Friday, July 25, 2014

An Old Photo and a New Idea for Quilled Paper Butterflies

Add quilled paper to the blank side of an old photo
Paper quilling is a favorite, decorative art technique of mine partially because it can be taught to kids of all ages. I was looking for a quick, new way to integrate paper quilling into a summer art camp project with my 2nd - 6th graders and got an idea as I was cleaning my desk at the end of the school year. A falling-apart book of butterflies was the inspiration for quilled paper butterflies.

I hope you are inspired to make your own quilled paper project with your kids using repurposed photographs. Maybe you will make a butterfly, another insect, or decide to decorate a portrait with paper additions! Wherever this leads you, have fun in the mosaic-like beauty and simplicity of quilled paper designs!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Seashells, Sand, and Water: Composition in Collage

If you are looking for a tried and true art project to make at home, camp, or with your kids this school year, check out this favorite summer art camp project: seashells on a beach background. This multi-step project begins with making contour line drawings of seashells and then painting them with watercolors. Next, we splatter-paint to create a sandy background and make salt paintings for our ocean water.

There are no wrong compositions. What is your favorite arrangement?
The beauty in this project is in how one composes all the collage pieces. We play a game taking turns arranging my shells on my background. Each student places a shell until they are all arranged, and then they take turns moving, turning, and changing the placement of shells until they are satisfied. This exercise pushes students to be thoughtful about the composition of their finished artwork.

Friday, July 11, 2014

DIY Tooled Metal Jewelry for Kids Part I: Cuff Bracelets

What does summer mean for you? Are you thinking about lessons to try with students in the fall? Are you looking for projects to do with kids at home or in camp? For me, summer is all of these things as I think about new lessons for fall and also teach kids for several weeks at summer art camp.

I want to share a great jewelry project that you can do with kids aged 6+. Early this week we made metal cuff bracelets using tooling metal. This metal is stronger than aluminum foil but soft enough to accept marks with pencils, T-pins, and just about anything with a point.


Read more to learn how you can make tooled metal cuff bracelets with your kids at home or in the classroom. The process is fun and yields exciting results!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Summer Thoughts for Fall: A Cheap Alternative to a Big, Classroom Rug

Carpet tiles designate personal space for kids as they listen to a story,
watch a video, or create on their own on floor-level. Afterwards, stack
them away and get as messy as you want in an art room!
Whether you are an educator, a parent, or an artist creating a space for learning and making things takes consideration and thought. Educators often consider the flow of the classroom since it contributes to a safe, efficient, creative environment. Last year I made a few changes that have been proving effective in transitioning students from instruction and demonstration, to independent work, to clean up. 

Carpet tiles are an affordable option and are perfect for transitioning between story time and messy art making time since they neatly stack away in a box or flat on the counter. During art stations, I sometimes put up an interactive game or tutorial on the SMART board and kids will pull out carpet tiles and fold origami on the floor, re-watch an art video, or create a free project. This year, we read all these picture books sitting on carpet squares before starting our art projects!