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Monday, August 5, 2013

Thrifty crafting with Crystal Light containers

I am always looking for crafts ideas for the lower Learning Center students at our church school (grades 3 and lower). A friend of mine has a quantity of empty Crystal Light containers that she offered to me. Honestly it is such a nice little plastic container, just begging to be used in some way. I did a Pinterest search and saw a few ideas but the one I am using in the post is redecorating the container for use as a pen/marker/pencil case. Unsharpened pencils are a little too tall to use with the lid, but pens and markers fit well right off.
To make it as easy as possible for the younger kids, I decided to allow them to decorate it with colorful stickers. I used colored contact paper and cut lots of circles as well as the word "Pencils" for them to attach. I used MTC and my Silhouette Cameo for this project. I suppose you could also try using a punch if you do not have an electronic cutter. Or maybe those labels you can buy for pricing garage sale items?
I choose a thick bold font, Postino Std, and cut these at 0.5". This font was installed on my computer and I did not realize that it was so expensive! Another good choice would be SNF Universal from Lettering Delights. Or any bold font that you have installed on your computer. I did try using a "ball and stick" font like LD Delightful but I am afraid the kids will have too much trouble getting them on the container. It would fine for older kids though.
The circles are just under 1/2 inch but any size you like would be fine. I used about 25 stickers on the pictured container. I purchased my Con-Tact brand paper at a local Education store but it looks like they carry the same brand (by Kittrich) at Amazon if you cannot find it locally. There was some discussion on Amazon about the color not being red, but mine is very red.  It seems to be the same color as the one linked above at Amazon (see the item number above, almost exactly the same). I placed it up against a Staples bag so you can get an idea of the shade of red. This is a thinner vinyl but it is not transparent and sticks well. It is listed as repositionable which is great for the kids in case they want to rearrange initially.
The circles are easy to place but I did make use of a straight pin to help with placement, especially the letters. Just slide the pin under the vinyl and pull the letter off the backing sheet and place where desired.
Slide the pin out, smooth down the vinyl and you are good to go!  (sorry about the glare it's hard to take a picture with your non-dominant hand!)  You could also use transfer tape, but I wanted this to be easy for the smaller kids; they usually make a mess of the transfer tape. Also the pin keeps the oils from their fingers off the adhesive of the letters so they are more likely to stay stuck. That's more important with little pieces of vinyl.
Pencils will fit if you don't use the lid. Markers fit well, just put a lid on the top for storage.
There's room for all ten markers with a little space left over.
I did make some labels with stenciled (cut-out) letters but I made them way too small! I don't think I'll even offer these to the kids. Well, maybe for the lid but not the container itself.
(trying out my new "walk-around" lens that I got at Amazon with the photo above. It has macro, a feature that I was missing with my other two lenses and a great zoom area, 18-250. Not super fast but so far, I am liking it. Colors are true, focus seems sharp. Not a lot of bokeh but that was not what I was looking for in this lens. I think it's a winner for blogging! Love that macro ability.)
I used scotch tape to get the small pieces of the stenciled letters out.