Leaf Prints
May 14th, 2010 by Craftylocks

Children can study nature and create some artwork to use in other paper crafts with this printmaking technique.

leaf-print-paintLeaves are such a great subject for children’s art and craft. They come in a variety of shapes and colors and are usually pretty easy to come by. For the children, collecting leaves is part of the fun of the activity. Then their artwork reminds them of the collecting experience. Probably why I have so many leaf related artworks and crafts!

As I mentioned in the apple printing activity, once you start using objects to print with you keep thinking of more to try. So once you are all set up for printing the leaves, move onto anything else that the children suggest.

To make the leaf prints use a paintbrush or dabber, (scraps of material bunched up and secured with a rubber band) to apply paint to one side of a leaf. Place the leaf face down on some paper, place some scrap paper on top and press gently (the scrap paper protects the print from fingerprints).

This is a great activity for autumn when leaves are making such a display, but is also fine in summer when the leaves are still green. If you want to try some other leaf crafts for children there are more at Autumn / Fall Crafts for Children.

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Paper Plate Flower
May 12th, 2010 by Craftylocks

paper-plate_flower3-teaBright and cheery flower brings the sunshine inside

Our garden is full of birds feasting on all sorts of seeds and berries. Yesterday I investigated why the children stayed sitting in the car when we got home. They had been watching some birds eating the sunflower seeds out of our big sunflowers. For us it is autumn and our sunflowers look sad but I leave them there for the birds and so they can drop seeds to grow again next year. However in summer they were gorgeous so we made some paper plate sunflowers to remind us of summer.

You need
- paper plate
- yellow and green paint
- sunflower seeds or tea leaves
- stick or strong card
- scissors, paintbrush and glue

paper-plate_flower1 Paper plates are really useful for paper crafts for children, so when you see them in the shop make sure you buy some. This one is easy for children to craft and they look so dramatic when done. Start by painting your paper plate yellow and when the paint is dry trace around something to make circle in the middle.
paper-plate_flower2 Cut from the edges to the circle to make the petals. Our paper plate had regular creases around the outside so I cut every second crease and it worked out just right. Gently fold the petals up a little so they separate out and bend in a bit. Strictly speaking, our petals are too long for a correct sunflower but we cut first and checked later – oh well!
paper-plate_flower3-seed paper-plate_flower4-seed

Then glue whatever you are using for the seeds – you can use real sunflower seeds of course. The first example has real sunflower seeds, but we liked the second example better which has tea leaves – the contrast is more dramatic.

paper-plate_flower3-tea paper-plate_flower4-tea

To make the stalk paint a stick or a strip of strong card green and glue to the back of the flower – then you and your children can bask in the sunshine of your craft.

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Sun Printing Failure
May 11th, 2010 by Craftylocks

Do not try this at home, or school, or at Gran’s place!

Well if you do at least do not do it the way that I did – it was what is called a learning experience! I had seen someone else do some gorgeous sun prints that used a special light sensitive paper, they looked really great but I like using what I have at home, not having to buy any special materials. Although I love shopping, when I want to craft I want to do it straight away – no waiting!

sun-print1I reckoned that ‘sugar’ paper fades really fast when you do not want it to, so I would use that instead. I found some interesting leaves, put my paper on a sunny window sill, grabbed some handy chestnuts to hold the leaves in place – and then instructed all to leave them alone. Now the sun does a lot of things, and one of them is to dry out stuff – which is proceeded to do with my leaves. So of course they shriveled and curled up – not really a nice clean leaf edge any more. My final print turned out to be some blurry blobs of color on the paper, not so good. However I have seen it used in other places with things that do not curl and shrivel, they used keys and scissors – perhaps I will have to try again!

sun-print2 sun-print3

wood-burnerBut there was another interesting outcome – sort of related, remember I used chestnuts to hold down the leaves! We are over-run with chestnuts at the moment, we quite like them but never get around to cooking them, and we would still have too many to eat anyway.

So my husband took the chestnuts and threw them in the wood-burner. Now as he full knows – chestnuts expand when hot, which is why we usually cut little slits in the tops of them before cooking them. Hehehe – I can hassle him on this one for ages. The explosions started – little bits of chestnut were splattered all over the inside of the glass door of our wood-burner.

