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2017 Gift Guide: Gifts for Teens, Adults, Friends & Family

Your Ann Williams Group 2017 Gift Guide is here! Don’t let the holidays stress you out – we’ve got your gifts for teens, adults, family, and friends covered. Here are our picks for popular gifts and stocking stuffers this year. Looking for something else? Check out our other categories: we tried to make it as easy as possible for you to find the perfect gift!

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November 15, 2017

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2017 Gift Guide: Gifts for ages 5-8 and 9-12

Your Ann Williams Group 2017 Gift Guide is here! Don’t let the holidays stress you out – we’ve got your gifts for kids aged 5-8 and kids aged 9-12 covered. Here are our picks for popular gifts and stocking stuffers this year. Looking for something else? Check out our other categories: we tried to make it as easy as possible for you to find the perfect gift!

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November 15, 2017

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2017 Gift Guide: Stocking Stuffers & Popular Gifts

Your Ann Williams Group 2017 Gift Guide is here! Don’t let the holidays stress you out – we’ve got your gifts covered. Here are our picks for popular gifts and stocking stuffers this year. Looking for something else? Check out our other categories: we tried to make it as easy as possible for you to find the perfect gift!

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November 15, 2017

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Loopdeloom in Do It Yourself Magazine

The Loopdeloom was recently featured in DIY magazine by Better Homes & Gardens. Here are basic instructions for making the featured pillow & throw blanket/rug. If you're new to the Loopdeloom, we have videos on our YouTube channel to get you started.

THROW BLANKET/RUG:
The blanket/rug is 28” wide, so you will need to connect 4 looms. Cut your warp threads twice the length you want your throw to be, plus an extra 12" as called for in the instructions. Then start weaving! Check out our rug video for more tips.

We used a variety of white and cream colored yarns to weave stripes. Try fun fur yarns, thick wool yarns, textured yarns, thin yarns, etc. to add interest. You can weave with more than 1 strand of yarn at a time to weave faster! When you’re done weaving, knot the ends of the warp threads as specified in the instructions. We added tassels made from a thicker wool yarn.

PILLOW:
The pillow is made from two 16” squares. We used a mustard colored yarn for the warp. Weave the base stripes first: 1.5" of dark gray fun fur, 2" of soft gray yarn, 9" of cream yarn, 2" of soft gray yarn, and 1.5" of dark gray fun fur.

Next embroider over the base. We kept it simple, but you can embroider whatever you want! Finally, attach the two squares to make a pillow. We tied the warp threads together at the top and bottom, then trimmed the fringe to length. Stick a 16” pillow insert inside, sew up the sides, and enjoy your new pillow!

What have you made with the Loopdeloom? Show us! Share your project on social media with the hashtag #wherefunrules.

October 24, 2017

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Tips & Tricks: Our Most Popular Craft Kits

Based on feedback from crafty customers like you, we’re sharing a few tips and tricks on how to make some of our most popular craft kits. We are always here to help you start your new craft projects -  if you have questions, please feel free to shoot us an email at info@annwilliamsgroup.comHappy Crafting!

Craft-tastic Yarn Giraffes Kit

When beginning this craft, it's important to make sure that your cardboard pieces are lined up and assembled firmly together. Having extra double-sided tape around can be handy, especially to help any loose yarn stick to the cardboard when wrapping. Don't forget to pull the yarn tightly when wrapping around the cardboard, and also to keep the yarn as flat and smooth as possible. Tip: don't twist the yarn!

Craft-tastic Paper Bowls Kit

This is one of our favorite crafts, but it does take some patience. Start by generously applying glue to both sides of the paper circle, then placing it onto the bowl form provided. We find that it's best if you begin placing them around the rim, then work towards the center. Know that it's okay to have gaps between the circles - this is normal!

Also, if you are having trouble getting your paper circles to curve with the bowl, wait a few minutes for the glue to become tacky, then press down the paper edges and they will stay in place. While you are waiting for the glue to try between coats, don't forget to wrap your foam applicator in plastic wrap so the glue doesn't dry onto the applicator brush.

Craft Crush Felt Succulents Kit

One of the coolest things about our Felt Succulents Kit is that you don't necessarily need to display them in the tray included, but you can actually use them individually or separate them into groups for decor around your home or office.

When you start this craft, it's important to make sure that you are rolling the felt tightly, and to secure the rolled felt petals tightly with the rubber bands provided, even if it means wrapping them around a few times.

Once you've created a tight roll of felt and secured it, arrange the petals by pulling on them gently to separate and create dimension. This may take some practice and finessing, to get the desired look you want. Be patient!

Once you've finished your succulent, customize it with colored chalk to make it look realistic and for added texture. Tip: use a little bit of hairspray to set the chalk and voilà! You've just created beautiful, felt succulents. 

