Clay Cactus

My quest for finding easy clay projects that create sturdy little sculptures has led me to this, working with little plastic cups. I found that a little cactus formed in a plastic cup will help keep the arms in place while they dry. The cups also helped some of my very young students make their art … Read More

Celebrate Black History with W. H. Johnson

In celebration of Black History month, I’ve created this mural in the style of William H. Johnson (1901-1970), a very talented painter who had a difficult life. He came to be widely admired for his primitive style and bright colors, but sadly, only after he had passed away. I love the rural scenes that he often painted, so … Read More

Collaborative Hearts on Canvas

Looking for a collaborative project that creates a colorful, finished work of art? Try my favorite combo of Sharpies on dry wax paper, decoupaged to a stretched canvas and you are guaranteed some pretty amazing results. Sharpies make the color super bright, and the dry wax paper will hug the canvas in a way that nothing … Read More

Valentine Tissue Paper Flowers

This technique for making tissue paper flowers is not new, but I have a new appreciation for its simplicity. If your students have had an overload of 2D work lately, try this crafty 3D one that will give them practice on folding, twisting, cutting and pulling. Oh, and make a pretty Valentine gift while they are … Read More

Mini Canvas Art

I brought back one of my favorites, mini canvas art, for an after school class today. Mini canvases, brush Sharpies and homemade craft stick easels. My lesson was about making art with letters, so they just drew their first initial in block form and decorated it with lots of patterns. A nice, simple way to make … Read More

Liberty Bell Art

To honor it’s history, here’s a Liberty Bell art project that uses sgraffito, an ancient scratch art technique. • View and download Liberty Bell line drawing MATERIALS • Cardstock paper • Oil pastels (I prefer the Portfolio brand) • Stick for scratching DIRECTIONS Print Liberty Bell artwork for each student.   2. Students color in the … Read More

Pipe Cleaner People

These little pipe cleaner people are easy to make and fun to pose with their bendable legs and arms. They measure a little under 3″ when done, and have lots of possibilities for art projects, including Keith Haring, who was famous for murals with simple, colorful figures. MATERIALS • Pipecleaners, two per student DIRECTIONS Follow the … Read More

Old Fashioned Winter House

Old buildings are the stuff of storytelling, so this Old Fashioned Winter House is a perfect for young students this time of year. This painting was made by a kinder student named Ruby awhile back. I love how colorful her home is. Thanks Ruby for letting me share it! MATERIALS • Watercolor paper • Sharpie, black, … Read More

Miniature Snowman

Here’s a Miniature Snowman project that I did after school with a matchbox class awhile back. There’s just something irresistible about miniature art. I think the parents were just as charmed with these as the kids were. • Matchbox Tutorial PDF Template and directions MATERIALS • White card stock paper • Glue stick • Sharpie, ultra … Read More

Draw a Cardinal

I’ve been on the lookout for a new way to draw a cardinal. This one, inspired by a stock art illustration is built on some very simple shapes that I think young children can draw. • View and download Cardinal Tutorial   MATERIALS • Multimedia Paper • Sharpie marker, black • Oil Pastels   DIRECTIONS 1. … Read More

Snowflake Painting

Here’s a simple snowflake painting project that was inspired by an illustration on a stock art website. I’ve found some amazing ideas at istockphoto.com and shutterstock.com, and gettyimages.com, just to name a couple. Search vector illustrations for a topic and you can find literally thousands of drawing ideas. MATERIALS • Watercolor Paper, 9″ x 9″ (recommended … Read More

Quilling Snowflakes with Bread Ties

Quilling is an art form that involves rolling, and gluing strips of paper together to create decorative designs. If you use bread ties instead, the curl stays and thus easier to glue too. MATERIALS • Craft sticks, regular size • Craft glue • Bread ties, white • Pencil • Magnetic strips (optional) DIRECTIONS 1. Students make … Read More

Watercolor Resist Snowflake Art

This watercolor resist snowflake art is easy to create with laser-cut wood decorations that are found at craft stores. They make perfect crayon rubbing material because they are so decorative, yet perfectly flat. SUPPLIES • Multimedia Paper • Wooden Laser Cut Snowflakes • Chipboard, about 8″ x 10″ sheet for each snowflake • Craft glue • … Read More

