Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Happy New Year !

Just want to wish everyone a very happy and very creative New Year !

My little new year resolutions doodle …
WIsh you all a Happy New Year ! Hope it will be filled with joy , happiness and success :)

I will try to be back soon with a new project :)


Friday, December 6, 2013

Felt Christmas tree ornament

Today I decided to show you how to make a Christmas tree ornament with felt and buttons . This is something that you can do with your children during the holiday break ....or in the classroom , if your school allows you to do Christmas crafts .

Grade level : This craft is for older kids . I would say children from 3rd grade and older . You have to make sure that the child is old enough to handle a needle and the child does not put thing into his/her mouth ...since we will use buttons (and that could cause a choking hazard !)

Objective : To learn how to sew and create something 3D for the Holiday Season .

Resources : You can find plenty of Youtube video on how to make Christmas ornaments or to learn how to sew . Just remember to ALWAYS respect the work of others and mention their link and credit . For this project I will refer you to a couple of video tutorials .I will mention them as we go along .

Materials : For this particular project , you will need :
                   * Green and brown felt
                   * Buttons of different sizes and colors
                   * A thin ribbon
                   * Scissors
                   * Floss
                   * A needle
                   * Fiberfill

Activity :  (1) The first thing your kid should do is to cut the felt . You can do that two different ways . Either have 1 piece of green felt (cut in a wide triangle shape that you will later fold in half) and 1 small rectangle of brown felt like this :

Or , you can have TWO green triangles and one brown rectangle if it is easier for you . Just like this :

Whatever is easier for you .

(2) The second step will be to sew the buttons (= Christmas ornaments ) on the green piece of felt . If you are using only ONE green triangle , you will have to remember that you will need to fold it ...so make sure that you are not sewing buttons on the fold .Now you will have something like this :

(3) With a blanket stitch , you will now start sewing the trunk . If you do not know how to make a blanket stitch you should look at this Blanket Stitch Tutorial video by GulfCoastCottage on Youtube .
You need to sew 3 side of the trunk . When you finished the third side , you will need to add a little bit of fiberfill inside. Then you are ready to finish your last side . And ...tada ...

(4) Now you will have to do the same with the green piece of felt . However it is going to be a little more tricky . If you have TWO felt triangles , sew the two sides with a blanket stitch , but leave the base open . If you have ONE triangle , sew one side ...and leave the base open . Just like in this example :

Add some fiberfill .Then visualize where the trunk will be ....

Now start sewing the base with your blanket stitch . When you arrive at the trunk , you may make a back stitch If you do not know how to make a back stitch you may watch this Youtube video : How To Sew A Back Stitch-Beginners Hand Sewing & Embroidery DIY by StyleIconsCloset .If your needle is not sharp enough to go through or if it is too hard for your child to do it , you can go around using your imagination and come up with your own stitch or use glue .

(4) Add the ribbon at the top of your ornament ...like that :

Tie it at the top ... and now your ornament is ready to be hung on your Christmas tree . Hope you had fun making it . Have a happy and safe Holiday Season :)

Monday, September 30, 2013

Papier Mâché Bears (part 2)

Let's continue the lesson on our bears in papier mâché .We made the bears and we painted them in white acrylic paint . Today we are going to bring our little bears to life by adding some details .

Material needed :  For this part of the project , we will need :
                                     * a pencil # 2
                                     * acrylic paint of various colors 
                                     * small plastic cups fill with water 
                                     * paintbrushes of different sizes 
                                     * paper towels 
                                     * pictures of different kind of bears
                                     * matte varnish (optional)

Activity :
(1) Each student will have to think of what kind of bear they want . A brown bear , a polar bear , a panda bear ? Once they choose the bear , they will also need to decide what kind of details to add (like eyes , nose , mouth , etc...) Will the bear have some form of clothing , like a scarf ? A shirt ?

(2) Now it is time for the student to draw the details on the bear with the pencil .

(3) Once the student likes what he/she sees , he/she is ready to start painting over the pencil and bring their bear to life .Below are a few examples .

A panda bear :

Polar bears :

A brown bear :

(4) Finish by adding some matte varnish . And here we are all done . Aren't they cute ?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Papier Mâché Bears (part 1)

I would like to introduce a new art lesson for the beginning of the school year . Some teachers (especially kindergarten teachers ) like to start the year with a unit on bears. If you are one of them , or if you are planning to read the book "Brown Bear, Brown Bear , What Do You See ?" by Eric Carle , or any other book about bears ....then this lesson may be a fun activity to go along with . We are going to make some bears in papier mâché .

Grade level: You can do that with any grade . If you have younger students , you may want to have a helper in your classroom . Older students may add more details on their project .

Objective : To create a 3D sculpture . It is always nice to explore new art form that goes beyond a piece of paper .

Resources : You can find plenty of resources online , starting with information on papier mâché , as well as different projects . You will even find different recipes on how to make your papier mâché paste . Just look around and choose what you need for your lesson . Just remember to always name your source !

Definition : What is papier mâché ? "Papier mâché" means "chewed paper" in French . But obviously you are not going to ask your students to chew newspaper pieces  ;) Something made out of papier mâché is something made out of paper pieces (usually newspaper) glue together with a special paste . This paste can be a special glue , wallpaper paste or some flour mixture . I usually choose the last one as it is the most affordable and it does the job really well .
When you make papier mâché , you usually use a "base" like a balloon , chicken wires or aluminium foil . You cover this base with strips of newspaper soaked in papier mâché paste . You make several coats of this and let it dry slowly . You will then paint over it to make your piece look nicer .

