• Projects

    Children’s Art Lanterns

    I love lanterns of all kinds, and paper bag lanterns are one of the simplest to create. In fact you don’t really have to do anything to them at all to create a beautiful lantern, other than put a lamp or candle inside (making sure of course that the flame is protected in a jar). You can use any colour bag, but white bags create the most ethereal lanterns, and will give out the most light. To create children’s art lanterns, you can of course just paint straight onto the bag. The best effect will be obtained if you use a paint that allows light to pass through, such as…

  • Materials & Techniques,  Projects

    Paint with Bubbles – 3 Ways

    Bubble painting is a classic children’s art activity, and it’s easy to see why – it’s easy, cheap, kids love it, and the results are pretty good too, but bubbles are also amazingly versatile, we’ve tried 3 different techniques now, and each one has distinctively different results. Bubble Painting Method#1 The first technique is the one most people will be familiar with. Here, you mix your paint (in this case tempera) with a little water, and a squirt of washing-up liquid, stir it up and then blow into it with a straw to create lots and lots of bubbles. You then gently place the paper over the bubbles to take…

  • Art Materials,  Materials & Techniques

    Valentine Heart Canvas

    This canvas was created mainly as an excuse to experiment with acrylic string gel medium. String gel is basically an acrylic painting medium that makes your paint more ‘stringy’ or stretchy, allowing you effectively to ‘draw’ directly with the paint by flicking and dribbling it about. As you can imagine, the amount of ‘control’ you have over your ‘drawing’ is limited, but simple shapes are achievable, and I rather like the dynamic spontaneous scribbles you get this way. All in all it’s lots of fun to use.  It is however rather expensive, so before I bought it, I experimented with achieving the same effect with PVA medium.  I found that…

  • 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…

  • Projects

    Arty Pencils

    One of the Christmas gifts I made this year, to go alongside a set of Artwork Jotters, were these artwork covered pencils. I was quite pleased with the result, which looked I thought fairly professional, so thought I would share them with you. If at all possible, these are best created using plain wooden pencils as a base, otherwise when you sharpen them, the original colour may peep through beneath. This may or may  not bother you, depending upon how much of a perfectionist you are. I just used some unused patterned pencils which I had to hand. You will need: Glue Matt acrylic varnish Brush for Varnish Pencils Decorative…

  • 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…

  • Projects

    Sweet Treats

    One of the nicest, and simplest gifts to give, at any time of year, but especially at Christmas, are homemade sweet treats, whether they be chocolates, sweets or cookies. They’re also something that children can easily help to create. While  I wouldn’t describe myself as a great cook, I do have a very sweet tooth, and making this kind of thing as a gift gives me a wonderful excuse to indulge in making some of the gorgeous recipes I come across online. But if you want your gift to look really good, and even more personal, then giving some thought to how your sweet treats are packaged is well worth…

  • 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…

  • decorated-gift-bags
    Projects

    Creative Gift-wrapping

    Following on from my last post on creating some Graffiti Giftwrap, I thought I’d look at a few more ideas for some creative gift-wrapping with kids. Of course there are loads of ways you can create gift wrap. The following are just a few ideas: Last year we made decorative paste papers for gift wrapping, We also had a go last year at using cookie cutters to stamp out decorative papers and cards. This can also look good on a standard brown packaging paper background, especially if you use some gold paint. There are lots of seasonal cookie cutters about such as simple stars and Christmas trees, and this makes…

  • Projects

    Graffiti Giftwrap

    It’s heading towards mid-November already, and I need to start thinking about getting things organised for Christmas. Over the last 12 months or so, I have discovered that I love decorating paper – creating gorgeous effects with paper, paint, crayons, and whatever else I have to hand, so this year I thought it would be fun to create our own giftwrap. I thought creating our own graffiti giftwrap would be particularly fun for the boys to do, so I bought a cheap flip chart pad to use for the purpose. For under £10.00 I got 40 sheets of bright white A1 size paper which is just the right thickness to…