Red Ted Art :: A New Kids’ Craft Book & Interview (+ Giveaway!)

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Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 1

Maggy Woodley is the crafty dynamo behind the Red Ted Art blog. This Austrian-born, UK-based mom of two also has a new book (released today!) by the same name.

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book Smaller***Note: Readers will have a chance to win a copy of Maggy's new kids' craft book, Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids, at the end of this interview.***

Maggy, Your new book is gorgeous! Plus it’s filled with tons of fun craft ideas
for kids. You must be so proud! Can you tell us a bit about the process of
creating your book?

MAGGY: Thank you Jean. I am
so pleased you like the book (it is quite nerve racking having the first
copies going out to people!).

my book, the process was reasonably straight forward. The publisher helped
select a range of crafts. After
that, the hard work of making and writing began. I had an intense 4-5 weeks of
doing this – fitting around my children, home and family holidays! Quite a busy
time. Once all the writing and crafting was completed we had a 4-day photo
shoot, which was great fun! We also came up with the book cover at the photo
shoot and I am SO pleased with the result. The publisher then did their design
magic. It was a busy process, but great fun and great to be involved every step
of the way and to be able to input my views at every stage.

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 2

What do YOU get out of crafting? What do you think your kids get out of

MAGGY: I enjoy the process
of creating and I love seeing the finished result. Especially when you have
taken something that is deemed as “junk or rubbish” and transformed it into
something pretty or useful. I hate “waste” and I love the challenge of
repurposing. I also love homemade gifts.

kids seem to enjoy various aspects of crafting – they love the process – using
paints and glues and seeing what happens (we often have a messy session after
an “ordinary” craft session, where they “play and explore” with all the left
over bits and pieces) and I think they are proud of what they make. We often
send things to family and I encourage them to make small presents for their
friends’ birthdays. We also play with many of our crafts.

So I guess it is a
bit of everything – doing, creating, transforming and then having a play thing
at the end.

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 3

JEAN: Was YOUR childhood like this?

MAGGY:  I had glimpses of this as a child – When I
was very little we had an au pair girl who introduced me to the wonders of
“nature crafts” and crafts that I often refer to as “classic German” crafts
(though they are probably classic worldwide), we made chestnut creatures, paper
stars and walnut boats. Later, I had an “adoptive” grandmother who took me
under her crafty wing – she taught me how to sew and how to knit, she baked
fairy cakes with me and encouraged all things creative.  She wasn’t always
around, but she was around enough. When I was a teenager, I had a “crafty best
friend” and we used to make things together all the time (until she moved back
to Austria).

I remember all these craft sessions fondly and
want my children to have a similar set themselves!

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 4

Crafts are often more product oriented than art. Can you talk about how you
keep the process important as well?

MAGGY:  Yes, crafts are
most definitely product orientated and that of course is the tricky part for
those of us focused on process and it something I am conscious of and do
sometimes “worry” about.

My main approach is:

1)     I
try very hard to leave them creative freedom – e.g. they choose the colours etc.
or, recently, my son wanted to use googly eyes and my daughter wanted to draw
on huge eyes. They add their own ideas to my “existing crafts.” {The peg
people photo is a good example of this – yes, I made some perfect ones for them
– in order to get them interested.. but then they went off and did their own
thing – I particularly like THEIR invention of the glitter hair!}

2)     Sometimes they don’t want
to make something I suggest and ask to do something different, so we do. I
never “force them”. But usually they are enthusiastic.

3)     My kids will come to me
and say I want to make e.g. a Robin out of this egg (he recently made a Batman),
I embrace these moments and go with what they want to do.

4)     They always get to “play”
with left over materials (there is usually a lot of paint in our dish or scarps
of fabric or craft foam to glue with.

5)     We have specific process-orientated
art sessions for exploration (I even started a mini series on this on my blog,
which I need to refocus on again). It is something that I sometimes lose sight
of and do try and do more (YOUR book, Jean, has been a great help with this –
reminding me about making time for this on a regular basis).

