Skip to main content

Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids: 175 projects for kids of all ages to create, build, design, explore, and share by the Editors of Martha Stewart Living



I know that the name Martha Stewart and all that it conjures up can be polarizing. Some people love her her style, and some people... Well, if you don't, please take note that, in my 17 years as a bookseller and 20 years as a parent always on the lookout, I never once saw a craft book as all-emcompasing, colorfully and simply designed and ultimately do-able as Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids. On top of all that praise I add this crucial observation: a good 160 of the 175 projects included in the book are things that your kids and you can actually use! Only about 15 or so of the crafts will ultimately end up as dust-catchers that you are waiting for your kids to forget about so you can recycle them. I can't think of a better recommendation than that for the essential value of Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids! While my kids are for the most part past the age for crafts and I am too old and weary to even begin to consider them, I did subscrib to Martha Stewart's LIVING for a few years back before I worked full time and I made a few crafts from that magazine over the years. Often, her projects called for supplies that were hard to find where I live, even if they were easy to execute. I am the kind of person who wants my project to look like the picture, so that was a bit disappointing. With that in mind, I read Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids with a keen eye, always on the lookout for some fancy, fussy material that could be hard to find and might end up costing more than you are willing to shell out. Happily, there are only a few items in this book that you might have to do a little extra searching for and spend a little extra cash on, but everything else is pretty standard fare for a relatively well-stocked craft cupboard. Coming in the final pages of the book, before the index, photo credits and templates are eight pages listing the tools and materials needs to make most of the crafts (only a few of the items listed are actual Martha Stewart products) as well as a page of sources with listings for vendors that the editors "rely on again and again for tools, materials and other craft supplies."

The book is broken into seven sections: Create a Few Characters, Build a Little World, Make Your Own Fun, Design it Yourself, Experiment and Explore, Keep it Together and Give Something Handmade. The best way to tell you about Martha Stewart's Favorite Crafts for Kids is to show you what's inside. What follows are some projects that caught my eye and my eight-year-old son's. There were a few super-cool projects I couldn't find images for like: DUCT-TAPE ACCESSORIES from the Design it Yourself section, including wallets, coin purses and pencil cases. The TOY SERVICE STATION from Build a Little World, is definitely something I would have saved up my oatmeal containers, paper towel tubes and shoe boxes to build with my kids. The same goes for the PEG-BOARD MARBLE RUN from the Make Your Own Fun which a brilliant idea for a build-your-own Rube Goldberg machine. Stewart also shows some cool new ideas for spectacular tie-dye shirts and some snappy new ways to lace up your Chucks!


Easy Projects



Create a Few Characters, PIPE CLEANER PALS



Create a Few Characters, PAPER BAG PUPPETS



Experiment and Explore, PHENAKISTOSCOPES



Make Your Own Fun, ELEPHANT STILTS



Make Your Own Fun, KAZOO


Give Something Handmade, GUMDROP LOLLIPOPS




Projects for Older Kids or 
Requiring More Parental Involvement


Give Something Handmade, CROSS-STICH FAMILY PORTRAITS



Make Your Own Fun, CORN HUSK DOLLS



Create a Few Characters, FELTED FINGER PUPPETS



Design it Yourself, SUPERHERO COSTUMES



Design it Yourself, BEASTLY MITTENS




Source: Review Copy

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Made by Dad: 67 Blueprints for Making Cool Stuff - Projects You Can Build For (and With) Kids! by Scott Bedford

On his personal website, Scott Bedforddescribes himself as an "Award Winning Online Creative Professional" working within the advertising and design industry. What is more interesting (and applicable here) is how hisWhat I Made website came to be. While sitting in a Starbucks with his restless young sons, trying to enjoy his latte, Bedford created something out of coffee stir sticks that ended up keeping his boys entertained, finishing his coffee in peace and sparking (re-sparking, really) his creative drive and reminding him of the "enormous joy gained from making things, even simple things, and that this joy is not the complexity or quality of the finished project but in the process of making itself. On Bedford'sWhat I Made website, he even shares Six Cool Coffee Shop Crafts for Kidsthat you can try out next time you want to enjoy your coffee and your kids are making that difficult. I've shared two below - be sure to check out the website and see the rest!

Be…

POP-UP: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book, paper engineering by Ruth Wickings, illustrations by Frances Castle RL: All ages

POP-UP:  Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Pop-Up Book with paper engineering by Ruth Wickings and illustrations by Frances Castle is THE COOLEST BOOK EVER!!!  I know that I haven't dedicated much time to pop-up books here, but they have always held a special place in my heart, and the phrase "paper engineering" is a favorite of mine. Although I didn't know what it was at the time, I did go through a paper engineering phase when I was ten or so. I would sneak off to the back of the classroom during independent work periods and go to town on the construction paper and glue and make these little free-standing dioramas. A huge fan of The Muppet Show (the original), I reconstructed the all-baby orchestra from an episode, drawing and coloring each baby and his/her instrument then gluing them onto a 3D orchestra section I had crafted out of brown construction paper.  I also made a 3D version of Snidely Whiplash throwing Nell off a cliff with Dudley Do-Right wa…

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers

How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers remains the most read post on my blog since I wrote it in 2012. Because of this, I have cleaned up this post, tightened the writing and added in any pertinent information that has come about since it originally ran. When I first started books4yourkids.com in August of 2008, I was scrambling for content, finding my purpose and my voice and not always doing my best writing. How to Choose Age Appropriate Books for Advanced Readers was one of the first articles I wrote and, as a bookseller and a book reviewer, and now as an elementary school librarian where I have gone from working with kids reading well beyond their grade level to kids reading well below, this philosophy remains my organizing principle and central focus when reading and recommending books to parents and children. 

In the interest of my mission and the attention this article continues to receive, I have updated and expanded this article and included a guide to using …