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Arts + Crafts for every age! Anything that we make, hope to make, wish we could make, or others made, will be posted on this page.

A Painted Branch // Collaborative Art with Kids


A Painted Branch // Collaborative Art with Kids

This week for art class I tried something new. Our neighbor (a church) cut down some branches and left them on our property. They’d been there a while, actually. We kept thinking they would clean them up. As I was staring at them from the kitchen window Monday morning I thought that I should really make a phone call. But then, a lightbulb went off in my brain. I’m quite certain it wasn’t an original thought (is there really such a thing anymore?) but maybe I could drag one of the branches inside and the kids could paint it for art class today? So I did it. Broke off a piece and put it on the art table. Voila! Easy peasy. I mixed some paints, put them around the branch and just hoped and prayed that the kids would think this was as brilliant as I did.

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

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Supplies:

Tempera paints (I mixed colors and added a little white to each for opaqueness, except for the gold and silver)

Glass jars

Paint brushes

Elmer’s glue

Pom-poms

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

There are really no instructions, no rules. Other than, don’t splatter paint on other people on purpose, share the paints, and be kind!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

After the branch was flipped over and painted on all sides, I brought out the glue and pom-poms to create some more texture. The glue got very drippy, which the kids loved, but it was all good because the tables were covered and everything is washable!

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

kids will love this format, especially if they find their own branch // great project for a group

It’s hard to photograph such a long, skinny piece of art! After letting it dry overnight, I couldn’t wait to lean it against a wall. My own kids and even my husband were all like, “mom, that is so cool!”. I want to figure out how to hang it from the ceiling. How awesome would that be?

I love collaborative art with little kids. It’s such a good way to foster teamwork and social awareness. Sharing with your neighbor, listening to conversations, taking turns and complimenting another’s work are very important skills for the little ones to acquire. What better way to learn these important character traits than through art?

Let me know if you try this one!

xo, Bar

 

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