Top

Tag Archives | American Girl

Review | American Girl Crafts Mosaic Frame Kit

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The American Girl dolls are pretty popular in my household, and we have been blessed with another opportunity to test out one of their kits.  The American Girl line of craft kits by E.K. Success can be found at local craft stores, online and other retailers.  The American Girl Craft kits vary in price, and are geared to specific ages.   This particular kit is recommended for American Girl fans ages eight and up.  The “Mosaic Frame Kit” retails for about $19.99.
The Mosaic Frame Kit comes complete with:
  • A project & idea booklet
  • Acrylic Frame
  • 142 Patterned Shapes
  • 1 Green Square Stencil
  • 1 Pink Circle Stencil
  • 24 Clear Plastic Bubble Stickers
  • 16 Self Adhesive gems
  • 3 Ribbons
  • Adhesive Foam Squares

The instructions include some drawings that make it fun for the crafter to follow, without having to stop and read the whole booklet.

You really should read it, though, because the booklet offers some great tips and ideas for personalizing the projects.  There are even instructions for creating a fun scavenger hunt game to entertain the kids.

The colorful papers in the kit are actually pre-cut shapes that the kids can use to decorate their frame.
The clear bubble stickers are pretty neat and a nice finish to the pictures and/or die cuts used in the project.
The frame itself is really cute, it is made from acrylic which is safer for the kids to craft with.
Making the project is pretty easy, just choose some pictures.  My girls found it easier to hold the photo stencil to decide which pictures to use.
Or you can use the frame to see how the pictures will look.
Once the kids have picked out the pictures, then they just need to cut them out.  The pictures are pretty small, so if you are working with younger children, then I would recommend cutting the pictures out for them.  If you have one of those fun inch-sized square punches, then those will work too.  The project took about 30 minutes total to make and came out great.  Below is the frame done using just the kit supplies and our pictures.  
My oldest daughter glued some of her favorite jewelry pieces (from pieces she had broken but did not want to throw out) to her frame.  Now she can enjoy both the memories from her pictures and from the pieces of jewelry.  So the possibilities are endless with this kit.  If you are looking for a fun quick and easy craft for your American Girl fan, then this kit will not disappoint. It is super easy and a fun memory project for your own American Girl to do.  The finished project is so cute.
Tips:
  • Lay everything out so you can pick your colors, shapes and photos.
  • If you are using the kit for younger children, you can help avoid frustration by using either the enclosed adhesive foam squares, or use glue dots (my personal favorite).
  • Your kids may want to keep adding decorations (stickers, buttons, etc.), so be prepared to have fun items on hand for them to add to their frame.
Pros:
  • Easy to follow instructions.
  • All the supplies you need are in the kit (except the photos and scissors).
  • Easy to finish in a short time period.

Cons:

  • Really geared for one child at a time. (Beside the one the manufacturer sent me, I purchased another kit so that both of my girls would be able to do one).
  • Habit forming, once we started the girls wanted more to make for friends.
  • Price may be an issue for some, however, I found some great deals online.  
We would love for our readers to share with us what types of crafts do their children enjoy making? Post a comment and let us know.

horizontal-line


Vendor Spotlight & GIVEAWAY: American Girl Crafts- Funky Felt Pins

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

With summer quickly approaching it is a great time to plan some creative activities for my kids.  It is always wise to have some fun and easy kids crafting supplies on had to entertain the kids.  Since the American Girl dolls have always been popular in my household,  the idea of trying out the American Girl craft kits was met with enthusiasm by my girls.  The kit we tried out was the “Funky Felt Pins” which is recommended for children 8 years old and up.  The kit retails for $12.99.  

The packaging on the “Funky Felt Pins” is very colorful.  From the outside of the package, it does not look like you get much in the way of supplies.  However, I was happily surprised to find it was jam packed full of enough supplies for my girls and their friends to give this kit a try and learn some basic embroidery skills.
This kit comes with the following:
● Project & Idea Booklet
● 12 yards of embroidery floss in 4 colors
● 33 plain felt pieces
● 5 embroidered patches
● 12 adhesive pin backs
● 10 sequin flowers
● 1 piece of white practice felt
● 1 needle
● 1 needle threader
The instruction booklet does have some nice colored simple instructions for their versions of the following stitches and knots:
● running stitch
● applique stitch
● cross stitch
● french knot
● finishing knot
The kit is color coordinated with enough materials to create at least 12 pins.  Since it includes instructions and materials, it would make a fun scout troop project.  However, you would have to pick up extra needles for each girl; this kit only comes with one needle.

The first thing we did was to lay out the pieces and then pick out a few different shapes to sew together.

Then I sewed the small floral sequin onto the green felt flower using white thread to make the stitches stand out.
I then sewed the green felt flower onto the orange felt flower.

Which was followed by sewing those pieces onto the darker felt flower.
The kids took a vote and wanted to add some bling to the flower.   So I added beads to finish it off the piece.
As you can see, the steps are very simple and easy to follow.  However,  I did find that it was a little bit challenging for little fingers to negotiate the needle and accomplish the smaller stitches.   

However, even with that frustration, the project certainly kept her attention.

A different size needle did make the difference for her and she enjoyed making her project.
Here are some other projects we made with the die cut felt pieces provided in the kit.  The first is a felt owl pin.
The second is a funky felt ring.  A quick note on this one, my daughter sewed the different pieces together. However, since she wanted a ring we felt that adding glass beads would add some sparkle and interest the ring.


The third is a funky felt hair band.
The fourth is a funky felt  hair clip for one of their American Girl dolls.
These projects are so fun and easy for the kids to do.  They also provide a great surface for adding beads, buttons, rhinestones, and more.  I like this because it allows for creative self expression and personalization.  Since this kit was such a hit with my girls, I will be purchasing some of the other American Girl Craft kits this summer to keep them entertained.
Tips:

  • Lay everything out so you can pick your colors and shapes.
  • If you are using the kit for younger children, you can help avoid frustration by using white glue to adhere the pieces together.  Let dry.  Then sew together with simple stitches.
  • Use up those fun beads and charms you have around the house to use as accents for these fun pieces.
Pros:
  • Plenty of material for a fun party activity or scout craft project.
  • The materials in the kit are versatile, you can use the pieces to create more than just pins.
  • Kit appeals to more than just 8-year-olds.  My 20-year-old thought they were pretty cute and wanted to make one.
Cons:
  • The felt die cuts are a little difficult for smaller hands to negotiate.  I would recommend using a different needle for smaller hands and perhaps backing the die cut felt materials onto a slightly larger piece of felt.
  • Not enough needles, it would be nice if they included more than one needle in the kit.
  • Some of the accent stitches are little challenging for some 8-year-olds.  I would recommend sewing or gluing on beads or rhinestones, if the child gets frustrated.

GIVEAWAY
The folks over at EK Success are giving away kits to two lucky readers. To enter simply answer any of the questions below in the Comments section of this article on our website. One comment per person, please.
What are some of your favorite summer projects for your kids?  Do you have any hand sewing tips for kids or kid craft ideas?  We would love to hear from you.

Winners are chosen at random. Contest closes Sunday, June 12th at 6pm CST. Good Luck!

Disclaimer

Click on the link at the top of the page to visit Craft Critique for comments, giveaways and more!