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 5

they are learning techniques and skills regardless of whether it is just
process or there is a product at the end – they are great at handling scissors,
pens and brushes. They have great ideas of their own. And I have had many
people comment (almost in surprise?!) at how creative they seem to be (“after
all that product-orientated activity”). So I think product-orientated
activities are not “all bad,” so long as you give them space and opportunity to
experiment and explore.

it is all about finding a balance?  

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 6

JEAN: Absolutely! (And you know we love crafts in our home as well.) What are some of your (and your kids’) all-time favorite crafts?

MAGGY:  Oooh it so tricky! I
personally love the frugalness and repurposed-ness
of recycled crafts (e.g. crafting from toilet paper rolls), and I love the tactileness of nature crafts (e.g. sticks and stones).

son would say his favourite craft (right now) is anything to do with superheros
(note the Robin and Batman eggs mentioned above). My daughter loves making peg
dolls with glitter hair!

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book 7

I am always amazed at your enthusiasm and productivity! Where do you get your
energy? And how can I get some of it for myself? :)

MAGGY:  It goes in fits and
starts – we have super creative weeks when we make LOADS and then I spread it
out over weeks on the blog – so it looks like we are creative regularly, when
in fact we may have not made anything for two weeks. I also used to work to a
schedule (not so much now) and that gave me a focus.

you know… I just LOVE crafts and making things. So really, most of the time it
isn’t like work at all and I often have a long “to do list” of things I would
like to make with the kids. Including revisiting crafts that we have done
before, as I really want them to form part of their childhood memories!

Red Ted Art Book

I guess I’m the same in many ways! Especially regarding the ebbs and flows of
creative work… Okay, anything else you’d like to add?

MAGGY:  For people looking
to buy the book – I would really like them to use the book as INSPIRATION not a
craft manual. That is one of the reasons we didn’t provide templates – we
wanted people to look, be inspired and do their own thing. Put their own stamp
on things. I know there are lots of step-by-step instructions – of course there
are certain ways of making things – but can you come up with a better idea? Can
you make it more fun? Can you make it in an easier way? Can you experiment with
the idea?

I would love for people to use the book as an opportunity to do things together
– younger children of course will need a lot more help than older children. It
is therefore tempting to leave older children “to it” (I have had some lovely
photos through of my agent’s 10yrs old daughter making a brilliant sock monkey
and hobby horse all by herself!), but I think it would still be great to find
things to do together – or maybe one of you does one project and the other
something different.

Thanks so much, Maggy! You’re an inspiration, as is your book. I’m sure many
families will enjoy exploring your craft ideas together and making them part of
their children’s early memories!

You can connect
with Maggy on her Red Ted Art blog, on Google+, facebook, or on Pinterest.

If you are in the UK or Europe, you can pick up a copy of Maggy's book, Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids beginning today. (It will be available in the US this fall.)

Red Ted Art Book GIVEAWAY!

Red Ted Art Kids Crafts Book SmallerReaders who leave a comment to this post by Monday, April 1st at 11:59pm EST will be entered to win a copy of Red Ted Art: Cute and Easy Crafts for Kids by Maggy Woodley. Winner will be chosen by random number generator and announced here on Tuesday (I will also e-mail the winner). Giveaway open to readers everywhere.

Good luck!

Giveaway now closed.

The random number generator gave me #97, so Kayla Murphy wins the Red Ted Art book. Congrats, Kayla! I'll e-mail you…

Kayla Murphy said…

Thanks for your creative ideas! I would be so honored to win a copy of your book.

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  1. Donna Leitch says

    Thanks for the inspiration!! Going to give the gumnut octopus a go, my daughter will love it.

