I have mixed feelings about crafts.
I love it when they keep my kids busy, but I am easily flustered by the mess that ensues. And as a bit of a neat-freak, I am certainly not a fan of the junk that is often produced.
As I'm sure many a parent can attest to, there is enough junk accumulating in my house as it is. So when a craft project produces something to control the clutter, instead of contributing to it, I'm all in!
We have a subscription to a Disney princess magazine, and every time it arrives in the mail, I cringe as my daughter gets all excited about the not-so-easy-
to-make-with-materials-I-don't-usually-have-in-my-house craft that is featured that month.
Fortunately, my daughters recently got excited about a jewellery castle that they saw in a princess craft book. It looked relatively easy, and it seemed like a good solution to our growing beaded necklace* and kids' jewellery problem.** Plus, it was a great feeling to actually volunteer to make a craft with them, and then to sit down and help them with it. A welcome change from my normal groan and 'maybe-on-the-weekend' response I usually give when they ask about a craft project.
*For the record, I think beads and necklace- and bracelet-making are great craft-y activities for kids. Except for inevitable spillage of beads all over the
floor. But that point aside, it keeps even my attention-challenged daughter focused on a task that ends up producing something that serves a purpose. Of course, we are amassing a large collection of beaded jewellery, but at least it is something that can be worn, put away easily or given as gifts.
**I also want to note that each daughter does have her own music-box style jewellery box, but as these have been subject to a lot of wear and tear, the figurine is either bent out of shape, broken or missing. And the boxes aren't quite big enough to contend with our growing collection.
So, for our shoebox jewellery castle project:
- We took some grown-up sized shoe boxes and covered them with card stock or construction paper. This seemed easier and more time efficient than painting them.
- Empty paper towel and toilet paper rolls were used to make the towers.
- Turrets were made by taking a semi-circle of card stock and gluing the folded cone into place.
- The favourite part, of course, was decorating with stickers for the windows, and jewels to make it fancy.
So while the swathing of necklaces across the turrets can look a little messy, it's a small sacrifice for knowing how much more jewellery is hidden inside!