Paper Mache House Holiday Decoration

One of the coolest Christmas craft ideas I’ve recently seen was a simple house painted white with a glitter roof. I made my own version here that cost about $5. I want to share this amazing website that I recently found while looking for after school class ideas. I wanted little paper mache things to paint, as seen often in Michael’s, but was stumped when trying to get 30. I found this site, Consumercrafts.com that has … Read More

Make Olaf the Snowman

It doesn’t take a genius to see how easily Olaf the Snowman could be made out of Model Magic. Add some googly eyes, twigs, beans and bam, he’s done! I’ve been creating Model Magic with students for years now, and it’s ease of use never ceases to amaze me. The biggest tip I can give to newcomers, is to try to make things that can go inside a plastic cup or food container so … Read More

Snowman Handmade Greeting Cards

Make your own handmade greeting cards with my sticker snowman project. Animate your snowman by moving the arms and hat and adjusting placement of the face. These snowman trading cards make use of a trading card sleeve to line them up for display, but you always just glue the cards to a folded sheet to make a card. I love how the sleeves make the art have an instant laminated look, but the idea can … Read More

Papel Picado Holiday Card

Try using colorful Post-its for this papel picado project. The squares come in very festive colors and can be found at your local office supply store. Papel picado is a Mexican folk art craft. It is the art of cutting paper into beautiful and elaborate designs for holidays and celebrations. What I liked about making this picado card with Post-its was that the built-in sticky side meant I could adjust the placement until the squares … Read More

Recycled Craft with CDs Wreath

I’ve been scouring for recycled craft with CDs ideas, due to a stash that just keeps growing. Glueing yarn to make an ornament or wreath is one way to go. MATERIALS • Old CDs • Bernat Blanket Yarn • Scissors • Craft glue in a cup • Craft glue in a bottle • Popsicle stick for spreading glue • Pom poms • Ribbon   DIRECTIONS Students start with spreading glue around the center hole … Read More

Popsicle Stick Ornament

Sometimes the simplest supplies can make the sweetest decorations, like this popsicle stick ornament. Start with a layer of paint to make it more glittery. MATERIALS Popsicle sticks Craft glue Silver acrylic paint Paint brush Fine silver glitter Ribbon, optional Clear sealer spray, optional   DIRECTIONS Make a diagram on the board showing the four steps it takes to “build” the stars. Glue the star together as shown with craft glue. Let dry for … Read More

Birch Tree Paintings on Canvas

It’s easy to make birch tree paintings on canvas … if you use markers instead. Add a mini homemade craft stick easel and you have a special holiday gift. I recommend this project for those as young as 2nd grade, but probably not any lower. It is rather easy to have the markers smear while you color, and the younger you go the harder it is for students to be aware of that while … Read More

Cardinal Cardboard Craft

My love of cardboard crafts with yarn keeps growing. This brilliant idea comes from I Heart Crafty Things, I just added the pipecleaner legs. MATERIALS Old, clean corrugated cardboard, about 10″ x 5″ rectangles Bird template (PDF shared here) Yarn Utility scissors Felt, black and yellow Googly eye Feathers Craft glue Pipe cleaners Decorative string Embroidery needle DIRECTIONS PREP: I cut a bird shape for each student as it takes a sharper scissors than … Read More

Folded Air Dry Clay Owl

I’ve tried more air dry clay projects than I can even remember, and this owl that has definitely had the best rate of success with all age students. No tiny parts that can fall off, and the folding ends up making it even stronger. Add a hole or a hook on back for an easy display. MATERIALS Air dry clay, terra cotta Old Yogurt lids Plastic wrap Old marker caps Small sticks to make … Read More

Matchbox Owl Art Project

My matchbox art projects all start with an origami box and sleeve template that I am happy to share. Making little things to go inside is half the fun. MATERIALS Matchbox PDF Tutorial and Template White card stock paper, 67 lb. Printer Scissors or paper cutter Sharpie black marker, ultra fine tip Glue stick Stabilo markers (great tips and lots of different colors) Woodsies, ovals and circles Craft glue   DIRECTIONS PREP: Print a … Read More

