Chicagoland Field Trips
Craft Ideas - A to Z
Plastic Canvas Scented Heart
From: Jannette Knieling
Ages: Junior, Cadette, Senior (note: some brownies are capable of doing plastic canvas and some juniors can't seem to get it - you will have to judge the ability of the girls you have)
- 2 - 4" X 4" pieces of Plastic Needlepoint Canvas
- blunt tapestry needle
- 2 colors of yarn
- potpourri tea bag
- 1/8th inch ribbon (2 pieces, each about 8 inches)
- 14" of pregathered lace or eyelet
I am attempting to include an ascii graph of how the heart should be cut from the plastic canvas. Each square on the graph is a square on the plastic canvas. In case the chart doesn't come out correctly, cut the plastic canvas into a heart shape, you can use a paper heart as a guide, just be sure to leave whole squares on the canvas. Your plastic canvas heart will be a little straighter or have a few corners as compared to your paper heart.
You need to stitch both plastic canvas hearts using the main color of yarn and slanted goblin stitch working towards the center of the heart. A "V" will form in the middle of the heart. Slanted goblin is worked on a diagonal over 3 holes (one start, over one completely, end one). If you are not sure of this stitch, send me an e-mail and I will see if I can explain it better. When you have the goblin stitch finished, you do a running stitch down the center of the heart (top to bottom) using contrasting yarn. The running stitch should cover 1 hole of the plastic canvas, then there would be a space before the next stitch. When you are finished with both parts of the heart, hold them with wrong sides together and whip stitch or overcast the 2 pieces together about half way around using the contrasting yarn. Place the potpourri tea bag in the center. If you don't have the potpourri tea bags, you could make some using tulle and potpourri. Finish overcasting the 2 pieces together.
To finish, glue lace around the outside edge of the back. Then add a bow to the top using one piece of the 1/8th inch ribbon. Use the 2nd piece of ribbon to make a loop and attach to the top to hang the heart.
I hope this explained well enough for all to understand. You will probably think of doing this in reds, pinks and whites for Valentine's day, but you can use any colors you would like, perhaps to do for a Mother's Day gift or an ornament for Christmas, and so on. If anyone has any questions, please send and e-mail and I will try to answer them.
From: ELShafer / Troop 636, Council of the Colonial Coast
We used the 4" clay pot bottom and put a layer of popourri(can't remember how to spell it) in the bottom. I used apple cinnamon scented. We glued a circle of fine netting on top to seal it. I cut thin strips of brown felt and the girls wove those on top to make it look like a crust. The ends were glued to the rim. As a final touch I cut the stems off very small artificial cherries and those were glued to the center. These are nice gifts or Mother's Day presents.
From: Gail Faulkner / NW Georgia GS Council
Ages: 6 & up
- Access to an oven
- Smooth stones or rocks, about the size of a paperweight
- Damp rag or brush
- Cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil
- Pot holders
- Old, broken crayons (try gold and silver)
- A soft rag
If the rocks are dirty, clean them with a brush or damp rag. Let them dry. Place them on a cookie sheet covered with aluminum foil.
With an adult's help, put the cookie sheet into an oven set at 200 degrees. Let the stones "bake" for 2 hours. While you wait, cover the table with a thick layer of newspapers.
After 2 hours, take the cookie sheet out of the oven. Using a pot holder, place the rocks onto the newspaper. Always use a pot holder when touching the rocks.
To make designs, press down with the crayons on the tops of the hot rocks right away, letting the wax melt. To draw pictures, like flowers or fish, let the rocks cool for about 5 minutes before you draw on them.
Put the finished rocks back on the cookie sheet. Let them cool overnight. The next day, polish each rock with a soft rag until it looks shiny. This will take a minute or two.
I have done this with 5 and 6 year olds and the results are beautiful. These make great Father's Day gifts or end of year gifts for teachers.
From: Beth Katcher - Patriots Trail
- Magazines or Catalogues
- White glue
- Rolling tools: any long thin object such as a knitting needle, toothpick, pickup stick . . .
