Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Make your own Votive Candle Holders

I made these little candle holders for a party that we were having in our back yard. They have the look of summer and the beach. I also made about 70 of them, in the spring, for children to paint at the Montessori school where I teach. Initially I made them with Plaster of Paris, but I quickly ran out and discovered that a leftover bag of grey grout that I had in the garage worked equally well. I picked up the candles at a craft store and used the paper cups as molds. The cups had a wax lining and were constructed with folds, giving the candle holders an extra special look. Initially I thought that I would have to remove the candle from its metal holder and use a weight (washers and blue glass pictured) to sink the candle holder into the wet plaster (grout), but discovered that that was not necessary.
I simply mixed the plaster to a consistency that was easy to pour and then immediately sunk the votive candle, along with the liner, into the soupy plaster. I think they took about 24 hours to dry, maybe less. The grout takes longer. I painted them with acrylic.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Kitty Place Cards

I recently illustrated these little 3D place cards for a friend to use for her daughter's birthday party. If you "like" my Facebook page I will happily send you the pdf so that you can make your own! Thanks for stopping by.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Clothes Pin Bride

I made a bride and groom for a co-worker whose daughter was getting married. I neglected to take a picture of the groom. The poor groom does tend to get overlooked! However, I used black pipe cleaners for the arms, painted the legs black, and used black satin ribbon for the tails.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Make Bamboo Chimes

I came across a terrific post on michele made mewith instructions for making wood chimes from lengths of bamboo. I had just seen some reasonably priced bamboo at Pier One that was stained with a rust color, and thought that I had found the perfect end-of-the-year project to make with a class of Kindergarteners. I decided that it would work well as a collaboration that could be hung in the school playground. Michele's bamboo is painted with lovely, intricate designs. With the Kindergarteners I decided to apply textured designs such as bubble wrap. The children used sponge rollers to apply acrylic paint to the bubble wrap and then pressed the designs onto the bamboo.
My husband had cut the bamboo for me and drilled holes so that it could be hung using fishing line from a length of dowel that I had spray painted gold. It truly makes a magical sound and we plan on making one for our own backyard.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Making Stamps with Plasticine

I had seen posts on Pinterest where clay was used to form printing stamps. I had some plasticine at school that I find difficult to use with children since it is stiff to manipulate. Plasticine is a trademark name for an oil-based modeling clay that was developed by art teacher in England in 1897. I decided to use the plasticine to from stamps, but was a bit worried about the children's hands being covered in ink. I realized that I could press the plasticine onto a block of wood and it would adhere. The block of wood would keep their hands away from the ink. I gave the children different "tools" such as popsicle sticks and clothes pins that could leave impressions in the plasticine. When they made a print I encouraged them to stamp over and over again to watch the images become lighter. As they stamped, the indentations also would begin to disappear. This had two advantages. One, their stamp would be cleaned off so that another color could be used. Two, they were left with a clean slate to make new impressions. And, let's face it, they like pounding with the stamps.
The impatiens were made by me and turned into a card.

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.