How to Draw a Star Banner

My favorite way to show students how to draw a star is to connect the dots. Have the dots touch the edge of a paper to get stars that fill up the page. I describe the star as having a head, two arms and two legs. Yes, much like Patrick Star from Spongebob if that helps. Instruct students to make a head dot at the center top of the paper, two hand dots across … 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

Easy Snowman Drawing

My students needed some easy snowman drawing directions, so I make this diagram. Simple adjustment of the face and buttons can add a lot of dimension. Consider making a snowman art show with lots of these guys all lined up looking around and in different directions. So much more fun than every one just looking straight ahead. MATERIALS Drawing paper, 18″ x 24″ Black marker, chisel tip Crayons or Crayola Color Sticks   DIRECTIONS … Read More

Pop Up Christmas Cards

These pop up Christmas cards are easy to make, thanks to the fact that you can now get circle paper punches in a variety of sizes. 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 punch out plenty while students worked. Stress is when students are using circles faster than you can make them. An alternative is to … 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

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

New Harvest Banner, $5 PDF Template

Now you can make your own Indian corn harvest banners for home, school or festivals with my latest PDF mural template. Buy it once and create as many giant ears of Indian corn that you could every possibly need. My sample has pretty realistic colors, but you could go abstract too with bright random colors. The simple corn shape will lend itself to all kinds of possibilities. Two template versions are included: one that … Read More

Draw a Cartoon Woman

The simplification that comes with cartoon characters is perfect for children of all ages. No worries about proportion totally helps too. MATERIALS • Draw a Cartoon Woman PDF Tutorial • Color printer • Drawing paper • Black marker • Crayons or markers   DIRECTIONS PREP: Download and print a tutorial for each student. Print paper with guidelines, or have students fold paper to make creases. 1. Students draw the cartoon woman according to the … 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


Teach kinders and up how to draw a face with LOTS of crankiness, thanks to this very funny new children’s book, “Crankenstein”, by Samantha Berger. Crankenstein can be drawn with some very simple shapes, and show students how to create a very expressive face. MATERIALS “Crankenstein” book, by Samantha Berger Watercolor paper, if you can afford it, or multimedia paper Old cardboard for templates Sharpie chisel tip marker, black Crayons Liquid watercolor paint, green … 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

Drawing Children eBook and Bonus Mini Mural

My new “Learn to Draw: Children” eBook was created and tested in response to a kinder teacher who was tired of seeing so many stick figures in her classroom. My solution was to create some super simple boy and girl tutorials in various clothes and backgrounds. Learning to draw people in settings goes hand in hand with writing about them, so improving in one area will also support the other. When testing one of these tutorials with a … Read More

Black Cat Collage

Kinders learned how to trace and cut out a simple cat, and then draw a setting with a black Sharpie marker. The contrast between the two makes the art fun to look at. MATERIALS Card stock paper, black and assorted colors (I like the Recollections brand) Heavy paper for templates Black Sharpie Pencil crayon, white Scissors Glue sticks   DIRECTIONS Prep: Cut cat body templates from heavy paper. Cut black paper to 4.25″ x … Read More

Many Pumpkin Faces

I introduced my kinders last week to their first printmaking project. Learning how to draw different expressions on the faces, like those in the famous “Five Little Pumpkins” book, added to the fun. MATERIALS Multimedia paper Old paper towel rolls Black tempera paint Plates for paint Black Sharpie marker Crayons DIRECTIONS CLASS ONE Students use a paper towel or toilet paper roll, dip the end in a pool of black tempera paint, and print … Read More

Draw a Robot

This is a fun combination for painting a robot – silver tempera and black watercolor paint. The matte look of the black makes the silver really stand out. My first graders used a 3″ square template to get the body drawing started. They added geometric shapes as desired. MATERIALS Draw Robot PDF Tutorial Drawing paper Black marker Silver tempera paint Black watercolor paint, liquid works best DIRECTIONS Prep: Print tutorial for each student. Draw … Read More

Kandinsky Circle Painting

This Kandinsky project worked really well with my last after school watercolor class which includes kinder through 5th grade. MATERIALS Watercolor paper (I used Strathmore) Crayons Liquid watercolor paint DIRECTIONS PREP: pre-print grid lines on watercolor paper.  With Kandinsky’s original painting in view, students drew concentric circles in each square with a crayon (no need to start with pencils). They pressed hard to make a “wall” that would help keep colors from running together. … 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

Air Dry Clay Starfish

This air-dry clay starfish will give students a change to practice their blending skills. Five fingers need to be mushed in the middle to make him nice and sturdy. MATERIALS Air-Dry clay Water Skewer or stick Paper plate   DIRECTIONS Squeeze a ball of clay, add some water to make it soft and sticky. Divide the clay into five equal pieces. Roll each into a ball and then a small sausage-looking shape. Arrange the … 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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