Crafts

Dip-Dyed Pumpkin Garland


Dip-Dyed Pumpkin Garland

I love when the vision I have in my mind’s eye comes to fruition. It never really happens all that much, I have to admit. I start many projects that I end up throwing away. It’s true! But I lucked out this time. I wanted to make a seasonal garland that was simple and light (like, not heavy or dark). Just an airy little thing that would cheer up a space. It was fun to make, too! Just a few steps, not hard at all.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

Supplies:

Coffee filters (12 cups size)

Pumpkin template (download here)

Pencil and scissors

Orange liquid watercolor or food coloring (plus a small bowl to put it in, plus an extra small bowl of glass of water)

Paper towel

Hole punch (1/8″)

Black and white baker’s twine (8 ply)

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

Directions:

1. Flatten out the coffee filter. Lay the pumpkin template on the bottom half (so the stem ends up on the flat middle of the filter). Cut twenty pumpkins.

2. Accordion fold each pumpkin.

3. Holding the pumpkin at the top with the folds closed, dip it in some water. Squeegee the water off with your fingers, then dip the wet, folded pumpkin into the orange watercolor. Bend the pumpkin slightly so the orange goes up about half way. You only need to hold it in for a few seconds. Wipe the dripping orange watercolor of on the sides of the bowl. Place the folded, dyed pumpkin on a piece of paper towel. Repeat for all twenty pumpkins.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

4. When the pumpkins are a little less wet (like in half an hour), unfold them and lay them on either some new paper towel, or some paper. The reason to not unfold them right after you dip them is because then the dye won’t pool in the creases. This is a nice effect, when the creases are a bit darker.

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

5. When the pumpkins are completely dry (2 hours), then fold each of them back up and punch a hole about and inch down from the top.

6. Wrap a small piece of tape around the end of the twine. Don’t cut the twine yet, just unroll a lot of it, about six feet. With the pumpkins still folded, string the twine through the holes.

7. When all of the pumpkins are strung, fan them out and space them out the way you like. Then cut your string. Now you’re done!

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

make this light and cheery pumpkin garland from coffee filters

This garland will work well from now through Halloween and Thanksgiving. I love decorations that have flexibility!

xo, Bar

 

Paper Bag Art Journal for Kids


Paper Bag Art Journal for Kids

Over the summer, I had art camp here every day for five weeks. On day one of each new session, the first thing we did was make an art journal. It was something that could be used throughout the week, if the kids were done with their projects early, or if they had an idea they wanted to sketch. We talked about “thinking and working like and artist”, which means keeping a journal close by to write thoughts or draw or paint or glue…whatever moved them! The kids LOVED making these journals. They thought it was so cool that their names were on them, and that they could fill it up with anything they wanted. Plus there was a nifty handle to carry it around. Winner!

make an art journal from a paper bag and a few supplies

Supplies for making the journals:

paper bag // three or more sheets of 12 x 18 sulphite paper (or other paper that size, i just happened to have sulphite paper and love the density) // plain or colored masking tape (I used painter’s tape) // hole punch (1/8″) // brass fasteners

Instructions:

1. Cut down the sides of your paper bag and cut off the bottom. You will now have two separate paper bag sheets (with handles).

2. Fold the inside paper you are using in half and lay it down on one side of the paper bag. Trim around the paper leaving a bit of a margin. Trim the other paper bag sheet.

3. Tape the two sides together. I put tape on the outside and the inside.

4. Punch a small hole at the top and bottom, going in as far as your hole punch will let you. Punch the hole close to the fold, but not on the fold.

5. Open up the bag and lay the folded paper inside, marking where the holes are on the white paper. Now punch holes in the white paper right on the fold.

6. Insert the brass fasteners from the outside and secure them on the inside. Voila!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

I actually taped the two sides together and then had the kids paint and decorate them before I attached the inside sheets. After the paint and glitter dried, that’s when I put in the sheets with the fasteners.

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

Supplies for decorating the journals:

letter stencils (optional, you can freehand) // watercolor paints // brushes // glitter glue // glitter (messy and exciting alternative to glitter glue) // white glue in a bowl with a brush (if you use glitter) // neon chalkboard pens

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

make art journals with your kids from paper bags // teach them how to think like an artist!

We glued envelopes inside the front cover. This was strategic in once sense, to cover all of the grocery store graphics, but also it allowed them to be collectors and to save the little bits they found to use for their art.

Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best!

xo, Bar

 

DIY Watercolor Lacing Cards


DIY Watercolor Lacing Cards

When I was a little girl, I spent most of my days sewing. My mom had an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine that worked by turning a hand-crank on the side. I loved that machine. I made lots of pillows, mini quilts, and little purses. Anything with straight lines. I still love sewing and try to fit it into our lives whenever I can. Lacing cards are such a great way to teach basic hand-sewing skills. Today I want to share with you my handmade version of lacing cards.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Here’s what you’ll need:

~ Watercolor paper (I used 140 lb weight in a 9” x 12” pad size)

~ Watercolor paints

~ Brush (I love Ikea brushes, but these are second best)

~ Glass of water and damp sponge or paper towel

~ Templates for shapes (or make your own shapes)

~ Hole punch (I used an 1/8″ for these photos, but 1/4″ is better for littler kids)

~ String (I used mason line because I had it from another project, but it’s not cheap. I love these shoelaces which work even better)

Download templates here: Bird | Crown | Owl | Crystal

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

Follow these steps to make your own lacing cards:

1. Print the stencils on regular copy paper. Cut them out, then use them to trace the shapes onto the watercolor paper. For the crystal shape, use a ruler to draw the lines onto the watercolor paper. (Tip: It will be easier to paint the shapes in first, then cut them out afterwards. I cut my shapes first only because it made for prettier pictures!)

2. Set up your watercolor. I always have a damp sponge next to my water glass, but you could also use a paper towel.

3. When painting your shapes, you can do whatever you want. That is the beauty of this project! There are no mistakes to be made. I used solid blocks of color for the crystal, quick swaths of color for the bird, a zig-zag pattern for the crown, and big polka dots for the owl. (For an added sense of collaboration and ownership, you can let your child paint the shapes!)

4. After the shapes have dried, you just need to bend them a little to get them to lie flat.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

5. Punch your holes around the edges. I spaced mine about an inch apart.

6. Cut your string. I used 6 feet of string for the bird lacing card (incredible, right?). This one took the most string because of the blanket stitching. The other lacing cards took about 5 feet or less. Since I used mason line (which frays), I burned the ends with a lighter, then I wrapped a small piece of tape around the end to make it like a shoelace. If you want actual shoelaces, you can find these shoelaces (54″) in a variety of colors on Amazon. Another alternative is to buy these plastic sewing needles, which my kids love because it feels like real sewing, and just use yarn.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

Voila! Now you have a beautiful set of lacing cards that you can give your child. What a treasured gift! These cards are wonderful for both girls and boys. My 8-yr old boy loves lacing cards.

Enjoy!

xo, Bar