Easy Printmaking with Bubble Wrap

For an easy printmaking project, try using bubble wrap. It’s a great way to repurpose old materials and make a colorful print too. MATERIALS Art journal or 6″ x 9″ drawing paper Bubble wrap Acrylic paint Paper plate Paint brush Pencil crayons Paper towels   DIRECTIONS I cut panels of bubble wrap that were smaller than the journal pages so that the paint wouldn’t go all the way to the edges. 1. The students … Read More

Halloween Lettering with Tape

Here’s a Halloween craft idea to make some scary signage. There is something about torn tape that just makes the coolest looking letters. The more uneven and lopsided they are, the better.  MATERIALS Old corrugated cardboard Old paper cutter recommended White tempera tape Black Black tempera paint Orange or red painters tape, 1″ wide DIRECTIONS PREP: I chopped up old corrugated cardboard boxes with a paper cutter, and offered kids either square or rectangular … Read More

Skeleton Craft

My pack rat tendencies paid off when I figured out how use old watercolor trays to house this Model Magic skeleton. How many themes can this project touch on? Let’s see. Fun Halloween project? Check. STEAM approved (study of bones)? Check. Recycling old art supplies? Check. Backpack (portable) proof? Check. Not bad for one project!   SUPPLIES Old watercolor tray Black spray paint Crayola White Model Magic Paint brush Sparkle Mod Podge (optional)   … Read More

Treehouse Crafts

I’ve been experimenting with more dimensional after school classes, and am happy to report that my kids seem to love it. When my students made these tree houses, they got so involved in decorating them they worked right through the last minute of class. MATERIALS Cardboard Paper cutter (heavy duty type) Corrugated cardboard Craft sticks (narrow and long type) Match sticks Craft glue Masking tape DIRECTIONS NOTE: There was a bit of prep work … Read More

Recycled Robots

If you collect as much misc. stuff as I do, then you just might be a good candidate to make this recycled art project with your students. These robots were made over four weeks in an after school class, but I could see them being simplified and done in a couple instead. Just man your hot glue gun stations carefully. I had two for about 30 students and lines still tended to be longer than I would hope for. … Read More

Cardboard Cutaway House Update

Wallpaper Day for our Cardboard Cutaway Houses. Lucky for me, I knew that you can buy all kinds of pretty patterned paper at the craft stores, and best of all, they come in 12″ squares. I left some full size for the backs, and then cut lots of 4″ panels so kids could just concentrate on gluing. MATERIALS (TO DATE) • Cardboard squares, 12″ (from local Box City) • Paper cutter • Masking tape … Read More

Cutaway Cardboard House

Here’s a new after school class that I just started, what I call a Cutaway Cardboard House. I bought lots of 12″ cardboard squares from my local box company, and precut the panels so all the kids had to do in the first class was tape, tape, tape. They loved it! I had a room full of kinder through 3rd graders who happily assembled their houses for a full 45 minutes. My diagram for … 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

Mayflower Ship Craft Project

You can learn how to make a Mayflower Ship, using just a few inexpensive craft supplies and a leftover coffee sleeve. I must give credit for this clever ship idea to Parenting Magazine. I loved how realistic it looked on their website, it just didn’t come with any instructions. I did my best to simplify the pieces and directions, and have come up with this tutorial. I personally am a fan of the Starbucks … Read More

Halloween Recycle Craft Project

A friend has been saving these old saline bottles for quite awhile, and I finally had a chance to think up a Halloween recycle craft project for them. My reliable Sharpie markers came through, once again. I love how they can fill surfaces with bright smooth color, something that would be really tricky (and messy!) with paint. If you have the funds to get the brush markers, try them out as they make working … Read More

Corrugated Owls

These little corrugated owls will give students a chance to practice their paper rolling skills, and a bit of patience with craft glue as shapes may need to be held together for a moment before they set. MATERIALS • Roll of corrugated cardboard • Scissors • Aleene’s Quick Dry Craft Glue • Black beans   DIRECTIONS PREP: Use a paper cutter to make strips Small Owl Eyes: 1/2″ wide x 6″ long Small Owl … Read More

