We can hardly believe it, but it’s been 4 years since we celebrated the London 2012 Olympics! That means it’s almost time for Rio to take centre stage – this summer sees the return of the Olympics and with it a great opportunity for you and the kids to get involved making some fun Olympics crafts! They’re low cost, quick to make and very effective – your kids will look like the real deal!
Once more we’ve teamed up with local crafting expert Michelle from The Crafty Foxes and come up with some simple but very good makes for the Olympics. Kids will love being able to make their own medals, t-shirts, Olympic torch and winner’s olive leaf crown – find out how you can get involved and what materials you need with our handy step-by-step guide to all things Olympics crafts below.
Here’s what we’re making today – three different medals, a torch, garland and t-shirt:
Let’s start with the t-shirt, as that’s a nice easy make! Just for info, we’ve listed out the materials needed below but feel free to change it up a bit, add your own ideas or use alternative materials. This is just a guide – there are no right or wrong ways when it comes to Olympics crafts!
For this you’ll need the following materials:
- Plain white t-shirt. We don’t sell those but you can pick them up from almost anywhere – just get the right number of t-shirts and sizes depending on your family size or classroom size!
- Blue, black, red, yellow and green paints. They don’t need to be fabric paint necessarily, see below
- Berol Fabric Medium, depending on your paint type, again see below
Firstly, lay your t-shirt out flat and then place a piece of newspaper inside the t-shirt. This will stop the paint seeping through to the back when we add the Olympics rings:
Lay out 5 paper plates and squirt the 5 different coloured fabric paints onto the plates. You’ll need blue, black, red, yellow and green paints for this part.
Seriously handy tip: If you don’t have any fabric paint but have a stash of everyday paints, then don’t worry you won’t need to buy more! You can use standard classroom paint or general poster paint for this part, but (here’s the clever bit) mix it in a 50:50 ratio with Berol Fabric Medium and it becomes fabric paint! Berol Fabric Medium turns any paint into a fabric paint, you can mix as little or as much as you need, apply the paint and then heat fix it with an iron and hey presto, the fabric can be washed after heat fixing! You can source Berol Fabric Medium online, here’s one we found earlier.
Once your paint is ready, we can add the rings to the t-shirt! Take a food tin (it can be empty or full), make sure it’s clean and dip it into the paint so the raised rim is covered and then place it (in the correct colour order) on your t-shirt:
Repeat the process for the other colours, leaving a few minutes in between colours to allow them to dry slightly and prevent the colours mixing:
When they’re all done you should have something resembling this:
The last thing to do with the t-shirt is to heat fix the rings. Simply wait until the paint is dry and iron over the rings WITHOUT steam and that’s it! The t-shirt can then be washed as normal. Stage 1 of the Olympics crafts project is complete! Now for the medals…
We really like these because they’re cheap, easy to make and super effective! Get people believing you’ve got a real Olympics medal! Here’s how you can get in on the action and an overview of the materials needed:
- Three jam jar lids, ideally all around the same size. Clean them to get rid of all that stickiness!
- Sheet of foam or felt. Doesn’t matter what colour and you could even use really thick card here
- Gold, Silver and Bronze Glitter or Gold, Silver or Copper Lacquer Spray. It’s up to you which you use, we’ve demonstrated both below
- Ribbon. We’ve used our bag of 50m assorted ribbon here and taken out yellow and green ribbons, but it can be any ribbon you like
The first thing to do is take your sheet of foam or felt and draw out a star shape onto it. We’ve used our little star template but you can freehand if you prefer. Then cut out the star shape and glue it to the lid using standard crafting PVA-type glue. Glue in the middle if possible and repeat three times. Here we’ve used a mix of foam and felt for demonstration purposes but it’s entirely up to you which you use:
Next, slightly dilute some of your glue with a little water and brush all around the lid and the star. Make sure you get in all the edges here:
Now for the messy but fun part! Once your lids are covered nicely in glue, shake glitter all over the lids and stars, ensuring all-over coverage:
Handy tip: Do this part on a piece of paper so you can scoop up the excess glitter and funnel it back into the tubes when they’re dry.
