Friday, March 16, 2018

Wind Socks and Rain Sticks

We upcycled large Quaker Oats containers and the heavy tube that is inside of tin foil to make these projects with preschoolers. The oatmeal containers are actually windsocks. The skinnier tubes are rain sticks, or they will be once I add some dried beans and decorative tape to seal the ends. I love reusing materials instead of tossing them out. The containers are painted with tempera, and embellished with bits and bobs of ribbon, buttons and craft foam. Little children love to embellish!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Funky Sculptures

I'm currently teaching an afterschool class based on three-dimensional art. Instead of going to a craft store and loading up my basket with a bunch of items that may wind up in a landfill, I sometimes have better luck just looking around my house. We are currently remodeling our powder room and our sink was packaged in this styrofoam. My husband cut it into squares using a band saw, a coping saw would also work. It made the perfect base for these wild little sculptures. I had some leftover pipe cleaners and picked up the straws at the grocery store, unfortunately they are individually wrapped. How ridiculous! The colored paper is actually leftover foam core or card stock. I used a hole punch to cut holes in the centers.
The kids had fun with these. They were simple to execute and will put a smile on your face.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Japanese Paper Lanterns

The paper lanterns were made from sheets of 8 1/2 x 11 card stock and printed with lemons that were turned into stamps. The card stock was folded in half and wiggly lines were cut started at the folding and ending about an inch from the edge. I turned sponges and acrylic paint into stamp pads. The lanterns are stapled together, holes are punched at the top, and brads were used to fasten the paper strips that become the handles.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Vegetable Prints

Printing with vegetables and fruits was a fun project for the pre-schoolers and for me. We printed with tempera paint. I made "ink pads" with damp kitchen sponges that had a thin layer of tempera on top. The children were encouraged to use all the edible choices and all the different colors, and to fill their paper with overlapping shapes. The little flower design was created with okra. All in all, we used artichoke, lemon, apple, okra, peppers and the base of a bunch of celery (not pictured). Any good shapes that I missed? I'm sure there is something obvious that I haven't thought of!

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Masks with Kids

Constructing with unusual materials is a way of thinking creatively about making a face. I assembled a collection of odds and ends to pick from including tassels, glass stones, buttons, pipe cleaners, clothes pins, and spools. The fun comes in when you move the objects around to create different facial expressions, a tilt of the eyebrow changes everything. The face is cut from cardboard and wooden dowels are attached at the end to make the mask hand-held. White glue is used to attach the objects.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Collage a Coaster

Make some summery drink coasters for your end-of-summer barbecues or to give as gifts. Children enjoy making them, plus they have the added benefit of being inexpensive and not too time consuming. It's a fun and easy projects with some very pretty results.






Tissue paper


White glue


Old bristle brush or sponge brush


Oil pastels


Polyurethane in a spray can


Select a combination of colors that you find appealing. Decide whether you want an abstract piece or something representational. Tear your tissue paper into different sizes and shapes. I chose to make dots and dashes on the paper with the oil pastel. Dilute the white glue with some water. Apply a thin coating of this mixture on the tile and then begin to layer on the pieces. You'll be creating new colors as you overlap the tissue.
Once your coasters dry, spray them with a couple coats of polyurethane to protect the art.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sea Shell Picture Frame

Simple wood picture frames have been popping up at the large craft stores for a very reasonable price. I painted the frame using acrylic paint and added the seashell with white glue. Perfect for your beach photos.