Arts and Crafts

Halloween Craft Project: Paper Jack-O-Lanterns

October 14, 2016

Pumpkin paper lanternsKids always love to make fun decorative crafts, especially at Halloween, when they can help make the house or classroom extra spooky. These easy-to-make paper jack-o-lanterns are a Halloween-time take on the traditional paper lantern craft project, and are simple enough that almost anyone in the family can make them. Make a bunch with different face designs and hang them around the house.

Here's what you'll need:

  • Orange and green construction paper (we used 12 x 18" sheets, but letter size will work, too)
  • Black markers, paint, or construction paper

Halloween Craft: Recycled Glass Pumpkin Votives

October 10, 2016

Halloween pumpkin votives recycled craft

This easy craft project is so much fun to make, and the finished product looks fantastic, especially when lit with a flickering candle. Best of all, you can make them using materials from your recycling bin! These Halloween pumpkin votives are simple to make, and are a perfect craft project for all ages, with parental supervision, of course. My second-grade daughter and I created the pair of jack-o-lanterns lanterns shown here.

This project is a little messy, so make sure you have a good work area that's easy to clean up. You can also create variations on this craft: use white tissue to make ghost lanterns, and green to make monsters.

Family Fun Under the Redwoods at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

September 8, 2016

Blue Fairy at the Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival

On September 17 and 18, artists from around the country will gather beneath the redwoods at historic Old Mill Park for the 60th annual Mill Valley Fall Arts Festival. This popular family-friendly festival features the work of over 140 artists, great live music, and kids' entertainment ranging from puppet shows and magic to sing-alongs and storytelling. It all makes for a magical weekend under the trees!

The festival takes place on Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 5 pm. Family entertainment, emceed by the Blue Fairy, includes performances by the Fratello Marionettes; magic with Brian Scott and the Wizard of Ahs; storytelling by Scott the Storyteller; drumming with Mike; and music by Singers Marin, Dave Fromer, Octopretzel and the PAAM singers. Performers on the main music stage include Aaron Redner, Chelle's Juke Joint, Yacht Club of Paris, Faust & Fox, and Deep Blue Jam. Check their website for a complete entertainment schedule.

Create Patriotic Baker's Clay Jewelry for the 4th of July

June 26, 2016

Baker's clay patriotic jewelry for the 4th of JulyYour kids can show off their patriotic pride this 4th of July with one of these baker's clay jewelry pieces that they made themselves (with an adult's supervision, of course). They're easy to make, and the basic baker's clay recipe can be used for all sorts of crafts throughout the year.

Here's what you'll need for the baker's clay:

Italian Street Painting Marin Returns to San Rafael with "Ciao Bella Roma"

June 20, 2016

Italian Street Painting Marin

Over 100 madonnari, or street painters, come to downtown San Rafael on June 25 and 26 to show off their talents at the 2016 Italian Street Painting Marin's Ciao Bella Roma. This year's theme, which means "Hello Beautiful Rome!" will transport you to the Enternal City itself and highlight over 3,000 years of art, architecture, and culture. This event features amazing artwork by the participating madonnari, as well as great live music, children's activities, Italian food and drink, and more.

Studio 4 Art Expands to Mill Valley for Classes, Camps, and More

June 9, 2015

Studio 4 Art Mill ValleyMy family has been getting creative at Novato's Studio 4 Art since it opened downtown back in 2008. Now, Studio 4 Art brings its fantastic art classes, camps, drop-in sessions, and more to southern Marin with the opening of a new location in Mill Valley!

Parents may recognize the new location as the former site of the Little Art Studio. It's located at 254 Shoreline Highway, near Almonte Boulevard, in Mill Valley's Tam Valley neighborhood. Studio 4 Art offers a wide range of hands-on art classes and camps for toddlers and elementary school kids at both locations. Classes offered in Mill Valley include toddler and preschool art exploration, Spanish immersion + art, clay play, after-school sessions, and hand sewing.

Create a Cute and Colorful Easter Egg Wreath

March 25, 2015

Easter egg wreathEaster is less than 2 weeks away, and my kids and I have been busy creating festive holiday crafts to decorate the house for our big family celebration. My daughter insisted on making a cute and decorative wreath for the front door, so we came up with this fun and easy Easter egg wreath paper craft.

If you don't want to create your egg shapes freehand, I made a basic egg template that you can download and print onto colored paper. Get it here.

To make this craft you'll need:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper Easter grass, multicolored
  • Pastel colored paper for the eggs
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Markers, crayons, paint, glitter, etc.
  • Ribbon for hanging

Paper Lantern Craft for Chinese New Year

February 24, 2015

Paper lanternsChinese New Year, the Year of the Sheep, started on February 19. We always decorate the house with some Chinese New Year crafts, like these cute lanterns. They're easy and fun to make, 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 Saturday, March 7.

Here's what you'll need to make your paper lanterns:

  • Construction or other heavy colored paper (red is a traditional color for Chinese New Year)
  • Scissors
  • A ruler
  • A pencil
  • Tape
  • A stapler
  • Glue, glitter, stickers, markers, paint, sequins, and other things to decorate your lantern

Sewing 101 for Kids at Marinwood

February 18, 2015

sewing 101 for kids marinwoodMarinwood is excited to announce Sewing 101 for Kids taught by the creative experts from Novato's Studio 4 Art!

This class is designed to create excitement, comfort, confidence, and a love for sewing. Class will focus on back stitch, over sewing, blanket stitch, and running stitches, while incorporating art skills of screen printing and stamping to create your own fabric! Puppets, stuffies, creatures, pillows and bags are just some of the focus. Students will even gain knowledge in simple pattern making and a light introduction to machine sewing. It will be a fun and educational class for all!

Classes will be held at the Marinwood Community Center on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 pm, from February 25 to March 25. The class is designed for children ages 6 to 10. The Marinwood Community Center is located 775 Miller Creek Road in San Rafael.

To register online please visit www.marinwood.org or call (415) 479-0775. Mention Marin Mommies and receive 15% off!

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