Model Magic Gingerbread Cookies

These Model Magic Gingerbread Cookies are so easy to make, thanks to the perfect gingerbread Model Magic color, also known as “Terra Cotta”. If you have cookie cutters to use, that would make things easy. But if not, forming your own head, arms and legs will make for a cookie with lots of personality. MATERIALS • … Read More

Giant Nutcracker Drawings

     My art room is filled with giant Nutcracker drawings right now, waiting to be lined up in our auditorium for our upcoming holiday show. I took a que from my Harvest festival decorations on butcher paper sketched one master nutcracker and have been tracing him in pencil for days. The kids love to trace and … Read More

Free Thanksgiving Mural

In the spirit of giving this holiday week, I’d like to offer this free Thanksgiving Mural PDF template. The five-page file that you can download below has the four pages needed to color and tape together as shown, and single coloring sheet as well. When complete, it will make a charming 16″ x 16″ mural that … Read More

Draw a Turkey

Here’s my popular “Draw A Turkey” tutorial in a format that is more computer friendly. If you prefer something you can print and pass out to students, try my PDF tutorial linked below.  Either way, I’ve found this front view of a turkey doable even by kinders as I have found they respond well to large … Read More

Paper Cactus

Thanks to craft paper punches, projects like this paper cactus are totally possible even for classrooms. I just recommend pre-punching the circles for a group of 25 or more. I learned the hard way. MATERIALS • Miniature clay pot, about 2″ tall (Michaels has them) • Model Magic (leftovers or any brown color) • Craft paper … Read More

Sharpie Winter Landscape

To wrap up my Sharpie Blog Roll, here is a Sharpie Winter Landscape project that I found works well for a wide range of students. The black permanent marker allows for liberal painting over the trees, and the white marker creates easy dots of snow to finish things off. • View and download Winter Landscape Tutorial … Read More

Draw a Cartoon Turkey

For something new, draw a cartoon turkey and then make up a funny story about him or her. This guy is pretty simple, and I’ve even tried it successfully with kinders. At the very least, you will get something far better than just tracing your hand. • View and download PDF Turkey tutorial MATERIALS • Color … Read More

Cake Sculpture, Miniature Style

Here’s an easy way to make a very yummy looking cake sculpture, thanks to all the great food-looking colors that Model Magic comes in. Their natural set makes a perfect chocolate and caramel, and the white looks like whipped cream every time. Need one more reason? Math is involved when circles are cut into quarters. Fractions … Read More

How to Draw an Alpaca

In case you need to learn how to draw an Alpaca, here’s the perfect tutorial for you. Alpacas have been domesticated for thousands of years by the people of northern Peru. • Draw an Alpaca PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Alpaca tutorial for each student • Drawing paper • Sharpie marker • Crayons DIRECTIONS … Read More

Easy Ceramic Cupcake

This easy ceramic cupcake project is my very favorite, which I save every year for Mother’s Day for kinders. I’m pretty sure though that it has lots of appeal for any holiday gifts too. It is so simple which helps all the students feel successful when they complete it, and makes a keepsake that my parents … Read More

Halloween Boxes with Sharpies

My favorite part of these little Halloween boxes is the color combination. I love the soft orange and matte black and shiny silver. Fortunately, they all come from supplies that are very easy for kids to use too. MATERIALS • White paper jewelry boxes • Sharpie marker, black, fine tip • Sharpie marker, black, brush tip … Read More

How to Draw a Haunted House

When students learn how to draw a haunted house, they can practice their architectural drawing while changing just a few elements to make their houses extra spooky. • View and download Haunted House Tutorial MATERIALS • Color print of Haunted House tutorial • Multimedia paper • Black Sharpie • Liquid watercolor paint   DIRECTIONS 1. You … Read More

Draw a Bat, and the Perfect Book

My first graders were shown how to draw a bat, but only after learning some more about them in this amazing new book I found “Nightsong”. It beautifully illustrates how they use their radar to see at night, and tells of a young bat’s first flight by himself. Really one of those special books, and a … Read More

