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!!}

 

DIY Cake Topper {with template}


DIY Cake Topper {with template}

I think this is the fastest turn-around post I’ve ever done! We had my daughter’s 12th birthday party this weekend and now here I am writing about it. It usually takes me a week or a month or more to sort through photos and write something. But seriously, isn’t this the cutest cake topper? I really wanted to share because it’s pretty easy to make and just so colorful and happy. You only need a few supplies that hopefully you have lying around your house. I also am providing you with the banner templates. You’re welcome! Here we go…

simple cake topper with an artsy flair

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Supplies:

~ Templates (Ava template here, Ellie template here) I provided a few sizes depending on the length of your child’s name.

~ Alphabet rubber stamps / I have some old ones from High School, if you can believe it, but you can buy cool ones on Etsy or Amazon.

~ Ink pads / I love Colorbox or Versacolor

~ Two paint brushes, or skewers

~ Baker’s twine, or any yarn

~ Colored tapes or washi tape

~ Scissors and scotch tape

rubber stamped cake topper

Making your cake topper:

~ Print out your template and choose which size banner will work best with the length of your child’s name.

~ Rubber stamp their name. I have lots of color ink pads, but this would also look really cool with just black. Or…you can just write their name in freehand. Or paint it, use colored pencils or just black sharpie. Whatever is easiest!

~ Cut out the banner a little bit outside of the gray line.

~ Flip the banner over and scotch tape the two paintbrushes (or skewers) to the back. Try and point the bottoms inward just a little bit.

simple cake topper with an artsy flair

~ Make your garland by cutting off a two foot piece of twine or yarn. Starting in a few inches, fold a piece of colored tape over the string. Fold about three or four pieces in a row, depending on the length of the name. Leave a little space and then repeat with the folded tape. Make three sections of tape. You may have to cut off the end of the string, but leave a tail of about three inches.

~ Use the scissors to cut the tape into triangle flags.

~ Starting at the top of one of the paintbrushes, wrap the string around the brush a few times, then drape it over to the other side and wrap it again around the other brush. Swag it one more time (three times total) back to the other paint brush. At this point you will want to take a teeny piece of scotch tape and tape the string to the back of the brush. Cut the string at the end if needed.

~ Put the cake topper on the cake by pushing the paint brushes in about an inch.

simple cake topper with an artsy flair

simple cake topper with an artsy flair

My daughter celebrated one of her birthday parties with her dear friend, hence the two cake toppers here. I love toppers because they are just so happy and make the birthday kid feel so special. You don’t even need a very extravagant party if you just have an awesome cake topper and some cool gifts…and a sentimental, loving card. I’ve had those birthdays in the past and they rule!

xo, Bar

 

Scrape Painting with Kids


Scrape Painting with Kids

Process art is such a prominent word in art education. There are many people who can write about it much better than I can, like Meri Cherry, Stephanie from Twodaloo, and Mary Catherine from Fun-a-Day. If you want to dig a little deeper then definitely click on the links. In a nutshell, process art just means child-led exploration of materials without any expectations or “end” product. There is no right or wrong. It’s the opposite of craft. And just to be clear, I love both very much ~ process art and craft. I think there is room for both in a child’s creative pursuits (except when they’re really young, like ages 0-3yrs ~ then I think it should be process art all the way).

These paintings were made by my 4-6 yr olds in art camp. It’s a basic technique, sometimes called credit card painting. But you can use anything to scrape and pull and push the paint around on the tray. The idea is to just let the kids get messy (if they’re that type), explore and discover.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

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

Supplies:

~ A tray or cookie sheet

~ Squeeze bottles (or you could dip the scraper in paint, or you could use spoons to create blobs to spread)

~ Tempera paints

~ Sulphite Paper (a denser type of white construction paper), or you could use recycle cardboard or watercolor paper

~ Masking tape

~ Scraper. We used credit cards (actually, they were mostly store cards like from the grocery store and sports store), but you can also use pieces of cardboard or anything flat.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

Process:

~ Mix your colors. It’s kind of a good idea to stay within the same color family. Choosing warm colors, or cool colors, makes for prettier paintings. If you put out too many colors, especially contrasting colors, then you could get a lot of brown. But…since this is all about the process, it’s also fine if it does turn brown. I put out purple and yellow, which are opposite colors on the color wheel and which make brown. The kids all exclaimed loudly when they made brown, which amazed me. They love making brown apparently.

~ Tape a piece of paper inside your tray or cookie sheet.

~ Whether you are using squeeze bottles (highly recommended because kids love squeezing and you’ll use them again and again) or dipping, just put out your paint and your scraper and let the kids go! Tell them to just squeeze little bits because paint will start to collect around the edges of the tray.

~ My kids made many, like at least 5-8 each. Each time I gave them a new piece of paper I did put a little tape on the sides. Eventually the trays were too paint filled for the tape to stick, but I took some paper towel to wipe the tray. The tape does help so that the paper doesn’t move around. But ultimately, the paper just sticks to the tray without tape because it’s sticky wet!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

I love how some kids got really messy, while others stayed perfectly clean! It was also interesting to me that each kid had their own certain style. After they were all dried and I hung them up, I could pick out who did what without seeing their names on the back. Developing their artistic style early! So cool.

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

beautiful process art ~ kids love pushing and pulling and scraping the paint around in their tray ~ mixing colors and seeing what will happen is one big art experiment and so much fun!

They make for a pretty cool photo backdrop, too. This picture above is my fave because I had two sets of twins during this session. And they formed such a beautiful friendship! I love how art brings everyone together. I’m such a geek.

Do scrape painting!! It’s the coolest, the kids will love it. Don’t worry about the mess, it’s pretty contained to the tray and their hands. No paint on the walls or the floor.

xo, Bar