|The Activity Director's Office Presents
Activity Ideas That Work
by Gina Salazar, AD
Typical Completion Time: 2-4 hours
(does not include drying time)
Create these fanciful fish to decorate
your next pool party or to add
a tropical flair to any outdoor event!
STYROFOAM* Brand Products:
2– 5" Eggs
1– 7" Egg
6– 1" Balls
3– 1-1/2" Balls
1– 8" x 2" Disc
2– 6" x 2" Discs
1– 12mm Wiggle Eyes, pair
2– 10mm Wiggle Eyes, pair
3– Red Chenille Stems
3–16" Pieces of 16 Gauge Wire
3–1/8" Wood Dowels
(16", 14" and 11")
Tissue Paper (Red, Orange,
Turquoise, Lime, Fuchsia, Lavender,
Pink, Yellow, Dark Blue)
Decorative Edge Scissors
(Zig-Zag or Scallop)
Thick white Glue
Spray paint (foam safe): (Sunflower
Yellow, Cornflower Blue, Navy Blue)
1. Spray balls and one large and one
small disc Cornflower Blue.
Spray remaining disc Navy Blue. Spray
eggs Sunflower Yellow.
Let dry thoroughly.
2. Short Fringe: Cut across folded
tissue paper 7" from the top. Fold
this section in half to 3 1/2" wide.
With decorative scissors, on the
unfolded edge, cut 1/2" strips to
make fringe. Repeat procedure with
two or three other colors.
Long Fringe: Cut a 16"
piece from folded tissue paper for the
tail. Fold in half to 8" wide.
Cut 1/2" fringe strips on
the unfolded end.
Repeat with another color.
3. Glue fringe on egg starting at the
wide part of the egg, about 1/3
of the way from the end. Apply glue
around egg. Position fold of
fringe over glue, then wrap folded end
of tissue around egg, pressing
into glue. Repeat procedure with
another color of fringe offsetting
fold about 1/2" from the first. Continue
gluing fringe around egg
until just the top 1/3 of
the egg is showing.
4. Gather fringe for tail and twist folded
end. Poke a hole at the
bottom of the egg with a pencil, squirt
glue in hole, then insert folded end of
fringe in hole. Let glue dry.
5. Cut a 6" piece of chenille.
Coil into a tight circle, then fold in
half. Poke a slit at the front of
the fish, then insert chenille
mouth. Glue large wiggle eyes
on big fish and smaller eyes on
remaining fish. Bend the bottom 2"
of the wire in a "L" shape. Insert
small end of wire into fish above
mouth (you can secure with a little
glue, if desired). Glue ball bubbles
on wire. Insert one end of
dowels into bottom of fish, then the
other end into the foam discs.
1 large wire whisk
About 1/3 bag of kisses
Fill the business end of the whisk with
chocolate kisses. Wrap in cellophane
(red for Christmas or Valentine's day),
green for St. Patrick's Day, etc. Tie with
gold ribbon or raffia. Attach a tag
"Whisking you a ______" (Merry
Christmas, Happy St. Patrick's Day,
Happy Valentine's Day, etc).
NOTE: Whisks can be purchased very
inexpensively at dollar stores, etc.
Heating Pad Sock
Use athletic socks or children's fancy
socks. Fill sock with rice. Before using
the rice, you can mix it in a plastic bag
with a little cinnamon oil or menthol oil
for soothing smells. Tie top of sock off
with a rubber band and pretty ribbon.
If giving as a gift, attach the following
on a gift tag:
"This little pillow filled with rice
Is such a comforting device,
Microwave for 2 to 3 minutes on HIGH
And kiss those aches and pains
Apply it to a troubled spot
The heat will ease the pain a lot.
Or warm those little toes, so cold.
You'll find this nice to have and to hold
Or freeze it for awhile,
And fix that boo-boo in style.
Instead of a compress made of ice,
Use this pillow filled with rice."
Bird Bath #2
1 (12-inch) clay pot
1 (14-inch) clay pot
1 (16-inch) clay pot
1 (18- to 20-inch diameter) clay saucer
Acrylic paints and brushes
Stencils, sponges, etc.
Sea shells, mosaic tiles or stones
Clear satin polyurethane
NOTE: If you plan to paint the bird bath,
paint the pots and saucer before
assembly. Let dry completely, then
proceed with the following instructions:
Depending on the sizes and numbers
of pots used, different looking
birdbaths can be made.
Invert pots and stack them together,
with the largest clay pot on the bottom.
Place the large clay saucer upside
down on the top.
Glue the pots together using silicone
adhesive. Attach saucer to top pot with
the silicone adhesive, making sure it is
centered and level.
If desired, decorate the bird bath using
a foam brush, sponges
Glue shells or mosaics onto the
birdbath, then apply grout between the
shells (or mosaic tiles or stones).
When all is dry, cover the painted and
grouted surfaces with several layers of
polyurethane or acrylic sealer.
