Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Hanging Jellyfish Craft

To prepare for Logan's shark themed 4th birthday party, I decided that we needed a few hanging decorations and these jellyfish were perfect. The inspiration came from here and we made a few changes. The first was that I didn't have any bowls to use so I had to buy some. The original directions used paper bowls and watercolor paints which is lovely, but I found that Styrofoam bowls were cheaper so that is what we got. Since watercolors weren't an option with Styrofoam, we used acrylic paints instead. I loved the idea this person had for using up ribbon scraps, and I expanded it by adding the bubble wrap. I think this gives them some extra jellyfishy-ness, and it's a cute way to re-use some packaging material we had laying around.

This was a fun little project that both kids were able to help with by choosing the color scheme and then painting the bowls and bubble wrap accordingly. They also helped picked the ribbons to include, because believe it or not, I am such a ribbon junkie that we actually had to reject some in order to make it all fit and not look too cluttered. (Please tell me I am not the only person who can't go to Michaels without digging through their ribbon bin to see what there is!) Here is how we made our happy jellyfish, just in time for a celebration under-the-sea.

{A trio of friendly jellyfish.}

Materials:
  • Styrofoam bowls
  • acrylic paint/s in your color choices
  • bubble wrap
  • Styrofoam trays (to hold paint)
  • foam paint brushes
  • scissors
  • googly eyes
  • tacky glue
  • assorted ribbon scraps
  • masking tape
  • fishing line (for hanging)
Directions:
  1. First, I laid some bubble wrap, textured side up, and a bowl (Styrofoam or paper), upside down, at each work surface. I poured some paint onto a Styrofoam tray (You could also use a plate or bowl.) and then we used paintbrushes to apply acrylic paints. Foam paintbrushes worked well for this. Tip: Before starting, protect clothing and work surfaces as acrylic paints will stain. My kids wear old t-shirts of mine and Logan's is especially large on him, so I close it at the back of the neck with a clothespin. To cover the tabletop, we used cereal box liners, one per person. (Note: If you are concerned about bacteria from meat packaging, first run your Styrofoam trays through the dishwasher on the top rack. It will sterilize them without damaging the Styrofoam!) Allow paint to dry completely.
  2. Using scissors, I cut the painted bubble wrap into strips, lengthwise. I cut each piece so that there were 6 strips, each one about 3/4 - 1 inch wide.
  3. Then, I adhered the strips of bubble wrap to the inside of the bowls using tacky glue. We spaced our out so that they were somewhat even, although it does not need to be perfect by any means. Tip: We found it best to apply glue to the smooth side of the bubble wrap.
  4. Next, we grouped together a variety of ribbons including: grosgrain, sheer, curling, yarn, wired, raffia, rickrack, whatever we had on hand, trimming them to the desired lengths (not all the same length). After the kids made their final choices, (red for Logan's, pink/purple for Mia's, and blue for mine), I bundled the ribbons together with masking tape and then affixed the bundles to the undersides of the bowls. I also used scissors to curl the curling ribbon and make adjustments to the lengths of ribbons as needed.
  5. They added googly eyes to each jellyfish using tacky glue. 
  6. Lastly, I poked two small holes in the top of each jellyfish for hanging. (I think I used a pin from my cork board for this.) For each jellyfish, I threaded fishing line through the tops of the two holes and then knotted it underneath, after I had strung the jellyfish up on my dining room chandelier. Then, I trimmed and excess fishing line and stood back to admire our friendly-faced jellyfish.

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