Last month was my partner's birthday and I wanted to get him something special. He really enjoys playing 40k, a table top role play game involving miniatures that you can paint beforehand. From what I understand this game involves a battle of these miniature figures that require strategy, luck, and even artistry as they make their own scenery as well.
What he really wanted was some of the new 40k Eldar releases, one of the race of people from this game, but they would not be available until after his birthday and I really wanted him to have something to open on the day.
But as money is super tight at the moment and I do love a good craft project, especially one I can do with my daughter Mia, I saw this as a great opportunity to make something special.
So while sifting through my crazy amount of clutter, one of the things I found was polymer clay, I think the reason I originally bought this many years ago was to make beads and Christmas decorations and and as usual I bought too much or lost interest...
So I thought to myself, Mia and I can make him a beautiful picture frame.
When taking on a medium size project with Mia, a few things tend to happen. Firstly we talk about everything and nothing - like her mum, she is also a big talker. Secondly, she gets bored easily (also like her mum). So in trying to hold her attention I also let her flit between helping me make this frame and playing with some of her toys but even this can't hold her attention. After all she is only four, and if I struggle with focus, how can I expect her not to?!
But then an idea struck: we would make the craft project into some imaginative play!
Lately Mia has had a fixation with travelling to different worlds through portals (family resemblance to Dad here is strong!). She and my partner regularly go on quests for portals, and we've recently found lots of them in the sand pit - we've travelled to the realm of Thomas the Tank Engine among other exciting places. Recently, she's started enjoying pretending she is doing things for the first time. For instance, she will say let's pretend we have never been here before or let's pretend it's my first time walking. She also like to pretend we come from somewhere else - sometimes she is from Yogurt Junction and I am from Ice Cream City, both located in the food realm. One morning I came out and she was pretending to be a woodland baby from a different world that we found in a forest (I have no idea how this started but probably one of the many games Mia and her Dad play).
Anyway, back to our craft project...
To get her to focus a little more on the frame, I tell her we are building a portal and ask where she wants to go. She decides she is a woodland baby and we are building a portal for her to go back to her world.
While making the frame, she has to go back to her world and return before the portal closes, and I tell her she needs to add parts to the portal so it knows where she wants to go.
She asks why.
I say, "Because without a piece of her the portal won't know where to send you."
She asks why.
I say, "Because that's how the magic works."
She asks why.
This goes on for a while.
The whole process takes a few hours with a lot of conversations and play.
So now not only to we have a gift but we have also had a lovely morning. I have to say I really love spending time with this kid :)
In case you would like to make this frame here's the How To (Full Disclosure some links are affiliated). Please feel free to contact me if you have questions.
I started by gathering the the following:
A plate or your own chosen template
A photo or something to use as a place holder for a picture to get the size right.
Diamond Glaze varnish- or any sealant such as PVA glue or Modge Podge. This is what I used
Acrylic Paint Pens (optional)
Old cardboard box or some thick card
Lighter card- I used card from a cereal box
Strong packing string
A hot glue gun
And there you have it! A wild looking frame made with love and a fun mother-daughter experience to boot.
Using the same method I also thought it would be fun to make some coasters and place mats.
So watch this space!
If you use this easy technique, please send me some pictures and let me know about your experiences.
I would love to post them below!
And if you enjoyed this post, please like, share and stay safe out there,