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Friday, March 25, 2011

Blowin' In The Wind: Writing for a craft magazine

Posted by Judy Press

When the weather shows signs of spring, my motivation to write wanes along with the dark, dreary days of winter. It’s then that I start to think about crafting. Maybe my inspiration comes from the colorful tulips about to bloom in my garden, or perhaps it’s the stack of construction paper sitting in my supply closet waiting for me to do something clever with it. So now that my creative juices are flowing again, I’m anxious to grab my scissors and get back to work (check out the May, 2011 issue of FamilyFun Magazine to see a re-issue of my greeting card.)  For those of you who are interested writing for craft magazines keep these things in mind:

1) Right now (spring), magazines are looking for fall crafts. Magazines are always working several months ahead of the current season.

2. Lots of crafts are online so make sure that your crafts are original or a unique slant on an existing craft.

3. Make and photograph the actual craft.

4. Keep instructions straightforward and easy to understand. The less complicated and wordy the better.

5. Have a child make the craft so that you have an understanding of how age-appropriate it will be.

6. With young children certain supplies could present a danger, such as sharp scissors or small objects. Recommend child-safety scissors and adult supervision if necessary.

Below are instructions to make a basic pinwheel. If I submitted this idea to a magazine I would have to make changes to give it an original slant, such as using recycled papers like patterned wrapping paper in place of the construction paper or attaching it to plastic straw instead of a pencil. So in celebration of spring here's a fun pinwheel to craft. 

A Perfect Pinwheel

Here’s what you need
  • Construction paper
  • Pencil with eraser (preferably without a point)
  • Pushpin or tack
  • Small-hole puncher
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
Here’s what you do
1. Cut a six-inch square from the construction paper. Starting at each corner, use the ruler to draw a diagonal line from the edge towards the center (it’ll look like a big X).
2. Cut along the diagonal lines, stopping about half way to the center. Punch four holes, one at each corner of the square and in the center of the square (if you don’t own a hole puncher use a scissor to poke small holes.)
3. Gently fold over each punched corner to line up all the holes with the center hole, making sure not to crease the paper.
4. Loosely attach the pinwheel to the eraser end of the pencil by inserting the pointy end of the pushpin through the punched holes then sticking it into the pencil eraser.
Then go outside and try blowing in the wind!

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