Tip: You may want to weight the bottom
pot with gravel to give it
Candy kisses, candy eggs, jelly beans
any other smaller candy desired
Green curly ribbon
Cut a long pie-shape piece of
cellophane, form it into a cone (carrot)
shape, then tape along the edge. Fill
the cone with candy. Tuck raffia into the
cone, then leave long lengths of it
sticking out for the carrot top.
Tie with the ribbon.
The Activity Director's Office
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No Sew Fleece Blankets!
As seen on the Women by Grace Website
Start with two complimentary pieces of fleece material that are exactly the same size.
You can make your blanket pretty much any size you like up the the width of the
material. You will end up with a blanket that is 8 inches shorter than the material you
start with so keep that in mind.
Lay your two pieces of fleece out on a table. Using straight pins or safety pins, neatly
pin the material together about eight inches in from the edges. This is to keep your
blanket in place as you work. Now trim with scissors all the way around to make sure
that they match exactly and that they are perfectly square.
Now, at each corner, cut a four inch square indent into the corner.
(Save your fleece peices for future crafting!)
Now, you are going to cut a four inch long, one inch wide fringe all the way around the
material. You may want to use something to measure as you go, or you can 'eye-ball'
it if you trust yourself.
When you are finished, start at one corner and begin to tie the fringe of the two layers
together. Deb showed us how to make the first tie so that the knot ends up inside the
blanket. She then tied it a second time so that the resulting fringe would lay neatly.
She tied several fringe on one side of the corner and then several on the other side of
the corner, showing us how she has now ended up with a perfect corner. She then
pulled gently at the knots to smooth her work.
Once you have tied all the way around, you can remove your pins! You're all done! You
have just made a blanket with no sewing! And it is the warmest, most cuddly blanket
you will own!
If you are feeling creative you could try a round blanket! Deb and friends have even
adapted the technique to make scarves and hats, although it does involve a little
Fleece material in our area is running about $8 an yard, which is fairly pricey! But you
can make a beautiful baby or lap blanket for about $15. Our women reported that the
larger fabric stores often have it on sale for closer to $4 a yard.
Old Glory Slate
This painted version of the Stars and Stripes comes already framed, since a slate is
used as the artwork's "canvas."
One purchased slate
Clean, soft rags
Black fine-tip permanent calligraphy marker
Black fine-tip permanent-ink marker
Scrap wood for practicing
Sharp pencil; ruler
FolkArt acrylics paints: PR Poppy red (630), BB Brilliant Blue (641), WW Warm White
(649), SP Strawberry Parfait (751), and CR Calico Red (932)
Paintbrushes: 1/2-inch flat, 1/2-inch angled shader, No. 2 round, liner, and
1-inch-wide sponge applicator
Palette paper; paper towels
FolkArt water-base varnish
Four 5/8-inch-diameter gold buttons with eagle design
Jute or florist's wire (hanger)
1. The writing surface of our slate measures 7 x 10 inches. If your slate varies in size,
adjust the width and height of your stripes to allow for seven horizontal and five
vertical equally spaced rows.
2. Sand the frame, wiping away dust with a soft cloth. Use a cloth to apply wood stain
to frame. To prevent the calligraphy marker from bleeding into wood when inscribing
phrases, seal frame with two coats of Mod Podge following manufacturer's
3. Practice writing patriotic phrases on scrap wood using the calligraphy marker.
When satisfied, inscribe a phrase centered on each side of the wooden frame.
4. Use a pencil to lightly draw a 4 x 4-inch square in upper left-hand corner of slate.
Use a sponge brush to basecoat the square BB, applying three coats to achieve a
deep color. Basecoat the remainder of slate WW, applying at least three coats for
5. With pencil, divide white area into 1 x 2-inch rectangles. Divide white area into 1 x
1-inch squares for stars.
6. Use the flat brush to paint the red rectangles PR. Use the shader brush to shade
the top of each red block with CR. To shade, dip brush in water; blot excess on a
paper towel. Dip one corner of the brush into the paint. Blend paint by stroking brush
on palette until color gradually fades to the opposite side of brush. Place paint side of
the brush along the top of each block, stroke across the block to shade. Highlight the
bottom of each red block with SP, using the same method as above for shading,
placing the lightest color at bottom of block.
7. Highlight each 4-inch side of the blue square with WW. To define mini squares,
use liner brush to paint white lines over pencil lines. With pencil,
draw stars freehand. Thin WW with water; paint stars using a
No. 2 round brush. Let dry.
8. Using the permanent-ink marker, draw dash "stitch" lines between red and white
rectangles. Draw stitch lines around stars and along the blue squares. Make an X at
each corner of blue squares.
