• 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!) …

  • Autumn,  Nature

    Doodled & Decorative Autumn Leaves

    It’s been a while since I last used autumn leaves for a project – a few years ago I did a project here in which I laminated them to use as suncatchers, and since then I have seen people using leaves for drawing on, and always thought they looked beautiful. However I was never sure what you would do with them afterwards – it seemed the most ephemeral of activities. So this project basically combines the 2 ideas to create something a little more lasting: greetings cards and Christmas tree ornaments. I used gold marker pen to draw the designs onto the leaves – as you can see, the effect…

  • Nature,  Outdoor,  Summer

    Creating Fairy Homes at the Beach

    With the Autumn fast approaching, we’ve been busy making the most of the last of the warm summer weather to spend time getting creative on the beach again. It’s always fun to make sandcastles, but this time we decided to create miniature fairy-sized homes instead, using only the materials we could find available to hand. Instead of using full sized buckets to make the buildings, we used plastic cups and bottle lids (I found the clear ones were the best as you could see the sand through the sides).   First we created a miniature village or castle with conical shell roofs…   Then we created a miniature scene with…

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    Christmas,  Freebies

    Snowflake Colour-In Wrapping Paper

    Each year I like to produce something as a Christmas ‘gift’ for readers, so this year’s offering is a snowflake colouring sheet which can also be used as a creative wrapping paper. Colour-in wrapping paper is I think amazingly versatile, offering lots of scope for personalisation by both the giver and the recipient. I think they look just as effective partly coloured as fully coloured, or even left plain. This snowflake themed sheet is very simple, and can be made to look very pretty with the addition of glitter glue, or metallic pens for colouring or outlining. Just click on the image and then right click to download it for…

  • Halloween-shadow-box
    Autumn,  Projects

    The Dramatic Art of Shadows

    So October is here already, and it’s time to get ready for that festival of all things spooky – Halloween. I have to confess I am not a fan of the blood/gore/horror aspect of Halloween – I’m much too squeamish for that, I prefer the eerie/atmospheric/gothic approach. The kind of scariness that relies more on suggestion and imagination. Shadows are of course one of the simplest yet most evocative things you can use at Halloween to create atmosphere, so I thought I’d do a round-up of shadow themed creative activities to try with children: If you’re looking for some DIY spooky creativity, the Shadow Art Boxes we created a few years…

  • Christmas,  Freebies,  Projects

    Postage Stamp Christmas Wrap

    Christmas is creeping up ever closer, and for the last few years I’ve tried to offer readers a Christmas gift in the form of a seasonal free printable. I think I must have forgotten in 2013, but in 2012 it was 3 sheets of vintage Christmas wrapping paper, and the year before a printable Christmas Tree template to decorate. This year I’ve put together some sheets of Postage Stamp Christmas wrap using the scanner – one of my favourite tools for art making. My Dad has always collected stamps, but he was having a clear out recently and offered me a large number of Christmas stamps that he’d collected over…

  • Christmas,  Projects

    A Card with a View

    Another Christmas Card project! This one is a very simple idea which is really easy to make, and has the added benefit of recycling your old Christmas cards, so unless you’ve saved some cards from last year, this may be one to keep for the future! When I was a child, we inherited a few old early 20th century cards from a great-aunt, who had kept them because they were rather more special than your average card. I don’t know what happened to them, but I remember a couple of them in particular took my fancy. These were 3 dimensional snow scenes with a snowy window effect on clear plastic…

  • Christmas,  Projects

    Keepsake Christmas Card

    Christmas is getting ever closer, and I thought it must be time to start getting things ready preparing our home-made cards. We alsways need plenty of time for this, and this year is no exception. These days rather than making a whole pile of home-made cards at Christmas time, we’ve got a bit lazier and tend to send out just a few to special friends and relatives – this means we can spend a bit more time on them too, so it’s a little less like a production line and the quality is higher! So for this year’s card me and the kids put together something which can also double…

  • Christmas,  Freebies

    Vintage Christmas Wrap

    I’m still here! Something terrible hasn’t happened, I’m not ill, and I haven’t got bored and decided to do something else. No the reason why I haven’t managed to write a post for 3 weeks, is simply because of Christmas. I was full of plans for projects and features here this Christmas – it’s such a fabulous time of year for children to be creative, but unfortunately they are all still lying around the house half finished 🙁 So in the meantime I thought I would offer up an early Christmas gift in the form of 3 sheets of original vintage Christmas wrap for you to print off. These come…

  • Freebies,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Cut Paper Valentines

    Another Valentine inspired craft, this time using cut paper to showcase pieces of children’s artwork. I love cut paper projects, so much so that I have been considering getting a digital paper cutter, as yet I haven’t done so as they are relatively expensive and I’m not sure yet whether I’d use it enough to justify the expense, but in the meantime I’ve been doing a few projects by hand with a knife and board, which is quite time consuming when it’s a detailed design, but ultimately fairly satisfying.  This design is very simple and doesn’t take long to cut, but even so, because it involves using a knife, it’s…

  • Projects,  Seasonal

    Tissue Paper Valentines

    Sometimes the old favourites are the best. This project uses a familiar, one might even say classic, technique of children’s artwork, to create something that looks a lot more sophisticated. I actually made these cards (along with a whole bunch of others) a month or two ago, but decided to hold them back because they weren’t particularly Christmassy. I will share some of the others too at a later date. The cards are created by taking tiny ripped up pieces of tissue paper, and scrunching them into miniature balls. The balls are then glued in place, either singly or packed tightly together to form a picture, depending upon what you’re…

  • Christmas,  Freebies,  Projects

    A Christmas Gift for You

    A last minute Christmas post before I sign off for the holiday, and I still haven’t wrapped the presents! Back in June when I took part in Mommy Labs’ Forest Fiesta Blog-hop, I promised to put up some scanner art trees to embellish. Unfortunately I never got round to it, so my Christmas gift is a template for a scanner art Christmas tree on a stand just waiting to be embellished. All you need is some thin card, (we used an empty cereal box) scissors and glue to get started. If nothing else, it might keep the kids occupied for a while over the holiday period! To get your own…