Monday, April 28, 2014

Make-it Monday

Although the blog has been quiet it doesn't mean our lives have been. The girl and I have just come back from 6 day trip to Virginia to visit family. Which, for me, means a week of planning for the trip and a week of getting back into the swing of things. Right now I'm just processing the trip and the extra baggage that came back with me (both physically and emotionally).

So instead of putting all that on paper, or screen rather, I decided to start something new that makes me happy! Make-it Monday!!

I'll be featuring a weekly craft or recipe or something made by my freakishly tiny hands. Whether it's a win or a fail I'll share every step of the process so that you can either try it on your own or laugh along with the mess I've made of myself.

This week is fairly simple: Tote Bag Marble Mazes.

Simple stitched "mazes" with a marble inside that you push through, using your fingers

If you have a child that needs extra work on their fine motor skills or you're a parent that would like to have your child keep quiet for a bit, this is a great craft for you to put together. You can find similar items on Etsy for about $10 + shipping but with a little time and minimal effort you can have three for about $1.50-...... So you're saving $25.50 + shipping. Just sayin'.

What you will need:

Mini-Tote Bags (I found these cute little tote bags at the Dollar Tree.) 2/$1

Marble (I already had some from another project. But you can buy a bag at the dollar store and have enough to make one for every niece, nephew, and friend's kids on your Christmas list.... for the next 3 years)

Pencil (Dude, you have a pencil somewhere. Right?)

Sewing machine. (Not pictured. Don't have one? I'm sure you can arrange a playdate with a friend who does have one.)

First, make pencil lines for the "walls" of your maze. You want to make them about an inch to an inch and a quarter wide, depending on how difficult you would like the maze to travel. A tighter fit means more work for those tiny finger muscles, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. But too tight and the marble won't move and you'll have a frustrated child. So keep it around the one inch mark.

(No I don't have a ruler handy. I'll just use this metal decorative sign from my mudroom wall...)

On this particular maze I did long diagonal stripes. 

Follow the lines you marked out on your sewing machine.
Make sure you don't sew completely across, the marble needs to be able to travel across the bag. 

Yaaaay! You have a maze.... almost.

Slip your marble into the maze through the top opening of the bag.

Sew it across, clip your threads and NOW you have a marble maze!

Was this an earth-shattering-game-changer that afforded me a hour of silence in the van? No.

Was it worth the 10 minutes of my life making them? Yes. 

She's played with them more in the 36 hours we've been home than in the hours long trip I intended them for. But the silence that it brings is much appreciated. Even as I write this post right now she's playing with them.  

Sooooo. There you go. Make-it Monday. Episode 1. Considering it a win!