  2. says

    I LOVE this! I’m always trying to find a balance between process and product, I usually want the things my boys to paint and make to either be something they enjoy looking at if it’s on display, or something they can actually play with. But we also go with their ideas a lot and I LOVE their own creativity! My eldest loves painting but not crafts so much, he tells stories as he’s painting or playing with playdough. Our process is how he paints and what he uses and exploring colours and textures, and our product at the end is that I will take what he has painted and use it either in crafts later on, or as the background for a drawing. He loves seeing what I turn his paintings into and it means I can delve into my own creative energy too! Whether or not I win a copy of your book I think I’m going to be buying a copy, inspiration is a fabulous thing and I love that you’re not providing templates too ;-)

  3. Kathie says

    Thank you for the great interview and chance to win a copy. Will help with summer planning.

  4. jemma fifield says

    Craft with peanut shells. Awesome. Will be giving that a try this Bank Holiday weekend! Thanks!

  5. Marisa says

    Thanks for the giveaway I frequently read your blog and Red Ted Art too, so many nice ideas in them!

  6. Mary Beth Galloway says

    Thanks for this interview. Always love learning about someone new to check out. Thanks for this opportunity!

  7. Kelly says

    This looks like a great book! We’re in dry phase with my three-year-old as far as crafting – she definitely has ebbs and flows (maybe more ebbs).

  8. Nicola Law says

    Great interview and another fab looking craft/art book, great inspiration both of you -thanks :-)

  9. Marta says

    My boys could do crafts ALL day long! They’re already planning what they’re going to do with their baby sister!!! This books looks great!

  10. says

    My 2 (almost 3) year old daughter absolutely loves craft time. It is so much fun because it gives me a reason to sit down and have fun in ways that I haven’t in twenty-five years. This looks like a great book!

  11. says

    Oh, wonderful! Between your book and this one, it looks like a great year for arts and crafts titles! Thank you for the opportunity and congrats, ladies!

  12. Leigh S says

    My son and I really enjoy working on craft projects together. I’m always looking for new and fresh ideas.

  13. Jamie says

    Would love to check out this book!!! As an elementary art teacher and mother of 2 crafty kids… these ideas look like so much fun!!! :-)

  14. Tory Maxwell says

    Wow! What a fabulous craft book! I have a almost 3 year old that would LOVE this! Me too! Thank you! :)

  15. says

    This book looks awesome! I love craft books that inspire…more than offer a step-by-step manual…as long as I can figure out how to do the crafts. =) I would love to win this book, review it on my blog ( and possibly give it to my 3 year old’s preschool teacher who tries to do crafts with the kids everyday (if I can let go of the book. =)

  16. Jasena says

    We have loads of sea shells that we’re gonna use in our next art project.
    Thanks for the idea!

  17. says

    Innovative ideas ! Inspiring Interview !!
    A very useful book for newbies like me. Lemme try my luck :)
    Thanks Maggy and Jean for your efforts.

  18. Debbie Rosenkranz says

    So exciting. We just love craft books! Can’t wait until this one comes out in the fall.

  19. Jana says

    Oh my word. Those little peanut shell finger puppets are brilliant! Especially for tiny fingers. This book would be wonderful for my 4 and 6 year-olds.

  20. [email protected] says

    What wonderful ideas! I can’t wait to try some of these with my son!

  21. Renee says

    I would love the opportunity to win this book. I only recently started following Red Ted Art on pinterest and their website and it is full of so many great ideas! I can’t wait to do some of their crafts with my 3 year old Granddaughter. Thanks for interviewing them and for the wonderful giveaway.

  22. says

    This looks like a fantastic book! I run a daycare specializing in an early introduction to art. This looks right up my alley!

  23. says

    What a delightful book! I have been pilfering ideas from Red Tent Art for some time now. Such a treat to see so many of her great ideas in book form.

  24. Allison says

    Would love the win a copy of her book. Her blog is fun to explore and would love to give the book a look as well.

