Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Making Pinwheels with Pipe Cleaners

I've posted before about making pinwheels, but I recently discovered how to make them without using a push pin and still have them function well.
. To anchor the pinwheel to the wooden dowel and allow it to move freely with the breeze, I threaded a pipe cleaner, that I had cut in half, through a large plastic button. I then twisted the pipe cleaner around itself a couple times so that there would be a little space between the pipe cleaner and the dowel. I then twisted the pipe cleaner around the dowel. I was surprised that it rotated so easily. Usually I glue the points of the pinwheel to the center, but this time I used a stapler and it did make it more secure.
Pinwheels are such a nice, old fashioned toy and a good end-of-the-summer activity.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Cardboard Crocodiles

I made these crocodiles with children at an art camp last week. I assembled the pieces and the children painted on the scales and added the eyes and teeth. You can get an idea of the assembly from the photos. I used a heavy rippled paper that I have on hand, paper towel rolls or poster board would also work. I stapled the parts of the body together. The head and tail were separate pieces that I attached to the body through slits that I had cut. The feet are cut from craft foam and the eyes I happened to find on the sale shelf at Michaels.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Lion Masks at Art Camp

I'll be making these lion masks next week at an art camp where I teach. I started with an 8 x 11" grey rectangle that is about the same weight as poster board and cut the holes for the eyes. The strips of paper for the mane are scrap-booking paper, but could be anything that has a little weight to it. The stick for the mask is cut from corrugated cardboard, curtesy of my A&P. Originally I glued the mane onto the back, but I preferred how that backside looked, so decided to use if for the front(the face). I cut semi-circles for the ears, and folded back a little edge on the bottom in order to glue them down so that they are not flat against the face.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Prints of Russian Nesting Dolls

The prints of nesting dolls were done by pre-schoolers and then assembled by me to auction at our school fundraiser. Each child was given the basic shape of the doll, cut from Styrofoam. They used a small wooden mallet to impress textures into the foam. Printing ink was applied to the "plate" nesting doll and the image was printed. Each child made two prints. On the first print, that they kept, they drew in a face of their own. On the one for the auction piece, I made the faces since some children at that age have trouble placing the features. I purchased a large stretched canvas (2.5 x 4') and painted it a navy-black background with acrylics. I adhered the prints with a white glue and top it off with some glitter Modpodge. The project tied in with their study of Russia. Feel free to ask questions in the comments or contact me.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Water Bottle Sculpture

This was a collaborative art project that I did with all the children in the school where I teach and inspired by the American glass sculptor Dale Chihuly. My husband brought home the empty Poland Spring bottles from work and I washed them all in sudsy water in our basement utility sink.
My husband also helped out by making this handy drying rack. Each bottle was painted twice with contrasting colors of Martha Stewart's acrylic craft paint. She has some beautiful metallics. When the bottles are cut apart, the first color shows on the inside of the bottle and the second coat shows on the outside. The bottles were either cut in strips to mimic flower petals or in a spiral to imitate a vine. Once cut, the plastic is easy to manipulate and curl.
I strung the bottles with ribbon to form garlands.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ink Pad Prints

Ink pads always seem to dry out much too quickly, especially if you are using them with children and the lids are not always promptly replaced. I hated to just toss these ink pads out as the colors grew faint, so I turned them into stamps and got this pretty interesting design.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

How To Make an Origami Serpent Book

I am teaching an after school book arts class. Since I have very young children, I made one of the folding paper serpents for each of them. The children used crayons to add patterns to both sides of their creature. This coming week we'll add ears and tongues with folded paper. Slightly older children (maybe starting at 6 or 7) would probably enjoy doing the folding. With the young children I did demonstrate how the serpent is constructed. I used computer paper cut into five inch squares. I joined four squares to make the book. I tried it with drawing paper, but it was a bit too heavy once the books were folded.
Just to clarify: In step 3, when I say that the paper should be "flipped", I mean that you should turn the paper over. The last couple of steps are a bit difficult to describe, so I would suggest playing with it, don't be discouraged. In the last photo, it's important to note that the creases are going in different directions. In the photo, I joined them with tape, but glue stick works nicely.