I love a good flea market and visit them often. Next week, every Michaels store in partnership with their style partner, Gymboree, will be hosting their own craft projects inspired by visits to flea markets. Michaels is also offering a kids’ summer crafting program, Passport to Imagination, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am – noon from June 14-July 31 at every Michaels location across the U.S. This awesome program takes kids on an imaginary seven-week summer road trip from the beach to the country fair and many more magical places!
One of my favorite items to look for are vintage horse show ribbons. They come in bright, luxurious, satin colors with gold foiling galore. How can one resist? But with their recent growth in collectable trends they have become difficult to find and a lot more costly. So, I was inspired to recreate a kid-friendly, crafted version of the horse show prize ribbons—but with a twist.
Never one to pass up a good teaching moment with my own children, I thought it would be fun to create a project where they could thoughtfully recognize others around them this summer. One of my goals as a mother is to help them grow into people full of kindness and empathy. So often in life and school people are being awarded for competitiveness and physical ability. While those things can be great, I also want our children to see that being clever, brave, and kind are equally (if not, more) important qualities to have in life. So even though we spent the afternoon creating crafts and handing out awards, I think they learned so much more than how to cut and glue.
We invited over a few friends to craft with us. Here is what we did to make our “Random Kindness Ribbons”:
What You Need
- Printable centers (1 and 2)
- A pin
- Mini/normal party fans (or you can create your own)
- A hot glue gun. (They will need an adult’s help of course!)
To begin, I created two pages of printables with different colors to make the award centers, inspired by the adorable Gymboree clothes they’re flaunting. Choose which you would like and print them onto card stock or computer paper layered on thick card stock or poster board.
Then, cut or punch the printables out to create the centers of the prize ribbons.
Next, add the center to the top of a party fan to create the look of a medallion with pleats. (I used a party fan to make it easier on the kiddos but you can make your own by simply fan-folding a paper you like and gluing it into a circle.)
Once that is done, create loops of ribbon by cutting small pieces and folding them over in half and gluing them with hot glue. Then glue them to the back of the party fan in a circle around the entire thing.
After that add ribbon and trim for the ribbon tails.
Finally, add any extra trim to clean up any edges or make your award just a little bit more fancy!
After we finished the ribbons I talked to them about what they said, and asked if they knew anyone who they thought could use a ribbon telling them how great they are. They picked a few neighbors and friends and I was happy to see how much time and thought they put into picking who they felt needed a happy boost.
The center of the biggest size printable is almost 6 inches. When you layer it with the party fans and ribbon they are BIG; perfect for hanging on people’s doors and surprising them. To do that, you could add a loop at the top of the ribbon to hang on a wreath hanger or door knob.
The kids had so much fun being sneaky and hanging the ribbons on people’s doors. They ended up handing out ribbons to people in the neighborhood as we walked along and it was so fun to see how surprised and happy it made people. One of our elderly neighbors even got teary. They wound up wanting to pick out and give awards to each other, too.
Can you imagine a world where people were awarded for being kind, helpful, and all-around awesome human beings? It was such a joyful afternoon. I wish we could do it everyday!
If we got you in the mood (like we hope we did), share a photo of your family getting crafty and inspired by each week’s summer destination. The weekly winner will receive a $100 Gymboree gift card, a $100 Michaels gift card and craft supplies! All you have to do is follow @Gymboree and @MichaelsStores on Instagram, post a picture of how your family crafts in style, and tag your photo with #CraftInStyleSweeps.