Draw a Vampire Bat

You can draw a Vampire bat without it being scary. In fact, they can be downright funny like this guy. Here’s a tutorial on how to draw this very friendly looking bat. Oversized heads and symmetrical shapes always seem to work better for young artists, so this one is great for even kindergartners. • View and … Read More

Bat Painting, Silhouettes on Coffee Filters

A fun way to make a bat painting as the permanent marker makes it easy to draw and color, and the coffee filters and watercolors never fail to amaze me with their vivid color. There’s a reason why I call them the “poor man’s watercolor paper”. MATERIALS • Jumbo coffee filters, from restaurant supply store • … Read More

How to Draw An Apple, and Shade it Like a Pro

If you want to learn how to draw an apple, you don’t have to settle for just a flat shape. Add a white highlight and shaded side and bam! Pretty real looking fruit. Thank you messy-but-you-do-your-job chalk pastels. MATERIALS • Colored paper, I used Recollections Card Stock in Navy • Black oil pastel • Chalk pastels … Read More

Easy Snowflake Art with Paint and Paper

Here is one way to make easy snowflake art with paint and paper. Try blending several shades of blue on good watercolor paper and sprinkle salt to add more texture. Brush it off when dry and glue down punched out paper snowflakes. Super simple and gets amazing results every time.  MATERIALS • Watercolor paper (try Strathmore … Read More

Abstract Art Cat

Turn a simple drawing into an Abstract Art Cat by just dividing the page into quarters, and changing colors accordingly. Neat coloring is called for, as even a little bit scribbling will not have the same effect as this amazing young student’s art. Not up for the messiness of pastels? Markers are another option, if you … Read More

How to Draw a Fox Face

My How to Draw a Fox Face tutorial will help students fill their page with a large, symmetrical face, that has all kinds of coloring options. • View and Download Fox Face PDF Tutorial MATERIALS • Multimedia paper • Black marker • Crayola crayons DIRECTIONS 1. Print a Fox Face tutorial for each student. They make … Read More

Overlapping Art, with Architecture

One of the steps to go from drawing flat landscapes to ones with depth is to create overlapping art. This project plays with the idea, and need not follow any perspective rules. Young artists can just have fun making lots of 3D looking buildings that completely fill their page. MATERIALS • Drawing or multi-media paper • … Read More

How to Draw an Owl

Learn how to draw an owl, and then finish it of with some pretty paint and metallic markers. Their shimmery color will look extra pretty against the matte paint colors. PREP • Print Easy Owl PDF template MATERIALS • Liquid watercolor paint • Sharpie, black, fine point • Crayola Metallic Markers DIRECTIONS 1. Print a tutorial … Read More

Veronica’s Kitten Collage

Here is the perfect example of why I love kid’s art. This kinder kitty by Veronica has about a thousand times more personality than my sample posted yesterday. This just screams kitty love, don’t ya think? To see how to make this project, go to Newspaper Cat Collage Save Save Save Save Save Save

Draw a Bunny

For instant cuteness when learning to draw a bunny, try adding clothes. All kinds of personality seems to just jump out at you. • View and download Storybook Bunny PDF tutorial MATERIALS • Drawing Paper • Black Sharpie • Crayons DIRECTIONS PREP: Print a PDF Bunny Tutorial for each student 1. Draw or print drawing guides. … Read More

Matchbox Seashell Art

I’m tried some new Matchbox Seashell Art projects, and have found a lot of inspiration at my local Michaels store. These colorful little sea shells were perfect for a beach-themed box. MATERIALS • Matchbox PDF Template (sleeve, tray and insert) • Papercutter or scissors • Stabilo markers • Mini sea shells • Craft glue • Scotch … Read More

Coffee Filter Trees

It turns out that it’s easy and inexpensive to make some amazing coffee filter trees. Put them on some nice card stock paper and you have all the makings of a beautiful fall collage. MATERIALS • Coffee filters • Plastic embroidery canvas • Recollections card stock paper, blue • Recollestions card stock paper, black • Crayons … Read More

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