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Family Craft Ideas

with Leah

I'm Leah--wife, mother, editor, writer, photographer, and rickrack apologist. There's craftiness in my DNA, but between the kids and my work and the house and the television and my blogs (http://www.agirlandaboy and http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workingonmotherhood, among others), I have to keep my projects quick and easy if I hope to finish them before my boys (born December 2008 and July 2012) graduate from college. You're a working mom and you're busy too, but if you still want to get your craft on, join me here for some fun projects!

Seasonal Craft: Autumn Thumbprint Trees

Categories: ink, markers, paper, stamps

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According to my calendar, autumn began last Sunday. (Did you miss it? I missed it.) If you live somewhere that has normal seasons, you’re probably reading this between sipping a pumpkin latte and browsing for new boots while the leaves turn colors and flutter to the ground outside your window. If you live somewhere else, may I suggest you follow this guide for making pretty fall trees that will help your home feel more like autumn, even if you’re still wearing shorts and flip-flops.

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What you’ll need:

–paper
–brown marker
–ink pad
–baby wipes

I’m usually drawn to creative projects that have practical uses or are functionally decorative (whatever that means), but this time I’m giving you just a regular old crafty craft craft, like the kind we all made when we were kids and Pinterest was not silently judging our mothers. It’s quick, easy, pretty, fun, and festive for [f]all.

Step 1. Use a brown marker to draw a tree trunk on a piece of paper. I used nice, thick scrapbook paper cut lengthwise and folded in half to make two cards.

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(I tried getting creative by using dimensional materials for the trunk–crumpled paper bags, real sticks from the yard–but the simple hand-drawn version looked best. You can let your kids do this themselves if you’re not as much of a control freak as I am.)

Step 2. Let your kids stamp thumbprint “leaves” all over.

I love this set of ink pads. Not only are the colors perfect for fall but I’m making it a personal mission to find a way to use all those reds and greens and golds on a project come Christmastime. If you’re looking for something different, there are a bunch of options on that Amazon page, plus you have the entire inventory of the astronomically gigantic scrapbooking industry at your fingertips.

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There are really no tricks to this project. Just press a thumb into the ink of your choice and put the leaves where you want them to be.

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I used baby wipes to clean up between colors, but water on a paper towel will do the trick too. Most standard inks aren’t washable, though, so keep that in mind if your kids tend to get up in the middle of a project and drag their hands across the carpet.

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We turned our small fall trees into cards, and we made a larger, full-sheet version to put in a frame. It’s a “disposable” craft, but I have a feeling I’ll hold onto it for way too long since it features my kid’s still-small thumbprints.

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I really like how they turned out. I hope you do too.

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