Leave enough time for the drying part, then remove the excess glitter as above, leave to dry and your Olympics medals should look like this now:
If you wanted to use Lacquer Spray instead of glitter, then that’s cool too, just don’t apply glue all over the lid (you’ll just need to glue the star into place) and then making sure you’re in a well-ventilated environment, spray your three lids to end up with something like this:
You’ll need to allow extra drying time if using the spray.
Once your three lids are dry, cut some lengths of ribbon and glue or tape them to the back of your lids. Allow sufficient drying time here too. We’ve gone for a yellow and green ribbon to represent the Brazilian colours but you can use whatever ribbon and colours you like! Here’s what your finished medals should look like:
Simple hey? Need more Olympics crafts ideas and inspiration? Then let’s move on to the third part of our Olympics craft session!
Light the way with your very own Olympic Torch! Replicas cost a fortune so why not knock up your very own torch. You’ll need the following items for this:
- Gold paper. We used one of our single rolls of metallic paper here but you can use any gold paper. Ideally 2 lengths of A4 or 2 widths of A4
- Red honeycomb paper. We’ve taken a sheet of this from our Festive Craft Papers assortment
- Couple of sheets of foam or felt, in orange and yellow
Firstly, cut out a rectangle of gold paper, roll it into a cone and glue to seal the edge. Place your hand inside the cone and press to make sure the glue sticks firmly:
Next, cut the red honeycomb paper in half and glue both ends together:
The next step is to make the flames! You can use foam sheets or felt sheets here… Draw a wiggly line on the yellow foam to create the flames and cut it out:
Then place the yellow cut-out on top of the orange foam and move it up a bit (to make the orange flames slightly bigger), before drawing around the same wiggly line:
Next, place the yellow foam on top of the orange foam so that you can see both sets of flames and wrap these around the red honeycomb paper:
Once that’s been done, push the flames and honeycomb paper into the end of your gold Olympic torch:
There’s no need to stick the flames in as they won’t uncurl. That is it for the Olympic Flame, it’s ready to be used!
Ok so now we’re moving on to the final part of our Olympics crafts session – the olive leaf crown, or laurel wreath if you prefer. This is one of the easier Olympics crafts items to make and shouldn’t take too long!
For the laurel wreath, you’ll need the following items:
- Two green pipe cleaners, aka chenille stems. We’ve gone for our long chenille stems which are packed in 100’s
- Couple of sheets of foam or felt, in green
The first part of this make is to take the two green pipe cleaners and twist them to join together. Then measure it to make sure it fits around the child’s head and adjust if needed (or add in a third pipe cleaner if needed):
Next we need to make the leaves. We used a template here to draw out the shapes on our foam sheets, but you can free draw or create your own template. Choose what shape leaf you want and make a simple template out of card or similar so it’s easier to draw around. Use this to draw out the shapes on your foam sheets. You will need 16 leaves in total cut out:
Once you’ve done all of the tracing, you’ll need to cut out the leaves from the foam sheets:
Next, punch a hole in the bottom of each leaf:
We’re almost there! Once you’ve done this, place the pipe cleaner through the holes and push the leaves on, 8 on each side. Try to put the leaves on all in the same direction and then for the other side place them on in the opposite direction. At this point you can use glue to stick the leaves together to prevent them sliding down:
The next step is to cut out another two leaves using your template, but don’t punch holes in these two. Once cut, glue these in the middle of the front of the pipe cleaners to conceal the join. It should look something like this when done (seen from the front and reverse below):
Then finally, tie at the back by twisting the pipe cleaners together and your laurel wreath is good to go!
Here’s Michelle’s daughter modelling all of the bits apart from the medals – look how happy she looks:
And that’s it!! Your Olympics crafts session is complete and you’ve got all the steps needed to make some handmade Olympics bits for all the family or classroom to make and enjoy! Why not hold your own winners ceremony and send us the pictures – we’d love to see your take on these Olympics crafts.
Until next time, keep crafting!!
The Bright Ideas Team & Michelle from The Crafty Foxes x