Material needed :  For this project we will need the following :

                            * newspapers . (It is a good idea to ask your students to bring newspapers a few weeks prior to the project .If you do this at the beginning of the year you may save newspapers during the summer or use leftovers of last year supply)
                            * aluminium foil
                            * masking tape
                            * scissors
                            * cardboards
                            * papier mâché paste (see recipe)
                            * white glue
                            * toothpicks
                            * small bowl (one per student where they will have their papier mâché mixture)
                            * white acrylic paint
                            * paintbrushes and small plastic cups

Papier mâché paste recipe : To make papier mâché paste is really easy and inexpensive ! You will find most ingredients in your pantry closet as they are : flour , water and salt . To see the step-by-step recipe click here.

Activity : (1) Have students cut with their fingers (no need for scissors here ) small strips of newspaper .(We do not need big strips as we are doing a rather small project .)
               (2) Each student should have two pieces of aluminium foil . One small that they will shape as a ball (that will become the head of their bear) and another slightly bigger . It will be shaped as an oval (it will become the body ). Each student should roll those two pieces on their desk until they become smooth . Make sure that the oval piece has a flat bottom (so it can stand straight ).

              (3) Add a toothpick to the body :

              (4) Add some white glue to the toothpick and to the top of the oval shape . Add the head :

              (5) Give each student four small additional pieces of aluminium foil . Two bigger pieces that they will roll on their desk in their length (like if they were making a worm with play dough ). They will become the arms of the bear .And two tiny pieces that will be shapes like balls and will be the feet . Make each piece smooth , by rolling them on the desk .Here is what you will get :

               (6) Now your students will need to cover all those six pieces (the head and body , the two arms and the two feet ) with newspaper .To accomplish that they should take one piece of newspaper strip at a time , dip it in the papier mâché mixture , gently squeeze the extra paste and cover the head . They should keep doing this step until the entire bear is covered .They should start from the top of the bear ....and work their way to the bottom it make it easier that way.

So your students should have cover the entire body , the two arms and the two feet . Let it dry . Apply a second coat of newspaper soaked in paste . Let it dry .

               (7) Now they will have to attach the arms and the feet to the body somehow . That is pretty simple actually . Let's start with the arms . Attach each arm with a couple of piece of masking tape to the back of the body , just like that :

Don't worry about aesthetics right now ....the tape will soon be covered up with newspaper :)

               (8) The feet are a little more trickier . If you have young students , you and your helper may want to do this .You will need to break a toothpick in a smaller piece and insert it into the foot , like this :

 Add a little bit of white glue and insert the toothpick inside the body now .....so it will look like this :

Follow the exact same step for the second foot :

               (9) Because you do not want the arms and the feet to come off , your students will have to apply some newspaper  dipped in papier mâché paste and cover the back of the arms and the feet .This way they will make sure they are all well attached to the body .

As you can see , the feet are now firmly secured and the tape (from) the arms are no longer visible :

               (10) Now is time to make the ears . This is quite easy .Have your students grab a small piece of cardboard and draw two half circles on it .

                 (11) They should cut them with scissors and attach them to the head of their bear . For that they will need once again a little bit of masking tape (one on each side of the ear ) :

And once again ask your students to cover the ears with small pieces of newspaper dipped in papier mâché paste .

Each bear should now look like this :

  Let them dry overnight !

          (12) The following day , each student will be able to paint some white acrylic paint over the newspaper , starting from the top and working their way to the bottom :

Each students should apply two coats of white acrylic paint . The bears should now look like this :

Here ! We are done for now ! The bears will have to dry . In the next lesson the students will give the bears their personality by painting them with acrylic paints  :)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Under the Sea Creatures ...

Hi everyone . I am back today with a new art project . Since a lot of kids are off from school , it is summer and it is hot , I thought it would be a perfect time to do some ....painting !  It is a wonderful activity that you can easily do in the backyard .And since some of you might like going to the beach , I thought it would be fun to create some underwater creatures . So let's get started !

Grade level : it can be done with any child who can hold a paintbrush . But I would say it is more geared toward children 6 and over .

Objective : To paint an underwater animal giving it the impression it is swimming .

Resources : This lesson is not my idea . It was based on the following book :The Usborne Book of ART skills . If your child likes art , you may want to purchase this book or to borrow it at the library . It is full of really cool projects !

Material needed :  * a watercolor paper 9X12"
                             * pictures of under the sea creatures (such as seahorses , fish , dolphins , whales , starfish , etc.)
                             * a blue pencil
                             * watercolor paints (blue and green ...more colors if you wish )
                             * paintbrushes
                             * plastic cups (for water)
                             * paper towels
                             * clear  plastic wrap

Activity : (1) Each child should have a piece of paper . They should choose an underwater animal to draw.
                (2) Each child will now draw the outline of the underwater creature they chose with a blue pencil .

                (3) They should paint the inside of the sea creature with a blue paint .

                (4) Then add some dots before the paint dries , so the paint will run .

                (5) If you kid wants , he /she may add a second color . In this example , I chose to add some purple .

                 (6) The next step will be to paint the paper around the animal with clean water .

                 (7) While the paper is still wet , your child should add some strokes of blue watercolor and some green .

                 (8) Then while the paint is still wet , take a piece of clear plastic wrap and put is on the painting . Let it dry ....

And voilà ! Here is the effect of the clear plastic wrap up close :

Can you see it ? It is pretty cool isn't it ? And here is a view from the entire painting :

I hope your kids had some fun during this project . Enjoy the rest of your week and stay safe =)