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Cool Summer Crafts

Next time your kids are bored, whip out your crafting supplies and make one of these cool summer crafts. Not only are they fun to make, but they'll be useful for your next backyard water fight or for eating a cold treat on a hot afternoon. 

*Click on the thumbnail to the left to view photos of each project.

Sponge Blasters
2 sponges per ball (buy sponges without the scrubber side), fishing line or twine, scissors
1. Cut each sponge lengthwise into four strips.

2. Lay down a piece of twine, about 8–10 inches. You will cut most of this off.

3. Alternating colors, organize strips into two layers of four on top of the twine.

4. Pull the twine up from each side of the sponge layers and tie into a double knot. The sponges will fan out to create a ball appearance. Cut the excess twine.

5. Soak sponge blasters in water and let the games begin!
Personalized Ice Cream Mug
Large ceramic mug (I got mine for a dollar at the dollar store), porcelain pens*, oven
*Some craft sites will recommend using Sharpies, but I can tell you from experience it doesn’t work. Sharpie washes off almost immediately.
1. Wash your mug and dry completely before decorating.

2. Decorate the mug with any design, pattern or words that you desire. Be careful not to smear the ink as you draw.

3. After you’ve finished decorating, bake the mug in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

4. Enjoy a big scoop of ice cream in your new personalized ice cream mug.
Extra: Now that you have porcelain markers, this same craft can be repeated on platters, plates or any other serving piece to make holiday dishes or gifts.
Sharpie Tie-Dyed T-Shirts
T-shirt, plastic cups, rubber bands, Sharpie markers, rubbing alcohol, medicine dropper
1. Place plastic cups underneath the shirt and secure with rubber bands. You can do as many circular sections as you like.

2. Decorate each section using your Sharpies. Avoid words or lettering as the patterns will expand and blur.

3. After you finish coloring each section, slowly drop rubbing alcohol onto the design starting in the middle and working your way to the edges. Remember, the alcohol will spread, so work slowly.

4. Allow the shirt to dry completely. When the shirt is dry, remove the cups and rubber bands.

5. To lock in your pattern, go over the shirt with an iron.

6. Enjoy your one-of-a-kind tie-dyed T-shirt!

Published July 2013