Last week I posted about a Busy Bag Swap that I recently attended. This week I want to share a quick tutorial on my contribution and a free printable label to go with it.
After spending too much time on Pinterest I decided that I would make lacing cards. But not just any lacing cards… I wanted to make rainbow lacing cards. And never mind that the Pin I found was hand drawn on a piece of cardboard from a recycled cereal box. I had grand plans to design a cute printable rainbow and use my fancy new cutting machine to perfectly cut out 20 of those bad boys (including the holes for lacing) out of cardboard and out of card stock with the rainbows printed on it. In my mind these 2 layers would match up perfectly and I would glue them together and be done with it. They would be gorgeous! People would want to know where they could buy them!
Why do I have to complicate everyting???
I’ll spare you all of the painfully frustrating details and just tell you that my lofty plans for the perfect rainbow lacing cards were a big, fat failure. After a lot of wasted time and materials it became clear that hand punching pre-cut foam shapes was the way to go! Way less complicated and still very cute. But just so I didn’t leave my simpler version completely uncomplicated I had to take it a step further and create a printable sticker to label the busy bags. I’m sharing that printable label with you below so that your busy bags can look effortlessly (ha!) put together.
The most important thing is that the kids like this activity and lacing is great for developing fine motor and visual perception skills.
These busy bags would also make excellent party favors for birthday or holiday parties. You could find foam shapes that fit the theme or colors of your event. Because I was making these for a large group of both boys and girls I made bags with different shapes and didn’t worry too much if a little boy got a sparkly pink crown with his basketball. You can see below how they can easily be grouped for a princess or sports themed party though. If you’re feeling ambitious you don’t even have to be limited by the pre-cut foam shapes you can find at the craft store. You can trace and cut your own shapes too. Just remember that the simpler shapes are much easier to follow when lacing. I think the butterflies that I chose might have been a bit too complex of a shape. The sports balls and heart shapes work perfectly for little hands though.
An unexpected byproduct of this craft was some pretty cool foam confetti. Here are some iPhone shots that I shared on Instagram:
Foam Lacing Card Busy Bags
– 1 plastic sandwich zip-top bag per busy bag
– 6″ craft foam shapes (3-4 per bag)
– parachute cord 325 in coordinating colors
– Lacing Card Labels printed on sticker paper (optional)
– standard round hole punch
- Use your hole punch to punch holes around the permitter of the foam shapes. I recommend leaving about 1 inch between holes while following the lines of your shape. Don’t make the path too complicated for kids to follow.
- Lace the parachute cord through a sample shape to see how long you should cut your lengths of cord. Make sure to leave room for knotting and a little extra wiggle room for lacing.
- Once you’ve determined the length of cord, cut the amount you’ll need.
- Knot (or double knot) each length of cord on one end. Melt the other end using a lighter to seal it up. This gives the kids a stiff end to work with when lacing and ensure that the cord won’t unravel.
- Cut your sticker labels and place one on the front of each plastic zip-top bag and then package your foam shapes and coordinating lacing cords in the bags.