• Projects

    Kids Bag Tags

    For this post I decided to have a go with some shrink plastic.  It’s not something I have any experience of, but I found it was really good fun, if sometimes a little unpredictable.  I bought a pack of A4 sheets of ink-jet shrink plastic, which I found on Ebay, and which worked out at about £1 a sheet.  You can print on it (which I fancied doing for my own purposes) or draw on it directly using pencil crayons or felt-tips.  It’s great to use with kids too, as it is quick, clean and ‘magical’. In fact it’s obviously quite popular as a kids activity as Shrinkles produce party…

  • Crayon cookies

    Crayon Cookies

    Following on from my last post on wax crayons, I thought I would introduce this project for Crayon Cookies which uses up all those odd bits and pieces of broken crayons that you always end up with. Method Remove all the paper from the crayons – I found this was easier if they were soaked in water for a few minutes first. Using an old muffin tray, divide up the crayons between the different sections.  The advice is to use an old muffin tin, but I thought I could get round this by using muffin cases – wrong!  The wax still got onto the tin, but it did clean up…

  • Freebies,  Projects

    Get your free Doodle Sheets here!

    Inspired by my previous post, I have created a series of 6 doodle sheets that are free to download.  I have produced them at A5 size (though they could be made smaller or larger if you choose) and they can either be printed off and used as they come, or trimmed and laminated to make re-usable doodle sheets, as illustrated here.  If laminated, they should be used with special dry-wipe pens to allow them to be wiped clean.  I also punched a hole in the corner of each sheet and tied them together using a keyring so that I could carry them about more easily. You are free to use…

  • Projects

    Stained Glass Window Art

    It’s been a while since I posted my last tutorial project for fridge frames, so I thought I would offer up this project for a piece of colourful window art. This is a project which needs a laminator to create. I know not every home will have one of these, though the small basic ones are quite cheap these days, and I actually find them quite useful for a whole host of household purposes, ranging from protecting favourite recipes and knitting patterns, to creating notices and labels, and last but most definitely not least, for creative projects like this one.  My laminator is a Fellowes Saturn A4 model – not…

  • Projects

    Recycling Christmas Cards

    The easiest way to recycle your old Christmas Cards is to take them all down to the nearest recycling point, but there are much more creative ways of recycling them.  Here are a few suggestions: Cut them along the fold, and use the blank side of each for shopping lists, notes etc. (This is something which my parents always did, and I have adopted the same habit!) Use the pictures to make gift tags for next year, using decorative cutting scissors to create an attractive edge (again, this is a simple idea that has been around for years, saves money, and takes minimal effort). Cut up the pictures themselves, and…

  • glitter-pinecones

    Glue, Glitter & Pinecones

    I’m sure everyone has made glittery pinecones before at some time or another – after all they’re not rocket science, but the idea is so simple, and we had so many pinecones that my elder son had collected, that I thought we’d make some.  We have a very minimal, artificial twiggy tree, so I thought they’d look good hung on that, though I think they would also look good either individually or grouped together in a bowl, as table decorations (a considerably cheaper alternative to Kirsty’s gilded pears, if anyone watched her Handmade Christmas!) I thought it was a simple enough activity for my 3 and 5 year olds to…

  • Christmas,  Projects

    Christmas Card Factory

    Inspired a few other projects we had seen, me and my 2 boys (aged 5 and 3) sat down to start our Christmas card production line.  You can see some of our efforts in the picture above, which displays one card by each of us.  You can’t really tell from the photograph, which I’m not terribly pleased with  as it doesn’t show the sparkle at all, but we used glitter paint for the trees and some snow, while the decorations were created with glitter glue, acrylic jewels and sequins.

  • fridge-frames

    Create your own Fridge Frames

    This week  I’m going to focus on a project for making fridge frames for kids artwork.  So much of children’s artwork gets displayed on the fridge, and these frames are a simple way of presenting them more effectively.  You could make a range in different shapes and sizes, and of course they can also be used for displaying photos.  I should point out that this is not a project for children, though they can be involved in the final stages if you choose to decorate the frames. You will need Corrugated Card Spray Paint (you can use ordinary paint, but it is easier to use spray paint) Ruler Cutting Mat…

  • Projects

    Kids Mats-erpieces!

    Mats-erpieces OK so I know the title is really corny, but this week I thought I’d introduce another really simple, but useful way of using kids artwork to create laminated place mats or work mats.  I should perhaps point out here that these are more for creating a wipe clean surface to contain mess, rather than for protecting from heat! The very simplest idea, if you have an A3 or A4 piece of artwork, is simply to laminate it as it is.  But if the original artwork is a non-standard size, then mounting it onto a sheet of coloured paper or card, will give you the correct dimensions, and add…

  • Christmas,  Features

    Using Kids Artwork

    Today I was having a conversation with an acquaintance about children’s artwork and the service that Artful Kids provides. Many people comment that the finished result makes a good gift idea for grandparents, and she announced on hearing this that she didn’t think her parents would appreciate it because they have ‘proper art’ on their walls. I was genuinely shocked at this attitude, which may or may not have reflected the attitude of her parents, and thought that it was actually quite sad and insulting to children. Why is children’s artwork not considered to be ‘proper art’? Surely it is the way it is presented or regarded that determines how…