All posts by Craft Kits

Rag rugs

ragrugimg2Rag rugs are made by recycling old clothes and other fabrics, which are cut up into strips and then worked into a hessian backing. In the past, when people could not afford expensive floor covering, rag rugs would be found in various rooms in the house, especially in front of the fire and by the back door where they served as useful doormats.
There are different ways to make rag rugs or rag mats as some people prefer to call them, and also a variety of different terms related to the activity of rug making. For example, you will find rag rugs referred to as Proddy Rugs, Proggy Mats, Clootie Mats, Clippies, Stobbies, Hookies and so on.

Rag rugs are relaxing and a pleasure to make. They have become very popular as people have been introduced to this traditional skill and also because they encourage recycling.

With a Hulton Crafts Rag Rug Kit, you can learn this skill and use the wooden prodder in the Kit to prod through strips of material into the hessian to make something attractive and practical.

Rag Art

Rag art involves using the skill of traditional rag rugging, but on a small scale.   Finished rag art can be framed, wrapped around pots to make colourful pencil holders or rolled up and made into ornaments for decoration, like this little caterpillar below!

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Rag rugs were originally used as cheap floor covering, made by cutting up waste material (e.g. old clothes) into strips and then “prodding” them through an old sack as backing.

The Craft Kit teaches you this traditional skill and how to make attractive pieces of rag art on a small scale. Nowadays, we are keen to recycle and what better way than to re-use some material that is no longer needed? It is possible to combine fabrics and plastics. It is a fun way of making something really useful and interesting!

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Rag art can be relaxing.   It soon becomes easy with practice to experiment with different designs and textures and to express yourself creatively.

If the strips of material are densely prodded into the hessian, it gives a lovely soft feeling.

Prodders used to be made from Dolly Pegs by removing one side and then sanding it down so there were no sharp edges.

The Craft Kit contains a simple wooden prodder and some strips of fabric so you can begin straight away. Some examples of what can be made are shown below:

Something soft in pink and white cottons

Something soft in pink and white cottons

A more traditional look made from coarser materials

A more traditional look made from coarser materials

Modern fun colours – a “liquorice allsorts” selection!

Modern fun colours – a “liquorice allsorts” selection!

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Decorated pot for holding pencils

Decorations for a Christmas tree

Decorations for a Christmas tree

Use festive colours for Christmas decorations, with added pine cones for a special effect

Use festive colours for Christmas decorations, with added pine cones for a special effect

“These craft bags are delightful and you cannot help but want to touch the beautiful and natural materials. It is the perfect activity for the family or a group of children to do together. The drawings and instructions are completed with care. As an O.T. I am always looking for creative, calming, sensory activities and the Hulton Craft bags tick all the boxes”.

Anele Griessel – Occupational Therapist,The LightHouse Clinic

Fabric weaving on card

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Use decorative or plain card and cut out triangles at opposite ends, as shown. Wind wool or string across the grooves of the card and secure the ends behind the card.

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Cut strips of material and weave them through the wool as described above in paper weaving.
Trim any long ends to make it neater or secure them firmly behind the card.

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To make the above design cut out circular sections from a piece of card. Place the card over the woven material and stick down together with the colourful buttons, as shown.

Card displays

An ideal, simple way of displaying your artwork made from the ideas in the Craft Kit:

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Download the template shapes from the website, cut out the shapes and use as templates to cut these shapes from cereal packs or stronger cardboard for heavier pieces of artwork.

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The smaller card display is ideal for showing off interesting designs on cardboard squares/coaster mats, such as this pattern made from used stamps.

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The smaller card display could be used for a business card.

Sheep peg designs

HOW TO MAKE WOOLLEN COATS FOR SHEEP PEGS:
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1.     Cut two pieces of stiff cardboard approximately 15 cm long x 4.5 cm wide.  Make a small cut about 1 cm long, halfway along both short ends of one of the pieces of cardboard.

2.    Cut a piece of wool about 30 cm long and thread it into the cuts on the cardboard, as shown below.  Pull it tight, making sure that the ends of the wool are equal.
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3.    Place the second piece of card on top of the stretched length of wool on the first card.  Wrap another length of the same wool about 10 times around the centre of the card, as shown.
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4.    Release the two ends of the wool from the cuts that secured them and join them together to tie across the wool that was wrapped around the two cards.  Make a tight knot.
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5.    Place the scissors between the cards on the opposite side from the knot and cut the wool so that a tassel of wool is made.
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6.    Attach the tassel around the sheep with the two ends of wool that were originally in the two cuts.   If there is any remaining wool after wrapping around the cards 10 times, it should just pull away.

7.    Woollen coats can be made using wool of different thickness and in your favourite colours.
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Mosaic Craft

Paper mosaics are an ideal activity for beginners and will keep children entertained on a rainy day or provide some relaxation time to anyone. Creating a beautiful item from tiny pieces can be a healing process and help someone with high stress levels to just slow down a little. Enjoyment can come from making patterns and putting broken pieces together to make something special.

Relax and enjoy a drink, using your mosaic drink mats!

Relax and enjoy a drink, using your mosaic drink mats!

