Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Poppy Inchies

I recently completed these Poppy inchies with a Grade 5/6 class in honour of Remembrance Day.

The students made all 4 and then picked their 3 favourite to be mounted on 1"x 4" boards that are cut in 12" lengths.

Here they are up on the bulletin board. We completed them in two 1hr. sessions.

Please note: Like all my inchie projects each one of these squares can be done as a large project.


- 1"x 4" fence board cut into 12" lengths, you could also use black paper
- 4 watercolour paper inchies, we used 3"x 3" inchies
- cereal or cracker box cardboard, about 3" square
- scraps of corrugated cardboard
- drywall filler
- masking tape
- acrylic or tempera paint in red, blue, black, green, yellow and white
- disk tempera in red
- black and red paper scraps
- white paper, about 3" square
- old book pages
- tacky glue
- black button
- black pony bead
- black pencil crayon and/or fine black sharpie
- oil pastels in yellow and orange


We started by painting our boards with black acrylic paint.  We painted the front and the 4 sides.

Set aside to dry.

Now when I do inchies with the kids we work on several at once, when one stage is drying we are working on another step/inchie.  But it's easier for me to explain the steps for each inchie one at a time.

We will start with our Georgia O'Keeffe inchie. I tell the kids that O'Keeffe took a bee's eye view when painting flowers.

Give each student a length of masking tape, about 6 inches or so.

Have them cut it into 3 pieces.

Have them cut each piece in half lengthwise using a wavy or curvy line.

Choose 3 and tape off 3 corners.  Make sure the tape goes from one side to the other.  It's OK if a white corner peeks out.

Take the orange and yellow oil pastels. Make a outline next to the tape.  Then do a inner outline.

Using disk tempera paint inside the tape.  The kids can mix up a second shade of red to add. Just add a touch of blue for a darker red or a touch of yellow for a lighter red.

Set aside to dry.

Remove the tape.

Use a sponge and add some black acrylic to the one corner that had no tape.

Using black pencil crayon add the stamens.

Now we will do the inchie based on Irish painter John Nolan's work.

Draw a horizon line in the upper 3rd of the inchie.

Paint the upper portion with blue acrylic.  We used a nice electric blue.

Paint the bottom portion with green acrylic.

Let dry.

Mix a lighter blue (original colour + white).

Add some of this to the upper edge of the inchie.

Add some yellow and lighter green (original green + yellow) to the meadow.

Let dry.

Using a very small brush add some poppies to the meadow.  I asked the kids to make tiny ones in the distance, a few medium ones and then a few large ones in foreground.

Let dry.

Using a fine sharpie add the stems and a few buds.

This inchie is based on a project I did 2 years ago.

I gave the kids 2 small pieces from a newspaper or phone book.  They glued them randomly to our next inchie.

With the leftover paint from the last inchie dilute it a bit with some water and then paint this wash over the square.

You want to still see the bits of paper.

Let dry.

Take the piece of white paper and paint red.

Using a little piece of cardboard (this is not that 3" piece), add some lines to the red paper with  dark red acrylic paint.

With the red and black papers cut 2 circles out for the flower (1 large than the other) and a stem for the poppy.

Glue onto the inchie.

Glue the black pony bead into the centre.

I printed "is for poppy" off the computer and we added a P stamp to our inchies.

Our final inchie.

Take the 3" or so piece of cardboard and cut out a poppy shape.

Add some drywall to the front for texture.

Let dry, it takes about 4 - 6 hrs.

Cut your old book page in half.  Spread some glue on your inchie.

Stick your book page on the inchie.

Trim to fit.

Take some black acrylic paint (maybe the leftover paint from the O'Keeffe poppy), water it down a bit and give your book page a wash.

You can also splatter a bit of that black paint as well.

Let dry.

When your drywalled poppy is dry paint with red acrylic.  We used 2 different reds.

Cut a circle out pif a scrap of black paper, glue to the center.  Add a black button on top of the black circle.

Pick your 3 best and glue on your black board.

Great work Grade 5/6!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Little Haunted Houses

We had a busy week at school doing lots of Halloween and Remembrance Day projects.

This is a cute Haunted House that I'm  working on with Grade 2.

At night you light it up with a battery operated votive.

We are finishing ours tomorrow but here is a picture of them in progress.


- small recycled box, we used soap boxes and little cereal boxes
- a paper roll
- heavy cardboard for the base
- rectangle of corrugated cardboard for the roof
- acrylic paint
- vellum or tissue paper
- scraps of paper
- small branch
- tacky glue
- glue gun, to be used by adults only
- moss
- battery operated votive
- Halloween embellishments


Check your recycling box for some good Haunted House materials.

The corrugated cardboard was the packing material in my last order of art supplies.  You could use heavy paper run thru a crimper for a similar look.

Take your small box and gently open up saving all the tabs.

This will be the main part of our Haunted House and we are opening it up as it is easier to paint the inside. Most boxes have a shiny coating outside and need several layers of paint.

This also makes it easier to cut the windows.

Cut a hole in what will be the back of the house for the votive.

I did this ahead of time for all the kids.

In the front of the house and the side draw out some window shapes.  It is ok if they are a bit wonky it's a haunted house.

Cut them out.

Paint the house with acrylic paint.  The kids could choose from purple, orange, or green.

Set aside to dry.

The paper roll can be made into a castle or a turret.

To make a castle make little cuts all around and then cut out sections.

I made the turrets ahead of time gluing a paper hat onto the paper roll.

Paint it to match the house.

Paint the roof with black acrylic paint.

To cover the windows we are using vellum.  You can use tissue paper but vellum is much more durable.

Cut a piece of vellum that will cover all the windows.

To stick into place put glue around all the windows and then on the border of the piece of vellum.

Flip the vellum and press into place.

Now you need to glue the box back together except for the bottom tabs.

At school we used a glue gun but you can also use tacky glue.

Put some glue on the inside of the bottom tabs and then glue to the piece of heavy cardboard.

Glue the castle or turret onto the base as well.

Cut the roof to fit the box and then glue the roof into place.

Paint the base black covering the tabs of the box as well.

The small branch will be the tree.  Cut out some leaves out of the paper scraps and glue to the branch.

Glue the tree to the base.  If you lean it on the house it helps to hold it up.

Glue some moss at the bottom of the tree.

Using scraps of paper decorate your house.

Add a door and some extra windows, a jack o'lantern and anything else to make it look spooky.

I printed off some titles.  Add some colour with disk tempera and then glue to the roof.

Add a votive thru the back and you have a spooky Haunted House for Halloween.

Have a Happy Halloween everyone!