Monday, May 21, 2012

Make a Table

My husband, John, and I made this this table from materials that we had lying around the attic and basement. I was looking for a type of pedestal to display some sculptures for an exhibit of children's art work and we came up with this table idea. John cut the base and top of the table from scraps of plywood using a bandsaw. The pedestal is the tubing that rugs are wrapped around and are frequently available, free for the asking, from a carpeting store. They are extremely sturdy, about eight feet long and require a small hand saw to cut them to the desired length. I had planned on using a hot glue gun to adhere the top and base to the pedestal, but John came up with the idea of cutting wood circles that would attach to the base and top and "plug" into the hollow tubing. My little drawing illustrates the concept. After assembling I collaged items from the newspaper, pages from our son's math notebook and whatever tickled my fancy to the surface using Mod Podge. As you can see, I've put it to use holding some of my art supplies and it's convenient that it is the same height as my drafting table. (It worked well for the show, too.)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Paper Lanterns

Paper lanterns are simple to make and brighten up the backyard for any occasion. I used a Sharpie to create the pictured design on a legal size sheet of paper. The beauty of this was that I was able to make copies onto card stock so that I wound up with a whole string of lanterns and only had to make one design. I've made these many times with children using construction paper and crayons. I encourage them to decorate both sides of the paper so that they are especially colorful. Virtually any type of paper can be used and it is not necessary to start with your own design.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Paper Map Beads

Bead making is a fun activity for a rainy day. I wouldn't recommend this project for children younger than eight years of age and it does take a little practice to get the hang of it. Some of the pictured beads were made using a page from an old atlas and others from scrap booking paper. For both types I cut very elongated triangles that are one inch wide at the base. I then coated the back of the paper with a glue stick. To roll up the beads I made a little tool from a Bic pen that no longer had any ink. I took the pen apart to get to the tubing that formerly held the ink and cut a slit with a razor blade into the plastic. The slit holds the paper triangles in place so that you can twirl them around the tubing making the bead. I would suggest cutting an extra little notch at the end of the slit to make it easier to inset the paper. If the paper in your atlas is flimsy it can be a little difficult to inset into the tubing. Scrap booking paper is a nice weight to get started with. Also, you may need to apply a little extra glue stick at the end to ensure a good hold.
Reduce, Reuse, Upcycle