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How to recycle an old cardboard box into a fun Llama craft for kids

A few weeks ago Storm Eunice hit the UK and, not wanting to risk the elements, Clementine and I decided to stay indoors all day. I'd seen a few Llama crafts for kids on Pinterest previously and thought a whole day stuck indoors would give us the perfect chance to try out this fun project!

What you'll need

  • An old cardboard box, we used an old Amazon delivery box but any would do and this would be a great way to use up your old cheekymono packaging!

  • Scissors

  • Different coloured wool

  • Kid friendly paints and paintbrushes

  • Black felt tip

  • Optional: Pipe cleaners, sequins, pom-poms and PVA glue

Step one: Paint your Llama

If you have a little one like me then I think it's best to paint the Llamas body first before cutting it to shape, as painting within the lines has not yet been mastered! However, if your little monos are a bit older then you could skip to step two first and then let them get creative with the brushes.

Clementine is using Crayola kids paints which are really nice and vibrant and also washable. I also highly recommend investing in the Ikea crafting coverall, it completely covers my little one and so acts as a great paint protector, the sleeves are really long so it will last years and the velcro at the back holds in place well.

For brushes, we found a good set at Wilkos which was really good value, but you may find The Works or Hobbycraft equally have a good selection.

TIP: If you don't have a paint palette then a handy re-useable alternative is old glass jar lids.

Step two: Cut your Llama down to size

The little one's will need help with this next bit, but bigger kids who can safely manage kids scissors will be fine.

Once the painted Llama is dry, it's time to cut it down to size; try to pick the best part of your mono masterpiece and then use a pencil to draw a Llama profile outline before carefully cutting it out.

As Clem is only one, I did this step myself whilst she slept, that way we had our crafting day split into two, messy painting in the morning, then finer detailed, clean, crafting in the afternoon post nap time.

TIP: If you're making more than one Llama then it's useful to use the first one you cut out as a template for the rest.

Step three: Create your Llama loom

The thing I loved about this craft project is it's connection to traditional Peruvian textiles. We're going to create a traditional looking Peruvian blanket for our Llama which will not only look very cute, it will help develop younger kids fine motor neurone skills and give an opportunity to teach older kids about weaving.

Peruvian blankets are created using a loom and that's what we're going to build next, as a mini version...

Take a long piece of wool and wrap it around your Llamas body securing it at the back with a simple knot. Then all you have to do is wrap the wool around the body repeatedly working your way across the whole of the Llamas middle so that you get vertical lines along the body which form your loom.

Step four: Weave your Llamas blanket

Clementine loved this step! I was so surprised how long she took over practicing weaving and how quiet she went whilst doing it, she was deep in concentration trying to figure out how best to make her wool weave for about 50 minutes, which for a toddler is pretty good!

Because she's so young, rather than expect her to be able to actually weave, I simply cut up pipe cleaners and bits of wool ready for her and then let her poke them into the loom in any which way she liked. In fact she enjoyed her version of weaving so much she did it once, then dismantled her hard work, only to do it again and then again! So this was all great practice for her hand eye co-ordination, fine motor neurone skills and concentration span, not to mention her creative freedom.

TIP: Pipe cleaners cut down to size are great to add into the mix, these would be much easier for younger ones to work with as weaving wool can be a bit fiddly.

For the older ones, take a strip wool and secure it with a knot at one end of the Llama loom. Then weave the wool through the loom horizontally going over one piece, under the next... over and under all the way across horizontally until you reach the end of the loom the other side. If you have a long bit of wool you can come back the other way repeating the process; over and under. Or start with a new colour of wool and repeat until all of your loom has been filled.

Step five: Accessorise your Llama

When it is fiesta time in the Andean mountains, Llamas are traditionally adorned with tassels, pom-poms and coloured ribbons to 'dress' them for the party atmosphere. So we thought it would be fun to take inspiration from our Fiesta Llama toy ornaments and add some accessories to our Llamas.

We created tassels for the ears and then used the black felt tip to outline the body and necklace. But you could try sticking some sequins on, adding handmade or crafting pom-poms , glitter or ribbon. Go wild and let you're creative imagination go!

Are you going to try this fun craft out? We would love to see your unique creations, please do take a picture of your finished Llama, tag us and use the hashtags #cheekymono #monomasterpiece on social media.

Have fun cheekymonos!


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