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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

 

Painted Bead Necklaces


Painted Bead Necklaces

Wooden bead painting has become one of my go-to activities lately. Whether for art class, or playdates, painting beads is such a lovely little art escape. It takes no skill whatsoever which therefore creates this calm atmosphere that is very relaxed and free. The kids start talking about what’s on their mind, and they connect with each other. And then…. you end up with these gorgeous beads! We took it one step further and painted little shapes as well. wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

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Supplies:

~ Wooden beads

~ Liquid watercolors (this is a link to the brand I like, you don’t have to buy the whole set ~ but i do love using gold)

~ Brushes, a glass of water, a damp sponge, and a plate with a piece of paper towel to place the beads when drying

~ Cardboard cut out shapes

~ Tempera paint (more opaque to cover brown cardboard), or you can just use the same liquid watercolors that are out already

~ Yarn, cording, and/or thin wire

~ Blunt needle (if you’re using yarn)

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

Process:

~ Put out your paints in separate cups, jars, or plastic egg carton. Start painting! I told the kids they needed about 20 beads or more for their necklace. There is a technique that my friend Merry Cherry uses which keeps their fingers clean, but we just went the messy route! Place the beads on the paper towel to dry.

~ While the kids are painting, you can cut out some small shapes from cardboard. Make sure you cut across the grain. Take a look at the photo below and you will see what I mean. There is a grain in between the cardboard. I use this grain as a tunnel to thread the yarn or cording through. It’s pretty cool how well it works!

HINT: Make the shape small enough that your needle can go through to the other side so you can grab it and pull it out!

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ When everything is dry, you can thread your necklace. Have the kids lay out their beads. The kids can use the blunt needle, they love using grown up tools. But you can do it, also, if you are afraid of them holding a needle.

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ Or you may want to use cording. This makes beading even easier, and the kids can do all of it themselves.

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

~ You could also try using wire with the cording. See above for the steps involved. It’s fairly straightforward and looks pretty sophisticated!

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

wooden beads painted with liquid watercolors + painted cardboard shapes ~ made by kids ages 3-8yrs

The variations are endless, and they can be made by 3yr olds as well and as beautifully as 30yr olds! My age exactly ;) (My 14 year old daughter and I made the red triangle necklace together. Collaborating is the coolest.)

As an added bonus for getting to the end of this post (well done!), click on over to my good friend Merry Cherry’s blog and read about her favorite way to make necklaces with kids. She and I struck up an incredibly synergistic relationship last year when we met through our blogs. Then, when I took my girls out to California in April, we met!! We had an instant connection because we are extremely well-matched. It’s been super weird how we keep coming up with similar ideas at the same time. It’s so fun sharing with each other, we thought we’d share with you, too!

xo, Bar

{PS: My son (age 8) made the one with the orange and green diamond. Just saying….boys love necklaces, too!!}

 

Rainbow Flower Collage


Rainbow Flower Collage

My four-year-olds made these! Some of them had just learned cutting so it was definitely a challenge, but they were up for it and they persevered and I was so proud of them! I was inspired by this post from Deep Space Sparkle, an awesome website with so many great resources by elementary school art teacher Patty Palmer. She has great instructions for this project which she did with kindergartners. We simplified a bit since my kids were younger, so I’ll go over our version.

great art project for cutting skills and color recognition

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Supplies needed:

Colored paper in a rainbow mix ~ you can cut up old art mixed with some construction paper, and some origami paper if you want some patterns.

Scissors

Glue stick

A piece of cardboard (I cut mine from a box in rectangular sizes, about 8″ x 11″)

great art project for cutting skills and color recognition

great art project for cutting skills and color recognition

great art project for cutting skills and color recognition

I supplied circles for the middle that I cut from muffin tin papers. I thought they would get frustrated cutting a circle. I cut all of the papers into small rectangular shapes, then I taught them how to cut a petal by placing your scissors at the bottom in the middle, curving out, then ending at the top middle. This concept was tough! I helped some of the girls by putting my fingers in the scissors with their fingers on top. This allowed them to go through the movements and understand the concept of “curved”. After they chose their own colors and cut their petals, they laid them out around the middle and used the glue stick to glue them on. Some of the kids made a stem and leaves, but some were so tired from cutting they were done!

great art project for cutting skills and color recognition

I love the sweet & proud smile on this one. Melts my heart.

I am a huge proponent of open-ended art so this project was a little out of my comfort zone, but I also think it’s important to teach skills from time to time, and I loved how simple this was. Cutting, glueing and learning about the colors of the rainbow are all great lessons for four-year olds. And they were so excited to have a finished piece to show their mamas!

xo, Bar