• 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…

  • decorated-gift-bags

    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…

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    Art Materials,  Materials & Techniques,  Nature

    Watercolour Spray Inks

    Ever since I first heard about watercolour sprays, I’ve been wanting to try them out. The ones you can buy ready-made are I discovered quite expensive, so I decided to create my own using the new powdered water-colour inks I’ve recently treated myself to. That way I can control the dilution I want, mix the colours, and be much more extravagant with them as they are so economical to use. So, I mixed up my inks, and bought some travel sized spray bottles to put them in. There are quite a lot of  posts around the internet at the moment for using spray paints with kids, more particularly using trigger…

  • 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…

  • 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…