Eco Friendly

Paper Bag Crowns


Paper Bag Crowns

I love the way these crowns turned out. I don’t know what my vision was exactly…probably something more refined – ha! But since this was an open-ended project, I just gave the 4-yr olds their plain crowns and their art supplies and they made each their very own. I don’t think I could have imagined them any more beautiful!

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

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Here’s what you’ll need:

Paper bag

Watercolors (we used these which are inexpensive and work great in a class setting, but if you want to invest in something nicer buy these!)

Brushes

Glue (any white school glue, and i put some in a bowl with a brush for them to use as well)

Pom-poms (this bag will last you forever and it’s inexpensive)

Glitter

Sequins

Masking tape

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

Here’s how we made them:

First, cut your paper bag down the side and cut off the bottom. Lay it flat and zig-zag cut all across the top. Use the whole bag, but trim it down before painting. Do this by just placing the crown around the child’s head, then adding an extra inch.

Next, lay out your watercolors. Paint the crown and let it dry before moving on to the gluing step. I used a hairdryer to dry them quickly.

When they are dry, put out the glue and the rest of the supplies and let them add to their heart’s content! These crowns should dry overnight, flat. You can place them around their heads with a piece of masking take the next day when they are dry. Oh, but don’t forget to shake off the excess glitter!

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

make beautiful crowns from recycled paper bags

They wore their crowns all day the next day after they were dry. I was so impressed by their concentration with these, and by how magical they turned out to be. I think i might have to do these again with the next group of campers!

xo, Bar

 

Make: Bird Nests


Make: Bird Nests

This week I wanted to continue with our theme of birds and share with you this totally cool bird nest craft. OMG, they were so fun!! The best part being the last step which is so satisfying and beautiful that we all gasped (I wish I knew how to type a gasp…anyone?). There are bird nest tutorials all over the internet. I researched a ton about whether to use paper maché or glue, whether I wanted a full nest or a more delicate nest, and lastly….the nest materials. It was hard to make all of these decisions! After a rough start, we finally got the hang of it. make bird nests from recycled paper | art bar

Materials: ~ Chopped paper (construction paper, newspaper, catalogs, magazines) / paper cutter or scissors (or a shredder would be best!) / Elmer’s glue + thick paint brush / One bowl of the size that you want your bird’s nest to be / Plastic wrap

make bird nests from recycled paper | art bar

How to: Most of the tutorials online said to soak the paper strips in the glue or paper maché first, then spread them around the bowl. We tried this, but it became a goopy mess and the paper started ripping. So this is the technique we came up with. First, we cut our paper into strips about 1/4″ in thickness. The strips varied in length from 6″ to 12″. Next, we put plastic wrap on the inside of the bowl. We mixed glue with water (half and half), and brushed glue all on the inside of the bowl on top of the plastic wrap. We then took individual strips and arranged them criss-crossing around the bowl. After a while, we would paint on more glue which helped keep the layers down. We then added more paper strips, until about four layers were formed. Sometimes we would put the strips around, like a real nest. Other times just across so the pieces would stick out. When our fingers got too sticky, we wiped them on a wet paper towel. We let the bowls dry overnight. Then….drumroll, please….we lifted the nests out of the bowl and pealed off the plastic. Voila! We had the most beautiful and delicate nests!

make bird nests from recycled paper | art bar

We played around with color, but loved the blues and browns most (with a hint of pink). I used a Paper Source catalog which is made from a really nice matte paper, and their use of color is muted and perfect. (If you don’t know about this catalog click here to get one for free! And definitely visit their online store.)

Have a crafty weekend!

xo, Bar

{nests inspired by this post}

 

Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash


Repurpose / Reuse / Retrash

What do all of the above have in common? They are all things that have been brilliantly repurposed! Or upcycled…reused…retrashed. Call it what you will, it is an idea as old as time. Although nowadays, the movement has a fresh face thanks to Pinterest!

As you know, I have a fondness for making things from what we have lying around the house. Many of my art projects on this blog are made from materials that everyone has at hand (click here to see them all). Part of it is that I dislike errands very much. Driving around to get this and that, it literally puts me in a bad mood. The other part is that it makes me feel bad to spend money on supplies when I have so much here. And thirdly, it just makes sense! Using what I have forces me to be creative, and it leaves me with a good feeling that I didn’t add to my garbage pile.

I hadn’t heard of the word “retrash” until recently, when I came across this Kickstarter campaign from Aussie Nathan Devine. He is funding his labor of love, a beautiful coffee table book named RETRASH. The idea spawned from his website. This book will feature artists from around the world who are inspiring change by working to reduce landfill waste and getting creative with what others view as trash. Check out his Kickstarter page and make a pledge if it moves you. I personally can’t wait to get my copy and share it with my kids (our most promising generation of recyclers)!

Above credits: globe pendants / hanger to TP holder / necktie zipper pouch / mouse beds from Altoid tins / yardstick boxes / tin cans for art supplies / egg carton sewing kit / bike sink / work shirt to little dress / tennis racquet mirrors / suitcase speakers / landfill-harmonic (you must click this link and see for yourself)

Have a happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

xo, Bar

 

Goblin Garland {Halloween}


Goblin Garland {Halloween}

goblin garland ~ a collage craft made with recycled materials

goblin garland ~ a collage craft made with recycled materials

goblin garland ~ a collage craft made with recycled materials

Today on Art Bar monday on Small for Big, learn how to make these funny little goblins with recycled materials from your house, and a free goblin template. We had so much fun setting up our collage table and making these little guys because they reminded us of Yoda. A garland of Yodas for Halloween seemed just right for our family!

Happy Monday!

xo Bar

 

Paperbag Paintings


Paperbag Paintings

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

recycled art ~ paint on paper bags | art bar

Created with recycled brown grocery bags, some liquid watercolors and some chalk, these paintings are perfect for the little ones. They even have a built-in picture hanger! Today on Art Bar Monday over at Small for Big, read more about how they were made.

Have a great week!

xo Bar