Thursday, April 19, 2012

Busy Bag/Tea Staining Tutorial

Pin It Now! I am thinking I want to post another Busy Bag Tutorial tonight.  Along with being a Busy Bag tutorial it is also a tutorial on Tea Staining paper.  
So are we ready?  

This busy bag is inspired by my son (10yo) and his buddy.  They have a secret language they have been working on learning so they can speak to each other.  Now what kid doesn't love this?  *I know when I was little we did this*  So I asked them if I could share it with the group I was making the bag for.  They said they thought that would be fun.  When we got talking about it though I realized this is from a book, "How to Train Your Dragon".  In the back of the book they have a dictionary to learn to speak Dragonese.  Almost all of the information and printables I used for this bag are available on the How to Train Your Dragon website.   

After doing tons of printing I had my stuff.  I knew I didn't just want to send out printed pages though.  As fun as it will be for the kiddos, the momma's won't be impressed.  *hehehe*  So I tried to think of a way to make them look old - used - but not ruined.  I thought about burning the edges, but the book is so little I didn't want to risk it.  Plus if the other kids are like mine these will end up in pockets, and the burnt edges will not hold up so well to that. The other alternative I have used before was tea staining.  I decided to use that. Then on the bright side I would get to make this tutorial for that too!  :)  So here we are off to stain the paper.  

black tea bags (4 bags per cup of water) 
bowl for the tea
cookie sheet(s) or cake pan(s)
clothes line and clothes pin / place to lay the papers out to dry

papers (I have done this on regular printer paper and cardstock.  
              I have also done this on fabrics but that is another tutorial)
helper (opt.) *my helper loved putting the new pages in the pans and 
                       getting the clothes pins out for me.  

The first thing you have to do is make your black tea.  You want it super strong... 4 bags to one cup of boiling water.  (I did 2 cups of water and then had to do 2 more to finish all my pages!)  I used a pint canning jar with some water in it to hold them down in the water, then let it sit for at least an hour!  

I poured half of the tea in one pan and half in another.  I knew I had to do a lot of pages and two pans would get me through faster.  

After letting first side sit for about 3 min I flipped it over to do the back too.  If you want the stain darker leave it in longer.  

I took advantage of the sun and the heat and hung them out on the clothesline. *a little note here: you do not want to fold the paper over the line, just clip it on close to the top.  
If you are not lucky enough to have a clothesline you can lay the papers out flat and let them dry.  Or you can bake them in the oven.  (200 degrees for 5-10 min.)

 When they come in from the line they will be rather crumply and wrinkled.  This is great if you are looking for just a piece of paper but to make it into a book I needed it to be a little flatter.  

So I used some magazines to flatten them out.  

I told you I had lots of papers... 2 stacks.  

Now on to cutting... and there was LOTS of cutting!!  

Here they are... the books and the packets with dragon information.  If I can get my printer to like me again I might be able to print some viking information also to send out.  If not I will send links for it all.  

This is the How to Speak Dragonese dictionary.  It is pocket sized.  :)  

Looks like fun huh?  

So what are you going to tea stain?  

Still Sane,
Mama V

Friday, April 13, 2012

Grocery Store Bingo Busy Bag Tutorial

Pin It Now!

I haven't blogged about this at all, but if you follow me on Pinterest you would see all the pins I have pinned for busy bags.  I am a part of group on facebook that is a Busy Bag Exchange.  It is great fun!  We make these busy bags that are fun activities for our kiddos.  Then we swap them in a group of six or seven ladies.  

I decided to blog about how I made my Busy Bag activity for the Preschool age group I am in.  For this activity I decided to combine two ideas I found on pinterest.  Creative Kismet has a post about making a sticky note holder for a teachers gift.  I used this blog as the inspiration for my "clip board".  I did change it up a bit, but the clippy and the cardboard were ideas I borrowed from her.  Then on Let's Explore I found a cute Grocery Store Bingo card in a PDF I could download.  Now you have the links let's get to work!

List of supplies: 
to buy- (I didn't have all these I had to buy them... you might have them) 
  • clips
  • dry erase markers
  • pouches
have around the house-
  • cardboard
  • scrapbook paper (optional for cuteness)
  • scissors
  • paper cutter (optional if you are a straight line fanatic like me) 
  • glue sticks
  • cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter (optional-more fanatic stuff) 
  • printed Grocery Store Bingo card (laminated)
I printed out my Grocery Store Bingo cards first.  Then I laminated them.  If you don't have a laminator you can use contact paper or you can buy smaller piece of laminating sheets and use an iron.  (I have not ever tried it, but I have it works)  

Then I got my piece of cardboard.  We have TONS of cardboard at our house so this was not hard to find at all.  As I said I am a fanatic about the straight lines so I used my cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter for this.  I am extremely protective of my fabric scissors and cutting blades.  I would NEVER use a fabric blade to do this.  I do however keep my fabric blade after they get dull for crafts.  They are marked and kept in a container marked crafts.  I use them for cutting felt, paper, cardboard, foam, anything but fabric.  
I cut my squares 4X5" as this would fit the size of card I printed.  

I used my paper cutter to cut scrapbook paper for the clipboard.  I cut 2 for every piece of cardboard had.  I made 8 sets.  

Then I used the glue stick to glue the paper onto the cardboard pieces.  

I wanted them to be fun and interchangeable so I did a different color on each side of the cardboard piece. 

This part is kind of hard to explain.  I will try to do my best.  I used packing tape to cover the paper and stabilize it all a bit more.  I used three strips of tape 4 inches long.  I put the first piece of tape at the top, then the next piece at the bottom, then the last piece I put in the middle.  Then I got two more strips of 4 inch tape to wrap the bottom and the top.  I took pictures of this part so you could see.  

Half of the tape goes on the back and then you fold it up and tape it down on the front.  This way you have 'wrapped' the bottom.  

You do this for the top edge and then using two pieces of 5 inch tape you do this to the sides.  *phew... I hope you guys understood that!

Then wal-la you have a covered piece of cardboard.  

Clip your clip on and you now have a cute little clipboard.  I will note here that you can use this for anything.  Take a few scraps of paper and let the kiddos draw ... make and/or print off other bingo or scavenger hunt cards for other activities.  Use this for more than just this activity.  Think multi-task.  :)  

Easy and pretty fun!  I think this is one anyone can do!  

Add the erasable marker or crayons and a bag to carry it in.  And you are done!  

Here are all 8 of mine all done!  Pretty neat huh?  It is fun to finish them up.  Maybe I will have to blog others as I finish them.  I have some fun ones this time.  If you have any questions ask away and I will try to help!  

I am excited about these Busy Bags.  My kids are having a blast playing with them ... they really help with sanity!  :)  

Mama V
Still Sane