Tell Me a Story about … Turtles!

If you’re gearing up for a story about helping a cute turtle crossing the road to get to the other side safely … sorry, nope. Although, we have done this numerous times.

If you’re wondering if I have a story about those tiny turtles (red-eared sliders) in little plastic pond-style containers in the 1960s … sorry, nope. Although, we had many of those, Turtles 1too, and never got salmonella.

If you think this story comes from an adventure swimming with sea turtles at some aquarium … sorry, nope. Although, I sure wish I had a story like that!

And if you decided this story must be about keeping box turtles or wood turtles in a box or a pond on our property and feeding it lettuce … sorry, nope. Although, we may have done that a time or two … or more.

Today’s story involves vinyl tablecloths, tissue packets, felt, yarn, paper, walnuts, and … well, turtles! Let’s talk turtles and crafts.

In our home, both during my childhood and during my own homemaking and homeschooling years, arts and crafts filled many hours and days and weeks and … well, you get my drift. We were and are a family of crafters!

Turtles 5If it involves paper, paint, yarn, fabric, glue, crayons, sketchpads, scissors, cardboard, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, googly eyes, clay … just about anything you can buy at Joann Fabrics or Hobby Lobby, we probably owned, used, or dreamed about it. And we could sure dream up some doozies!

But since this is a story about turtles, I’ll keep my post to its 600-900 words and only tell you about the ones with four feet, one tail, one head, and unique shells. Those shells could hide things or just look pretty. Those shells came patterned, plain, colorful, smooth, or bumpy. Those shells were flat, domed, or ridged.

Turtles 6My earliest turtle-crafting memory used those flannel-backed, vinyl tablecloths popular in the 1970s, felt, sewing materials, a cardboard pattern, and scissors. In fact, I believe, I still have a bag with the pattern we used and a few pieces of vinyl cut into turtle-shell shapes.

These turtles, made from two pieces of vinyl cut into ovals about the size of a man’s palm, hid purse-sized packets of tissues. Why we made them, I don’t know. Hiding the packs of tissues in your purse came easily with the size of the purses of the day, but putting them into whopping vinyl turtles with felt legs, heads, and tails sticking out in six places made it a bit more difficult. Still, make them we did, by sewing the ovals together with yarn in a blanket stitch, inserting the felt extremities in their proper places, and cutting a line in the top of the “shell” to insert the tissues.

Another turtle craft, one with more use as décor, used walnut halves as the shell. These Turtles 2uncomplicated turtles are easy for children to make, but they can be embellished in many ways, enough to allow an adult the fun, too. The simplest ideas include gluing a walnut shell onto a paper cutout of a turtle body, adding googly eyes, and voila! You have a turtle. Put a magnet on the back to use it on the fridge. Paint the shells or add sequins or glitter. Use your imagination and see what comes!

Turtles 4Now, on to my favorites! I love to crochet. As a baby shower gift, I found a pattern for a sweet stuffed turtle with a granny-square-style shell. (The photo is the actual one from the pattern!) I believe my first one was made out of white or pink yarn, with a multi-colored shell. So cute! I’ve made at least three or four of these in various yarns and colors, and I intend to make several more for our grandbabies.

And last, I want to tell you about the tiniest turtles I ever made. I enjoy two older crafts: origami and paper quilling. In the latter, I became enamored with the three-dimensional items, such as stand-alone vases of flowers and animals. I made itty bitty (less than one inch high or long) bunnies and squirrels. As I became proficient, I had the idea to use quilling and origami on pieces of slate, adding bits of nature such as acorn caps and pinecones. I called my new craft “quilligami”! (My husband said I should patent it!)

I swirled bits of quilled blue paper into rivers, created color with quilled flowers, glued acorn caps and tiny pinecones here and there. Around the natural items, I placed quilled squirrels and bunnies, including quilled puff tails.

Last, I used one-inch-square paper to make origami birds, ducks, and … yes, turtles! I Turtles 7glued them on the water, the pinecones, and the flowers. (The pattern here will help you make your own, though I suggest starting with larger paper! LOL!)

Turtles galore … and all made with simple craft supplies and the creativity God placed in each of us when He made us “in His image.”

Your turn! You can share real turtle stories or, if you have the love of crafting I do, share your favorites you’ve made over the years. Blessings!