Monday, May 2, 2011

Aluminum Foil Stars --And I helped!

I've had this project in the archives for awhile (being new to this blog, I have a backlog of projects to catch up on!). It's one of my favorites so far. It's a great craft project for any 0-3yr old. My baby was only 5 months old when we crafted these fun stars.

At Ethan's "school" there are a few shiny metallic cardboard stars that hang from the ceiling. He is often fascinated by them, and one day before we left it told him we'd try and find him some stars like that for in his room. So I thought about it for a bit, wondering where I was going to find said stars. It didn't take long before I started wondering how we could make these stars ourselves...and then of course, how Ethan could get involved!

Ultimately what I came up with I think is a fantastic (and practically free) craft for baby to take part in, using stuff that can be found around the house. In fact, I wish I had know just what a success it was going to be, or I wouldn't have completed as many of them by myself the night before (Ethan helped make 3 of the 8)!

Don't they look fantastic?!? There are more on the other side of the room as well. Of course, they are great near the changing table!
The stars are especially great near the changing table. They serve as a great distraction if you have a kiddo who gets bored on the table like we do. We bat them around, and sign "star." We count them and sign "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star." We ask him where they are, and he looks up and finds them. And did I mention, they look awesome?!?

So, ready to see how it's done?

Supplies needed: 
Cardboard cereal or snack box
Aluminum foil
Hole Punch
(That's all stuff that you can dig around the house for. How great is that!?)
...oh yeah, and a baby artist assistant!

Now for the fun stuff...
1. Cut open cereal box (or any other cardboard food packaging with a large available surface area. Quickly draw a star or two on the box with a pen. The idea is not to be precise, but to just draw quickly.

2. Cut out the stars. This is where you can refine any errors in the sketch. The idea however, is to not go too crazy making the stars perfect. They are supposed to look somewhat organic and original.

3. Crinkle up some foil. Add one baby. This is the part where baby is incredibly helpful. Not only is it a great tactile experience, but it makes a great noise, is shiny, and a lot of fun! Make sure to keep a good eye on things however, the foil tears easily, and could disappear into baby's mouth. Ethan tried to lick it a few times, but he never really put it in his mouth a whole lot. Warning: baby drool accumulates on foil surface quickly. It's not a bad idea to stop the show on each piece before you have to hang your foil out to dry!

We make baby art first thing in the morning when Ethan is fresh!
4. Smooth the foil and wrap it around the cardboard cut outs. To make this happen, sometimes the foil needs to be torn or trimmed. It doesn't have to be perfect! It's foil. If there is a bald spot, just crinkle in another small patch. Wrap the foil tight to the edges. Again, this is not the craft to be obsessive compulsive! The idea is for them to look a bit messy (I mean, artsy!).

5. Punch a hole in one of the stars points. Hint: Sometimes a star looks better positioned one way over another. Be sure to check this before punching the hole. However, if you "mess up," you can always cover the hole with a foil patch and start over!

6. Hang stars: Loop some thread though the holes. I used a white sewing thread. Any thread will do. I tied the thread in one big loop and hung the stars with tape (they are light enough that regular old magic tape will do the trick). Wa-la! Beware however, the corners are a bit sharp. I would warn against hanging them directly over a crib, changing table, or play area in case they would decide to become shooting stars!

The finished product looks great. Ethan loves them, and best of all, he helped create yet another work of baby art! What a great excuse to spend some quality time together!


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