Friday, December 2, 2016

Mini Santa

It's that time of year again......I am knee deep in preparations for Christmas Craft Day. 

420 kids doing 12 crafts on one spectacular day.

I have some new crafts this year that I will be posting on the blog.

First up this mini Santa.  He is only 15 cm or 6 inches high.  Made with easy to find items from the Dollar store.

Let's get started:


- red solo shooter cups
- Styrofoam head, around 4cm or 1.5"
- flesh coloured acrylic paint, or you could mix your own with brown, pink and white
- black sticky craft foam
- snow fabric from Dollar store
- red fleece fabric
- white and red (or pink) pompom, 10mm or .39"
- 2 googly eyes
- scrap of black paper and gold glitter paper
- white fun fur
- tacky glue
- plastic knife


The body of the Santa is this red shot glass I got at the Dollar store.  Still very affordable.

I also bought snow fabric and I cut it into strips about 15 cm or 6 " long and fairly skinny (1.5 cm or .5").

Glue along rim of cup.

I then add the belt.  From a sheet of black sticky back craft foam I cut a slender strip the short way.  I cut that strip in half, peel away backing and stick to cup just below that line on the cup.

Now I also bought these Styrofoam heads.

For craft day we paint these ahead of time.  Easiest way is to stick them on a skewer paint and then stick skewer into a Styrofoam block to dry.

With 420 I will do this over several days.

When the head is dry slice a little off the bottom to make it flat.  I just use a plastic knife.

Put glue on top of shot glass and then stick flat end of head into the glue.

Now add some hair (it also helps us glue on the hat).

I take that same snow fabric and pull it a bit to make a clump.  Put some glue on top of head and press hair in place.

You then can glue on the googly eyes and pompom nose.

For the beard I use some white fun fur.  You want the short kind, just a bit fuzzy.  If you can't find any you could use white fleece fabric.

I cut an oval and then glue into place.

Now it's time to add a hat.  The hat starts as a triangle of red fleece fabric.

The bottom is about 13 cm or 5 " long and the sides are 10 cm or 4".  If you curve the sides a bit it makes a better hat.

For school I pre glue the hat with a glue gun so it's ready to be attached to the head.

Put some glue inside the hat rim....

and then place on the hair.  The hair helps it stay in place.

Add the white pompom to the top of the hat.

Almost finished just have to add the belt buckle.

Cut a small square from some gold glitter paper.

Cut a tiny square from some scrap black paper and glue into center of glitter paper.

Glue the buckle on to the belt and your mini Santa is done.

These can decorate your tree or sit on the mantle.  You could even use them as place settings for your Christmas dining table.

Hope you make a few and I can't wait to see the hundreds of them being made on Craft day.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Squirrel Portrait and a new Sharpie Book

Today is my day on the Sharpie Blog Roll in support of a new book by Kathy Barbro,  "Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids".

I'm especially thrilled because I was one of the project contributors.  Kathy has put together an awesome book and it was amazing to be part of it. You can check out her Facebook page to enter the giveaway contest.

I also have this great squirrel mono print that has sharpie details to share with you.


- wax paper
- drawing paper
- construction paper, I like to use black for that chalkboard look
- stapler
- acrylic or liquid tempera paint
- assorted sharpies,  one of my favourite art tools


To make our mono print with have to prep our papers.

We are going to make a paper booklet.

You need a piece of drawing paper, a piece of wax paper, and a piece of construction paper.

Cut them so they are all the same size.  I use a sharpie to mark the size I need on the wax paper.

Line all 3 pieces up and staple them together along one of the short ends.  I use a line of about 5-6 staples.

I'm going to be going back and forth thru the pages so I make a fold to make this easier.

Open up your booklet to the drawing paper.

Make your squirrel drawing.  I find it helpful to provide younger kids with a tail shape to base their drawing off of.

When finished, outline with (you guessed it)...Sharpie.

Fold the wax paper page over top the drawing, you should be able to see it clearly thru the wax paper.

We are going to paint on the wax paper and then transfer this to the construction paper.  It helps to work in a small section at a time and it also helps to have your paint a bit watery.  I use a spray bottle to add a bit of water to my paint.

I'm using black construction paper so I make sure to add white to all my paint colours.  It makes them show up better on the black paper.

Here I'm painting in the tail.  I only work in small sections because I need to transfer my print while the paint is wet.

