Christmas is such a wonderful time for making things and my head has been buzzing with ideas for projects recently – I just wish we had the time to do them all, but it’s also the busiest time of year for Artful Kids, with lots of orders to fulfil, so time is frustratingly in shorter supply than usual. To make sure that I squeeze in some time for creating, two things tend to slip – housework (that’s my excuse anyway) and browsing online 🙁
Our latest project has been making some ‘Snow Paper’ – a really simple thing to do, with lots and lots of different uses afterwards.
To begin with, we used a roller or brayer to cover the paper with a rich blue background. I love using these, and could happily create different textured papers with this tool all by itself, but they can also make beautiful even backgrounds for further embellishment. Of course you could just cheat and use blue paper, but I think some of the depth and texture would be lost.
We then used a toothbrush and white paint to spatter tiny white ‘snowflakes’ onto the blue background. If you’ve not tried this technique before, you just take an old toothbrush, and dip the surface of the bristles into some paint. You then turn the toothbrush so that the bristles are face to face with the paper, just a few inches above it, and run your finger over the bristles so that a fine spray of paint drops is created on the paper. After having done this across the whole surface, we added a few bigger drops, by tapping a paint-laden brush held above the paper, so that a few drops of paint fall on to it.
The overall result created is that of a snowstorm on paper. I then had to decide what we were going to do with it. Of course you could just use it as wrapping paper, but we decided to make it the basis of some snow scene artwork. So I took a sheet of white paper and roughly tore off a strip to create some snowy hills to glue to the bottom of the sheet. Et voila, an empty snow scene, just waiting to have things added to it.
I decided we’d create some Christmas bookmarks, by cutting the sheet into narrow strips and embellishing each one. I had to trim the edges a little before we did this, so that the back of each bookmark would be clean and paint free. So the first one had a snowman added, and some snowflakes (created from a punch I bought last year,and which my kids just love using) We also added a ‘moon’ by cutting a circle from part of the decorative edge of a doily. The other bookmark was embellished with silver star stickers, and a robin (ok they did have some help with the latter!)
Because these were going to be Christmas gifts from the kids to relatives, they wrote a special message on the back of each one, before laminating them, and trimming.
To finish, we punched a hole in the top, and I threaded a ribbon through.
All in all these make a simple little personal Christmas gift which is both easily created and useful.