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

 

DIY Watercolor Lacing Cards


DIY Watercolor Lacing Cards

When I was a little girl, I spent most of my days sewing. My mom had an old-fashioned Singer sewing machine that worked by turning a hand-crank on the side. I loved that machine. I made lots of pillows, mini quilts, and little purses. Anything with straight lines. I still love sewing and try to fit it into our lives whenever I can. Lacing cards are such a great way to teach basic hand-sewing skills. Today I want to share with you my handmade version of lacing cards.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

Here’s what you’ll need:

~ Watercolor paper (I used 140 lb weight in a 9” x 12” pad size)

~ Watercolor paints

~ Brush (I love Ikea brushes, but these are second best)

~ Glass of water and damp sponge or paper towel

~ Templates for shapes (or make your own shapes)

~ Hole punch (I used an 1/8″ for these photos, but 1/4″ is better for littler kids)

~ String (I used mason line because I had it from another project, but it’s not cheap. I love these shoelaces which work even better)

Download templates here: Bird | Crown | Owl | Crystal

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

Follow these steps to make your own lacing cards:

1. Print the stencils on regular copy paper. Cut them out, then use them to trace the shapes onto the watercolor paper. For the crystal shape, use a ruler to draw the lines onto the watercolor paper. (Tip: It will be easier to paint the shapes in first, then cut them out afterwards. I cut my shapes first only because it made for prettier pictures!)

2. Set up your watercolor. I always have a damp sponge next to my water glass, but you could also use a paper towel.

3. When painting your shapes, you can do whatever you want. That is the beauty of this project! There are no mistakes to be made. I used solid blocks of color for the crystal, quick swaths of color for the bird, a zig-zag pattern for the crown, and big polka dots for the owl. (For an added sense of collaboration and ownership, you can let your child paint the shapes!)

4. After the shapes have dried, you just need to bend them a little to get them to lie flat.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

5. Punch your holes around the edges. I spaced mine about an inch apart.

6. Cut your string. I used 6 feet of string for the bird lacing card (incredible, right?). This one took the most string because of the blanket stitching. The other lacing cards took about 5 feet or less. Since I used mason line (which frays), I burned the ends with a lighter, then I wrapped a small piece of tape around the end to make it like a shoelace. If you want actual shoelaces, you can find these shoelaces (54″) in a variety of colors on Amazon. Another alternative is to buy these plastic sewing needles, which my kids love because it feels like real sewing, and just use yarn.

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

make for your kids as a gift, or have you kids paint them for themselves! download free templates

Voila! Now you have a beautiful set of lacing cards that you can give your child. What a treasured gift! These cards are wonderful for both girls and boys. My 8-yr old boy loves lacing cards.

Enjoy!

xo, Bar

 

Name Stamps for Card Making + Free Printables


Name Stamps for Card Making + Free Printables

We’ve had these name stamps for years. I make my kids new ones all the time. It never occurred to me to share this source until we made a stamp for my daughter’s friend for her birthday and the mom flipped over it!! We included a stack of notecards, too. It really was the cutest gift!! This would also make a great teacher gift. Similar to the teacher gifts my kids made last year, but this time their teacher would have a stamp that they can use on anything!

our fave name stamps :: your kids can make their own stationery ~ or make as a gift for their friends or teachers {free printable included}

Here’s how I create the names, which I then upload to a website that makes the stamps:

~ You can create the name in Photoshop, or any other design software you might have.

~ Choose your fonts. I used Veneer for “Ava”, Tire Shop for “Grace”, and Black Dog for “Nate”. All of these fonts can be found on MyFonts.

~ Make sure to work in black. Type your name. Your font height should be 3/8″ high. The length will vary depending on the name.

~ Save your name, making the page size (or canvas size in Photoshop) just slightly bigger than the name, by just a few millimeters.

~ Your file format should be jpg, gif, bmp or gnp.

Here’s how to upload the file to the stamp making website:

~ Go to Rubberstamps.net. Go to the tab on the left “Custom Stamps” and then scroll down to “Self Inking”.

~ For my kids’ three names, I chose the second stamp down which measures 1 1/2″ x 9/16″ and costs $11.95. If your child’s name is longer, then you will need to go up in size otherwise their name will get too small. For the name “Annabelle”, I chose the 1 7/8″ x 3/4″ stamp for $13.95.

~ Click on “Customize and Order”.

~ Click on the “Choose File” tab which is in the first beige box on the left.

rubberstamps.net tutorial

~ Once you’ve added your file, it will show up in the preview. Make sure it fits. It should look like this (above). If your name shows up really teeny, then your canvas is too big (the white space around your name). Just go back into the file and make sure you trim the canvas so that it’s just the name.

~ There are tons of confusing things to click. Don’t worry about any of them. If you want your stamp to be in a color, then scroll to the bottom. You will see another preview of your name. Just above that, to the right, you will see a button that allows you to chose your color. When you’ve selected your color, hit “Add to Cart”.

~ If you just want black ink, then ignore all of the other junk and just click “Add to Cart”.

That’s it, you’re done!

our fave name stamps :: your kids can make their own stationery ~ or make as a gift for their friends or teachers {free printable included}

Here are the files to download for the notecards. The cards come four on a page, you have to cut them up. Use a lightweight card stock. Choose the borderless setting in your printer’s dialogue box.

traditional notebook lined cards

red diamond lined cards

black triangle lined cards

Kids loooooove using their stamps. Who doesn’t get a thrill out of seeing their name over and over again? It becomes addictive! My kids even stamp their arms (it comes off with water) and think they are pretty cool.

These stamps are cheap and have so many applications other than notecards. I use them on brown paper to wrap gifts for them, or on their lunch bags (if their lunch boxes are gross and in the laundry), or on notes in their lunchbox. You can also stamp the back of their art to remember who did what (and then I always add the date).

Let me know if you need any help!

xo, Bar