Mayflower Map

 Lately I’m finding benefits to creating some tracing projects. It requires focus (so the room gets really quiet!) and I think students find it soothing somehow. This was made by tracing a map onto tissue paper, and then adding info and coloring with watercolor paint. I love how the paint makes the paper wrinkle, just like … Read More

Bone Letters

You could make this a lesson about anatomy and what the different kinds of bones in your body look like – or you could just make some creepy looking name signs for Halloween. 1. Draw examples of some typical bones on the board. They generally look like sticks, but have large bumps on the end. I … Read More

Make Your Own Glitter Paint

I was happy to stumble across the joys of glitter watercolor paint this week with lots of Day of the Dead artwork, but sad to read that my supplier was discontinuing it. I had a McGyver moment though, and discovered how to make my own. I mixed this glitter paint found at Michaels and my liquid … Read More

Spiders from Santa Maria, CA

This is such a great extension of my posted spider project that I thought I’d share it again. It turns a symmetry exercise into a beautiful work of art. • View and download PDF Half Spider Template “I’ve done this project for the past 2 years when my 4th grade students were learning symmetry. This year … Read More

Cubism Face Fun

Mix Frankenstein with computer illustrated eye drawings and kids can have fun making some very silly faces.  1. Those on a budget could use magazine eyes, but I had too many kids to chance that they could all find some, so I looked for another option online. I found a great set at Pycomall and bought … Read More

Silly Pumpkin Face Collage

posted in: 1st Grade, Halloween | 2

I love this idea of putting “people” teeth in a pumpkin, so whoever thought of it first is pretty genius. I’m using it this week for my kinders and first graders as it’s a great chance to learn about cutting on the fold. The head, mouth and eyes may be cut on folded paper to create … Read More

Happy Father’s Day!

posted in: Father's Day | 0

Here’s a combo photo / painting that I made of my amazing dad a few years ago. It’s from his farming days in in rural Indiana, where I was fortunate enough to grow up. The funny thing is that it seemed a rather ordinary life at the time, but only now do I know what a … Read More

Draw Lady Liberty’s Portrait

I’ve used this approach for drawing and painting the Statue of Liberty for years, and even kinders amaze me with how well they do. Just make sure to start with the guide lines shown on the tutorial, as they help keep the head in scale to the page. I also pre-mix the liquid turquoise color as … Read More

Mother’s Day Tissue Hearts

Here’s my solution this year for student’s Mother Day gift. It’s revisiting an old tissue paper technique that’s been around forever, and can really look nice if done well. PREP: I used our school’s die cut to make a heart for each student. I actually switched to heavy watercolor paper when my chipboard ran out. Also … Read More

Tissue Paper Flower Tutorial

This tissue flower project has been pretty popular, so I thought I’d repost it with the tutorial that I made awhile back to help get the proportions right. It’s a great sprint time project that costs very little, so you don’t need to wait until Mother’s Day to make one. • View and download Tissue Paper … Read More

Popsicle Flag

posted in: Craft Sticks, July 4th | 0

The red sticks for these flags are made with just a little liquid watercolor. And if you color them ahead of time, the rest is an easy assembly project for kids of all ages. See my “Folk Art Flag” for a full photo tutorial.

Draw the US Capitol

The United States Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive buildings in the nation. It has housed the meeting chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate for two centuries. I’ve made a tutorial that includes graph paper to help students align all of its beautiful features. • View and download US Capitol Building Tutorial … Read More

LOVE Lines

Students can practice using a ruler with this drawing project, and do some very basic measuring, which is a 2nd grade Common Core Standard. 1. Students start with a square piece of drawing paper. (I recommend one about 6″.) They measure and mark the center of each side and draw lines connecting them to make the … Read More

Tissue Paper Leaves

Fall leaves are made of lots of fun curvy shapes, so I had my art journal students trace them today to make a tissue paper collage of maple, white oak, elm and maple leaves. 1. Download my leaf line art and print a page for each student. Pass out lots of rectangles of tissue paper that … Read More

Recycled Turkey on a Stick

This ingenious idea for making turkeys from old food boxes comes from My Plum Pudding. It’s a great use of those colorful coated boxes that I love to collect. This turkey is made entirely from cut up boxes that are attached to a 1/4″ wooden dowel from Michael’s. This bird may look fairly simple, but I … Read More

Glowing Cat Eyes

These glowing cat eyes are made from blending a few layers of pencil crayons. White on the bottom, then yellow, and for those interested in more detail, a bit of brown. Please note though, that the average pencil crayon and black construction paper won’t deliver these results. The projects works best on black art paper with … Read More

Black Paper Cat

The credit for this super cute paper cat idea goes to an old Family Fun Craft book. I just worked out a few details about the size and materials, that I am happy to share. 1. Cut body from black cardstock paper (most construction paper is too soft). Fold back and cut out legs. Make slits … Read More

Fractured Heart

Layering oil pastels to make smooth gradations takes practice. This project will let students do just that. 1. Starting with a square paper, students draw a large heart in the middle, and then use a ruler to draw at least four lines completely across the paper. 2. Using smooth oil pastels, like my favorite Portfolio® brand, students color in … Read More

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