Make sure that no one is still reading the magazine or catalogue you've picked for this project. Tear out the most colorful pages. It doesn't matter if the edges are jagged. (I like to use catalogs ranging from the Metropolitan Museum to L.L. Bean.)
Use the pencil and ruler to make a mark every half inch along the side of the page. Don't move the paper! Move the ruler and mark every half inch along the other side.
Now connect the marks to make triangle shapes. Put one end of the ruler at the bottom left corner of the paper. Move the other end of the ruler to the first mark on the right side of the page. Now draw a line connecting the two points.
Keep the right side of the ruler where it is. Slide the left side up to the second mark (skip the first mark!). Draw a line connecting the two marks.
Continue zigzagging the ruler across the page. Always skip one mark! When you're done, cut along the lines. Except for two sections, you'll have long thin triangles. Keep the triangles and throw away the oddly shaped sections. Remember, each triangle will make one bead and you need about 30 beads for a necklace. So mark and cut several pages of triangles.
Examine each triangle. One side of the paper will be more colorful than the other. Place the triangle so that the colorful side faces the table.
Take the rolling tool you have and place it at the bottom of one of the triangles. Fold the end up. Place the rolling tool against the edge of the fold. Now roll the triangle up! As you roll, make sure the point of the triangle stays in the center. Stop rolling before you get to the tip of the triangle. Use a toothpick to put a small dot of glue on the tip of the triangle. Now finish rolling.
Pull the rolled paper off the rolling tool. You've made a bead! Put it aside and make more.
EXPERIMENT! It's nice to have beads that are the same thickness in a necklace. But experiment with rolling tools that are thinner or thicker. When you find the one that is the right size for your hand, stay with it. Keep going until you have a pile of 30 beads.
Thread a needle with about 40 inches of thread (double it if the thread is thin). Make a knot at the end of the thread and string the beads onto the thread. When you're done, knot the two ends together. Use the scissor to cut the ends close You now have a great gift. Make an extra special card to go with it!
OTHER IDEAS: Try different papers such as origami paper or gift wrap, even aluminum foil. Alternate paper beads with real beads. Or try making small paper beads and putting them on safety pins; then thread through the end of the safety pin so the latch end hangs down with the side that opens hidden against you -- it makes a very decorative look.
From: Jeannie Dixon
Ages: All; very easy to do but can be as complicated as the girls want
- Paper plates (not styrofoam) (10-12 inch plates)
- Hole punch (hand held)
- Narrow paper ribbon with 'ridges'; several different colors (looks something like cordurory)
- Markers or crayons or paints (we found that broad-tipped markers worked best)
Cut approximately 4" from the rim of the plate (depends on who will wear the bonnet; you want this to fit snugly on the head without using pins)
Cut out the solid center of the plate. The plate should now resemble a big "C"
Color broad bands of different colors around the entire plate, starting at the opening and going around the plate (when you have finished the coloring, it should look like a rainbow)
Punch one hole in the center of each end of the plate
Insert ribbon (cut to about 5 or 6 inches and curled) and loop thru to secure to the plate
Place the bonnet on your head and party!
This can be a great rainy day activity for all ages. You could get really creative and glue cotton balls on for clouds, etc.
STYROFOAM MEAT AND FISH TRAYS act like Shrink Art. Cut and color them first and then place in oven and shrink.
FILM CANISTERS (try Sam's Club and Price Club...they always have millions of them) can be made into an Oscar the Grouch SWAP just by using a green pom pon glued to the cannister and the lid glued on top of the pom pon like a hat.
Try using those SMALL PAPER CUPS used for catsup in fast food places (ie: Wendys). You pull apart the sides and the cup opens up into a flower that can be decorated.
How about using STRAWS cut up with wiggle eyes to become worms?
COMMUNION CUPS can be turned into sundaes with pom pon balls and a coffee stir stick as the straw.
TOOTHPICKS can be turned into miniature God's Eyes.
BOTTLE TOPS and FLIPS TOPS FROM SODA CANS can be glued together and sprayed black to become little frying pans (don't forget to paint in the fried eggs!).
