When the weather gets warm, a fun way to spend the day is set up in the back yard and create some spring crafts. Whether you are going for a light sewing project or creating your own garden art, there are plenty of affordable projects you can use to entertain yourself and the kids. Here are several of my favorites.
If you’re going for a breezy look in your dining area, table runners are an excellent choice. They cover less of the table, yet still provide a strip of color down the center upon which you can place a fruit bowl, candle holders or other homemade centerpiece. This simple version uses colorful dish towels from a dollar store.
Waterproof Picnic Blankets
Who hasn’t had their picnic blanket soak through due to damp grass? If you already have a favorite blanket that’s your go-to choice, then this waterproof picnic blanket project from Martha Stewart will be particularly affordable. The main additional expenses are only waterproof backing fabric available at your local craft store, and some snaps. The fact that it comes apart after use makes it easy to launder and air dry on the clothesline. Why leave your next romantic picnic to chance when you have this project in your spring crafts repertoire?
Nothing says hello to spring like a homemade kite to enjoy in the breezes while running through a meadow or down a stretch of beach. There’s a link with directions on how to make your own in my recent article about homemade toys. If you feel like being more elaborate, you can play around with additional materials and embellishments to add color and flair.
A fresh fabric tote to take to the farmers’ market or beach is a fun way to embrace the start of spring. There are a few different ways you can go with this, including purchasing a plain one from the crafts store and stamping it with a fun design of your choice. If you want something homemade but still simple, try sewing a straight seam across the bottom of a ribbed tank top. You won’t have to cut or stitch any handles, and your tote will come with a bit of stretch built in, which is great for fitting in oddly-shaped produce. (See also: 7 Ways to Buy Organic Food on a Budget)
Outdoor Pillows and Cushions
Rather than spending precious pennies replacing faded accent pillows and seat cushions on your favorite patio furniture, give them a facelift by recovering and reupholstering them. There’s no shortage of fun water-resistant fabrics on the market, and they come in practically any color combination you can imagine. That being said, a classic white or ecru is always fresh and sexy when paired against Mother Nature and a newly-painted black iron base. Here are some basic instructions on recovering patio cushions from eHow.
In my opinion, one of the more practical spring crafts is to make your own plant markers as you start your herb and vegetable gardens. Those growing rosemary for example, could stamp out the herb name on a flat stone using individual letters or have your family’s favorite third grader write the name of the plant on a clothespin which can then be clipped to a plain stick you may have picked up in your yard. If you’re looking to make something with souvenir beads from your last trip however, this plant marker project is an easy and fun option. It uses popsicle sticks, twigs, fun beads and twisted wire to create whimsical markers to be used throughout your garden.
In addition to keeping the kids entertained on a hot day during spring break, paper fans are a fun craft to prepare as hostess gifts when you are having a girly get together, afternoon tea or bridal shower. These garden party fans from All Free Crafts are one example of this type of project, but there are certainly many others available on the internet to suit a wide variety of tastes.
One way to brighten up any room for spring is to go with window toppers or valances instead of the long, heavy curtains used during colder months to block drafts. A no-sew way to do this is to drape hankies diagonally across the top of your curtain rod, overlapping slightly. It’s a great way to use bandanas, as they are a type of hankie that doesn’t require you to pay vintage prices and available in colors to suit both boys and girls.
Pressed Flower Coasters
It’s no secret with my regular readers that I’m a huge fan of nature crafts for grownups. I find them a great way to be green with style, and of course the free price point for the base materials doesn’t hurt either. These pressed flower coasters made of colorful blooms and clear glass are one such example. As spring crafts go, these are quite stylish and will work with a variety of home décor styles including traditional, shabby chic and even certain loft-style design concepts.
You could pay big bucks for one, or try your hand at making gazing globes from old bowling balls like this post from Square Pennies suggests. The ones they show are certainly elaborate enough to be inspirational, but I’ve seen stunning results with nothing more than a hammered bronze spray paint added to the surface of the ball.
What are some of your favorite spring crafts? Do you make them a family event or use them to grab some creative time alone?