This week, on my regular appearance on The Today Show, I demonstrated some fun and easy summer crafts that you and your family can make together. If you’re thinking of a party theme for kids, why not have a tie-dye party where you can actually take home and wear what you make? Did you know that seashells make beautiful votive candles? Or that an application of metallic paint can really dress up inexpensive straw accessories? I even showed how to make a beach towel tic-tac-toe game!
1 It was decided that my appearance, this week, on The Today Show, would be set up outdoors at Rockefeller Plaza. Thomas Keller's fabulous Bouchon Bakery is right there behind me.
2 My segment, Martha on Today, dealt with creative and thrifty summer crafts for the entire family to enjoy.
3 Prop Stylist, Jocelyn Worrall and Producer, Judy Morris have been working with me on these segments for many years.
4 Jocelyn, talking me through the particulars of the segment about tie dying
5 A summer tie dying party is a lot of fun because you can actually wear what you make. You can create a bright star burst on the front of a white cotton t-shirt using elastic bands to cinch the fabric and then dipping it into colorful fabric dyes.
6 Fabric dye can be found in craft stores and even grocery stores. You need to add it to very hot water with a half-cup of salt for every gallon of water.
7 Savannah Guthrie joined me at the craft table.
8 Savannah Guthrie joined Today as co-host of the third hour in June 2011 and also serves as Today chief legal analyst.
9 I explained to Savannah that tie dying isn't difficult at all.
10 I showed her how to gather the t-shirt fabric and secure it with elastic bands.
11 For vivid colors, you want to use plenty of dye.
12 For a bright sun burst, dip the gathered fabric into yellow dye first, then rinse and submerge the shirt into aquamarine, or other color dye.
13 When the dying is complete, remove the elastic bands to reveal the pattern you've created.
14 Another fabulous summer-inspired craft is to make beautiful shell candles. I really love the way this centerpiece looks! First gather clam shells or scallop shells and paint them with metallic paint.
15 Get yourself some little votive wicks at a crafts store. They come with little flat metal discs on the bottoms.
16 Dip that disc in melted wax and affix it to the inside of the shell.
17 Then pour melted wax into the shell and allow it to cool and harden. These are simple and fun candles for summer entertaining.
18 Metallic paint can also be used to transform the ordinary into the extraordinary. These slippers, hat, and baskets look like boutique finds, but were made in very little time.
19 When you wear a bag like this out in public, people will want to know where you found such a gorgeous thing!
20 There's a whole article in the June issue of my magazine, Living, about this craft. You just need some really great metallic paint.
21 You can paint as much of the object as you like.
22 On this bag, I chose to paint only the handles.
23 This is a great way to customize inexpensive straw accessories.
24 A little touch like this really makes this bag special.
25 For the last craft, I demonstrated how to make your kids a beach towel tic-tac-toe game to use at the beach.
26 Using fabric glue and grosgrain ribbons, just glue on the tic-tac-toe grid onto the towel.
27 If you prefer, you can also sew the ribbons onto the towels.
28 And lastly, you'll need two sets of five contrasting shells to play a tic-tac-toe game.