Paper Mache Holiday House

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, that has … 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

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

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

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

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

Lady Bug Craft

 Finally, an air dry clay project that is easy enough for kinders, lets students practice some clay skills, AND makes something pretty darn cute. These well-rounded projects are hard to find, so I am delighted to let others know how my students make these. MATERIALS Air-Dry Clay Paper plates Water / bowls Red Gloss Spray paint Black Brush Sharpie markers Spray varnish, optional DIRECTIONS Class 1: Students get clay, water in bowl and paper … Read More

Truffula Tree Pencil

This Lorax Truffula Tree pencil can have a home in this mini planter, when you’re not busy writing with it. MATERIALS Black Staedtler pencils (I found mine at Staples) Feather Boa (Jo-Ann Crafts) Scissors Air Dry clay Mini clay pots (Michaels) Sharpie paint marker, water-based Rubberbands, small   DIRECTIONS Place small amount of air dry clay in mini planter. Press pencil in to make a hole and remove. Draw rings on the pencil with … Read More

Braided Bracelets

I’ve exchanged friendship bracelet projects for this round braid, which could certainly still look great on any wrist. After set up, there’s just one repeating step. MATERIALS • Yarn • Chip board, or clean food box • Scissors • Circle template, approx. 3.5″ wide               DIRECTIONS 1. Trace any cup to make a circle about 3.5″ wide. A little larger or smaller will work too. I used the … Read More

Growing Grass in a CD Case

Don’t throw away old, un-decomposable CD cases, turn them into gifts instead. 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 • Sharpie paint markers, oil-based DIRECTIONS PREP: Remove any excess inserts … 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 above diagram: 1. Fold one pipe cleaner in half and twist an oval at the top to make … Read More

Recycled Pencil Star

This recycled pencil star idea came about from seeing lots of half-used pencils in my room. I have boxes of them that are a bit too awkward to hold, but seem too long to throw away. I first tried gluing them together to make a star on their own, but found they need a stable base. Craft sticks work perfectly and blend in with the look as well. One day I’m going to make … Read More

Pipe Cleaner Christmas Tree Craft

Add a little holiday color with this pipe cleaner Christmas tree craft. It’s super quick, and actually doesn’t even require glue as the pipe cleaner wire stays in place and the mini pom poms cling on their own. This little tree is about 5″ tall. MATERIALS • Super Colossal Pipe Cleaners • Mini Clay Pot, 1.5″ tall x 2″ wide • Pom Poms, 5 mm • Foam Cone, 2 3/4″ x 1 7/8″ (found … Read More

Mini Match Stick Easels

I made these mini match stick easels with little craft sticks that Pacon recently let me take for a spin. It took some careful glue work, but it worked! The flat sides really help make the glue hold. I’ve got no plans to do it as a class project as I think it’s rather advanced gluing for elementary kids, but I might save it for gifts or something. Love the built in color and … Read More

Common Core Cork Craft

You can make a cool pattern AND remind young students that triangles are always made with just three sides. Could be a nice Father’s Day gift too as a pack of 4 cork discs only costs $5. MATERIALS • Cork Discs • Sharpie markers, brush tips • Clear sealer DIRECTIONS 1. Draw any a triangle in the center of the disc with the marker and fill in. 2. Draw another triangle that is attached … Read More

Make a Truffula Tree

I was inspired by Dr. Seuss’ colorful Lorax Truffula Trees, which I recreated 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 … Read More

Pom Pom Ball Ornaments

These Pom Pom ornaments were inspired by some fabric ones I saw at Anthropologie. I decided I like mine even better as Michaels has pom poms that come in really pretty shades of blue and purple. MATERIALS • Pom Poms (about one bag per ornament) • Dressmaker pins • Ribbon • Styrofoam balls (2.5″ diam) DIRECTIONS 1. You can get every one of these items at Michaels craft stores. 2. Use the dress pins … Read More

Foil and Sharpie Suns

 Drawing a circle within a round shape is so much easier than on a square or rectangle. Start with foil and a paper plate and you’re good to go. MATERIALS • Paper plates • Aluminum foil, thinner type is best • Glue stick • Sharpie Markers, brush type work great   DIRECTIONS Rub front of plate generously with a glue stick. Tear a sheet of foil slightly larger than the plate. Apply dull side … Read More

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