When I finish painting in the tail I fold the black paper over and give it a bit of a press.

Construction paper works best for these mono prints as it soaks up the paint, other papers like cardstock can slip and smudge.

Slowly pull the construction paper back and the paint will have transferred from the wax paper.

It will be a mirror image.

Continue this process bit by bit until you have made your full print.

You can leave your booklet intact to show the process or remove the wax and drawing papers.

Now you can add the final details.  I used black sharpie, white sharpie, silver sharpie, and brown sharpie.

That's it.

I love this mono print project and I use it a lot at school.  I have another post showing this process only with an eagle here.

Be sure to check out "Sharpie Art Workshop for Kids" by Kathy Barbro and see if you can find my project.

Take care everyone.


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Poppy Patterns

This year's Remembrance Day art project is the result of 2 main inspirations,  Project Runway's red palette challenge this week and last week's"Make it Artsy" segment on Rebekah Meier's circle mandalas.

If you haven't checked out "Make it Artsy" it is well worth your time.  I just watch the episode online as it's not carried by KSPS. I watch with my design journal right next to me as the ideas just start to pour out.


- basket coffee filters
- liquid tempera or acrylic paint in red, black and white
- glue
- circle shapes for tracing
- scissors
- printmaking materials like cardboard, pencils, skewers, little cups
- white and black pencil crayons
- buttons, beads, and/or poppy seeds, optional
- paper for background


The first step is to paint your coffee filters. I started out using disk tempera but the colour was very dull.  Liquid tempera and acrylic produced nice bright colour.

You need 1 bright red, 1 dark red, and 1 black painted coffee filter for each poppy.  From there you can mix and match.  Mix a tiny bit of black into your red to make the dark red.

If you want a background pattern on your poppy add it before we start cutting.

Here I am using a cup and making circle shapes.  Stay in our limited colour palette of red (light and dark), black, and white.

When the coffee filters are dry you want to cut different ring shapes from them to construct your poppy.

Use circle shapes from around the classroom as templates.

I folded mine for easier cutting.

You can also cut your rings to have a more natural petal shape.

Now you can add more patterns to the parts of your poppy.

Here I use a piece of cardboard to make lines.

Here I added dots using the end of a pencil and a skewer.

I had not cut this one in rings but later I needed to.  It was a lot harder to cut the ring after I put the pattern on.  Note to self : have students cut rings first.

You can use pencil crayon to add details.

Mix and match your ring shapes.

Use the black coffee filter as the base.  Glue your rings on top letting some of the black filter exposed.

You can embellish them with some buttons, poppy seeds, beads, whatever you have on hand.

You can add extra details if needed.

For the background I painted the paper grey with black and white disk tempera.

Glue poppies on background.

That's it.

Hope you give this one a try.


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Folk Art Witch

This is a Halloween version of my Folk Art Angel.


- heavy paper for background, I used watercolour paper
- masking tape
- disk tempera paint
- white acrylic or liquid tempera paint
- paper for painting, I used an old book page
- raffia for brown
- strip of brown paper
- oil pastels
- glue


I taped my background paper to my art board.  Using disk tempera paint I painted a night sky using blue and black.

When background is dry take white acrylic or liquid tempera and mix in a little water.

Using an old stiff brush dip in paint and then flick finger over the bristles to create star splatter.

At school I like to do this in a box to cut down on the mess.

Paint some paper with purple and orange tempera.  We will use these papers to create the witch body and head.

I decided I wanted a pattern on the dress so using some purple acrylic, the end of a pencil and the cap from a spray bottle I stamped on the pattern.

To make the paper for the hat and the legs I first used oil pastel.  White stars for the hat and black lines for the legs.

I then painted over them with disk tempera.

When the papers are dry I start to put my witch together.  The body starts as a rectangle, I then cut one of the corners off.

The arm is a skinny rectangle with a corner cut off.  The head is a pumpkin shape.

The legs are just 2 strips.  I also cut out a witch hat.  With the scraps of orange paper I cut 2 feet and a hand.

The broom is made from a strip of brown paper for the handle.  I wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of some raffia.  I fold it and then twist the pipe cleaner around the top.

Glue into place.

Finally with some pencil crayons and sharpie I add the details to the face.

I added a strip to the hat and a star sticker.

That's it, my Folk Art witch.