You may have seen these cute critters on Pinterest. We made 3 different versions since we kept having glue issues. I’ll show you what we all did. With pro’s and cons as they appeared.
1. First we tried to make them with Elmers glue as a post on Pinterest had suggested. I found it very flimsy and not toddler friendly as I had to hold the pieces on for a long time and the pom poms sucked in all the glue I put on. However this is a great version for older kids with patience and enough skills to do this on their own.
2. The second Love Bug we tried Removable Clear Mounting Squares instead of the Elmers glue. This version is great for toddlers as a sensory and exploratory experience, as there is no messy glue to work with. However, the end product is not stable to hang up and the mounting squares don’t grip very strongly. So we ended taking it apart and using the pieces in the final version.
3. The final and most successful version, we used hot glue. As I mentioned we used the pieces from the second version so the googlie eyes are already attached. This method will give you the most durable end result. Not as toddler friendly unless they know how to use a glue gun. Sophia is good about listening to instructions so I don’t have problems with her putting pieces on to the hot glue dabs I place. Plus I’m like a hawk with 100% attention on what she does when we are working together. I think in a few months (if I can find a suitable glue gun) I’ll let her practice holding it.
I found this awesome idea on All Our Days blog. They had done two different variations and I combined the two together to make it easier for my daughter and still have a bunch of fun colors.
Here is All Our Days blog’s many day project they did one with non watered down paint, instructions here.
Here is their version of making solid colors with watered down paint in a spray bottle, instructions here.
I combined both painting methods for a faster project. I didn’t think I could get Sophia to keep interested in a project over many days and yet I wanted a bunch of different colors in our end results. Here is the instructions I wrote of just painting the fabric. (We made these for Christmas presents so I couldn’t post about this at the time 😉 ).
What you will need:
White cotton fabric. (TIP: You could use pre-made napkins if you wanted to)
Elmers Glue Gel (the blue kind)
Tin foil (for underneath the fabric while gluing)
Cups (for watering down paints)
Regular paint brushes
Wax table cloth (the paint will go through the fabric and on to the surface below it) Or something else to protect your table
A cup with water for setting dirty paint brushes in
Wet wipes (for easy clean up)
If you want to frame them like I did you will also need the following:
Foam poster board
Iron (to get wrinkles out)
Hot glue gun and glue stick for it
And self-leveling picture hangers like the ones in the link below
Don’t worry if you can’t really see the glue like in the cat picture above.
Once the paints have fully dried put the fabric fully submerged in to a bucket of warm water and let sit for about 20 minutes. The glue will begin to melt away. You can speed it up by rubbing the fabric together or scraping it with your fingernail. This is my favorite part, you get to see the art you just created with your little one!
Just washed Ocean Scene, still wet.
After you have all the glue removed hang up your fabric to air dry.
Once dry they are ready to frame. If you chose to make napkins this is where you need to follow an extra step of heat setting your paint.
Since it took me several months to figure out how to frame the fabric pieces, I needed to first iron all the creases out of them. Follow your irons guidelines for your fabric. I used misting and low heat for mine.
TIP: don’t let the iron sit in one spot too long as it may damage the paint.
I finally settled on using poster-board for the framing. Use your razor knife and cut a piece to size. You will want to leave about an inch on all sides for wrapping.
Put a bead of hot glue down the first edge of the poster board push the fabric firmly on it. Glue a second bead on the opposite side and pull the fabric taught before pushing it down on the glue bead.
Next cut a “V” in to the fabric where the corner of the board is. That way it wont bunch up when you glue the corners down.
Fold the over hanging piece and glue down on the board.
Next glue the second corner, the side of the unglued fabric, and fold down and glue. After both corners are glued as shown above put a bead across and pull the fabric taught and push into the bead. Glue other side.
Figure out where you want to place the self leveling picture hanger. As close to the middle is best. I hot glued mine on top of the folded over fabric. Once satisfied with the location put generous globs of hot glue on both ends of the hanger.