Friday, May 1, 2015

Make Your Own Letter Stamps

I wanted a set of letter stamps for a project that I'm working on, but I couldn't find any that were large enough. Plus they were all a bit pricey. I was going up and down the aisles of Michaels when I spotted a set of cork letters for five dollars. My husband cut up some blocks of wood and I attached the letters with wood glue. The cork has a pitted surface, so naturally that texture can be seen on the printed letter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Tissue Paper Vases

This is a very simple project that even young children can do. I made some marks on tissue paper with oil pastels and then tore the sheets of tissue into smaller pieces. I adhered the tissue to the glass vase using diluted white glue and a small sponge brush. When it dried, I mixed some glitter into Mod Podge and spread a protective coating onto the vase.
When I made these with a group of four and five year olds, I kept scooting around their work table making sure the tissue was lying flat against the bottle. They would also tend to work on one area and forget to spin the bottle around to work on the other side.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Printing Blocks

I used a Soft-Kut Printing Block to carve my leaf stamp. They are much easier to cut than the linoleum blocks that I remember using when I was in school, although the cutting tools are the same, so they would not be appropriate for elementary school or even middle school age children.
I printed some large sheets that I plan on turning into Japanese lanterns.
I love post cards. They take me back to printing my first promotional piece as an illustrator when I got out of art school. There used to be a little store in Soho that only sold postcards. Can you even imagine that existing in NYC today?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Make a Felt Bean Bag

I can remember my mom sewing bean bags for us to play with when my brother and I were kids. Bean bags can be used to play a wide variety of games and they make the perfect little gift to give to your guests at the end of a birthday party instead of a goodie bag.
To make the cat I purchased small sheets of craft felt. They come in such delicious colors. I would have preferred wool felt since it is sturdier, but I couldn't find any at my two local craft stores. I cut out 6 inch circles with my pinking shears having decided to make the front of the cat in a blue and the back in green. I stitched the two sides together leaving an opening for me to add the beans (I chose split peas).
The cat's eyes, nose and mouth are buttons, felt shapes, and pom poms that are attached to the felt with a glue gun. It is very difficult to adhere felt with anything other than a glue gun. If anyone has had luck with any other type of glue, please let me know. The whiskers and detail on the ears was added with fabric paint applied directly from the bottle.
The split peas were added with a funnel and then I finished stitching the bean bag together.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Robots

This little robot was made with odds and ends that I happened to have on hand. The body is a small jewelry box that I covered with foil. The legs are made from a folded strip of aluminum tape. The fun part is searching through things on the work bench or tucked in a drawer that you don't want to toss in a landfill, but don't really have any use for. It's my upcycled, junk robot.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Fabric Bowls

These fabric bowls are fairly easy to make, you just need a little patience. They are a good way to use up any fabric scraps that you may have. I used the orange, plastic bowl in the second photo as a mold. The straight sides made it easier to detach the bowl that I made. So, give some thought to what you choose as your mold. I coated the bowl with a fairly thick layer of petroleum jelly. I cut a circle of fabric that would fit the bottom of the bowl and strips of fabric that were the right size for the sides. I coated the back of the fabric with Elmer's glue and lay them on my mold, starting with the circle for the bottom. The strips should all overlap slightly. After the fabric dried, I coated the entire outside with several layers of Modpodge. After it was completely dry, I removed my new bowl from the mold.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Decoupage Child's Book Shelf

I decoupaged the bookcase to be auctioned off at the school's annual fundraise where I teach art part-time. The flowers, bird and insects were collaged using scrapbooking paper, sheets of the New York Times, maps, sheet music, and basically anything that struck my fancy. I copied the art on my printer and adhered it to the book shelf with elmer's glue. The images were then protected with layers of matte Mod Podge using a foam brush.