Have glue gun, will craft

Something happened to my genetic code while I was in utero. Somehow, I ‘m missing a particular bit of DNA that the rest of the family seems to share – I call it the Crafting Gene.  I don’t have it.

My mother paints, sews, mosaics and has recently started scrapbooking. My older sister embroiders with ribbons, knits and sews. My younger sister too can sew, make and bake up a storm. My father is amazing with stained glass. This delicate, fragile art follows on from him having built half our house with his own hands.  My various cousins, aunts, uncles and other assorted relatives can also do crafty things.

I can’t. No sew, no bake, no make….

Cherry topper costume with glue-gunned hat

This is a bit of a disadvantage when your kids are small. Crafting, you see, turns out to be incredibly useful in the mommy stakes. Not only can you share your skills with the children – Making Your Own Entertainment its called – but you also can Help With Activities. From helping out in kindy class (that’s nursery school to the non-Aussies reading this) to making stuff for the props and costumes in ballet class.

In kindy, I was relegated to the Cutting Out Corner, tasked with snipping out shapes while other crafty mothers did Exciting Stuff with fabric, needles and paint. At ballet, too, I was sent to the Cant Help Corner and even had to pay another mummy to sew Megan’s first ballet costume for me.

However, much to my joy, that very same ballet costume provided me with my one and only crafting claim to fame. I learned how to use a glue gun. As part of the costume that I paid someone else to sew, we were asked to make a hat. The hat was the finishing touch to the Cherrytopper costume, and it was not something the other sewing mummy could help with. FYI – Cherrytoppers are the little elf things that make biscuits in a fairytale land. The ballet teacher, sensing my nervousness, introduced me to the hot glue gun.

Hey presto – I could Make Stuff. I stuck all sorts of things onto the basket frame that formed the base of the Cherrytopper hat, and have never looked back. In fact, just last week, the glue gun came out as I had to make a duck costume – preferably with wings.

Erin's duck costume

Glue gun + felt + feathers = duck wings!

No problem for this Nearly Crafty Mum! Got some yellow felt and a packet of yellow feathers from the craft shop, dusted off the glue gun – and within ten minutes flat, Erin had duck wings – and tail feathers to match!

Here are my top glue gun tips:

  1. Its called a hot glue gun for a reason. The hot stuff is at the pointy end and dripping bits can scald.
  2. You can glue almost anything.
  3. You cannot, however, glue the soles of your favourite shoes back on, and nor can you reattach bits of broken Barbie doll furniture
  4. Can’t be used for hemming clothes. Unfortunately.
  5. Switch it off when you’re finished.
  6. Remember where you’ve stored the  spare glue sticks that fit in the gun, as it saves looking for them half way through a duck wing. 
  7. Don’t work on top of your favourite table cloth. Put newspaper down first.
  8. Glue is really sticky
  9. Peeling off the dried glue from your fingers can be fun, provided you remembered tip #1.
  10. Don’t leave anything you don’t want glued anywhere near the glue gun, especially if you forget tip#5.

Do you craft? Just to make me feel better, please share your crafting disasters. I can’t cope with your success stories!

For other fun activities to do at home, read Caryn’s article on Encouraging Creativity.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caryn
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 11:27:10

    Mandy. I loved your article. And yes – I can read between the lines when I read the ten things to remember.
    Thanks for the humour (and the tips). I don’t have a glue gun … YET
    (Caryn goes off to tell Gary she simply MUST have one).


  2. Gary
    Mar 20, 2011 @ 12:41:03

    Actually, I’ve said before that we need to have a glue gun. But so far, we haven’t actually gotten around to being sufficiently motivated to get one. But we do have a staple gun, and THAT can be quite fun too…especially as it makes a noise, and the kids don’t like the noise.

    So if I want some peace and quiet, there’s always the staple gun or some other power tool.

    Oh, and Mandy, you other mistake was not marrying someone who IS crafty. I am not crafty, I am not arty (at all, my animals I draw for Zoe are unrecognisable as anything!), but hey, Caryn is, so we’ve got that covered!


  3. Trackback: Children’s Party Invitations « keepingourkidsbusy

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