Recycled

Art for Littles


Art for Littles

Good morning! Today I am sharing yet another killer collection of simple art & play ideas for your little ones.

From top left: Spin art sun catchers from Meri Cherry // Rainbow color mixing from Simple as That // Credit card art from Housing a Forest // Hole punch art by Learn with Play at Home // Monster blow paintings from Raising Sparks // Styrofoam sculptures from The Artful Parent // Play with fabric scraps from Paint on the Ceiling // Easy weave bracelets by Willow Day // Clothespin caterpillars from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom // Scrap paper collage from Art Bar // Watercolor art from Blog Me Mom // Kandinsky egg carton art from Whatever

Have a great week! 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}

 

 

Make: Name Garland


Make: Name Garland

make a name garland @artbarblog

craft punch + paint chips ~ make a garland | @artbarblog

I’m loving the way this garland came out. It’s super easy to make and uses all free materials….my favorite kind of craft! To see the full post and tutorial, hop on over to Small for Big.

Happy Monday everybody!!

xo Bar

 

Cardboard Box Animals


Cardboard Box Animals

recycled art ~ animals made from cardboard boxes {free animal templates} | art bar

recycled art ~ animals made from cardboard boxes {free animal templates} | art bar

We have quite a few boxes leftover from our move in December. Like, a hundred or a thousand. A sea of brown boxes. If any of you have moved recently, you know what a downer it can be to have these boxes still sitting in the corners of all your rooms. The recycler in me had to make something out of them. These animals only took two boxes, unfortunately. But I have only just begun! Check out the tutorial on how to make these today over at Small for Big.

Have a happy Monday!

xo Bar

 

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 grocery bags and some mixed-media art supplies, 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

 

Old Jeans // New Bag


Old Jeans // New Bag

I had a favorite bag when I was little that looked like an old pair of Levis. It was a tote with red straps and a pocket on the front. It even had an authentic little red Levi tag. Oh, how I loved this bag! In fact, I still have it. My daughters use it sometimes, but it’s starting to get frayed so I put it away for a little while. I decided to make each of my girls their own jeans bag. You already know I save their clothes for quilts (a basement full of old clothes I’m afraid) so it was just a matter of finding the time to get it done.

This DIY requires some sewing skills. And if you have sewing skills, then you probably are clever enough to figure out how to make one of these bags on your own (there are at least 50 different ways to make a denim bag). But, if you’re interested in knowing how I made mine, you can download this PDF for the full instructions.

Here’s what you’ll need:

- an old pair of jeans (mine were a child’s size 6 and my bag ended up being about 10″ x 12″)

- an old shirt (or some lining fabric)

- handles (I bought my webbing in NYC, but you can source Etsy for some good alternatives)

- a fine tip sharpie

- good fabric scissors (such as Ghinger)

- a needle and thread

- a sewing machine

I love mixing my daughter’s old jeans with her dad’s old shirt. Those two are pretty tight already, and now they are stitched together for eternity. To make this tote even more sentimental, I used a Sharpie to write some of her six-year old milestones (the age she was when she wore these blue jeans). As a mom, I am always trying to find ways to strengthen our family narrative. Making sense of who they are and knowing that they belong to something bigger helps with their self-confidence. Talking about milestones and comparing stories (mommy’s favorite bag, daddy still uses bunny ears to tie his shoes) is a lovely way to build our family story.

Now I just need to make another for my middle girl. Can’t you just picture the three of us skipping around town with our awesome bags? I better hurry before they don’t think I’m cool anymore (like that would ever happen).

Have a happy Memorial Day weekend!

xo Bar

 

T-Shirt Bunting


T-Shirt Bunting

With three growing kids, we collect a lot of t-shirts. Some of them end up in quilts, others I give to Good Will. I save many, though, because they are un-hand-me-downable. T-shirts from school walk-athons, soccer teams, variety shows…the ones that no one else would wear. The ones I use for projects!

Here’s what you need to make this bunting:

T-shirts {cut into 4 x 5 1/2″ pieces}

Twill tape in two colors {4 yard pieces}

Rotary cutter + board {or good fabric scissors}

Pins

Sewing Machine

For this bunting, I wanted a Spring color theme. I chose blues and light grays. I cut out about 50 pieces, but only ended up using 21. I laid them out on the table and arranged them in a random order. Then I carefully pinned each piece between the two different colored twill tapes. Using a wide zig-zag stitch, I ran the bunting through the sewing machine. Voila! I would say this project was very easy. You need the right supplies (a rotary cutter really helps, and also a sewing machine), but it is not difficult at all.

I love the end result. It is playful and colorful and I bet you will see it in future photos…lurking in the background. Start saving those t-shirts!

 

Monster Patches


Monster Patches

One of the very first things I pinned on Pinterest when I joined was this image of a monster patch. It’s from a Dutch blog, and I thought (and still think) that it was brilliant! I wish I had thought of that. Marieke inspired me to finally, once and for all, start mending those jeans. For tweens, patches are not cool at all. Luckily, my girls gave me the thumbs up on these.

Marieke’s tutorial is in Dutch, but her pictures are pretty good at showing you the steps. Just trim the hole so that there are no frayed edges. Next, cut a colored piece of fabric twice as big as the hole. I used some old t-shirts thinking that the stretchiness would work well on the knees. Then I cut out teeth from white felt. The trickiest part was getting my hand inside those skinny little jeggings. After pinning the fabric to the jeans (and stabbing myself, like, 100 times), I used some embroidery floss and a large needle to hand sew around the mouth. I went around twice for stability. Lastly, I made two little eyes. I definitely like Marieke’s eyes better, but I ran out of patience. And also, I was bleeding from all of my puncture wounds.

Sometimes, it feels good to just get something done. Cross it off the list. Thank you for the inspiration, Marieke!