PLASTIC MILK BOTTLE LIDS can be turned into a picture frame just by gluing a picture off of used GIFT WRAP or WALLPAPER into the center.
Cut up the PLASTIC MILK BOTTLES into the shape of little sunglasses and glue colored celophane to one side.
Turn clothes pins into works of art buy gluing collages of PLASTIC SODA 6PAK HOLDERS that have been cut up and spray painted, WALLPAPER, PUZZLE PIECES... lots of things-just add color and glitter to any piece of trash!
Enjoy your SWAPing!! :}
From: Sue Hough
You buy sheets of thin craft foam, several colors, and peel-and-stick magnetic strips that can be cut into any size (a good-sized craft store should have both of these). Then you can get markers, plastic eyes, crafts/fabric paints, whatever, to do the decorations. You can use pencil to draw an outline on the foam, either freehand or using a cookie-cutter, cut out the shape, stick a piece of magnet on the back, and decorate.
It's a neat craft because even a 5-yr old can make something useful and cute, and older kids can get as sophisticated as they wish.
"Sand Art" Candles
From: Lynn Whited - Junior Troop 401 / Seven Lakes Girl Scout Council
Ages: Juniors, Cadettes, Seniors. Brownies could do the 'art' but would need help handling the melted paraffin
- Clear glass containers (juice glasses work well)
- beads of wax in different colors
Melt some paraffin, then dip the string in it, to make the wick. Allow the string to dry. (This can be done ahead of time). Cut a piece of wick to fit the container.
Make a design by pouring different colors of wax in the container. "Mountains" are made by pouring more of a color at the edge of the glass than in the center. Then using a different color to fill. Downward streaks are created by putting a skewer in along the side of the glass, to the desired depth, then pulling towards the center of the glass as you pull out the skewer.
When the glass is full seal with a layer of paraffin. You can decorate the paraffin by adding small amounts of the beaded wax before the paraffin cools.
You can use stickers on the outside of the glass to add to you design.
Sea Shell Animals
From: Sharon Hahn Junior Troop 2601 Leesburg, VA GSCNC
- 1 bag mixed small sea shells - all shapes
- googly eyes
- pipe cleaners
- hot glue gun
Letting girls use their imagination, create "animals", adding eyes and small pieces of pipe cleaners for antennae. May add other small items like eye glasses, etc. We made turtles and they were sooo cute. Added glasses to each.
Great September activity, when still warm outside. Junior and above.
Seasonal Windows Stickers
From: Sue Moore-Vest
Ages: for ages 7 & up (depending on ability to handle fabric paints)
- Wax paper
- black dimensional paint (most fabric paints will work)
- Hand-drawn or reproduced outline of a bat, about 2 - 3" long
Tape pattern down to table. Cut square of wax paper a little larger than pattern. Tape down over pattern.
Using black dimensional paint, outline bat. Fill in with more black paint. If desired, smooth surface with a toothpick held sideways. Can also clean up slips using a toothpick.
Let dry at least 24 hours! do not succumb to the temptation to try to lift the lift the image early as the underside takes longer to dry. After 24 hours, gently lift image off wax paper. You can reuse the pattern, but don't reuse the wax paper. If some of the wax paper sticks to image, gently scrape away with fingernail.
To hang on windows: Clean windows, dampen lightly with water and press the image onto the window. Sticking power is affected by the temperature.
Have fun with your imagination on these! You can create entire scenes, with each person contributing a portion, and you can substitue any designs you like.
Shell Wind Chimes
From: Bonnie Sedore
Ages: Daisy & up
- 8 seashells (find at craft store)
- plastic coffee-can lid
- paper punch
Glue each shell to the end of a short piece of yarn. Dry completely. Punch 8 holes equally spaced on the top of lid. With lid rim facing up push the yarn (with shell at other end) up through hole. Make a knot in yarn bigger than the hole. Punch 2 more holes in opposite end of the lid, push one end of a longer piece of yarn from the top of the lid tie a knot on the underside of he lid. Repeat on other side of lid.