9. Seal painted flag and wooden frame with water-based varnish following the
manufacturer's instructions. Use wire cutters to cut shanks off buttons. Glue buttons
to each corner of frame. For hanger, knot end of jute; make a second knot 2-1/2
inches away; trim beyond second knot. Center jute on upper back of slate; glue knots
20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster
Chenille (pipe cleaners)
A wide mouth container
String or yarn and a pencil
Shape the pipe cleaners any way you want - hearts, angels, stars, flowers, etc.
Pour boiling water into a wide mouth container (wide enough to hang your ornament
in so it doesn't touch the bottom or sides). Add about a cup of Borax, less or more
depending on the size of your container and the amount of water. A thick glass
container works well, because you can see the Borax dissolving. Add enough Borax
so the water is quite cloudy.
Suspend the ornament in the solution by tying a piece of string or yarn to it. Tie the
other end of the string to a pencil, and then lay the pencil across the top of your
container. Make sure the pipe cleaner is completely immersed in the solution and
isn't touching the sides or bottom of the container. As the solution cools, the crystals
will begin to form on your pipe cleaner. Leave overnight. Remove from the solution
and allow to dry.
NOTE: Overnight soaking will give you very thickly crystallized ornaments. If you want
some of the color of the pipe cleaner to show through, leave in the solution for less
time - as little as 2 hours.
If you want, you can spray your finished ornament with acrylic sealer or clear spray
paint to keep the crystals from falling off too quickly.
Color Swirl Bottles
Odds and ends of enamel paint
Ivory "flat" paint
Wash bottle in hot soapy water; rinse well and dry thoroughly.
Give the bottles a coat of flat paint for base - ivory is good. Let stand to dry overnight
Fill with water to about 4 inches from the top. Now put a few drops of each of several
colors of quick-drying enamel on top of the water. The enamel will float. Flatten out
the drops on the surface by gently blowing on them. Holding the bottles by the neck,
as close to the top as possible, dip it down into the water, twisting bottles as you dip.
The bottles will pick up the colors on top of the water as it is lowered, so make sure
you use a smooth continuous motion - don't stop part way. Give the bottles a twist as
you dip them, creating a swirl of color. Carefully remove from the water and set it on a
newspaper to dry.
When the bottles have dried, give the surface a luster with wax and polish.
Dried Flower Sachet
Make yur own dried flower sachet. Smells great and makes a perfect gift!
Piece of Lace
Cut out the felt and lace material into whatever shape you want your sachet to be
(hearts are fun, but any simple shape will work. The size you make will defepend on
how many flowers you have. You will want your sachet 'pillow' to be full, but not too big
(probably 6 inches maximum size).
Put glue around the edge of your felt shape, but leave a small section without glue.
This is where you will stuff your dreid flowers in. A hot glue gun works well, but any
sort of thick, tacky glue will work also. Set your lace shape on the glue. Be careful to
match the edges as best as you can. Set it aside for the glue to dry.
Once the glue and flowers are both dry, carefully stick the petal of the dried flowers
into the opening you left in your felt/lace shape. Once full, glue the opening shut.
Caefully put a dab of glue around the edge of your shape, on the lace side. Carefully
stick the edge of the piece of lace onto the glue. Set aside to dry.
Once your glue is dry, your sachet is pretty much ready! Put a small amount of
purfume on the back of your felt so your sachet smells great. These make great gifts,
and are perfect for making drawers, closets, and other small areas smell sweet!
Silverware Wind Chime
6 to 8 pieces old silver plate forks, knives, spoons
1 small silver plate serving dish
Heavy monofilament line
Very light stainless steel link chain
4 small "S"-shape stainless hooks
1 larger "S"-shape stainless hook
Find a flat surface and temporarily lay out your silver chime. You'll want the pieces to
hang at different lengths.
Mark points to drill four holes equally spaced every 90 degrees around the mounting
plate's circumference. Give your drill bit a place to bite by using a punch first at your
marked points. Drill the four holes in the mounting plate
from which the chimes will dangle.
Clip off four equal pieces of light stainless-steel chain, about 6 inches long. The
pieces will angle upward from the edge of the plate to a central point and should be
long enough to allow the chime to move freely.
Use the "S" hooks to attach the chain pieces to the mounting plate, with the four
smaller ones at the plate edges leading to the larger "S" hook.
Assemble the wind chime temporarily - tie four of the silver-plate utensils at different
lengths and use the four drilled holes on the plate as attaching points. Check to
ensure that the mounting plate will hang level. Adjust the chain lengths as necessary.
Add the four chimes by loosely tying off the silverware pieces
with different lengths of monofilament line.
Determine where you want to add the remaining pieces of silverware. Hang the
pieces opposite one another if the mounting plate is circular.
Balance by hanging silverware of different weights at different lengths from the plate.
Drill the necessary holes. Hang the additional pieces, also tying them loosely.
Experiment for sound and balance by changing both the point where the line is tied to
the silverware piece and the arrangement of the hanging pieces. Tie the
monofilament lines securely, trim the knots, and secure each with a dab of super
glue. Hang the chime.