The children would have found it alarming except I was laughing so much at him and of course rolling my eyes, shaking my head – all the ‘that was silly’ signals. The children suggested counting the bangs so we knew if it would be safe to open the door to put more wood in. But as I pointed out we had not counted the chestnuts thrown in the fire, or the bangs so far. Husband rolled his eyes and said ‘it will be fine’ opened the door to add more wood and the biggest bang so far – hehehehe. I will get lots of mileage out of this one – thanks Honey!

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Paper Weaving Mat
May 10th, 2010 by Craftylocks

Effective way to use decorated paper

weaving1I think that sometimes we forget to use some of the simple techniques. This one most of us will have done when we were children, and it is worth doing it with our children. Paper weaving is also a great way to make use of some of those beautiful children’s artworks that are created with paper decorating techniques like the Painting with Balls and Wheels paper that we have used for our weaving.

weaving-cutsI like to set up the children’s paper crafts so that they can do most of it themselves, so for the weaving we cut the strips on the base sheet all the way from one edge. If you cut strips using a craft knife only in the middle of the paper, as in the yellow paper in the picture, it will look better. But young children cannot use the craft knives or weave in the paper like the yellow example as easily, so I suggest cutting all the way to one edge as in the pink example in the picture.

Once the paper is cut take your decorated paper and cut it into strips and weave in and out of the base paper.

We weaved in two slightly different ways. The first example we cut wavy lines and also did not push the strips up tightly. Err – an admission, another Sarah boo boo, I cut the paper the wrong way to start with so we did not end up with enough to weave tightly, but I reckon it still works out fine like this.

weaving-close weaving2

So in the second example I thought a tiny bit more before cutting and then had enough paper to weave tightly. We played around with weaving from different angles as well, and left a space for a car picture as this example used the decorated paper made with the toy car wheel prints.

weaving-close2 weaving3

Now I will get them laminated and they will be used as placemats. Easy to wipe clean and great to look at.

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My Mothers Day Cards
May 9th, 2010 by Craftylocks

The cards my gorgeous children designed and made for me!

mothers-day-2010_iTheir was much closed doors and secret creating going on in the lead up to Mothers Day at our house. I was banned from certain areas of the house as the children made and hid cards. On the day itself I waited in bed for my breakfast and a pile of absolutely fabulous cards.

My daughter had made a couple of cards, one using our favorite pop-up card technique – she designed it and made it all on her own. Note the comment at the bottom about my hair!! Glad to report I safely at my bacon and eggs without any of it getting in my hair.

mothers-day-2010_bThe other card she made is a three fold card and decorated with gel pens, it really sparkles a lot which does not show up in the photo – heaps of work in it.

My son made a card at school tracing some lettering and shading it, but the inside of the card held a real treat – he had written a poem especially for the occasion …
The sunlight filters through
The blowing curtains blue
It drives open your weary eyes
You get up to see the sunrise
You check the clock its five past one (it was the only thing that rhymed with begun)
Meaning that mothers day has begun.

I love it, and the comment about what rhymed with begun was on the card too and we all had a good laugh about it.

Finally they had taken a concertina gift card I had made and added clues to where I could find some presents. I had to work out the code and then I could go on a present hunt. My presents were lots of fun, they had been to the supermarket and chosen things they thought I would like. Some interesting choices … curry mix, beef jerky, white chocolate, gherkins, anchovy stuffed olives, and feijoa tea!

We had a great day with lots of fun and laughter and I did not have to cook a single thing all day. Thanks to my family for a lovely day.

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Hand and Scrunched Tissue Paper Tree
May 7th, 2010 by Craftylocks

hand-tissue-treeTake children’s hand shapes and create a forest.

Paper crafts using children’s hands shapes are a great buzz for them. They get to make something cool and integral to the whole thing is their hand.

This time trace around part of the arm as well to make the trunk, the fingers will be the branches. Trace the shape onto brown paper and glue that onto your background paper. Then chop up lots of autumn or fall colored tissue paper into small pieces. Scrunch the bits of tissue paper up, dunk them in a bit of glue and then pop onto the tree.

hand-tissue-tree1 hand-tissue-tree-close

You could also make a spring version of the tree and use pink and white tissue paper. If you like using tissue paper like this then check out Blossoming Tissue Tree for another idea.

There are more paper crafts for children for this season at Autumn or Fall Crafts for Children

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