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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

 

Cardboard Theatre


Cardboard Theatre

My fourteen-year-old daughter came home from her last day of 8th grade with this!! I mean….OMG!! I immediately took about a million photos of it, from all sorts of various angles. I was asking her a million questions, like how did she come up with this idea, how did she make it, did your art teacher just DIE?? Turns out, the assignment was to make something with cardboard. She came up with the idea all by herself (she wants to be an actress, so this was very personal art making), she made it by cutting cardboard and gluing it and painting it (duh), and she didn’t know if her teacher liked it because she never asked. Even more AWESOME!! A completely self motivated art experience with no expectations. Now that I’m done gushing, here are more photos of her masterpiece.

a  mini theatre made from cardboard

a  mini theatre made from cardboard

a  mini theatre made from cardboard

I love how she rolled the cardboard to make little stage lights. And I love the castle bricks, and the clouds…and how she outlined the castle with gold. I also think the seats are brilliant. How long did it take to cut out all of those little chairs? I honestly didn’t know she had this in her, she is not normally a detail oriented girl. But this is what I love most about motherhood…just when you think you know them completely, they surprise you with another layer of their growing self.

I love this theatre, and I love this girl. Thanks for letting me gush!

xo, Bar

 

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