Growing Grass in a CD Case

You can recycle CD jewel cases and turn them into gifts instead. Here’s a few ideas for a birthday or Mother’s Day. They make great little terrariums, especially with a message for special occasions. You can watch your plants grow and make a special gift at the same time. MATERIALS • CD case, the kind that is about 1/4″ thick • Potting soil • Container of water • Grass seed • Rubber band • … Read More

Mini Clothespin Craft Cars

This mini clothespin craft project makes little cars with wheels that really spin, even if they are a bit wobbly. The best part is that you don’t need any glue to put them together. My toothpicks were the perfect fit for the button holes. MATERIALS Mini clothespins Wooden buttons Toothpicks Utility scissors DIRECTIONS Stick one toothpick into a button. It should fit firmly (try other little mini dowels if not). For the back wheel, stick … Read More

Dr. Seuss’ Truffula Tree

This Dr. Seuss craft was inspired by his colorful Lorax Truffula Trees, which I recreated with a few simple art supplies. MATERIALS Yarn, pink Yarn, orange Yarn, yellow Twigs Clay Acrylic paint, white, black, green Scrap corrugated cardboard, 3″ x 5″ Scissors Old brush DIRECTIONS 1. Collect thin twigs that are fairly straight and mount them in a small amount of clay. Let dry overnight. 2. Paint twigs with white and gray acrylic paint … Read More

Chinese New Year Snake Tutorial

Did you know Chinese New Year crafts can come from office supplies? They helped me make this project with about 400 first through fourth graders for about $45. For the advanced origami lover, my sample snake above was made with two long strips that had nine 11″ lengths glued together as shown in the photo. If you like the gradated color, this how it is achieved. This length though is rather long for little … Read More

Paper Craft Roosters

My favorite paper crafts for kids involve making something three dimensional. Learning how to cut and bend so things stand up is a valuable skill. This idea comes from a French website, Zaubette. I simplified some of the shapes, but the brilliant originality must be credited to them. I just love the way they made the open beak/mouth. It’s simple but adds so much personality. MATERIALS Cardstock paper, assorted colors, 8.5″ x 11″ Poster … Read More

Clothespin Craft Peacock

My clothespin crafts for kids after school class got to dig into my feather stash to make peacocks. Googly eyes and string finished off the look. I have this insane collection of fancy feathers from a tutu-making mom who retired. I’ve been holding out on using them from just any old project, and I’m glad I did. MATERIALS Clothespins, wooden flat type Colored string Hot glue gun and glue Craft glue Markers Googly eyes … Read More

Clothespin Craft Airplanes with Color

Here’s how my students finished up their clothespin planes, with a little color and string to make their airplanes fly.They make a pretty cute assortment! MATERIALS Clothespins, medium Craft sticks, regular size Craft sticks, mini size Woodsie shapes Wooden beads Woodent dowels String Hot glue gun Tape Sharpie markers   DIRECTIONS PREP: Use a glue gun to attach sticks to clothespin. Glue bead to front. Glue propellor pieces together and attach to bead. Students … Read More

Clothespin Craft Airplane

My Clothespin Crafts class has lots of little ones, including kinders, so I used hot glue to get these easy crafts airplanes started for them. Their job was to color them with Sharpies and paint markers. MATERIALS Clothespins, medium Craft sticks, regular size Craft sticks, mini size Woodsie shapes Wooden beads Hot glue gun Sharpie markers   DIRECTIONS PREP: Use a glue gun to attach sticks to clothespin. Glue bead to front. Glue propellor … Read More

Pizza Collage

Make fun collage art projects by tying it into something familiar. This pizza project does double duty as it reviews shapes and can accompany a food unit theme. I’m declaring it pizza week for my students, as the kinder and first grade are making these larger 8″ pizzas, and the rest are making 4″ ones that will go in their own box. (More posting to come regarding that.) Lots of math connections are possible as … Read More

Christmas Tree Door Wreath

The last holiday project I’d like to share is my friend Regina’s amazing Christmas Tree Wreath that I spied as I was finishing my family visit in Tennessee. Regina is the owner of Whitney Hill Estates, and the host of my art retreat every summer. She just has more artsy skills in her fingertips than anyone I know. She briefly explained that she made this tree with a collection of little house decorations. Turns … Read More

Superman and Wonder Woman Clothes Pin Dolls

Have some superhero arts and crafts fun with the help of one key tool – Sharpie paint markers. It would be difficult to get this detail with regular paint. I’ve tried using regular Sharpie markers on wood they bleed too much to look very nice. And I can’t imagine trying to paint little figures like these with acrylic paint and brush. That would be hard for an adult to do. The paint markers are … Read More

Gingerbread Cookies on Baking Sheet Trays

Here’s another look at Model Magic project from last year, Gingerbread boys and girls, displayed on their own baking sheet trays. I’ve found that if you want to give your Model Magic creations a bit of a longer life, spray them with a clear gloss when finished. It does make the color last longer, not forever, but at least a few weeks or so. I always tell my parents that if they really love … Read More

Holiday Ornament Project

Here’s a holiday ornament idea that fulfills all the requirements of being easy, inexpensive, flexible, and most important, a little sparkly for the students. To make your life really easy, I recommend getting an industrial craft punch like the one shown above. I use mine all the time, mostly for craft stick projects like this. It can even cut through tin cans! MATERIALS Jumbo craft sticks, 3 per students Craft glue Big Bite Craft … Read More

How to Make Pom Pom Balls

A simple search will show you many tutorials on how to make pom pom balls. Some take tools and adult-size patience, but these require neither. Every time I bring out this project, kids as young as kinder have a ball making something that is more like a toy than a decoration to them. I’ve just learned that you need an adult to tie the center knot really well, several times, to make sure the … Read More

Wood Craft Letter Collage

I recently added Wood Crafts for Kids to my after school classes, and loved this collection of odds and ends wood scraps I found at The question of what to do with these scraps resulted in a couple of ideas. One was to just stack the larger shapes to make little building towers. That was fun, but the full collection of scraps is about 50% of assorted little skinny dowels. My solution was … 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

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

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