You can also line the inside with paper or fabric, depending on your glue options and what you want to use the baskets for.

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