Project: Twig Furniture

I shared with you the cozy country cottage that Louisa made. Come with us to build some charming twig furniture to go inside!

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Here’s how:

1) Just gather twigs. (These are cherry and peach branches recently pruned from our orchard.)

2) Plug in a the low-heat glue gun and get your garden clippers.

3) Use the garden clippers (or kitchen scissors) to clip the twigs into short lengths.

 

To make a little chair, cut and lay out the pieces you need. Just estimate! Cut one twig and then use it to measure against to cut others the same size.

Just to give you an idea, here is the size I used, but I didn’t measure them when I made it:

2 long twigs (about 2.5″ high) for the back legs
2 short twigs (about 1″ high) for the chair front chair legs
8 twigs for cross bars (about 1.5″ long)
about 10 (2″) twigs for the chair seat

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4) Glue gun the chair frame together. Add crossbars to make it stable.

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5) Glue twigs across . . .

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. . . to make a sturdy seat! I added a little “V” shaped piece of twig to the chair back to make it fancy!

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Aw, that feels good to sit down and relax a while! To put our feet up, we’d need a footstool. That shouldn’t be too hard!

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Ta-duh!

It would really feel good to lie down on a bed!

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Make a bed just like a chair, except make the “seat” bigger, and closer to the floor. And spread out the twigs going across so they just hold up the mattress. This little bed measures 4″ long. The head bedpost twigs are 2.5″ high.

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This bed just needed somebody to lay in it, so I quickly drew a little gal to nap there while I fold some cloth into a tiny mattress and pillow.

Now we are dreaming of making a little doll to live in this cottage.

 

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Build a Cozy Country Cottage

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Louisa had a great time building a cozy country cottage in miniature! All you need is cardboard, glue, acrylic craft paint and some tissue paper for flowers to bloom around your door! This doesn’t have to be a female craft. Boys can make a fire station (complete with second floor fire-pole) or a space station . . .whatever you can imagine . . .

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Want to make one? Here’s how:

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Cut a little front shape out with doors and windows. Our door measured about 3″ tall.

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Bend a piece of construction paper, cardstock or thin cardboard over the house front to make a roof. Attach with glue or tape. Paint it. Blossoms can be made by squishing up little squares of tissue paper and attaching with glue stick.

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Paint a cheery color in the inside (like yellow walls and ceiling). Louisa painted a wooden plank floor too. Glue it down onto a piece of cardboard which you can paint if you like. Louisa made daisies in the grass and a cute stepping stone pathway to the front door.

Next, we’ll build the furniture!

Ahhhhh. . . . it is very satisfying building a house!

 

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Feed Creativity!

Summer time—the academic pressure is off! Whew! Now some really important learning can happen: creativity! From a monetary standpoint, the value of a creative mind is priceless. Every businessman and inventor yearns for more of this precious element! It is not something that can really be taught in school, either—but you can foster creativity in your home.

Here are some ideas to feed your family’s creativity:

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My son Ammon (15)

1) Be creative cooks

This is hard for me to do (because I tend to be thrifty and efficient) but it has been amazing when I “let go” and let the kids combine ingredients and spice things up the way they prefer. My only rule is you have to clean up, and eat what you make.

My son Nathan invented and named a family favorite dish, “Yummy Turkey Bolitos” when he was about 10 years old. He even made a chant/song about it, and printed and illustrated his recipe. I would have never been creative enough to try all the combinations he did! Basically, he baked potatoes and banana squash. Then he scooped out the cooked potato and squash and whipped it with a mixer, adding a little milk and lots of savory spices (salt, pepper, garlic, onion powder, parsley, marjoram, oregano, etc.). Then he scooped the golden mixture back into the potatoes and topped them with cheese. They don’t contain any turkey (in spite of the name), but they are definitely yummy.

Louisa makes the most gourmet, exotic scrambled eggs. I am afraid to ask what is in them, but they are always highly seasoned and delicious. I have the inkling that she just opens up the spice cupboard and grabs whatever she sees!

As I’ve loosened up on letting my kids experiment in the kitchen, I have seen their creativity expand and their confidence grow!

costumes2) Dress up

We all express ourselves creatively every day just by choosing what we will wear. Moms can allow a lot of freedom in this department and let children experiment with many ways to dress, combining outfits from their own wardrobes. (I do reserve the right to give final approval before going to church or out in public if their outfits are too unconventional—we want to serve as modest, good examples and not be distracting or attention-getting with the way we dress!)

Besides getting dressed each day, there is dress-up play—another chance to be creative! Keep your eyes open for fancy or unique clothes, shoes, accessories and wigs from yard sales or a thrift shop. They are well worth the price in creative dress-up! We have a pair of full length metallic silver gloves in our dress-up box, and they have served to create robot-looking arms, a glamorous accessory for an evening gown, surgeon’s gloves, and much more over the years. Seems every child can think of a new use for those silver gloves!

When Ammon was just a little guy, he wore a tiger suit—complete with headpiece and tail—every single day for months on end. I learned that tigers can do their math and their chores just as well as people!

paintcreative

3) Paint together

You don’t have to be talented in the least to enjoy painting. It is so creative!

I buy watercolor paints (the cheap ones are okay, nice ones are even more exciting) and collect scratch paper (usually computer paper that has been printed on one side and is no longer needed) for our painting times. Set a leaves, shells, or fruit on the table to create a still life. Put on some classical music, and get your brush wet. Look out the window and paint what you see. Look at your sister and paint her eye close-up. Imagine your favorite place and paint it from memory. Do it realistically or with dashes of colors and vague forms, or with dots of paint. Use a fine brush to add details. You aren’t trying to paint a masterpiece—you are just painting for the sheer fun of it, rather like dancing. When you are all “painted out”, you may have 5 or 6 paintings each. Dry these flat, and then use masking tape or sticky tack to arrange your paintings all on your dining room wall for a temporary art gallery. It is fun to look at everyone’s paintings while you eat.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”—Albert Einstein

Have fun being creative!

 

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