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

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

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

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

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

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

Gift Box Truck

Here’s an idea for a transportation craft project. It costs about $1.50 for both gift boxes and makes a pretty cool looking truck with no prep work at all. MATERIALS White gift box: 9″ x 4.5″ x 4.5″ White gift box: 3″ x 3″ x 3″ Corrugated cardboard scraps Circle template, 2″ Scissors Sharpie markers, assorted Silver markers (optional) Brown paper packing tape (it’s much stickier than masking tape) DIRECTIONS Students keep the boxes … Read More

Snowman Pop Out Cards

These snowman pop up cards are easy to make, even with a large room of kids. Just be sure to cut all the circles and flakes ahead of time. Don’t make the mistake I did which was to think I could cut a few while students worked. Stress is trying to have a dozen young kids wait for their supplies. MATERIALS • Card stock paper, colored for card • Card stock paper, white • … Read More

Paper Cactus

Thanks to craft paper punches, projects like this paper cactus are totally possible even for classrooms. I just recommend pre-punching the circles for a group of 25 or more. I learned the hard way. MATERIALS • Miniature clay pot, about 2″ tall (Michaels has them) • Model Magic (leftovers or any brown color) • Craft paper punch, 3″ circle • Star paper punch • Recollections card stock green paper • Red card stock paper … Read More

Halloween Boxes with Sharpies

My favorite part of these little Halloween boxes is the color combination. I love the soft orange and matte black and shiny silver. Fortunately, they all come from supplies that are very easy for kids to use too. MATERIALS • White paper jewelry boxes • Sharpie marker, black, fine tip • Sharpie marker, black, brush tip • Sharpie marker, silver, fine tip • Orange liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS 1. Lightly draw a series of … Read More

Paper Plate Flower

I was totally inspired by this Paper Plate Flowers project at Pink Stripey Socks and have it planned for my art camp kids tomorrow. The only catch is that I didn’t account for a lot of new kinders, kids that have barely learned how to cut straight lines, let alone curves. Guess how I am spending my evening? Oh well, they will have fun painting them and I did have fun learning that watercolors … Read More

Simple Paper Sculpture

This paper sculpture project I tried out goes in the “keeper” file. I challenged kinders to make curly, zig-zag and curvy lines, and then whatever else they could think of. MATERIALS • White card stock paper, letter size • Leftover colored paper • Clear tape • Paper cutter DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut cardstock into squares, fold up edges on each, cut slits and tape or glue in place to make a box for each student. … Read More

Mom Pop Out Flower Card

My students are learning how to make pop out flowers this week, which make a pretty nice Mother’s Day card. Last year I did this with hearts, but I like this flower for this time of year, for all the obvious reasons. SUPPLIES • 12″ x 12″ solid card stock Scrapbook Paper • 12″ x 12″ print Scrapbook Paper • Scallop paper punch • Glue stick DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut all 12″ x 12″ cardstock … Read More

Magazine Bowls

These magazine bowls are fun to make and truly about reusing that which just ends up in the trash. Roll them up neatly and then coat with Mod Podge to seal and give these bowls a longer life. MATERIALS • Old magazines • Ruler or cardboard cut to 1″ x 12″ • Scotch tape • Mod Podge DIRECTIONS 1. Students are to tear out magazine pages, taking care to choose those with the most … Read More

Instant Paper Mache Tiles

Years ago I bought a huge supply of instant paper mache, thinking it was going to be my quick answer for 3D work. Well, I have since tried using it in all kinds of ways, and it was always just too mushy for most kids to make anything even recognizable. Finally, this option that was a last minute idea turned out pretty darn well. Students from K – 4 used it to form a … Read More

Tissue Paper and Starch Tiles

Here’s another take on my tissue paper tile project posted recently, I just wanted to share that there is an even easier way to make them. Use good old liquid starch as it dries much faster and keeps things much less sticky. I found my starch at Smart & Final, which is a restaurant supply store in CA. I love how the ordinary tissue colors bleed together in a really sophisticated looking way. MATERIALS • … Read More

Student’s Cast Tissue Tiles

Here they are, my student’s beautiful cast tissue paper tiles, taped on to some chipboard to make book covers. I love how the tissue paper made the all the colors bleed together in really unexpected ways, and all the pretty patterns found on my new rubbing tiles. MATERIALS • Rubbing Plates • Bleeding Tissue paper • White glue / water • Brush • Chip board • Duct tape DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut lots of tissue paper into … Read More

Cast Tissue Tiles

I tried this wonderful Cast Tissue Paper project today. It worked really well for my range of kinder – 3rd graders. I just replaced the glue with liquid starch to keep things a little less sticky. MATERIALS • Rubbing Plates • Bleeding Tissue paper • White glue / water • Brush • Chip board • Duct tape DIRECTIONS PREP: Cut lots of tissue paper into approximately 1″ squares. I like to keep assortments either … Read More

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