Hanukkah crafting from Kiwi Crate! Ima Design winner!

I have to admit – I’m generally not one to purchase pre-fab crafting kits; I have hoards of craft supplies so if I want to make something, I generally only need to get a couple items.  But when Kiwi Crate contacted me and asked if I’d like to try out their Handmade Hanukkah kit, I figured why not.  I’m always open to try something new.

Kiwi Crate is a children’s creativity company, targeted for kids ages 3-7.  They offer monthly subscription activity boxes as well as special projects like the Hanukkah box.  Each crate is filled with enriching & engaging kid-tested projects which cover a range of developmental areas and subjects, including art, science, and imaginative play.

The box arrived nicely wrapped in brown packing paper with a big Kiwi Crate logo and addressed directly to my son (which was a big hit of course).  This was a nice touch in the age of elaborate, difficult to open packaging; no box cutters were needed, so my son could open it himself.

When my son managed to rip the paper off, we found the darling little Kiwi Crate Box filled directions and the makings for two Hanukkah projects: a tissue paper covered menorah (battery operated) and dreidel spin art.

Speaking of the directions, they are fantastic!  Being a crafty mamaleh, I probably could have gotten by without them. But for those less craftily inclined, the details and pictures make the projects easy.  I imagine that they’d be great for kids of reading-age too.

We decided to start with the menorah.  The materials included candle holder, tissue paper, glittery Mod Podge with tray, foam brush, shamash holder,  foam for the shamash, and LED flicker candles.  The process itself was simple albeit a little messy.  It was my first time using glitter Mod Podge and I found myself daydreaming about what grown-up projects I might be able to use it for as it was just pure sparkly goodness.  I will say though that my three-year old’s attention span waned after about 2 candle holders so I was left to finish the rest on my own.  I do think that makes for a project which could easily be shared by multiple kids – I sort of wished we’d invited friends to do it with us.  It wasn’t until the menorah was all dry, that my son regained interest when it came time to “light” the “candles.” I must say, it’s pretty cute and fun and will be a nice, non-fire hazard menorah to use for the holiday.

Tissue Paper Battery Menorah from Kiwi Crate

Next up was the dreidel spin art and I gotta say this was super fun for both of us! But oy, was it messy!  Be sure to put on smocks and do it on a drop cloth of some sort (we used a coated tablecloth on the floor).  You use the included plain wood dreidel and pre-cut pieces of paper to do spin art in the Kiwi Crate box.  I loved how many pieces of paper were included – ample enough for 2 or 3 kids to do a bunch.  And when you’re done, there are Hebrew letter stickers included for the dreidel to restore its traditional Hanukkah role. My only wish was that the box had been a bit taller since the paint splatter definitely went over the sides (to its credit, it did wash off pretty easily).

The resulting art is really fun and unique.  Perhaps we’ll use them to create Hanukkah gift thank you notes by putting them on a notecard and adding some stamped cardstock on top to cover the hole.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the Kiwi Crate.  As an avid crafter who generally likes to do my own thing, it was sort of nice to be given direction.  Along those same lines, it was nice to not have to worry about my son destroying my own supplies to do his project. Everything we needed was included in the box which I think is excellent way to help people who feel intimidated when they go to a store like Michael’s or Joann. Even I get overwhelmed at those stores with the variety of supplies and tools available. I think Kiwi Crates are creative and fun gift ideas; I may have to order a few for friends.

Oh and I almost forgot, the winner of the Ima Design contest is #1, Jamie.  Look for an email with details!

Note: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a Hanukkah Kiwi Crate free for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my and my son’s experience.

Advertisements

A SUPER SIZE NOSH!

Large Faux Metal Nosh

I am so excited about my latest project, I’m not even sure where to begin!  If you’re like me, you’ve now become totally addicted to Pinterest.  It’s total eye-candy and inspiration for all of my crafty kindred spirits out there.  The trick to it though is actually following through on some of the ideas it generates.

On my ever-growing idea list, I re-pinned a fabulous pin for an awesome tutorial on how to make faux industrial/metal letters from the blog Retropolitan and I knew I needed to make some for myself.  The only thing was I wasn’t sure what I needed them for or where I’d even put them.  At the same time, I had also been trying forever to come up with some art for our breakfast nook…I could do the word “EAT” but that was too boring and then in a moment of sheer genius Yiddishism, it came to me, “NOSH.”

super-size paper mache letters

I had seen these super size 23″ paper mache letters at Joann that would be perfect for the faux metal finish.  I won’t go into how to get the finish, you can check out Retropolitan’s tutorial here – her technique is simple and brilliant and I totally agree with all of her suggestions, especially the brad detail!

I will give you a few hints for working with these super-sized letters:

  • Be sure to check them carefully at the store – some are really weak at the seams.  I had to go to two different stores to find letters that were fully intact. The best “H” still had minor damage that I patched with blue painter’s tape which worked just fine and was hidden by the paint.
  • I think because of their size, these letters are actually a bit more fragile than the ones in the tutorial so you need to take a little extra care when piercing them (I used a paper piercing tool) for the brads or you will be back to my first hint.
  • To hang the letters, I highly recommend the 3M Picture Hanging Strips.

Here is the final result, fun and inexpensive art for our breakfast nook with a Yiddish twist:

I LOVE the result!  Wonder what other Yiddish words I can turn into art…