• Christmas,  Projects

    Thumbprint Gift Tags

    More arty preparations for Christmas, this time in the form of simple gift-tags made with finger or thumbprints. I love finger and thumbprint art much more than that using hand and footprints, which (with some notable exceptions) I often think can look rather contrived. In contrast I love the simplicity of finger and thumbprint artwork, and the fact that you have to embellish them and add detail to turn them into something else. The robins and penguins were created from a single base thumbprint in black or brown, followed by a finger print on top in white or red. Details such as eyes were added with paint, and legs with…

  • Christmas,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Snow Paper

    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…

  • Autumn,  Projects

    Halloween Scanner Art

    As the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, the shops start to fill up with Halloween related products. In the UK this is a relatively recent phenomenon – when I was a child, although we were aware of Halloween, it wasn’t much ‘celebrated’ as such – there were few parties, and no trick or treating to speak of. All the festivities were reserved more for Bonfire Night on the 5th November. For my Scottish husband though, trick and treating was very much a part of his childhood, so maybe it’s more of a Celtic thing in terms of origin? Who knows. Anyway, the range of products now available…

  • spring-picture
    Nature,  Outdoor,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Land Art in the Spring

    With all the fine weather we’ve been having recently, I’ve been keen to spend more time outdoors with the kids, so following on from my earlier seasonal posts on a natural theme, I thought I would complete the series by taking a look at some land art for the Spring.  This is the time when there are lots of flowers and plants available to inject some colour into your artwork and the weather is also better, so spending some time outdoors creating artwork is much more tempting. As with my other land art posts, this is a cheap activity which requires absolutely no materials whatsoever other than what is available…

  • Projects,  Seasonal

    Simple Valentine Cards

    Messing around with paint the other day (as you do) I ‘accidentally’ discovered I could print quite effective hearts with my fingers, and with Valentine’s day coming up I thought it might be an easy and very personal way of making a joint Valentines card together with the kids. All you do is use the top third of your finger to create each side of the heart, laying it on the paper diagonally, first one way and then overlapping diagonally the other way. Make sure that you press the whole of your fingertip down, not just the top, or you won’t get the bottom of the heart, and of course…

  • Nature,  Outdoor,  Projects,  Seasonal,  Winter

    Ice Lanterns

    For the last of my ‘icy’ posts I thought I would include the ice lantern which we made over Christmas.  Ice lanterns and ice bowls have been around for quite a while, and it seems the lanterns are even ‘traditional’ in some parts of the world.  A few years ago I even had a commercially made, star-shaped mould for making one, until it unaccountably got distorted so that it was impossible to remove the ice, and had to be binned. Nowadays with freezers, you can make these at any season of the year, using whatever natural materials are available: flowers in  the spring and summer, colourful autumn leaves, or in…

  • Features,  Nature,  Outdoor,  Seasonal,  Winter

    Icy Artwork

    Following on from my summer and autumn posts about Land Art, it seemed appropriate to continue with a post about Winter Land Art. This is the time to create those snow sculptures – to go beyond the usual snowmen, and create snow castles and palaces, snow animals, or even abstract forms. Or how about some ice installations. Those beautiful cold clear winter days when the sun glitters on the frost, and turns ice into diamonds, and red berries stand out like drops of blood, are particularly inspirational, and if you and the kids are wrapped up warm they provide the perfect opportunity to get out there and be creative. I…

  • Christmas

    Artful Discoveries

    On my travels around the internet I often come across really good art and craft ideas, or ideas that really appeal to me, In view of the season, I thought I’d share a project which I came across at Glittering Shards for making these beautiful hanging mosaics using plastic bottle tops. They make lovely tree decorations, and they can be as simple or complex as you like. The original tutorial which I used can be found here. I varied it slightly, in that I made just one hole in the plastic, and threaded a single piece of wire through, doubled back to form the loop. I also sprayed the lids…

  • Autumn-Leaf-Suncatcher
    Autumn,  Nature,  Outdoor,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Last of the Autumn Leaves

    They say the Autumn colours have been better than ever this year.  I live in an area with lots of tree-lined avenues, and the sight of the gorgeous colours, particularly when the sun is on them, has found me collecting stacks of leaves with the kids.  Having got them all home I then had to decide what we were going to do with them all, so here’s what we did with some of them.  You do need a laminator for these activities I’m afraid, but if you don’t have one, they’re not expensive and come in very useful for all kinds of things – not to mention art and craft…

  • Autumn,  Freebies,  Projects,  Seasonal

    Halloween Shadow Art

    This is an idea which I first developed as a kids holiday workshop about 10 years ago or more now.  It was very popular at the time, so I thought I would resurrect it here.  You can make it as simple or as sophisticated as you like, depending on your inclination and the age of the kids.  For young children you will have to supply them with a range of cut-out shapes that they can arrange on the page themselves, and to help with this I have added a range of free halloween motifs of varying complexity below. Just click on the image itself to open it, then right click…

  • Nature,  Outdoor,  Projects,  Summer

    Beach Art

    There’s no reason for kids to stop being creative if you go away on holiday.  Even if you stay at home the (hopefully) long sunny summer days, and extra time that the summer holidays bring, provide the perfect opportunity to experiment with a bit of land art. Land art is the name given to the practice of creating artwork outdoors using only the natural materials you find around you. For me, land art not only comes from the landscape but also forms part of it, so is never intrusive.  At its best, it is both influenced by and gives something back to its environment in a never-ending virtuous circle.  It…

  • 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.