Hands On Crafts for Kids

Turn back the clock and travel through time with crafting projects for kids. From ancient civilizations all the way to the 20th century, Hands on Crafts for Kids is filled with craft ideas for serious time travelers. Each episode visits a different period in history in a different part of the world. There are mummies from ancient Egypt, shields from the Middle Ages, Bunraku puppets from Japan and quilts from Colonial America.

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Julie McGuffee

Julie McGuffee

Julie McGuffee, a scrapbooking pro, has authored more than 30 how-to, arts & crafts and decorative painting books. Originally from England, she has lived in the U.S. for more than 25 years with her husband, two children and a succession of dogs.

China

Episode #1307H · Today we visit the Far East. China is located in eastern Asia and has the largest population of any country in the world with over 1 billion people. We visit China for beautiful symbols of the Chinese New year and traditional Chinese designs. Our first project is a Ming design vase with a surprise source of paper. Ming china is often blue and white and originated during the Ming dynasty. A bamboo pattern is a traditional design. Then, it's time to learn about the art of paper cutting - Chinese style. Chinese paper cutting is an ancient art very much like paper snowflakes. Paper is traditionally cut from red paper with very short scissors. Common patterns are the crescent, arc, and saw tooth. The cuttings are used to decorate doors, windows, mirrors, lanterns, and gifts. They can also be used for patterns for embroidery and lacquer and are meant to bring good luck. The next craft includes two different dragon projects. The first is a paper mask and the second is a dragon dance stick to help celebrate Chinese New Year. When the first new moon enters the sign of Aquarius, farmers and merchants in China perform dragon and lion dances to usher in the New Year. The importance of the dragon dates back to the Han dynasty as a symbol of power and courage.

India

Episode #1309H · India has over 1 billion people and is located in Southeast Asia. It has a wide range of climates. Our crafts concentrate on some of the Indian national symbols. The first craft is a new batik method using glue to create a peacock feather on a shirt. The peacock is the national bird of India symbolizing grace, pride and beauty. Then, it's another view of a batik look project but this time we use paper and our design is an elephant. According to legends in Hindu Mythology, demons churned the ocean, but an elephant called airavata reached his trunk down into the underworld, sucked up the water and then sprayed it into the clouds producing cool rain water. Each year in March/April an elephant festival is held. Elephants with painted and decorated shields made from gems and velvets are judged. The next project is a beaded pendant or ornament featuring bright colors and metal beads. Threads, beads and cowries are twisted together to form beautiful jewelry and adornments. Jewelry is an art form in India. Tikka is the spherical pendant for the forehead, dangling earrings are jhumkas, nath is a nose ring, kadas a type of bracelet, and payals for ankles with tiny bells and chakto or toe rings. The last project is a frame using foil to create the look of mirrors and pressed metal. Metal work is an important craft in rural and small towns in India. The metal is etched, into intricate designs with different cities known for various design styles.

Colonial America 1500 to 1776

Episode #611 · 611-1 Silver Tray: Almost every colonial town had a silversmith who made candlesticks, platters and bowls. Intricate designs were cut into the metal by engraving. 611-2 Log Cabin Quilt: Not a scrap of fabric was thrown away in Colonial America, and patchwork was a common design. Log cabin is a particular pattern which looked like stacked logs. 611-3 Rug: Apples are a traditional colonial design. Only wealthy people had rugs, others made painted rugs of canvas from ship's sails. 611-4 Welcome Bandbox: Bandboxes were used to store the stiff collars worn by the colonists. This box uses decoupage which started with scraps of paper - which were never discarded. 611-5 Wired Candle Holder: In colonial times, candleholders were forged in metal. A special kind was one made with spirals, called a courting candle. As the candle burned down to the spirals it reminded the suitor it was time to leave. Quick Project: Colonial America was known for simple toys and decorative woodcarvings. This tassel holder was a way to add a decorative touch to the home using left over yarn scraps.

Americana 1900's to Present Day

Episode #613 · 613-1 Star Travel Game: Steam Engines and railroads were a big factor in the industrialization of Europe and America. Transportation helped push the world to a time where power driven machinery changed manufacturing 613-2 Art Deco Bulletin Board: Art Deco was invented in 1935. One of the most famous examples of Art Deco architecture is the Empire State Building in New York. 613-3 Teddy Bear: In 1902, President Teddy Roosevelt lent his name to a plush bear. A story was published about how he did not shoot a bear cub because it could not defend itself. The teddy bear is 100 years old in 2002. 613-4 Old Glory Fresco: A fresco is a painting on a wall. The fresco technique involves painting on wet plaster. As the plaster dries it encases the color, and the pigments form a permanent bond with the wall. This project involves the same look. The 50th state of the United States was admitted into the union in 1959. 613-5 Delta Airplane: Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic first flight in 1903. Quick Project Hologram Bracelet: Denis Gabor invented holography in 1947. He also was awarded the Nobel Prize for physics in 1971.