Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Collage a Coaster

Make some summery drink coasters for your end-of-summer barbecues or to give as gifts. Children enjoy making them, plus they have the added benefit of being inexpensive and not too time consuming. It's a fun and easy projects with some very pretty results.






Tissue paper


White glue


Old bristle brush or sponge brush


Oil pastels


Polyurethane in a spray can


Select a combination of colors that you find appealing. Decide whether you want an abstract piece or something representational. Tear your tissue paper into different sizes and shapes. I chose to make dots and dashes on the paper with the oil pastel. Dilute the white glue with some water. Apply a thin coating of this mixture on the tile and then begin to layer on the pieces. You'll be creating new colors as you overlap the tissue.
Once your coasters dry, spray them with a couple coats of polyurethane to protect the art.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Sea Shell Picture Frame

Simple wood picture frames have been popping up at the large craft stores for a very reasonable price. I painted the frame using acrylic paint and added the seashell with white glue. Perfect for your beach photos.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Black Sheep Stick Puppet

We made these stick puppets during an art camp. I cut out the sheep from black poster board and used a small hole punch for attaching the legs. The legs are newspaper that I attached to poster board with spray glue. The children did some stamping to add some detail to the body. I have many previous post about making simple stamps. The legs are attached with brads. The eye is a button. The dowel is glued to the back with white glue. When you move the stick, the legs move and it looks as if the sheep is running.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Paper Leis

We made these paper leis at an art camp. I cut out the flowers with a special punch. We strung them with ribbon and large plastic straws cut into smaller lengths. A good way to use up paper scraps.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Mosaics on Terra Cotta Pots

I made pots like these with four and five year olds last week. Now, in all honesty, the pictured pots were made by me and the ones done by the children are slightly lumpier, but charming nonetheless. For embellishments we used the tiles pictured that I bought in 12 inch sheets at Home Depot. I had snipped them in half with glass cutters. We also used more dimensional glass pieces that you can pick up at a dollar store that are intended for use in the bottom of flower vases. We adhered the pieces to the pots with polymer-fortified, thin-set mortar. It comes in powder form and I had some left over from when we put in a new back splash in the kitchen. It's a powder that you simply mix with some water until you have the consitency of peanut butter. The children applied this to the back of the embellishments and stuck them to their pots. After 24 hours of drytime time, I applied grout to the pots.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Paste Paper the Easy Way

Making paste paper is similar to to fingerprinting. Traditionally the patterned papers have been used in bookmaking and it's a great tactile project for children. Unlike fingerprinting, you do not need any special paper. When I did a little research online, since it had been several years since I had done this process, I was a bit discouraged by the number of ingredients that some recipes required. I really did not want to purchase rice flour or alum or any other ingredient that I wouldn't be using again. And I certainly did not want to boil the paste on the stove. I had a container of wallpaper paste in the basement that I was more than happy to use up. I simply mixed the paste with acrylic paint and was set to go. I didn't measure anything out. It's easy enough to experiment a bit. You want to use enough paint so that your colors are not too washed out or transparent. I spritzed water onto 80 lb. drawing paper and plopped a couple colors of paste onto the children's paper. They spread the paint with sponge brushes and made impressions with some of the wacky tools that I have pictured. And feel free to use your fingers!