Sharpies and Tin Cans

I’ve always hated throwing away old tin cans. They just have too many recycling possibilities. This one is for my art campers tomorrow, and also happens to be one of my projects in my upcoming “Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids” book coming out in November. You saw it here first folks! MATERIALS • Old soup cans, washed and clean • Foil tape, from hardware store • Sharpie, fine tip, black • Sharpie, brush tip, … Read More

Recycled Magazine Bowls

Recycled art projects can come from many different supplies. Magazine bowls are truly about making something useful from trash. MATERIALS Old magazines Ruler or cardboard cut to 1″ x 12″ Scotch tape Collage Pauge DIRECTIONS Students are to tear out magazine pages, taking care to choose those with the most color. The students then place the stick at a corner of a page and wrap the paper around it as shown in the diagram. … Read More

Gold Rush Covered Wagon

Love it when old rolls of corrugated cardboard turn out to make the perfect cover for a wagon. Best of all, the curve is already built in.   MATERIALS • Corrugated cardboard • Corrugated cardboard roll • Wooden skewers • Template for 2″ circle wheels • Adult scissors • Masking tape • Craft glue DIRECTIONS PREP: Use a paper cutter to cut cardboard rectangles to make a 3″ x 5.5″ wide wagon, that is 2″ … Read More

Paper Mache Cartons, Painting Day

These beautiful cartons started off as old plastic Model Magic containers two weeks ago. After two layers of paper mache, they were ready for some paint. I encouraged students to paint a solid background, and then add decorations on top. Next week they will add more lines with paint markers, and finally some Mod Podge to protect and add shine.

Jasper Johns Number Painting

I created this Jasper Johns number painting so students could make a miniature version of his, and recycle an old CD case as well. MATERIALS • Old CD case, 1/4″ thick version • Foam numbers • Gesso • Acrylic paint DIRECTIONS 1. Six 1 1/2″ foam numbers are arranged, peeled, and placed on an old CD case. 2. Gesso is needed to make the background opaque, so the entire CD front and sides are … Read More

Collage Name Card

This project lets students get creative and colorful with the letters in their name.   MATERIALS Multimedia paper, 9″ x 12″ Old magazines Glue stick Texture rubbing plates or plastic embroidery mesh from craft store Crayons Watercolor paint Large strips of white paper, cut to 24″ x 6″ strips   DIRECTIONS SESSION ONE PREP: Cut drawing paper into rectangles measuring 4.5″ x 6″ to furnish each student with one page for each letter in … Read More

Beans in a CD Case

Summer time is great for experimenting with growing beans in a CD case. MATERIALS • Old CD Jewel Case • Potting soil • Bean seeds, small • Rubber band DIRECTIONS 1. Remove all inserts in the case. They should just pop out. 2. Moisten potting soil and place in bottom of open case. 3. Add several bean seeds in the dirt and close the tray. 4. Add a rubber band to keep the case … Read More

Bubblewrap + Yarn

This brilliant idea comes from Reggio Children Inspired, and I had fun experimenting with it a bit. I used an xacto knife to cut slits on the flat side of large bubble wrap, and stuffed the inside with yarn. I love how it makes a messy bunch of scraps look like nice neat little balls – too cool! This could make some great outdoor, as well as indoor art. What if students practiced making patterns … Read More

Cardboard Treehouse

I’ve been experimenting with more dimensional after school classes this school year, and am happy to report that my kids seem to love it. On Friday they made these tree houses, and got so involved in decorating them they worked right through the last minute of class. MATERIALS Cardboard Paper cutter (heavy duty type) Corrugated cardboard Craft sticks (narrow and long type) Match sticks Craft glue Masking tape DIRECTIONS NOTE: There was a bit … Read More

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