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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Paper Towel Roll Trees

OK this is a super CRAFTY project but I have a 1 year old and a 3 years old who always want to "Art". So when Im caught off guard I" have to use things around the house. Heres what you will need.

paper towel or toilet paper roll
tempera paint
Hot glue gun (I used elmers because I didnt have a hot glue gun here)
thin carboard (cereal box would be perfect)
magazine or construction paper (if you want to add flowers or fruit to your tree)

Have your kids choose a color of paint for the trunk (paper towl roll cut in half) Its ok if they dont pick brown, let them be creative! Then they paint the roll.

As those are drying have your children paint the top of the tree on the thin cardboard. My kids are little so I had them just pick a color for the top of the tree and paint an area. Try to avoid drawing an outline for them to paint in. This limits the childs expression through paint and controls the natural shapes they will create with the brush.

Riley wanted to make pink flowers for her tree. She searched through a magazine for the right color pink. She then practiced her cutting skills but cutting out shapes and sticking them in the wet paint.

Depending on how thick they apply the paint it may take awhile to dry. You can speed up the drying process with a hair dryer. I let mine sit over night.

I was afraid that the trees would be top heavy and my 1 year old, Alex wouldnt be able to balance them. I found bottle caps that fit into the bottom and glued them in to provide weight on the bottom. If you dont have any bottle caps that fit, try adding a few layers of hot glue to the inside bottom of the tube.

Use the shape created in their painting to cut the tree top. If your child is old enough to cut the cardboard they can do this part themself.

Cut two notches across from eachother in the tube and insert the tree top in. Secure with hot glue

Once our trees were done Riley wanted to play "Forrest" So she got out her animals and princess castle. Alex jumped right in! Its amazing how something so little can spark such great imaginative play.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Adult Visual Journal

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If you find yourself using all of your creative energy on your childrens art and crafts, its time you use it to create something for yourself. Here is a great art piece for the busy woman and mom. A visual journal can be anything you want it to be. It can be specific, following a theme throughout (ex. Summer 2012 vacations) or it can be totally random like mine, creating whatever inspires me at that specific moment.

What I like is that I can let it sit for months without doing a page and pick right back up when I finally get the time. One page can take me as little as five minutes or as long as two hours depending on how detailed I want to get. Heres what you need to get started.

Old hard back book

Gesso (can be purchased in any art supply store)
exacto knife
paint brush
rubber cement
Any found art supplies, paper clippings, photographs, memorabilia, etc

Step 1: Prepare your book
Begin by removing some of the pages from your book. I took out 4 sections of 10-15 pages. scatter these sections so theres not a huge hole in one spot. Use an exacto knife to cut close to the binding, then tear.

I wanted to reduce the amount of pages in my book and make my pages thicker. I used rubber cement to glue the pages together into sections of 10-15 pages. Im not a perfectionist by any means so some of my pages were thicker than others.You can be exact, counting out the pages, or random like me. It all depends on your preference.

After all of the pages are sectioned, prime the entire book, including the cover using gesso. I usually gesso each page as I go, leaving some pages unfinished. This is only because Im too anxious to spend the time priming the whole book at once.

The cool thing about Gesso is that you can create texture with it. Make swirls or even write messages for your back ground.

Once your page is dry you can start your creative release! this part is up to you.

I used art education as my theme on this page. I incorperated collage, drawing, painting and text.
*I like to let the text from the original book show through some areas. It adds a nice layer to the page.

Adding flaps and tearing pages adds aesthetics to your book, creating visual interest.

Heres another page...

I applied gesso to my cover and sprayed it with back spray paint. Collage, stamp and paint was then added.

Release any artistic pressures you may feel and just let yourself use your thoughts, emotions and ideas to create something visual.

Hollowed Eggs

This is a fun craft to do with all ages. The nice thing is that you probably have everything you need already at home. Here is what you will need.

1 egg (any size)
push pin
elmers glue
paint brush
tissue paper/ glitter/ magazine clippings/ paint etc

*Create a glue mixture by adding a little water and a little elmers glue into a small cup. Mix. *This mixture is good to use for many types of collage.

Take the egg and hold it in the palm of your hand. Using the push pin poke a hole in the top of the egg.

Do the same thing for the bottom of the egg but poke 4 holes in a circle, creating a larger hole. Cover both holes with your fingers and shake. The goal is to break the yolk.

After placing a bowl underneath, blow into the top of the egg. (this part usually gets a big reaction from my teenage students)The yolk and white of the egg will squirt out of the bottom. Yuck!

Run the egg under water, allowing some of the water to run inside of the egg. Let it sit in the carton or a small cup for a few hours or overnight to drain out any access water. Place a piece of paper towel under the egg to absorb the water. (if you are in a hurry use a hair dryer to get rid of the water)

DECORATE! You can now decorate your egg however you choose. With kids I prefer collage using tissue paper. They look really bright and pretty and reinforce the egg so it doesnt break as easily.

Rip up small pieces of tissue paper. Apply a thin layer of the glue mixture to the egg. Apply the tissue paper. Using a paint brush, brush down all parts of the tissue paper so that it is flat. Its good to have a little glue ontop of the paper so dont worry about cleaning your brush in between. Layer the paper however you choose.

You can also coat the egg in tacky glue and roll it in glitter

We also put the egg in a plastic bag and squirted in some puffy paint and glitter glue. Wiggle it around until its covered and it looks pretty cool!

Here are some of the supplies I layed out for my 6 yr old Art student Elise

Another idea would be to make photocopies of photographs and use those for collage. If you really want to make them last you can modge podge them after they are dry.Once your eggs dry they can be displayed year after year.

Hoppy Crafting! (sorry I couldnt resist)

Monday, March 26, 2012

Rainbow Bath

Ive seen this done in a couple different ways and finally gave it a try. The girls had a blast watching and helping make the bath time rainbow. Want to make one for your little ones? Heres how...

Purchase liquid watercolors from your local art store. I had some in my classroom already but purchased some at Hobby Lobby as well. They were in the clearance section for less than a dollar!

Using cheap bubble bath, fill up the tub with bubbles. I used over half of this bottle on one bath!

Pour some of the liquid watercolor into a spray bottle and spray on your design.

We made a rainbow but you can do anything. Color the water blue and lay out toy pirates, mermaids and a ship. Make the water pink and lay out a princess crown and jewelry for a princess bath. With the rainbow you can fill the bottom with beaded necklaces and gold coins for them to search for!

My girls had a blast with this

The liquid watercolors will stain your clothes and skin if not diluted. Once you spray it into the water its diluted enough not to stain their skin or the tub. At least it didnt for us. Have fun!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A visit from the Leprechaun

My Family is Irish and we alwasy take st Patricks Day to a level most people dont, lol. No matter where we have to go that day we are decked out in green, meeting up at the local pubs to here some authentic Irish music. The one thing I loved as a kid was waking up St Patricks Day Morning and running down the stairs to see if the leprechaun came. This year we were a little worried because we would be staying at a hotel in Pittsburgh in order to see the parade in the morning. He did not dissapoint the girls, leaving a bunch of green treats all over our hotel room. He even peed in the toilet! (green food coloring and green glitter) here are a few photos I took that morning.