No-Sew Fabric Scrap Birds Craft

We’ve been desperate for spring around here.  I’ve been intentionally trying to appreciate the beauty of winter, but we are so eager to experience the outdoors at our new home.  I can’t wait for my garden, for the kids to explore the woods in our backyard, and for laundry dried in the sunshine.  Sigh.

In order to bring a little spring time into our home, we came up with this super easy fabric scrap birds craft.  This is great because you can use up scrap fabric you already have at home in your stash!  This project was really easy for my three year old to do.  I pre-cut all the pieces to make the project go more smoothly.

Main pic

Materials

  • Scrap fabric for bird body, wing, legs, and beak
  • Circle to trace (I used a 3 cup Pyrex container lid)
  • Glue
  • Eye (googly eye, button, use your imagination!)
  • Twine or string
  • Hot glue gun

Instructions

  1. Trace a circle onto your scrap fabric and cut it out.
  2. Cut out your wing, legs, and beak.  The wing I cut is basically a half-oval, the beak is a triangle, and the legs are simple rectangles.
  3. Fold your circle in half so that the fabric creases slightly.  The “right side” of the fabric should be out.  This will help guide you as to where to apply the glue.
  4. Apply glue along the edge of half of your circle.

Glue

4.  Place your beak near the fabric crease and your legs near the bottom of the circle.

Legs,beak added

5.  Add a little more glue on top of the beak and legs.

Close up legs and beak

6.  Fold the top of your circle down, line it up with the glue, and pat it down.

Patting down

8.  Glue your wing and eye down to your bird.

Finished

9.  This step is optional.  I used hot glue to glue a piece of twine to the back of the bird for hanging.

Glue string

10.  Enjoy your bird!  The opportunities with this are endless.  Add a wing and beak to both sides!  Add feathers or other embellishments!  Have fun!

Basic Calendula Oil Infusion

I’ve found this very simple calendula oil infusion very helpful in treating a variety of my family’s ailments. It is incredibly easy to make and may be stored for up to a year in a tight-sealing jar out of direct sunlight.

Recently, I used my calendula oil infusion to treat a rash my son came down with at daycare. I wanted to make a more comprehensive balm to treat his rash, however, I knew making the balm would take all night (allowing the herbs to infuse via the heat method) and I wanted to provide some immediate relief. I applied calendula oil infusion to his rash. Within an hour, the rash had disappeared.

I’ve also used this calendula infused oil to treat mild diaper rash, dry skin, and minor cuts and scrapes. It is easy to make, stores well, and is extremely effective.

Sun Infusion

This is the best way to make calendula infused oil. By not heating the calendula flowers, you are ensuring that none of the qualities of the herb are destroyed. The downside to this method is that it takes several weeks.

Supplies

  • Dried calendula flower heads
  • Liquid carrier oil (olive, sunflower, or castor are good choices)
  • Glass jar with tight sealing lid
  • Cheesecloth

Instructions

  1. Ensure your glass jar is clean and completely dry.
  2. Fill the glass jar with flower heads. Leave roughly one to two inches of head space above the flower heads.
  3. Pour the liquid carrier oil on top of the flower heads. The oil should cover the flower heads by about an inch.
  4. Place the lid on the jar and ensure it is on tight.
  5. Place the jar in a sunny location. Allow the infusion to sit for at least four weeks.
  6. Strain the oil infusion through cheese cloth to remove flower heads. The resulting oil should have no visible flower head parts in it.
  7. Store the infusion for up to a year in a tight-sealing jar away from sunlight.

Heat Infusion

This method for creating an infusion is not as effective as the sun method. However, it has the benefit of being much quicker. Although the heat may destroy some of the beneficial qualities of the calendula flower, it will still have many healing properties.

Supplies

  • Dried calendula flower heads
  • Liquid carrier oil (olive, sunflower, or castor are good choices)
  • Glass jar with tight sealing lid
  • Cheesecloth
  • Small sauce pan

Instructions

  1. Ensure your glass jar is clean and completely dry.
  2. Fill the glass jar with flower heads. Leave roughly one to two inches of head space above the flower heads.
  3. Pour the liquid carrier oil on top of the flower heads. The oil should cover the flower heads by about an inch.
  4. Dump the entire contents of the glass jar into the small sauce pan. Use a spatula to get all of the oil out.
  5. Allow the infusion to simmer on low heat for at least two hours. The longer the infusion is allowed to sit, the better. Stir the infusion occasionally.
  6. Strain the oil infusion through cheese cloth to remove flower heads. The resulting oil should have no visible flower head parts in it.
  7. Store the infusion for up to a year in a tight-sealing jar away from sunlight.

This recipe represents my first attempt at using herbal medicine.  However, it is a recipe I go back to again and again as it is so versatile as well as effective.  I love the way making these medicines makes me feel connected to the earth and self-sufficient!

Super Easy Salt Dough Garland

This was so easy and I’m so happy with the results!  Our fireplaces looks festive and colorful and I love having the kids’ artwork displayed in the house.

close up of painting

I started the project by making salt dough ornaments.  I used a cookie cutter to make the snowflake shape.  There are several salt dough recipes online – I honestly can’t even remember which one I used!

After drying the salt dough, I allowed both kids to paint the salt dough snowflakes however they wanted.  To be honest, I was a bit stingy with the paint colors I allowed them.  I wanted the snowflakes to look a bit more wintery, so I put more blues and greens and whites on the plate than reds and yellows.  Ender did end up asking for more colors, and that was fine.  The extra colors look nice!

After the paint dried, I cut a piece of twine about the length of our fireplace mantle.  I glued the first snowflake in the middle of the twine, then glued the next two at either end of the length of twine.  Then I divided the remaining snowflakes in two equal groups.

The rest of the snowflakes were glued onto the twine fairly evenly spaced.  I didn’t measure or something.  I just used a dot of hot glue to glue each snowflake.  I added the glue at the top of one of the snowflake legs so they’d hang down.

close up of glue

After allowing the glue to dry, added small loops to each end of twine.  This is for hanging.

knot

Our fireplace has little eye hooks underneath it for hanging.  You can’t see them, but they’ve been incredibly useful for many things (like hanging stockings!).

I draped the twine over the little eye hooks and secured the ends with the little loops I had tied.

Tada!

Garland on fireplace

I love, love, LOVE it!  I can’t wait until the kids get home and see it!