Friday, April 10, 2009


Do as I tell you not as I did!

I have always loved creativity and imagination. When I was a child my parents were very creative. My father was a writer of plays and lyrics to music. My mother baked, made jam, decorated the house top to bottom, and sewed. Mom and Dad both belonged to a little theatre
group in Mill Valley, California, participating in all aspects of theatre. But…I don’t remember them going out of their way to provide my siblings and I with stuff to inspire the imagination.

I did spend a lot of time alone since there were no playmates nearby so I talked to the squirrels and blue jays, and imaginary playmates, but it ended there.

Our son was a very creative child, always building things and drawing. He taught himself to play the guitar before he became a teen. He sang and played in a rock band at an early age. Our daughter took dance lessons. I made homemade clay and made play food for her dolls. I probably didn’t allow her to help though.

Alright, you’re saying, why should I care about this? What is your point? It is this, I always used the excuse that we couldn’t afford to buy crafting materials and so we couldn’t do the kind of things I wanted to do with them. Lame excuse!

After they were grown I learned to craft with trash! I could have done it all along but I’m a slow study. So do as I say and not as I did.

Look at those things you throw away. Get a cardboard box or a plastic tub and fill it with plastic creamer bottles, mint tins, advertising CD’s, oatmeal boxes, yogurt cups and lids, you get the idea. Keep some basics on hand like white glue, colored pens, etc. Don’t forget to save some colorful magazines they have wonderful uses. Add to your stash from time to time. Save old jewelry to take apart for beads, etc. It is possible to make wonderful objects from trash. I have even sold instructions for trash crafts to major magazines. Kids are good at this stuff.

Don’t forget garage sales. I have found wonderful buys on crafts materials for next to nothing. Also watch for crafting magazines and books, or children’s magazines at these sales, to help spark some ideas.

Now sit down with the kids and look at what you have. Encourage the kids to tell you what each item looks like. Ask them to come up with ideas for something to make. Don’t worry about the mess. You can all clean it up later.

©2009 Sharon A. Soffe


renee @ FIMBY said...

I may be biased (ok, I am definitely biased) but my kids can craft the coolest stuff from trash:

Have trash? Will craft!

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...


I know what you mean. I can't believe it took me so long to wake up to the possibilities that rest in that pile of trash. The only problem I had was accumulating trash faster than I could create. Of course when that happened I didn't have young children to help me.

Thanks for the visit.


Amanda said...

Great tips! I just hit the $1 bins at the craft store yesterday to replenish some supplies for Spring Break

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

That is wonderful! Now plant those imagination seeds! The kids will love it.


Sheri said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog to say hello. It is nice to meet you-I see you interviewed my bloggie friend, Debbie. Nice interview. Blessings to you for a lovely Easter and God Bless.