Summer craft ideas that are little mess but lots of fun!

2 Summer Vacation Craft Projects You Can Do at Home or On-The-Go Summer is in full swing! The first few weeks of June are all fun and games but after a few weeks of summer fun, the kiddos are complaining there’s nothing to do. Easy and simple projects are lifesavers on busy days, especially when they include a little art. Below are two easy craft projects for kids from two of our newest children’s books, Vacation Crafting and Foam Crafts for Kids (oddly by the same author, Suzanne McNeill), that are great for in the backyard, on vacation, at summer camp, or indoors during a rainy day. After our staff became totally immersed in these 5 minute crafts, we even thought parents will love these crafts just as much as the kids do! Pinwheel Drink Cover  By Suzanne McNeill in Vacation Crafting These circular coasters have a hole in the center, so they can work double duty as drink covers. The hole is just large enough for your straw to fit through, so your drink will be protected from bugs during picnics and poolside lounging. You will need: Instructions:
  1. First, gather your supplies. Heat up your iron to medium-high heat without steam. 
  2. Assemble the beads on your board, setting each bead onto the corresponding peg following the chart. Going row by row is good for beginners; going color by color is a little harder, but much faster.
  3. Take your completed pegboard to a flat ironing surface. Place ironing paper over the beads. Run the hot iron in slow circles over the paper for about 5–10 seconds at a time. The beads should melt enough that you can see them sticking to the paper.
  4. Let the beads cool completely (about 5–10 minutes) before continuing. For large pieces that tend to curl (or just for extra insurance), rest a few heavy books on top of the beads while they cool so the finished piece is nice and flat.
  5. Remove the piece from the paper and pegboard. Flip it over and place it back onto the ironing surface (you no longer need the pegboard). Rest the paperback on top of the beads and iron the piece again the same way you did in step 3. Once again, allow the piece to cool.
Cheery Caterpiller Frame Craft By Suzanne McNeill in Foam Crafts for Kids Foam critters sparkle on this cute frame. Spell out your name with foam letters or make this frame for someone else, spell out their name, put in a picture of you two, and give as a gift! You will need:
  • 1 (4″ x 6″) blue magnetic frame
  • White adhesive-backed foam letters
  • Green foam caterpillar
  • Green-blue foam dragonfly
  • Opal and blue glitter glues
  • Black, blue, and white foam markers
  • 4″ silver 22-gauge non-tarnish wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Round-nose pliers
  1. Outline the circles on the caterpillar body with a marker, alternating white and blue. Draw a smile and antennae. Use glitter glue to accent the body. Glue the caterpillar to the frame.
  2. Outline the white letters with a blue marker and stick them to the frame.
  3. Cut the wire into two 2″ pieces. Make antennae by turning a loop with round-nose pliers into each wire end, then swirl. Poke the other end directly into the dragonfly’s head. Add details onto the dragonfly (A) and stick it to the frame.
Summer is our favorite time to work on crafts and projects. We hope you have some memorable family craft time during the vacation break. Get crafty with your copies of Vacation Crafting and Foam Crafts for Kids. And please share any crafty things you make from these books – tag us on Instagram at @FoxChapelPub or Facebook at @FoxChapelPublishing!

Craft Books For Kids

Vacation Crafting Designed to keep the kids busy during vacation downtime, Vacation Crafting offers enjoyable projects for everyone in the family. Inspired by the classic crafts that you made in summer camp, kids will make friendship bracelets, woven potholders, pony bead animals, plastic lanyards, wire art, rubber band jewelry, foam crafts, scoubidou, paracord gear, and more. Vacation Crafting provides more than 150 child-friendly projects with color photos, easy-to-follow instructions, and full size patterns. This big book also provides a sure way to liven up parties, scout meetings, rainy days, camp activities, and after-school activities. Buy the Book Foam Crafts for Kids  Filled with over 100 crafts for preschoolers or kindergarteners, Foam Crafts for Kids has simple step-by-step project instructions with traceable patterns. Craft foam is super easy and avoids the mess that goes along with painting and other crafts! With just a handful of skills and techniques taught in this book, children will soon be making their own stylish bags, room decor, accessories, masks, animal puppets, and more! Buy the Book

Other Kids Crafting Books

Tree Craft - 35 rustic projects that bring the outdoors in

Totally Awesome Tie-Dye

This book will give you a great introduction to tie dye while also teaching you the popular tie dye techniques, including ice dyeing, crumple dyeing, and shibori.  All you need to get started are inexpensive materials like fabric, string, rubber bands, a bucket and kettle, and dye. Totally Awesome Tie-Dye offers an array of stylish step-by-step projects that go way beyond t-shirts to include socks, scarves, mittens, sneakers, home décor, and more.
The Little Book of Whittling

Pots of Fun for Everyone, Revised and Expanded Edition

Terra-cotta or clay posts are an inexpensive blank canvas that can be decorated in many different ways – 48 projects to be exact! These adorable pot projects are perfect for kids and group crafting.  From holiday favorites like Santa, Uncle Sam, and the Easter Bunny to animal figures and quick party flavors, you will find cute projects that are quick and easy to make.