Friday Fun Feature: Paper Crafts with Hartia Toys

Posted by aMuse Toys on October 18, 2013 0 Comments

Paper crafting is an art form that uses paper or card stock to create 3Dimensional pieces. The paper can be folded, cut, glued, layered, and even stitched together for the desired look. Some common examples of paper crafts are Origami, which is the art of folding, and Kirigami, which makes use of both folding and cutting to create symmetrical designs and patterns.

Hartia Toys, the French-Canadian company based in Montreal celebrates the art of paper crafting with their delightful kits called Couplicoles. Couplicoles is a combination of the french words for cut, fold, and paste: couper, plier, and coller. Each kit from Hartia Toys contains up to a dozen crafts to be made into 3D animals and people by cutting, folding and gluing.


Paper crafting promotes patience, attention to detail, and a well earned sense of accomplishment. And it works on those fine motor skills, too!

Visual instructions are provided with each set, and videos are available from the company online, but the basic way to craft with paper is as follows:

1. Start by cutting along the solid black line. This will be the outline of the shape. Be sure not to cut out any of the white tabs! They'll be used in just a moment.

2. Fold along the dotted black lines. You'll see the paper start to take shape.

3. Now, time for those tabs! Dab a bit of glue onto the tabs and attach them to their corresponding sides.

4. Hold down and count to 20. (If you have super strong fingers than you may only need to count to 10.) When you feel you've held it long enough for the two sides to stay together, you can let go.

5. Set your paper craft upon the table and marvel at your creation.

Voila! You're becoming a master of the craft already!

This isn't the first time we've expressed our love for Hartia Toys, they are just that awesome. The Couplicoles kits can be introduced to kids as young as 6 years old and are thoroughly enjoyed by older kids and kids-at-heart as well.


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Friday Fun Feature: Make-Your-Own Valentines

Posted by aMuse Toys on February 08, 2013 2 Comments





This Make-Your-Own Valentines kit, from the award winning company Made By Hands, is perfect for those of you who want to choose your own words and pictures to express how much you love (or like) someone. The kit contains 10 blank cards and envelopes, 1 glue stick, and over 250 pop-out shapes in different colors. These shapes are more than just your standard pink hearts. They range from easy-to-recognize to the more abstract. The idea is that you can use the shape to create whatever picture you want.

The company started when two friends and mothers wanted arts and crafts kits that would encourage their children's creativity, not stifle it. In the past, they could only find kits with limited supplies, limited fun. And, in the end, they knew that it wasn't really about the result, it was about the process. This kit actively engages your child's imagination and attention. And how wonderful is it when your little one shows pride in being able to do something or make something on his own? Made By Hands understands how special that is and strives to provide arts and crafts kits that encourages little hands to make big ideas.


And, here's something that will make this Valentine's Day craft even more special: A portion of the proceeds from the sale of the Make-Your-Own Valentines kit goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in fighting Type 1 Diabetes.




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DIY with Alex Toys: Sew Fun!

Posted by aMuse Toys on January 27, 2012 0 Comments



The kits highlighted in our new series, DIY with Alex Toys, will inspire creativity and personal expression while building lifelong skills with practical applications. 

 This weeks’ feature is the Sew Fun kit, a portable sewing machine perfect for budding crafters or any child who wants to learn how to sew.

Not only is the machine adorable, it has everything necessary to start sewing including some floral fabric swatches. It is smaller than a standard size sewing machine and has been streamlined to include only the essentials for a first-time sewer. Its size and dual speed control also makes it safer [and less intimidating] to someone who doesn’t know what all those buttons on larger faster machines are for. The presser foot is also designed so that little hands can’t slip under. 


In addition to the sewing machine, fabric, pins, needles and some samples of fabric-embellishing materials, the kit includes a booklet full of detailed diagrams with thorough step-by-step directions. The instructions and diagrams illustrate how to thread the machine, sew with and without a foot pedal, wind the bobbin, change the needle, and adjust the stitch tension. The booklet even includes mini tutorials on how to create a tote bag and a chic wrap skirt. You can use batteries or the included AC adapter.

Geared for ages 8 and up, Sew Fun gives kids the basic materials and instructions for machine-sewing. It teaches how to embellish, repair, and ultimately create functional [or just really cute] objects and clothing independently.

Comes with everything you need to start sewing right away!

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