When you skim through Pinterest, it is literally Make and Do on a colossal scale. Every junction contains a beautiful picture of some sculpture that a beautiful Stepford wife has whipped up with some toilet roll and modge podge…… Whatever the hell that is???
It was one of the things that excited me about having children. The idea of spending Sunday afternoons sticking things together that we had collected throughout the week resulting in a masterpiece that I would display proudly for all to see.
As with most things that I fantasized about before having children, the reality is completely different. It’s a nightmare. A sticky, glitter filled, hot glue gun wielding terror train to a nervous break down.
So here are my top tips on how to Survive Crafting:
Protect The House
You need plastic and lots of it. Cover the tables, the chair, the floor, hell, cover the child from head to toe! Paint, glue and glitter are all sentient beings. They move of their own accord. If there is a gap in your armour they will find a way. Never be too cautious!
If you have more than one child, don’t expect them to share. Are you crazy? They will all want that one red crayon that they robbed from Eddie Rockets and no other red will do. I would advise to buy cheap, but for each of them. Let them each have a station to minimise the carnage.
Have Your Own Sample
When you are demonstrating, use your own product. Do not take the toilet rolls and say ‘here little cherub I’ll do it for you.’ The child’s head will spin like they are possessed. ‘I wanted to do it!!!!’ ‘OK, OK, relax!’ And you try and calm them before they spontaneously combust.
Lower Your Expectations
The standard is not going to be good. You will not be making applications to the museum of Modern Art. The items will in no way, shape or form resemble the original concept. Accept that these wonderful art installations will be less than perfect.
Be Prepared For Repairs
Always have the glue ready in the following days to re-stick the googly eyes back on, to reattach limbs of monster men and replace ribbon that peels off. You have never experienced such disappointment than a child’s face when they come down the following day to see their masterpiece crumbled like a melted snowman.
Plan Around Meals/Snacks
If you attempt to have something to eat mid project you are asking for disaster. There’ll be glitter in their teeth for a week. Worse again they could spill something on a precious creation and there will be, without a shadow of a doubt, a flood of tears – and that’s just you. The kids will be upset as well.
Bring Back Up
If you can, recruit someone to share the pressure. Preferably an older cousin or a teenager whose patience had not been squeezed out of them by a daily onslaught of child. This shared responsibility will lower the chances of an epic melt down. It will also allow you to step away from the situation if the stress becomes overwhelming.
Enjoy…..! It’s not about the finished product, it’s all about self expression and creativity. It doesn’t have to be perfect. If you have children in the house, you should never need to buy art. And when the time comes to eventually dispose of the decomposed balls of cotton half stuck together whatever you do……..
Do Not Get Caught!!!