Wednesday, January 9, 2008

MOPS Craft

Our church started up a MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) just this past fall. There are some really lovely ladies on our steering committee. I've really enjoyed going over the past few months. The woman in charge of crafts (and other areas) openly admits she is not a "crafty" person. I, on the other hand, do enjoy crafts. Near the end of November I had seen a really cool craft that I thought would be good to do & mentioned it to her. That's when she smartly said, "Oh, YOU could lead it!" ::grin:: Smart gal.

Since then I've really felt like this is something I could do. Especially since the lady in charge of crafts told me it can take her all week to figure out a craft to do. I had about five or so ideas in my head without doing any research. I did research last week. I submitted a list of 18 ideas to her. ::grin::

Today I led them in making paper bag albums. These really are simple & easy to make. They are a lot of fun as well. They are made out of regular lunch bags. Since I found some great ideas on other ladies blogs, I really felt like I wanted to share this on here in case anyone else out there was searching for ideas.

We made a Counting album to help our children learn numbers. I did a bunch of prep work in order to make this craft go quickly. We typically have about 30 minutes for the craft. I also put these in to kits & made up 15 of them.

If my instructions aren't all that clear, then click here to check out an article at Scrapjazz that explains it all a bit better.

Prep work:
  1. Pre-fold all lunch bags.
  2. Punch all holes for binding.
  3. Pre-cut all patterned paper
  4. Pre-cut all white paper
  5. Pre-cut numbers
  6. Xyron (more on that later) all numbers

I made my album using photos I found already here that were waiting to be used in my scrapbooks. If I couldn't find a photo that would work, I used stickers.

Here is the cover:

The binding is made by tying it together with fibers. I have a ton of these laying around left over from knitting projects & specifically for scrapbooking. I use ribbon a lot in my scrapbooks.

Pages 2 & 3. The zero page obviously has nothing on it but the sticker. I used store bought stickers here. However, for the albums made at MOPS today, I cut 0-9 using my Sizzlet set. The font I used was Mac & Cheese - way cute. I also used my Xyron 150 to turn them in to stickers. Click here to see what a Xyron is all about. If you scrapbook or make cards & do not have one of these things, I highly recommend one! If you have children & they like to make crafts, I also highly recommend one!

J really enjoys going through this book with me. I really worked at finding photos that had him in them. What child (age age 3) doesn't like seeing pictures of themselves?

However, as you can see here, I could not find a photo of "five" so I used stickers. They are bug jar stickers. Can't get much more "boy" than that! ::grin::

There is a page 6 & 7, however, the photo I used for six has photos of friends & their children. I wasn't sure if they wanted me to post that on the blog so I skipped showing that page.

And here you'll see that I could not find photos for 8 & 9 so I used stickers. Still very fun & it helps little ones make the connection between objects and the number.

And here is the back! Very simple.

Now, in using lunch bags, you do have the openings. Typically in paper bag albums you leave these open & tuck in tags. I opted to do this. I cut three blocks of white cardstock slightly smaller than the patterned paper. I then used scraps of the patterned paper to jazz them up a bit. I stapled fibers & ribbons to the edge in order to have them stick out.

You may also have noticed all the black ink around all my paper. This is a distressing technique used in scrapbooking. You simply take an ink pad & rub your paper all around the edges with it. It is suppose to look messy.

This craft was a big hit today. One mom (another homeschooling mom) pointed out it could be made in to a more tactile craft by adding more ribbons & fibers. You could also glue in buttons, beans, beads, anything along those lines for counting. The possibilities are really endless.
I'll continue to post crafts as I make them. Enjoy!


  1. What a fantastic idea! I just love this. Very nice - and thanks for sharing in so much helpful detail!

  2. Ohhhhh... I love this. I'm going to send this to my MOPS creative activities coordinator. What fun! (Although... we have a few more moms... Hmmmm...)

  3. This is such a cool idea! Oh, how I wish I was crafty ...

  4. WAY KEWL! I've wanted to make a paperbag album sometime. Now I'll know how.

  5. Very, very neat. I will have to add this to my list of things to make.


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