Sloppy Project T's
From: Kyna Hendra - Santa Clara County
Ages: any (although Jr. High age might take offense if you suggest they might be sloppy)
- T- Shirts
- fabric paints
- markers, etc.
I asked all the kids to bring a T from home (adult L or XL) or to bring $1.50 to pay for Tees I got at the local thrift store (I also designated some of my thrift store Tees as 'cover' for this project)
Make sure the artist is covered, and that their name is in or on the shirt. Cover the work surface and let them design their own 'sloppy project covering!
Allow to dry for at least 24 hours before you attempt to put this project away. We keep them at the meeting place, so they're always there when we need them! Fabric paint won't wash out once it dries and I have never been able to remove it without damaging the fabric. Remember, for the younger kids, this may be their first exposure to fabric paints and they may have no idea how to use them. I suggest that you secure help on this day, and allow the kids to work two or three (at the most) at a time.
Slow Motion Ocean
take a clear soda/water bottle (apx 20 oz - 1 ltr)
Fill half with baby oil (mineral oil), and half with water with a few drops of food coloring in it. (I actually prefer a little less water). Screw on cap tightly!! Rotate on side up & down, and watch the waves.
(compliments of Jennifer, Cadette Troop 70)
Judy in Savannah, GA
From: Sue Moore-Vest
- Styrofoam cups (plain white, small size)
- a cookie sheet
- an oven
- paint, markers, ribbons, glue, etc
Place cups upside-down on foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake in 325 degree oven until they have shrunk down and the edges have curled up to look like a sombrero. Remove, let cool, decorate.
I would suggest doing the shrinking ahead of time at home (or have a couple of moms to do it for you), and make sure you have good ventilation as the cups give off fumes when heated (makes you feel good about drinking hot chocolate out of one, huh :) )
Sniff & Smell
From: Bonnie Sedore
Ages: Brownie (Daisy with assistance)
- Lime or lemon
- whole cloves
- work space covering
Very carefully push pointed ends of cloves into fruit until it's covered. Sprinkle lots of cinnamon over the cloves. You can roll the fruit in the excess. Tie a ribbon around the fruit & make a bow at the top. ( you may want to tie another ribbon around the fruit so it won't slip out) Hang fruit in the kitchen for a wonderful smell.
From: Molly Orchardo
Ages: Fun for all ages
- muslin squares (15-18" square works well)
- branch or twig to hang from
- yarn for hanger
- pretty shaped leaves
- poster paints, washable a good idea
- toothbrushes or pine cones to use as paint appliers
Directions: Tape leaves onto muslin, one large leaf is stunning put puddle of paint onto washable surface dip broken pine cone into paint and dab one color after another onto muslin around leaf you end up with all the fall colors blending together in spatter mode around the outline of the leaf.
Notes: My daughter did this in 4-yr old preschool and I did it again in camp with 6yr-olds and several teen aides tried it, they all loved it. My daughter's is still hanging in our kitchen 3 years later! This makes a very inexpensive fall hanging. Remember to put the artists name and year of creation! You could also use toothbrushes to spatter if pine cones aren't available.
Squirrels a sleepin' Ornament
From: Lori Woodfield
Ages: Kind of tedious, probably best for older Juniors.
- 1/2 of a walnut shell
- 2" square of plaid flannel
- 4- 5mm tan pom poms
- 2- 3/4 tan pom pom
- 1 pair 5mm plastic animals eyes
- 1- 3mm black bead
- one bump of tan or brown chenille
- cotton ball
- white thread, needle
- low temp glue
For the cradle, glue cotton ball inside half walnut shell at the rounded end.
For the neck, glue one large pom pom on inside of shell at the pointed end. For tail, bend narrow end of chenille bump to resemble a squirrel's tail; bend tail in an upward curl.
To form blanket, fold over 1/4" twice along one edge of fabric. With folded edge near neck, glue edges of blanket over sides of shell; trim excess fabric.
For the head, glue large pom pom on top of neck. For paws, glue one small pom pom on top of blanket on each side of head. For ears, glue one small pom pom near the top on each side of the head. Glue eyes to front of face; glue black bead nose to bottom of face so nose rests on blankets edge.
