Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Upcycled play matt garden signs

We like to think about ways to craft and up cycle around here, and when my girls and I were planning our garden it lead me to think about how we were going to mark what we planted. In years past writing what we planted on a Popsicle stick with a sharpie was our go to way to mark the rows, but I found they would get either knocked down or the words would wash away from the rain before what was growing was obvious.  This year I wanted to do something different, something very visible, something that wouldn't wash away and something my kiddos might like to try their hand at. I admit I only posted pics of the project that I did since they were not home when I began it, but they create some fun personalised versions of their own later on and if I get a chance I will totally post images of their garden signs.
*foam play mats in any colour
*exacto knife or scissors
*black acrylic paint
*large wooden craft sticks or tongue depressors
*super glue or a hot glue gun
*fine paint brushes
*clear acrylic medium

*using your exacto knife or scissors cut your play matt into 5x5 inch squares approximately. Have the adult in the vicinity do this part.
*create a small slit on the bottom edge of the square approx 1/2 an inch deep to insert your wooden craft stick. Add glue to the tip of the stick and insert into the slit to secure it.
* get your black paint ready to create silhouette images of your veggies, google stock images of the veggies you plan to plant in your garden to help the kids copy them.  Write the words on the foam square in pen so the kiddos can paint carefully over with black paint if they don't know how to spell yet.

*Wait for the paint to dry and paint over the signs with clear acrylic medium to seal the paint in so it won't wash off.
*enjoy watching your garden sprout and know what is growing at the same time!

Saturday, 30 May 2015

Story Stones

This project is something I have been planning for a while since my girls and I collected the stones from the river in the early spring, and the best part about this project is you can alter it to suit your teaching needs. Not only can you create stones with pictures that little ones can use to create their own stories, you could also write or paint the word for that picture on the other side of the stone to aid in literacy projects. A perfect way for grade 1/2 kids to get a handle on certain words at the same time as letting them use their abstract thinking skills when creating their own narratives!
Round smooth river or ocean stones (these can be purchased at craft stores but it's more fun to collect them yourself and include the outing and collecting into the project by letting your Little's know you have a plan for them)
Acrylic paint in a variety of colours
Acrylic medium in gloss or matte to seal the images into the stones
Paintbrushes(the finer the better)

Directions:* using your computer google a variety of stock images in any theme you like, I chose fairytale theme as my girls would prefer that. Here are some examples of images to google so you and your kids have a reference to look at when painting your stones:
Diamonds or gems
* If you were interesting in doing story stones with another theme such as pirates you could use this list:
eye patch

*Using a small amount of acrylic paint, and a small brush paint your images on each stone and allow to dry.

* create a variety of images on a number of stones, at least 10, so the story isn't too short :)

*when all the stones are dry, paint them with clear acrylic medium to seal the images so they don't wash or rub off.
*enjoy an ever changing story time!

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Apple Charm (Teacher gift alert!!!!)

*red polymer clay
*green polymer clay
*clay working tools
*wire and wire tools
*small paint brush
*tooth picks
*acrylic paint in black, white, blue, and pink
*sculpy brand gloss glaze
*nylon cord for making a necklace(optional)

*take a dime sized amount of red polymer clay and roll in your palm to make a ball

*use a tool with an edge to create an indent on the top of your ball gently pressing into the clay, then do another so it's the shape of an X.

*take a pinky fingernail amount of green polymer clay and roll into you hand making a ball, then pinch one end to create a leaf shape, gently place it onto your apple where your X mark is (X Marks the spot!) and place it on it's side like a natural leaf would sit.

*using your wire tools to create a metal loop with a 1/4 inch length of wire hanging down from the loop, poke this into your apple at the top where the X mark is.  This will be the loop in which your necklace cord will go through.

* bake on a cookie sheet in the oven at 275 degree F, for 20 minutes.
*When charm is cool, get your paint ready, start by using your small paintbrush to create 2 small dots that will be the eyes of your happy apple charm.  You need only use a tiny amount of acrylic so i just tip the paint over and get the lid wet with paint, then tip it back and take off the lid, and use that to dip for the tiny amount of paint needed for this project.
*to do the fine details like the mouth use a toothpick as your paint brush by dipping it lightly in the paint and using it to draw the lines.
*let the black dry for 20 minutes and then use the blue and then the white to create highlights with the toothpicks.
*once the paint has dried for at least a half hour you can use a clean brush to glaze the charm, one to 2 coats is plenty to seal the paint and protect the charm.
Teachers will adore their personalised handmade charm!