Healing and wellness for everyone can come from keeping busy. The elderly benefit from keeping their minds active, whether from crosswords and jigsaw puzzles or creating a colourful mosaic. It can be very therapeutic. Paper recycling is a good way to create beautiful art. The Craft Kit and Craft Activity Bag provide two cardboard squares and a paper plate on which to create paper mosaics. All you need are scissors. Glue and paper are provided.

Group activity at Jennyruth Workshops

Group activity at Jennyruth Workshops

Group activity at Jennyruth Workshops

For abstract paper mosaics, you can tear paper into shapes or cut pieces to the desired size. You can work independently on your own design. However, if required, help can be given to make an outline of the shape, choice of colours and where to glue on the pieces to make the mosaic. It is all about finding the correct balance between offering assistance and allowing freedom to work independently.

The picture on the left and in the centre have been framed with mosaic and the flower picture on the right has an abstract design from torn, green paper that gives it a soft look.

The picture on the left and in the centre have been framed with mosaic and the flower picture on the right has an abstract design from torn, green paper that gives it a soft look.

The picture on the left and in the centre have been framed with mosaic and the flower picture on the right has an abstract design from torn, green paper that gives it a soft look.

This certainly is a tactile craft – you can also use pieces of textured fabric instead of paper for the mosaic shapes.

A mosaic made from pieces of fabric

A mosaic made from pieces of fabric

A mosaic made from pieces of fabric

Interest and skill are soon developed. After practising with card, you can move on to making mosaics on MDF, plywood, unwanted tiles or old drinks coasters. They can be displayed on mini easels, which are available at reasonable prices in lots of craft shops.

Mini easels displaying mosaics made from small stones, beads and a coin.  (These items may be found at home, not included in the Craft Kit or Craft Activity Bag)

Mini easels displaying mosaics made from small stones, beads and a coin. (These items may be found at home, not included in the Craft Kit or Craft Activity Bag)

Make the most of using anything you can find at home to create a lovely mosaic picture. For example, you can use patterned paper, card, fabric, broken egg shells, beach shells, sand, pebbles, plastic/wooden/glass beads, buttons, dried pasta shapes, coins or anything else that comes to mind.

 

Mosaic art using tissue paper is another area that you may like to explore. Small pieces of tissue paper can be ripped and rolled into balls and stuck in random patterns to make either an abstract picture or something more recognisable, such as the cherry blossom tree below.

 

Using colourful tissue paper for mosaic art

Using colourful tissue paper for mosaic art

Another idea to consider is to re-use the brown paper bag of the Craft Kit and turn it into a mosaic gift bag. You can experiment using the sheets of patterned paper and fabric included or any suitable materials you can find at home.   A collage can be created with dried leaves and then given a protective coating by using non-toxic PVA glue. Special craft glues are available from craft shops to give a glossy effect.

Decorated mosaic gift bags

Decorated mosaic gift bags

With all this time spent on craft-making, it is also important not to forget about good posture. People do not always sit or stand correctly and this can encourage aches and pains if the body is not balanced. Try not to round your shoulders and spine by slouching over your work. When shoulders are more relaxed and the body is aligned correctly, it is amazing to notice the overall difference. A sloping desk support can also help to work in a more relaxed and comfortable position.

Keep a good straight back posture when enjoying your craft

Keep a good straight back posture when enjoying your craft

GENERAL SAFETY TIPS

Children who are eight and younger are recommended to use child-safe scissors.

Small craft materials, such as beads, buttons and shells etc., which may be used in craft activities, are potential choking hazards. They are therefore not appropriate for use by any children under the age of three.

Adult supervision is generally advised where craft activities with children or vulnerable adults are involved.

Non-toxic glues are safer to use. Glue sticks may be easier to handle than liquid glue.

Personal hygiene is important and hands should be washed after craft activities, especially gluing.

EXTRA CRAFTY IDEAS!

At home you probably already have a good store of inexpensive items lying around that will be ideal for crafts and can be used with the kits. Here is an A to Z list of things to help you. We hope you really enjoy doing the Craft Kit.

A. Adhesives, Area for displaying all your crafts!
B. Beads, Bottle lids, Bubble-wrap, Buttons
C. Cardboard, Chalk, Charcoal, Clothes pegs, Cotton reels, Cotton wool
D. Double sided tape, Dried pasta shapes
E. Empty egg boxes, Extra envelopes
F. Fabric, Feathers, Felt pens, Felt squares, Foil
G. Glitter, Glue dots, Glue sticks
H. Handfuls of opportunities for creative ideas
I. Ingredients for cookery, Ink and Ink pads
J. Jars for storing beads and buttons
K. Kits for enjoying crafts, Knitting patterns and wool
L. Lace scraps, Letter shapes for stencilling
M. Magazine pictures for art work, Mosaic squares
N. Needles for sewing, Non-toxic paint
O. Old packets, cards and cartons, Overalls for messy work
P. Paint brushes, Paper, Pebbles, Pipe cleaners
Q. Quillpens for decorative writing
R. Rags, Ribbons, Recycled items, Recipes
S. Sellotape, Sequins, Shells, Shoe boxes, Stickers, Straws, String
T. Threads, Tissue paper
U. Unwanted items put to good use
V. Variety of other craft materials
W. Wool and Wood
X. XXX Kisses and praise for success – there is no such thing as failure!
Y. Yarn, Yellow and other bright colours
Z. ZZZ A good night’s sleep after enjoying crafts!