To hang, thread a needle with a single strand of white thread. Insert needle through blanket at center side edge; take a 1" stitch and bring needle out to other side. Cut both strands of thread to 5"; tie ends in an overhand knot to form a loop.
Our troop made these last year and they are soooo cute.
Stained-Glass Votive Holders
From: Gail Branum
- Cut up a lot of different colored tissue paper into small pieces.
- Make a diluted solution of Elmer's glue and water that is spreadable with a large paint brush.
- "Paint" the jars with the glue/water solution and then put the tissue paper on the area. Overlap the pieces so no jar area is exposed.
- When the jar is covered with tissue paper scraps, re-paint the whole jar with the glue/water solution to seal the paper.
- Let dry.
- When dry, touch up any areas that look bare using the same techniques as above. Insert a votive candle into the jar. ENJOY!
We have given these as Mother's Day presents, used them in candle ceremonies, and used them in numerous other ways over the years.
From: Annierap / Chicago Council
Ages: For all levels - Simple enough even for Daisies
We got a donation of paper and envelopes from a printer and some Christmas Stamps and regular stamps. We had the girls "stamp" the upper right hand corners and package in zip lock bags and sold it as stationary. We also did some with Dogs and Bunnies as well. We sold a lot!
I did have to sort through and pull out some lesser quality ones but all in all they did a great job.
They counted them out as sets too to reinforce their counting skills. We donated some back to the printer who thought it was great his leftovers were being put to good use.
From: JPluskota - Milwaukee, WI
"Here is something really neat that the girls enjoyed. Make one for yourself first and read the additional notes that I've added to the bottom after making a few of them. I had my girls make these on a campout when they were camping with an older troop when bridging. My girls were 3rd grade brownie and the other troop was 6th grade Juniors. This year my daughter is in 6th grade (middle school) and she took a instruction and a harmonica (refreshing her mind again how to make them) to her 6th grade teacher where the whole class made them for science studying sound. Math teachers would also like this project. The terrific point of this "craft" is it's a toy that works but it's quiet."
- Soda straws - Get the straws from McDonald's. They're wider and taller than others and you need the tall ones.)
- a ruler that shows centimeters
- masking tape
- a Sharpie. (A Sharpie is a permanent maker that can write on the masking tape.
Cut the straws to the following length. Put spacer straws between each note. Tape all the straws together with masking tape across the whole group and write the notes on the tape above the proper straw.
C D E F G A B C
20 cm 17.8 cm 16 cm 15 cm 13.3 cm 12 cm 10.7 cm 10 cm
Try these for melodies: EDC D EEE DDD EGG / EDC D EEE DDD EDC
CC GG AA G FF EE DDC / GG FF EE D GG FF EED / CC GG AA G FF EE DDC
- Go to McDonald's and ask for the donation of straws. If you make one first (it takes 15 straws) and show them, you will bring smiles on their faces and that of the nearby customers.
- As an adult, I can make a harmonica alone. As girls, they will need two girls to help each other just for the taping of them together.
- It's mainly an individual project except for the taping. It's great because the girls do not need anyone to tell them if they do wrong. Playing a sharp or flat note will let them know that they cut a straw improperly. However, it's easy enough to fix just by cutting the proper straw and replacing.
- Scotch tape will work but not as well as masking tape (my opinion).
- Spacer straws are about a half inch lower than the notes. You do not want to blow into spacer straws.
- Once you have the straws cut, 8 of them, lay them on the table in order of the cutting. Put a spacer about a half inch lower than the top of each note. With the straws touching and immediately next to each other, place the masking tape across all 15 straws, flip over and another strip of masking tape across the back. There's your harmonica.
- You blow into the harmonica lightly like a soda bottle.