Halloween Lettering with Tape

Here’s a Halloween craft idea to make some scary signage. There is something about torn tape that just makes the coolest looking letters. The more uneven and lopsided they are, the better.  MATERIALS Old corrugated cardboard Old paper cutter recommended White tempera tape Black Black tempera paint Orange or red painters tape, 1″ wide DIRECTIONS PREP: I chopped up old corrugated cardboard boxes with a paper cutter, and offered kids either square or rectangular … Read More

Mummy Matchbox Art

My Matchbox Art students wrapped a pipe cleaner man with a strip of cheese cloth and then got to decide what kind of box their mummy wanted to “live” in. MATERIALS Matchbox Art PDF Tutorial Card stock paper, white Scissors or paper cutter Black Sharpie, ultra fine tip Black Sharpie, chisel tip Stabilo markers, assorted colors (these are my favorite) Tape Glue stick Pipecleaner man tutorial White pipe cleaners Cheesecloth   DIRECTIONS PREP: Print … Read More

Halloween Black Cat

The credit for this Halloween Black 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. I had been wanting to find an easy way to have my students work in three dimension, and this project worked great, even for 1st graders. The biggest step they needed help with, sometimes, was cutting the slash for the … Read More

Pipe Cleaner Tarantula

I’ve tried a lot of pipe cleaner animal ideas, and this Tarantula is my favorite in both looks and ease to make. It’s also makes a pretty cool decoration for this time of year.   MATERIALS Aluminum can tabs Pipe cleaners, black and brown Scissors   DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut pipe cleaners into 4″ lengths. Students start with one black and one brown pipe cleaner and twist them together to make one that is multi … Read More

Peek a Boo Cats

Here’s a variation on my Black Cat Collage project that plays with the idea of peeking cats. Good orange paper will really have the most impact. MATERIALS Orange scrapbook paper, 12″ x 12″, from JoAnn’s Black card stock paper, 8.5″ x 11″ Yellow card stock paper, 8.5″ x 11″ Black Sharpie marker Scissors Glue stick White pencil crayon Paper cutter (optional but helpful)   DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut orange paper in half to make 12″ … Read More

Halloween Eye Balls

Did you know you can get air dry clay in colors? I think it happens to be THE most perfect material to make some really fun Halloween eye balls. The balls are easy to form, and they dry to what feel like heavy marbles. I’ve been trying different air dry clay projects for years now, and too many end up fragile or hard to paint. I can’t wait to try these out with my … Read More

Treehouse Crafts

I’ve been experimenting with more dimensional after school classes, and am happy to report that my kids seem to love it. When my students made these tree houses, they got so involved in decorating them they worked right through the last minute of class. MATERIALS Cardboard Paper cutter (heavy duty type) Corrugated cardboard Craft sticks (narrow and long type) Match sticks Craft glue Masking tape DIRECTIONS NOTE: There was a bit of prep work … Read More

Art Box Portfolios

 Still looking for a good way to store lots of student artwork? I found this pizza box solution years ago. Just fold them inside out to get a plain brown box. Out kinder teachers keep them until spring and then send them home at Open House. A tried and true system for over five years. MATERIALS Pizza boxes, I like 14″ Black chisel tip marker for names Templates Markers (Crayola Metallic Markers look great … Read More

An Artist’s Pumpkin

The world’s easiest way to decorate a pumpkin — just pour paint Jackson Pollock style. MATERIALS White foam pumpkin, from Michaels or Amazon Old acrylic paint, bright colors Newspaper and small cup (such as old yogurt cut) Glossy Mod Podge   DIRECTIONS Place pumpkin on newspaper, sitting on a small cup. Pour paint right from the container on top of the pumpkin until it runs down the sides. Repeat layers until the pumpkin is … Read More

Under the Sea Creatures

I had my Model Magic students try working in a diorama-like setting today and apply fish and more to a wall of blue. When the clamshell was closed, they really did resemble little fish tanks! MATERIALS Model Magic; red, yellow, blue, white and black Souffle cups with lids for storage Clamshell containers DIRECTIONS PREP: I have about 45 students in this after school class every week. I once had trouble keeping the prepped supplies … Read More

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