June 01, 2017

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4 Ways to Cultivate Your Child's Creativity

We're so excited to announce the launch of our newest collection - meet our Craft-tastic Creative Challenge Boxes! Designed for children ages 6+ our open-ended Creative Challenge Kits will help cultivate your child's creativity and imagination. 

These 4 themed boxes of FUN encourage kids to approach craft projects in a totally new way. They can help improve STEM/STEAM skill sets by keeping kids so engaged they don't even know they're learning!

By taking advantage of a kid's natural interest in building toys, this kit allows them to use their imagination and inspires them to think for themselves. Each kit includes 7 challenges that will get them thinking outside of the box - no pun intended 😉

Oh, and in case you didn't know, STEM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math - skills that kids must readily adopt in order to stay relevant in today's tech-centic world. 

1. Inventor's Box: This kit is ideal for every young inventor who wants to push the boundaries to see what they can create with a variety of materials. By taking advantage of a child's natural curiosity in inventing things, we inspire them to use their imagination, think for themselves, and solve problems creatively. Inventors, start your creations!

2. Artist's Box: How do you challenge children to listen to their inner artist? Without specific instructions, kids are free to explore their artistic side and experiment with a variety of colorful materials. What kind of masterpiece will your child create? The possibilities are endless.

3. Tinker Box:  Lots of great thinkers started out as great tinkerers! Engineers, scientists, architects, and mathematicians - they all had a curiosity about how things worked. This kit challenges kids to tinker and come up with something unique, encouraging them to push the boundaries. Will your child tinker together some greatness? 

4. Idea Box: You never know where the next big idea will come from! This idea box puts an array of materials and creative prompts in kids' hands and asks them to make something totally unpredictable, out-of-the-box and maybe something no one has ever seen before. Kick start their ideas with this fun box.

March 29, 2017

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It's National Craft Month! Celebrate with These 5 Crafting Techniques To Try

National Craft Month - Celebrate with Ann Williams Creative Craft Kits

Did you know that March is National Craft Month? To celebrate, we've put together a list of 5 fun crafting techniques for you to try because this month is all about reclaiming time in our busy schedules for creative expression! 

 

National Craft Month - Weaving Loom

National Craft Month - Weaving Loom

Technique #1: Weaving: Our revolutionary Loopdeloom Weaving Loom and Craft Crush Weaving Loom make it fun, fast and easy for beginners to get started. Unlike traditional weaving looms, there's no learning curve with the Loopdeloom, and the loom's spinning pegs speed up the process, making weaving simple, fun and fab.

One loom weaves items any length and up to 7" wide. You can stitch pieces together or connect two or more looms to weave wider items wit no seams. The possibilities are endless! You can even weave responsibly by upcycling materials such as plastic bags or t-shirts and turning them into something brand new. Check out a few of our DIY videos here on YouTube!

Nation Craft Month - DIY Macrame Kits

 

Technique #2: Macrame: Macrame is making a comeback in a big way, and it's a crafting technique we absolutely love! Dating as far back as the 13th century, macrame is a form of creating textiles and objects using knotting rather than weaving or knitting. Its primary knots are the square knot and forms of "hitching" - methods long crafted by sailors, especially in elaborate or ornamental knotting forms, to decorate anything from knife handles to bottles to parts of ships. During the 1970s, macrame was a popular way to create wall hangings, articles of clothing, bedspreads, plant hangers, furnishings and more. Pretty cool, huh?

Give macrame a try with one of our Craft-tastic Macrame Owl Kits, or our Craft Crush Macrame Necklace Kit. Learn something new, and create an accessory you can proudly wear!

National Craft Month - DIY String Art Kits

Technique #3: String Art: String art is totally groovy! While it was popularized as a decorative craft in the late 1960s, this crafting technique has it origins in the 'curve stitch' activities invented by 19th century mathematician & feminist, Mary Everst Boole, as a way to make mathematical ideas more accessible to children.

Our Craft-tastic String Art Kits give kids ages 10+ cool patterns to explore the intersection of geometry and art.

National Craft Month - Decoupage DIY Kits

Technique #4: Decoupage: Oh the magic of decoupage. What we love about this crafting technique is the simplicity. With paper + glue and a little bit of patience, you can create some really amazing things. While traditional decoupage involves covering an object such as a dresser, box or even table - we like to give our craft kits a modern twist! Create a fun + functional piece of home decor with our Craft-tastic Paper Bowls Kit or Craft Crush Paper Bowls Kit. We especially love our new Craft-tastic Empower Poster Kit which encourages kids to celebrate who they are and all of their quirks in one feel good poster!

National Craft Month - Learn How to Finger Crochet

Technique #5: Finger Crochet: Many sources on the history of crochet say that Finger Crochet was actually the first type of crochet ever done, and that the tools for crocheting came later. How cool is that? Want to learn this OG technique? Well you're in luck! Our Craft-tastic Finger Crochet Kit has everything you need to begin finger crocheting.

March 02, 2017

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