Arts and Crafts

Easy Halloween Craft Project: Spooky Skeletons

October 22, 2013

Skeleton craft projectThese spooky little skeletons make terrific Halloween decorations, and are easy enough for everyone in the family to make. You've probably got everything you need to make them lying around the house, too. Here's what you'll need to create your skeletons:

  • Black construction paper (8 1/2 x 11")
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch (optional)
  • Cotton swabs
  • Cotton balls
  • White glue

Cut construction paper sheets in half. Near the top of a half sheet, glue a cotton ball for the skeleton's skull. Then take five swabs and arrange them to form the skeleton's body: one for the spine and two each for the arms and the legs. You can gently bend the swabs for the arms and legs to give them some shape.

Fall Fine Art Classes for Kids at Studio 4 Art in Novato

October 9, 2013

Studio 4 ArtStudio 4 Art in downtown Novato is a great place in Marin to get creative, and this week celebrated its sixth year of bringing great art classes, drop-in workshops, and birthday parties for kids of all ages. This fall, Studio 4 Art offers a wide variety of great classes for children ages 2 to 17.

Here are some highlights of Studio 4 Art's fun and educational offerings for fall. Most classes are ongoing, so you can sign up at any time, and a 10% sibling discount is offered for many programs.

Toddler Program: Toddlers (and a parent or helper) can explore, get a little messy, and learn to love art and creativity at four different stations. Meets once a week for 4 consecutive weeks, Monday–Friday (you choose the day), 10–10:40 am. $49.50 including materials.

Preschool Program: Kids will learn art fundamentals through instructor-led projects in media like clay, painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, sewing, and more. Meets once a week for 6 consecutive weeks, Monday, Thursday, or Friday (you choose the day), 11 am–noon. $120 including materials.

Easy Kids' Fall Craft: Make a Pine Cone Bird Feeder

September 28, 2013

Pine cone bird feederIt seems that on every hike or nature walk we go on, my kids pick up pine cones. They like to collect large or just nicely shaped pine cones, and we end up having a bunch of them scattered around the house most of the time.

This weekend we decided to put one of them to good use and make a pine cone bird feeder. It's a fun, inexpensive fall craft project that's easy enough for just about every child to make.

You also get the satisfaction of getting to watch wild birds eat your handiwork. We like to watch the different colorful birds in our yard (plus they also eat bugs that might go after our vegetable garden).

This project is an old favorite with many families, summer camps, and schools, and you may even remember making something similar back when you were a kid.

Here's what you'll need for the project:

Fall Textile Arts Classes for Kids at Mimi the Sardine

July 28, 2013

Mimi the Sardine classesMimi the Sardine, the Marin manufacturer of lunch bags, bibs, spillmats, tablecloths, and other eco-friendly and stylish Swedish textiles for kids and families, also offers a series of textile arts classes for kids this fall at their Corte Madera retail store and classroom.

Kids will find a creative classroom filled with colorful yarns, fabric, buttons, and more, and they'll learn to sew by hand and with sewing machines, embroider, and decorate textiles, and they'll create great projects like pillows, messenger bags, pajama pants, dolls, doll clothes and more. Kids will even learn applied math and language skills as they work, without even knowing it!

Mimi the Sardine owner Pia Andersson holds a MA in textile arts from the University of Gothenburg, and has decades of teaching experience both in Sweden and the United States.

Make a Summer Journal to Record Vacation Memories

July 6, 2013

Summer journalWith summer vacation in full swing now, it’s really hard to think about going back to school in the fall and answering the age old question: “What did you do on your summer vacation?”

Make that time-honored topic easy to address for your kids by creating fun and colorful summer journals. My kids have already started working on theirs, and over the next few weeks, they’ll write about all the experiences they had over the summer, and fill their journals with photos, postcards, drawings, and other reminders of vacation fun.

There are no hard and fast rules for creating a summer journal with your kids. We use simple three-ring binders, but you might like to use an acid-free sketchbook or a spiral-bound notebook. We like using the binders because you can put all kinds of different things in them. Get out the three-hole punch and you can put drawings, brochures, and other souvenirs from your summer in them. Clear plastic sheet protectors can be used to hold things like postcards, brochures, and pressed flowers.

We also get the kind of binders with the clear plastic sleeves on the cover, so the kids can personalize their journals by sliding a drawing onto the front. Of course if you have a plain binder or other type of notebook you can customize it in other colorful ways, with stickers, paint, glitter, or anything else that your imagination can dream up.

Surprise Dad with a Custom BBQ Apron

June 15, 2013

Father's Day BBQ ApronFor Father's Day, sometimes the best gifts for Dad are those that the kids make and personalize themselves. If Dad's the grilling type, you can have the kids can make him this cute custom BBQ apron. It's easy to put together and Dad will love it!

You'll need:

  • A plain cotton apron
  • A pencil
  • Fabric paints

 All of the supplies needed for this apron can be found at a craft store like Michael's. Plan out a design and wording for your apron. I had the kids decorate this one with their handprints first, to remind Dad of how old they were when they made this for him.

Fun Shamrock Potato Prints for St. Patrick’s Day

March 12, 2013

Shamrock potato printsMy daughter loves working with paint, so I thought this would be the perfect craft for her to make for St. Patrick's Day. These potato print shamrocks are a fun project for the little ones. We made a bunch of these cool shamrock prints and hung them throughout the house to decorate for the holiday.

This project is really easy and fun, and the kids think it’s neat that they’re using something they usually eat to create a colorful craft.

To make these potato print cards you'll need:

Create a Cute Butterfly Card for Your Valentine

February 7, 2013

My kids always love to make their own unique valentines to give to friends and classmates. This butterfly-shaped card holds either a candy stick or a pencil (especially handy when your child has a teacher who discourages giving candy away in class), and above all is easy to make and decorate.

My daughter cut out the butterfly shape with kid-safe scissors, and decorated the card with foam stickers. Of course you could embellish yours with whatever you like: crayons, markers, paint, or whatever you happen to have in your crafts bin.

For this project you'll need:

Valentine's Day Tissue Paper Suncatchers

January 19, 2013

Valentine's Day suncatchersAlthough it's been really cold lately, it's also been bright and sunny. Since Valentine's Day is just around the corner, we decided to make these colorful heart-shaped tissue paper suncatchers.

They have a beautiful stained glass look, and will brighten up any room, especially with this bright winter sunlight.

This craft is easy to make and is suitable for children of all ages, with adult supervision.

You don't have to make these just for Valentine's Day—they're suitable for any occasion or any time you just want to make a neat, beautiful craft.

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