• Freebies

    ‘My Art Gallery’ Free Printable Sheet

    It’s been quite some time since I last added a free printable here, so to get the Artful Kids blog back up and running, I thought it would be worth adding one which I created a while back, but never got round to uploading. I have added a few free printable sheets here over the years, and always find it fascinating to see how far they spread, and how people use them. Perhaps 2 of the most popular have been the Flower Fairy (ready to ‘dress’ with real flower petals) and the Doodle Sheets which I think were the very first free printable sheets I made available. I think I…

  • News

    Back Online

    Just a quick update to all those who might have been wondering what had happened to Artful Kids, after 3 months of completely unplanned absence. Various technical problems with the new Directory meant that very soon after launching, the whole thing had to come off again for a complete redesign. The redesign itself then ran into a new, completely different set of problems, so that too has now been abandoned. As a result, the Directory has been put onto temporary hold, and Artful Kids has gone back to its blogging roots. Normal business will be resumed shortly, and I have to say that a period of simple creative blogging for…

  • Projects

    Pixelated Papers

    I find it’s always useful to have a stock of decorative papers to use for creative projects of all kinds, and of course for gift-wrapping. There are some beautiful papers out there, but it can be difficult to justify the expense of buying them sometimes. Having your own unique papers is always very satisfying, and there’s the added enjoyment of creating them. They don’t have to be complicated, you don’t have to have any artistic skill in painting and drawing, and if you are mess averse it doesn’t even have to involve paint! They are fun to produce for both kids and adults alike, and anyone can join in. This…

  • Projects

    Decorative Fused Plastic Leaves

    This project is one which has evolved out of my recent experiments with fused plastic. It’s a way of recycling old crayons and plastic bags creatively and I love the finished ‘leaf-like’ feel of these. The finished leaves can be used for a wide range of purposes, or alternatively you could cut the fused plastic sheets up into any shape you like.   Materials Plain white plastic bags – or bags with large areas of white that can be used. Roll of Cling film Old wax crayons Metallic Gold Ink Pen Baking parchment Equipment Old kitchen grater Domestic iron Pinking Shears Heat Proof board (I used a toughened glass chopping…

  • Materials & Techniques,  Techniques

    Creating Abstract Sea and Landscrapes

    No, that’s not a typo! I’ve always been a fan of ‘accidental’ art, and this technique is one of those eminently satisfying yet essentially very simple ways of painting, that can deliver stunning results. That’s not to say that every single piece will create a masterpiece, but that if you do a whole bunch of them, you’ll end up with at least one or two that are frameworthy, and part of the joy of this activity is the very unpredictability of the results. You never quite know what you are going to get! The result is very like the technique that the artist Gerhard Richter has used in his work (on…

  • Projects

    An Artful Gift for a New Baby

    A friend of mine has recently had a new addition to her family, so this project was created because I needed a small extra gift that I could give to mark the occasion – something small, unique and personal, that I could make fairly easily. In the end I decided to make this simple hanging decoration decorated with monochrome drawings (in recognition of the fact that young babies see strong contrasts most clearly). If you use ready made plain shapes, minimal sewing is required, and all you need are fabric pens and a length of baker’s twine to attach them together and form a hanging loop. I left the backs…

  • Projects,  Summer

    Mini Seaside Dioramas

    Summer is here, and our walks along the beach have become more regular again. On these trips I can never resist picking up beach treasures – whether it be in the form of sea-glass, or sea-pottery, interesting pieces of driftwood, and even bits of old rope or other flotsam and jetsam. Collecting it however is one thing, finding something to do with it all is entirely another. So it was good to finally put a few bits and pieces to use to create these Mini Seaside Dioramas. The containers for these were simply some small lidded cardboard boxes I had lying around (I have saved the lids for future use!) …

  • Freebies,  Materials & Techniques,  Projects

    Botanical Washi-Sticker Art

    We have recently started stocking a new product in the form of rather beautiful rolls of individual washi-tape stickers in the form of individual flowers or petals. The delicacy of the paper makes them almost as beautiful as the real thing, but of course they are longer lasting and less delicate to use. They have a multitude of decorative uses, and I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and experiment with them. There are 6 different assorted rolls available, which we are selling as a complete pack. Perfect for making cards and tags, for decorating wrapping paper and journals or anything you choose, the stickers can be used individually or…

  • creative inspiration board
    Projects

    DIY Creative Inspiration Board

    I think this has to be my all time record for neglecting this blog, as I see nothing has been posted since the end of last summer – eek! Life just has a habit of getting in the way. So I thought it was about time I shared this project for a Creative Inspiration Board. Initially I was planning on making some form of standard pin or clipboard for the purpose, but on wandering round the local DIY store for something suitable, I spotted some louvred doors. I actually find I quite enjoy browsing DIY and hardware stores – in fact almost as much as art and craft supply shops,…

  • Projects

    Personalise some Arty Pencils

    It’s been a long time since I last added something to this site – life has simply got in the way, with moving home, school holidays, and lots of other things going on.  Although there are lots of other potential events on my horizon which might further disrupt attempts to get back to business as usual here, with the kids back at school again, I thought it was about time to give it some attention and make time for creative activities once more. With this in mind, and the usual back to school stocking up with stationery, I’ve been creating some personalised pencils. These are a lovely low-cost gift to…

  • Reviews

    Review – You Will be Able to Draw ….

    It’s been a while since I last did a book review, so when I was given the opportunity to review You Will be Able to Draw by the End of This Book by Jake Spicer, I thought it would be interesting to take a look.  I should make it clear here that this book is not aimed at children, but with guidance could be used with older children.     Drawing is one of the fundamental foundation skills of art – this is partly I think because the very act of drawing teaches us to observe, and to analyse what we see. However many people who want to draw and paint…

  • Projects

    Get Creative with Colouring Sheets

    You will sometimes hear it said that colouring-in, however restful or satisfying, isn’t especially creative. However there are in fact lots of ways to get creative with colouring. The beauty of colouring is that it is so very accessible, and requires a minimum of equipment. It is low-cost and low-tech, and can offer an ‘unchallenging’ or ‘safe’ way for those new to art to get started creatively. My particular favourite style of colouring page as a child was landscape scenes – as I coloured them I would pretend I was exploring the scene, and develop stories around it. Now, I find I love the dense detailed all over patterns best,…