Easy DIY Otter Magnet

Crafting with kids is a great way to pass the time and exercise your creative muscles. Being a crafty mom, I enjoy spending time with my kids this way, and I enjoy it, even more, when I get the chance to create along with them. So here is an easy DIY that you can do along with your kids with nothing more than a little bit of oven baked clay, a toothpick, a hot glue gun and a magnet.

To make this project I used brown, black, white and blue clay.

First I took some brown clay and divided it into two portions. In the larger portion, I added some black clay to darken it and in the smaller portion, I lightened it with white.

I rolled it together so that it was combined but you could still see the different coloursĀ in the clay. I like the realistic effect.

The larger portion is divided into a tear-shaped body, two very small balls for ears and a longĀ snake shape.

The smaller portion is divided into a smaller tear shaped belly, two cheeks, and a head.

Use a toothpick to create a fur texture on the head and body of the otter.

Divide the snake shape into five equal lengths. Shape them into rounded ends and attach as the limbs and tail.

Add two small black eyes and a larger nose.

Now grab some blue clay with a small amount of black and white. Combine but don’t overmix. Flatten into a circle and attach your otter.

Bake according to the directions for your clay. Allow to cool and attach a magnet with a hot glue gun.

 

 

What the (S)hell??? Getting crafty with my momster

After a winter down south. my momster has finally returned to Canada after escaping our frigid winter. Of course she came home to plenty of snow and freezing temperatures and of course I took my first opportunity to bring the kids up for a visit.

Not only is my mom’s house a great refuge for the kids, but it is also a perfect place for me to rest my weary bones after three motherless months. Not only was there plenty of homemade food on the menu (any food I don’t need to make is good food) but also red wine which is always very much needed by the mid-point of March break.)

Craft time

The next morning my mom announced we would be crafting. Now my mom will occasionally be creative (we decorate gingerbread houses every year) but we don’t often sit down to make a mess on purpose at grandma’s house. Let’s just say Grandma’s house is full of many expensive things that I often have to remind my children not to touch. Every time my mom allows my children into her home she is actually rolling the dice on an insurance claim.

So when it came time to start this craft project my mom surprised me by leading us into this secret room in her basement set up with folding tables and covered in shells. I was able to glean that the project we were about to attempt consisted of gluing shells to a piece of styrofoam with hot glue. I quickly realized that a) this was not a craft designed for my four, six and seven-year-old and b) I was expected to take this monstrosity home once constructed.

Control freak crafter

So I tucked in to create this structure. I was partnered with my two younger children who were unable to help due to the high possibility of third-degree burns from the hot glue gun and my inner control freak need to make sure this god-awful tacky piece was going to be executed to my specifications.

Since my mom had gathered all the ingredients for this project, she decided that my two nieces and I would construct our sculptures in the shape of a Christmas tree and then pulled her own ‘special’ supplies. Not only was she making a half moon candle holder, but she would be gifting this monstrosity. Even with her hand-picked shells, upgraded shape and candle, she gave up about 20 minutes in realizing this was the kind of gift that could end a friendship.

Our ranks start to crumble

As the hours dragged on, the kids slowly melted away. I simply took a meal break and returned as Shelly (as my creation was later named) began to take form. My mom became my second in command, searching for the smaller shells to fill holes while I threatened to gift her Shelly for mother’s day.

“You know Melissa, people will pay good money for these in Florida. They cost $240 US in stores.”

“Well mom, you can take Shelly with you next year and set up a booth on the beach.”

Once complete, my mom tried unsuccessfully to convince me that Shelly was beautiful and I tried unsuccessfully to leave Shelly on her mantel.

The funniest part of the whole thing is that all it took was naming the statue for my kids to become attached. They were seriously bummed I wouldn’t display Shelly on the coffee table and fought over who got to have her ‘sleep’ in her room. I finally had to settle the fight by putting her in a place of honour in her guest bathroom for all to see.

So, of course, I felt the need to write this blog to explain Shelly and how she came to be. My mom still may get a special gift for mother’s day this year.