  25. Miranda says

    What a wonderful post! I’m already inspired to drag out a big mess for the kids and let them at it. :)

  26. Marian says

    I agree, we go through spurts of creativity too. This looks like a wonderful inspiration book, which I am always looking for. I love taking the time to make new things with my kids because those are what makes memories they can always keep in their hearts long after they grow up.

  27. Carrie S. says

    So inspiring! I was just thinking of making little dolls with my kids and the peg people seems to be a good place to start. Would love a book for more ideas!

  28. michelle says

    what a great interview! Maggy Woodley and Red Ted Art are inspirational for sure — what fun it would be to win her book!

  29. [email protected] says

    I can always use some inspiration…

  30. [email protected] says

    This looks fab! I’m always looking for inspiration for crafty things to do with my daughter.

  31. Andi L. says

    I would love some inspiration for summer…this may be it! I have 3 boys ages 2-6, and we are stuck inside for the hottest part of the Texas summer days…which is most waking hours :o)

  32. Emily says

    This is a lovely interview and the book looks so inviting. I would love to see it/hold it/look through it!

  33. Judith says

    Just reading this interview has been inspiring, so I can only imagine what sparks the book would light. Thanks for the chance to win a copy.

  34. Kristen says

    What a great looking book! I would definitely be able to use these ideas in our preschool class!

  35. Clara says

    My three year old loves her own self driven art but I think she also loves crafts because its something we do together, and she ends up with something she can play with. Part of what makes product-oriented crafts great is that it inspires young kids to create their OWN projects later. After we made toilet paper roll owl tree ornaments, she is always after an empty cardboard tube to turn into a little animal of her own, and now she’s moved on to making binoculars, Wonder Woman bracelet cuffs and so on with those rolls. All her ideas! Love the blog and the book looks great!

  36. Milsa says

    I’m currently at the beach for easter and I always collect seashells but never thought of using with my little boy. He will love to paint them and use them for crafting. Thanks

  37. deb imcmillen says

    Cool ideas…always looking for new exciting things to do with my classroom kids as well as with my daughter :)

  38. says

    fantastic! we need more people in the world looking at how to repurpose all the garbage we create into something beautiful! thanks. : )

  39. Sheau says

    Love this interview. Thanks so much, I am a fan and this is a great read. Inspiring to read about craft versus process art. Thanks for the chance.

  40. katie says

    We love process oriented art but sometimes you need a good ol’ product! ;) yay to arts and crafts!!!

  41. Wendy says

    I took craft ideas with me to visit my granddaughters. We worked busily while their mother was having a baby in the hospital!

  42. Sara Downes says

    Morning, I have been trying to get ahold of you regarding an order I placed through message on Facebook and can not find an email address for you.
    Could you please email me.

  43. Creativechris says

    So creative! I absolutely love the re-purposed and recycled crafts! Can’t wait to use them with my kids and my students! Thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  44. Megan says

    Thanks for this interview. I’m glad to “meet” a new resource, I’m heading right over to check out Red Ted Art’s Blog!

  45. Vanessa says

    I recently was introduced to your website through a friend. Thank you for all the wonderful, inspiring ideas you have brought of your own and others to me and my son’s art world! Just pre-ordered your book and wouldn’t it be great to win this too!!

  46. grace says

    What a great book .. thanks for the chance and hope to win this. Going to start an art lessons with couple children (home school) so would be nice to have ideas from this book :-)

  47. Dana says

    I love how you set up the book without templates, it automatically keeps the mood lighter for people and gives them the license to create, not copy!

  48. Karla says

    Interesting interview. Thanks for the link to a new website on the art process with children and a chance at her new book!

  49. Vanessa says

    Thank you for the great giveaway, I am desperately looking for more activities to do with my very fiery 3.5 year old!

  50. Amanda M. says

    The idea of the clothespin people is awesome!! My girls would love the creativity of it along with the role-play afterwards!

  51. [email protected] says

    Would love to receive this book!

  52. Katharine says

    I would love a copy of this book! The cover photograph is very appealing, especially.