Crafts Most Camps Have Never Done

As summer approaches, camps across the country start to gather supplies for the inevitable craft classes, such as Popsicle stick picture frames, painted rocks and apple prints. Now there’s nothing wrong with traditional crafts, but how about trying something a bit out of the ordinary? Ever decorated Styrofoam mannequin heads or gotten campers involved in making artistic trading cards? How about some super-gross papier-mache creatures? The following are some ideas designed to add an element of fun and creativity to your camp craft programs.

Artistic Trading Cards

This craft trend is spreading around the world with multiple Web sites and many Yahoo groups. The concept couldn’t be easier–decorate ordinary playing cards with a variety of items and trade them. That’s right. Artistic trading cards are designed to be created and shared with others. The decorated cards become individual pieces of miniature art.

Best of all, this craft trend is ideal for camps because the supplies are available in every camp craft closet. Need directions? Here goes: Give campers playing cards and tell them to decorate the cards. End of directions! That’s it!

Set out a variety of crafting supplies that can include:

* Watercolors

* Ribbon scraps

* Buttons

* Beads

* Artificial flowers

* Lace

* Leftover scrapbooking supplies

* Rubber stamps

* Glue

* Scissors

Trying to get boys interested in crafts? Set out old baseball trading cards and ask the boys to decorate those. Before campers start trading cards, display them on a bulletin board. You’ll be amazed by the variety of miniature art masterpieces created on simple playing cards. Be sure to have “camper artists” sign and date the back of their cards.

Marvelous Mannequin Heads

It can be difficult to find crafts tweens and teens enjoy making. Solve that problem by rolling out the mannequin heads. The hardest part of this project is finding the Styrofoam mannequin heads. They can be purchased at beauty supply stores or online. Ask your local beauty college if they have extra heads laying around. (That’s a request you don’t hear too often.) Once again, the directions are pretty simple:

Step #1: Set out Styrofoam mannequin head.

Step #2: Let campers decorate heads with paint, permanent markers, yarn, beads, sequins, buttons, old jewelry and anything else you can find to embellish this unique craft.

Step #3: Admire and display the Marvelous Mannequin Heads! Some girls use the heads as a creative way to store their earrings. They simply poke the posts into the Styrofoam to keep their earrings in a semi-organized place.

Splatter Drip T-Shirts

Sure, you could tie-dye shirts, but why not try a twist on that idea? Have campers bring white T-shirts to make their own multi-colored T-shirts.

* Have campers wet shirts and wring out excess water.

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