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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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