Sunflower Wall Hanging
From: Celia Modell
Ages: Appropriate for 8-11 years
- one package of multiple color chenille (fuzzy pipecleaners) for each
- sunflower one package of red chenille strips cut into quarters (used for mouth)
- one styrofoam circle (2 inches thick and 6 inches diameter)
- one pair of 1-inch goggly eyes (movable eyes) for each sunflower
- strip of long eyelashes (one pkg makes about 4 sunflowers) cut to fit over eyes
- hot glue gun and glue sticks
Stick chenille strips into edges of styrofoam putting ends evenly spaced around outsides of circle (each end will be about 3-4 inches apart). When done, it will look like a sunflower. Stick strip of eyelids over each eye and hot glue to front of styrofoam circles. Glue one quarter section of red chenille curved into a smile to make the mouth on the front of the circle.
The example I saw were mounted on yellow foam board. We didn't mount ours attached wire to the top and made them wall hangings. One girl used the red chenille to make a circle and then cut out musical notes to hang beside it so her sunflower was singing.
Tin Punch Ornaments
From: Mary Harrison - Va. Beach, Va., Jr Troop 466
- Juice lids
- Hammer and nail
- lace and string/yarn hanger
Cut out paper circles the size of the lid and let each girl draw a simple design on it (for young Brownies, provide simple designs of stars, gingerbread men/girls, etc.) Tape the circle to the lid. Put lid overtop of a block of wood, give each girl a hammer and nail. They "tin-punch" the design. BTW, this ties in very nicely with the Shadow try-it. The girls LOVE to hammer and will want to do more than one. You can glue gun lace around the outside edge and attach a string/yarn hanger, but it's not necessary for a nice result.
I also saw a variation of this done with canning lids at a GS event at one of our local museums -- hands-on activity for "tin-punch".
From: Darlene Pitman - Rancho Rains SU, Brownie Troop 1084
Ages: Makes a nice Daisy or Brownie Service Project
- Several bags of multicolored, multi-sized, pom poms. Be sure to get a few large ones.
- Wiggly Eyes
- Pipe cleaners
- Any leftover craft goodies; lace, ribbon, popsicle sticks, styrofoam, anything!
- low-temp glue guns
Put all the materials out on a table. Then let the girls make little pom-pom creatures, the only rules being that they must use at least one eye, and that the creature should have 'feet' to stand. Make 'feet' from bent pipe cleaners or cut felt. They get very creative. As soon as one is done, make another. Use the entire meeting to make as many as possible. Display them all and then bag them and donate to a hospital that has a pediatric ward for use as tray favors.
From: Patti Scanlan
Supplies: (for each)
- Felt - any color
- 3 pom-poms - any color (size depends on size you want your fuzzy)
- wiggle eyes (proportioned to pom pom size)
Glue 3 pom-poms to felt right next to each other. Cut felt around pom-poms so that you have a 'pom-pom worm' (IE -don't cut pom-poms out individually... cut felt around all pom-poms) glue on wiggle eyes
"Warm Fuzzies are meant to be *GIVEN* away as swaps or to nursing homes, hospitals, etc., they should be pinned to your shoulder so that you always have a "warm fuzzy friend" to keep you company".
From: Susan Harrington / Hoosier Capitol Girl Scout Council
- awl (or hammer and nail)
- tops from frozen orange juice cans
- most anything else you could want to hang down
Punch holes in the OJ tops--one in the middle for a piece of yarn to hang the whole wind chime from, others around the edge of the rim for hanging the "chimes" down. Knot yarn through the holes, and then tie other OJ lids to the yarn, or found objects from camp, drawings, whatever you'd like. Use the center piece of yarn to hand the chime up indoors or out.
Zig Zag Card
From: Hallie Hawkins - Palm Glades GSC in Florida
- Paper- colored
- paints, markers or other decorative stuff
GSRC Craft Archive
Scouting File Cabinet
- Cut a long strip of thick paper (approx. 16 inches long)
- Fold this into 4 equal parts.
- Draw the outline of a simple shape like a dog or caterpillar or train or snake or pencil. Cut out the shape.
- Decorate as required with pens, makers or paints or stickers and have the children write a message to someone they love thanking them for something.
- Fold the card up and bring envelopes that will fit the card so the kids can give the cards to whomever they choose.