Arts and Crafts

Get Creative This Easter with Watercolor Eggs

April 6, 2017

Watercolor Easter EggsEvery Easter, we always end up buying one of those egg-dying kits at the supermarket (tradition dies hard in our house), but that doesn't stop us from trying out different ways of coloring our Easter eggs, like making and using natural egg dyes. Recently, a friend mentioned that her family likes to paint their Easter eggs with watercolors, so we thought we'd give it a try.

Learn About Summer Camps and Get Creative at the Free Meet + Make Day at Studio 4 Art!

March 27, 2017

Studio 4 Art

Come check out the summer camp offerings at Marin's Studio 4 Art and have fun getting creative on their free Meet + Make Day! This event takes place on Friday, March 31 from 6 to 8 pm at Studio 4 Art's Novato location at 1133 Grant Avenue.

Color Your Easter Eggs with Homemade Natural Dyes

March 26, 2017

Easter eggs with natural dyes

Coloring Easter eggs is a fun spring tradition, but do you really know what's in those commercial dye kits that you pick up at the supermarket? Dying your Easter eggs with your own homemade natural dyes is easier than you think, and the results can be really beautiful. You'll find plenty of recipes and formulas out there, some of which work better than others.

Over the years, we've experimented with various mixtures and figured out a few that really work well. You can make these plant- and food-based dyes with many of the things that you have on hand in the pantry or refrigerator, or can pick up at the farmer's market, so why not give it a try?

Craft Idea: Easy St. Patrick's Day Friendship Bracelets

March 17, 2017

My daughter wanted to do an original craft for St. Patrick's Day—the only criteria were that it was something she could do by herself, she could wear it, and that it was green. I remembered my son making a simple bead friendship bracelet a few years back, so we decided to make St. Patty's day versions. They're super easy to make, even for littler children, and are a perfect way to wear your green on St. Patrick's Day.

To make the bracelets, you'll need green plastic beads and green pipe cleaners. I found both of these at the Dollar Tree, but they're also available at most craft stores, like Michael's or Beverly.

Fine Art Summer Camps in Marin & the Bay Area

March 16, 2017

While many summer camps in Marin offer arts and crafts activities in their programs, you'll find a few that specialize specifically in art. Here's a list of specialized fine art camps in Marin and San Francisco for your budding Rembrandt or Georgia O'Keeffe. Some of the camps are actually held by museums! To find more fantastic camps, visit our 2017 Marin Summer Camp Guide. Popular camps can sell out early, so reserve your spot as soon as possible!

Studio 4 Art's Fine Art Camps

Locations: Mill Valley, Novato & Fairfax
Ages: 4–14
Dates: June 12–August 18
Cost: $265–$480 per week

Studio 4 Art's camps take place at their studios in downtown Novato and Mill Valley, where professional artists introduce campers to new and contemporary art techniques, procedures and processes. This summer they're holding a special "pop-up" camp in Fairfax. Some of the topics taught will be wheel throwing, cartooning, mosaics, sewing, fashion design, sculpture, pottery, acrylic painting, watercolor painting, oil painting, printmaking, photography, and pastels. Camps take place from 9:30 am until 12:30 or 3:30 pm;  drop-ins available depending on space. For more info visit www.studio4art.net or (415) 596-5546.

Make a Beautiful Valentine's Day Tissue Paper Wreath

February 8, 2017

Valentine's Day Tissue Paper WreathLooking for a cool kids' craft for Valentine's Day? This tissue paper wreath looks beautiful and is easy to make for all ages, with a parent's or caregiver's help. To make the tissue paper puffs clustered on the wreath, we wrapped tissue squares around our fingers, but you can also just crumple them up, too. It makes for a fun craft for a rainy day or group activity for playgroups, classes, or scouts.

To make this craft you'll need:

Four Fun and Easy Homemade Valentine's Day Cards

February 2, 2017

Butterfly valentine's day card

My kids always love to make their own unique Valentine's Day cards to give to friends and classmates every February. Here are four fun and easy card projects to make at home with common craft supplies that you probably have on hand already. We think these really beat the store-bought Valentines, since they're handmade, beautiful, and "from the heart."

Children of all ages can do most of the steps in these crafts, but grown-ups may want to help with cutting and gluing, depending on children's ages and skill levels.

Butterfly Valentines

This butterfly-shaped card that we made is designed to hold either a candy stick or a pencil, and is easy to make and decorate. We cut out the butterfly shape with scissors and decorated the card with stickers. You can embellish yours with whatever you like, such as crayons, markers, glitter, or paint. You'll need:

Fun and Easy Paper Crafts for Chinese New Year

January 28, 2017

Dragon paper craftThe Chinese Lunar New Year, marking the start of Year of the Rooster, begins today, January 28. To kick off your celebration, create some neat Chinese New Year crafts, like these cute paper dragons and lanterns. They're easy and fun to make and perfect to decorate the house, and make great playdate, school, or scout group activities. They'll also be perfect to have on hand while you watch the San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade on February 11 Have your own parade through the living room!

Paper Dragons

Here’s what you’ll need to make your dragons:

  • Gold stickers or paint (red and gold are traditional colors for Chinese New Year)
  • Crepe paper in red, yellow, or orange
  • Dragon head template (download here)
  • Heavy white paper or card stock (letter size)
  • Markers or crayons
  • Wooden chopsticks or other thin but sturdy sticks
  • Tape

Make Your Own Pink and Red Playdough for Valentine's Day Fun

January 19, 2017

Play doughSculpting with Play-Doh is always a favorite activity for kids, and it can be even more fun to make your own quick and easy Play-Doh style modeling clay (AKA "playdough"), especially on a rainy day. You probably have all of the ingredients sitting in your pantry right now!

We colored our latest batch pink and red for Valentine's Day projects. You can, of course, use any color you like. If you want multiple colors, it's best to make more than one batch, as you add the food coloring during the mixing stage to make sure the color is distributed evenly.

Pull out your Valentine's Day cookie cutters to make heart-shaped cutouts. Just roll out the dough and let the kids go to town with cookies cutters or by hand.

To make your own dough, get the following ingredients together:

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