Painting with Balls and Wheels
Apr 28th, 2010 by Craftylocks

painting_with_ballsHeaps of art fun, added bonus of noisy too!

Kids love this way of decorating paper – well OK I love it too!! You need marbles or golf balls – both is good. You also need a box with a lid, the box should be about the size of the paper, I use the boxes that photocopy paper comes in – just perfect. You need the lid to stop the balls escaping when the younger artists are doing this activity. If just the grown up is doing the rolling, and you promise not to get too excited and toss the balls out, then you can leave the lid off and watch the pattern grow.

Place some paper in the bottom of the box, it should fit without too much of a gap around the edges. Drip or dab some paint on the paper for the balls to roll through. Tip in some balls and rock and roll them. The balls will leave a trail of paint where ever they go.

OK – so if you think you are ready for a little more arty crafty mess opportunity, then try painting with wheels!

Roll some paint out, borrow some toy vehicles and drive them in the paint and then on paper. Different toy vehicles have a variety of tread patterns too which add to the effect. Using wheels gives you much more control over where the paint goes, but I still prefer the random result from the ball rolling.

To take this activity to the next level try it with big balls and big paper in a paddling pool as demonstrated by ‘The Artful Parent’ at Painting in the Swimming Pool.

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Easy Pop-up Card
Apr 27th, 2010 by Craftylocks

pop-up flower card close-upPop-up section is a separate piece that has tabs and is glued on – nice and easy!

This pop-up card is a great craft for children to learn, it can be adapted to all sorts of themes. I love cards with flowers as they can be used for most occasions – and, well, when I am not crafting I love to garden!

The bits and pieces you need are lightweight card to make the basic card, and smaller bits of paper to create the pop-up and the flowers. The easy way to work out how to make the pop-up section is to make the width of the paper used a little bit smaller than the width of the card. Fold the paper in half and then fold each side in half again, all folds going the same way so you end up with a square shape. The two sides on the edges will be the tabs that are glued to the card.


shapes-flower-cardBefore gluing the tabs down, assemble the flowers and glue some of them to the inside of the pop-up section and some onto the card behind where the pop will go. You can just glue them all on the pop-up section. Make sure that the ones on the pop-up section stick straight up so that when the card is closed they do not get bent. A really simple way to make a flower for the cover of the card is to use layered shapes, I detail how to do this at Shapes Flower Picture.

Once I started making Mothers Day cards that children can make, I could not stop! The others I have made are listed – Mothers Day Cards

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Papier Mache Pulp Tutorial
Apr 26th, 2010 by Craftylocks

All you need for this super cheap craft is newspaper, wallpaper paste or white glue, scrap cardboard and some paints.

papier-mache1 Fill a bowl or bucket with torn bits of newspaper. Cover the paper with warm water and leave to soak for 24 hours.
papier-mache21 Pour off the water and slowly mix in wallpaper paste or white glue until the mixture feels like dough or soft clay. It is now ready to use.
card-shapes-fish To make a small shape like a fridge magnet or brooch, cut a shape out of cardboard.
papier-mache3 Shape the pulp onto the cardboard.
papier-mache4-fish Leave the shapes to dry. Depending how thick the pulp is, this can take a few days.
papier-mache6 Paint a layer of white paint onto the shapes to make a plain background.
papier-mache fish-magnets1 Finish with lots of bright paints and fun designs.

Download the printable version of the worksheet – PDF Worksheet – Papier Mache Pulp

For more information about Papier Mache, check out my What is Papier Mache? article.

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Papier Mache Fridge Magnets
Apr 25th, 2010 by Craftylocks

papier-mache-fish3Great gift for children to make Рrecycles  materials so nothing to buy!

A gorgeous gift that recycles materials from home – and the little fish are useful too, for holding up notes and children’s artwork on the fridge door! All you need is newspaper, some bits of card – from old cereal boxes are fine, paints, glue and those free promotional fridge magnets some businesses give away.

papier-mache-fish2 papier-mache-fish

First make a paper pulp by soaking torn newspaper for a day, then drain the water and add some wallpaper paste. Mold the pulp onto some cardboard shapes and then once they are nice and dry, paint them! Glue magnets on to the back and then you can admire them on your fridge. It takes a few days with the soaking and drying, but lots of fun.

papier-mache2So much fun that I am making all sorts of  papier mache things Рbeads, brooches, pencil holder, crown, fish wall hangings, and I still have pulp left! I ended up with a lot of pulp as I was mixing in the paste while cooking dinner and answering questions about how to spell words Рso slightly distracted I neglected to drain the water before adding the paste. Never one to waste soaked newspaper I kept adding paper napkins to soak up the extra liquid Рand adding, and adding, and adding. Great though, we get to have a lot more papier mache fun!And if you ever find yourself with extra papier mache left over Рpop some plastic wrap over it and store it in the fridge.

Now if I can just find a spot amongst all the drying sculptures I might be able to read the newspaper – before tearing it up to make some more!!

I have now made a Papier Mache Pulp Tutorial.

For more information about Papier Mache, check out my What is Papier Mache? article.

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Accordion Pop-up Card
Apr 21st, 2010 by Craftylocks

This uses a couple of paper crafts for children, both much easier to make than they look.

I have used lots of fun paper crafts in this card. Like all my favorite crafts, this one is easy to make but still has ‘wow’ factor. It is made up of a few elements. The first thing you need a piece of card or heavyweight paper that you make the accordion pleats in. Make the pleats by first folding the card in half, and then folding it back and forth from each side, ending up with the pleats inside the card. The pleats do not need to be very big, but you can make them bigger than I have.

accordian-cardOn my one I added a separate piece of card for the front and back, but you do not need to do this. I had to because I mucked up and used the wrong weight for the inside, it was too light weight to stand as a card, and also my flowers were poking out from the inside – whoops, but it looks great with my wee fix!

accordian-card-sideThen you just need something to attach to the pleats to pop-up when the card is opened. I had lots of little origami flowers that I had made that I needed to use – perfect! I made lots of flowers as they were also really easy and fun – if you want to make some of these check out the Origami Tulip Tutorial and Origami Stalk and Leaf Tutorial.

Something else I have done on this card that is effective and very easy to do, is to layer up a few shapes of decreasing size for putting the message on. It makes a big difference to the writing, it really frames it.

I found the idea for this card in a cool book by Sandi Genovese – Pop-Up Cards. I liked that it covers some basic concepts and shows lots of cool ways of using them. Some cards would be too tricky for kids to attempt on their own though. Templates at the back are supposed to be enlarged on a photocopier – I found them really useful as a guide for what I need to do but did not bother to copy them, that would be a pain.

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Origami Tulip Tutorial
Apr 20th, 2010 by Craftylocks

All you need for this paper craft for children is a piece of square paper! Once you have finished it you will also need an origami stalk and leaf. I just happen to have a tutorial for that handy! Origami Stalk and Leaf Tutorial.

origami-valley1 Fold the paper to make a triangle.
origami-tulip2 Fold the corners up. Set them slightly off to the sides of the center point as shown.
origami-tulip3 Turn the model over.
origami-tulip4 Fold the side points in as shown.
origami-tulip5 Turn it over again and you now have a tulip flower head.
origami_tulip-leaf Glue an origami stalk and leaf onto the tulip.

Download the printable version of the tutorial – PDF Worksheet – Origami Tulip

See how the origami tulip has been used in my Accordion Pop-up Card.

For more info about Origami and some basic folds check out the paper crafts for children ‘What is Origami?’ article.

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