March is National Craft Month! All month long we’ll be sharing stories from your peers about what they are doing to celebrate and how they are encouraging others to discover the benefits of creativity.
For AFCI Designer Member, Betsy Burnett aka #CrazyShoeboxLady, March is a DOUBLE CELEBRATION! She celebrates National Craft Month as well as being involved in the Quality Craft Item of the Month – a time where year-round collectors from all over the world collect items to put into shoebox gifts. Betsy coordinates a group of charity crafters that calls themselves the #CrazyShoeboxCrew and they collect items to put into the shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child (OCC).
OCC is an international charity that sends gift filled shoeboxes to children in need all over the world. Shoeboxes are filled with: Personal Care Items; soap, toothbrush, comb, washcloth, School Supplies; notebook, crayons, markers, notebook, pencils, pens, gluesticks, rulers, toys, clothing items, a stuffed animal and more!
After creating and collecting items all year they have a huge shoebox packing party the first Saturday in November.
According to Betsy, Operation Christmas Child typically receives the least amount of boxes for children in the 10-14 year old age range. With this said, she created a roll-up checkerboard to fit the bill! The roll-up checkerboard is perfect for a boy or a girl it can even be personalized by the colors you choose, or the items you use for checkers.
Let’s see how Betsy put together her project!
Fabric placemat at least 12” x 18”
“Checkerboard” stencil from Plaid Crafts “Farm Life Collection”
Acrylic Paint (Folk Art Acrylics Shown)
Peel and stick Fabric Adhesive Tape Therm-o-Web
24” length of Ribbon
Markers, Buttons, tokens (12 each of 2 different colors)
1” velcro pieces
Make sure placemat is clean and ironed flat if necessary.
With placemat facing you lengthwise, position the checkerboard stencil on one end of the placemat and tape stencil in place using masking tape.
Using stencil brush, apply paint to the stenciled areas, remove stencil and allow to dry.
Apply 2- 2 inch pieces of Fabric Fuse to the non painted end of the placemat. Fold non painted end of placemat up to the checkerboard to form a pocket. Apply firm pressure to taped areas to make sure the adhesive bond is secure.
Fill the pocket with the pieces you have decided to use for checkers and roll up board. Mark area on back side you wish to place the ribbon tie. Remove checkers. Apply 1 1/2 inch piece of Fabric Fuse to middle of ribbon (you might have to trim or fold over the adhesive depending on the width of your ribbon.) Place ribbon unto area marked, and apply firm pressure to secure adhesive.
To play: unroll mat and remove checkers
For storage: place pieces inside of pocket and roll up. Tie ribbon to secure.
Once rolled up most normal sized tokens being used for checker pieces should stay in place for storage. For bulkier pieces apply a piece of velcro along the edge of the pocket using fabric fuse.
Would you like to learn more about Operation Christmas Child and how you can pack your own shoebox gift for a child in need? Check out their website for more information. How to pack a shoebox!
Check out the #CrazyShoeboxCrew on Facebook.
Stay tuned for more stories and tips on the AFCI Blog and all of AFCI’s social media channels.
What are you doing to celebrate National Craft Month? Share your story by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or using the hashtags #WeAreAFCI, #CRE8TIME and #NationalCraftMonth on social media.