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Crafts

Painting Technique: Bubble Wrap Printing

Next time you get a parcel, don’t throw the bubble wrap away! :)
I tried bubble wrap printing for the first time and discovered it’s amazing, I love it! You should definitely give it a go. It is ideal to create a quick and awesome looking picture. The bubble wrap gives the print such a nice structure and doesn’t take long to create.
I found younger children need quite a lot of support, but children 4+ should do just fine on their own.

Needed items:

  • bubble wrap
  • paint
  • paper
  • scissors
  • paintbrush


Step 1:
Cut out of the bubble wrap the shape you would like to print. Since Easter is coming up soon, I decided to print Easter eggs. If you would like to do the same, then feel free to print my template out. Just a heads up, bubble wrap isn’t very easy to cut nice shapes out of. I would advice to choose simpler shapes and nothing too detailed.



Step 2:
I found the easiest way to apply paint on the bubble wrap is by using a paintbrush. There is no limit to your imagination. You can paint any pattern you like on the bubble wrap. I used acrylic paints, but I’m sure this printing technique works with most paints.



Step 3:
After you finished painting the bubble wrap, print it carefully onto your paper. Gently press down on it, to make sure every bit of your painted bubble wrap touches the paper. Now just peel it off. Your print is finished!
Now just paint and print and paint and print to your hearts content.


Step4 (optional):
If you would like to recreate my Easter eggs then you will need glue and some ribbon that fits to the colors of your paint, that you used to print with. Cut out the eggs, apply glue and then place the ribbon on the top and stick another egg onto it. Your Easter egg is complete and is ready to be hung up as a decoration.

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Painting Technique: Cork Printing

This painting technique is very easy and makes for a lovely pattern or a base for a variety of crafts. My daughter is two and a half and had great fun dipping the cork into the paint and printing it all over the paper plate. A big plus with this technique is that it is not very messy and needs hardly any preparation or materials.

Needed items:

  • corks
  • paint (I used finger paints)
  • paper plate or paper



Step 1:
There is very little to prepare for this craft. Just get your paint out and either dip your cork directly into the paint or of course you could also use a paintbrush to apply the paint onto the cork.
I found it helpful to have a cork assigned to each color my daughter was using. You could also just wipe the cork on a kitchen roll or something to clean it a bit, before using it for a different color.



Step 2:
After putting the paint onto the cork print it on a paper or in my cause we printed it on paper plates. Feel free to let your imagination go wild. Make a pattern or just print the cork all over the surface.



Step 3: (optional)
Since Easter is drawing near I chose to make some Easter baskets to hand out as presents. This is why we printed the corks onto paper plates and not paper. Once the paint is dry, cut into the paper plates four times and stick the sides together – I found the glue gun very helpful. Now you can add a handle and some decorations and your Easter basket is complete.

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Painting technique: potato printing

This is a perfect painting method if you have some old potatoes that desperately need using. This painting technique can be used for various things. You can make lovely patterns for a card or using various cookie cutters, you can make a whole picture just using potato stamps.
Potato printing can be a bit tricky, since the painted potato can be quite slick. I would recommend using this painting method with children +4. My two-year-old daughter really enjoyed it, but made a bit of a mess, rather than a clear picture. But all that matters is that she had fun!

Needed items:

  • potatoes
  • cookie cutters
  • knife
  • paper
  • paint
  • paintbrush (optional)


Step 1:
Cut the potatoes in half. Then choose the cookie cutter shapes you would like to print on your paper and press one into each potato half. Using the knife, cut into the potato around the cookie cutter (about 5mm into the potato) and then lift the extra potato you just cut off. (This sounds very complicated, so if you are confused, take a look at the photo I made) You now have created your own potato stamps.


Step 2:
Either dip the potato stamps into the paint directly or using the paintbrush paint it on. I would recommend using the paintbrush, since else there’s too much paint on the potato to make a nice print.
You can make a pretty pattern or a whole picture, depending on what you want to do with your completed artwork.


Step 3:
Since I needed some birthday cards, I used the potato printing pattern as a base for my card. I cut out the part of the pattern that I liked best and stuck it on some colored paper. To give the card a 3D effect you can cut out some of the remaining potato prints and stick them over the others using double sided foam adhesive sticky pads.
Let your creativity go wild, and enjoy the challenge of everything is possible when you use potatoes ;)

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Introducing Marble Painting Technique


One of my all-time favorite painting techniques with children is marble painting. I guarantee you are going to be surprised. I literally mean MARBLE painting. :) Again this is not messy, easy to prep and a smooth clean up. This is suitable for all ages and even older children enjoy this relaxing painting method. In addition this is a great exercise for the child’s eye-hand coordination and can boost the child’s patience, since it takes some skill to get the marble into the paint and then across the paper.

Needed items:

  • marble(s)
  • a box (high sides if possible)
  • paper
  • paint
  • tape



Step 1:
Find a box with high sides, that the marbles inside can’t accidentally jump out and cause a massive paint mess.

Step 2:
Put some tape rolls on the back of your piece of paper and then stick it in the middle of your box, so your paper doesn’t slide around in the box. Add a few drops of paint around your paper. I’d recommend no more than 2-3 different colors of paint.



Step 3:
Drop either one or more marbles into the box. Now pick the box up and move it all around – forwards and sideways, make sure you move the marbles into the paint and across your paper. The marbles will roll over the paper and make wonderful patterns in all directions.
If your child is quite young and getting frustrated, because the marble isn’t moving fast enough, I discovered you can also just place the box on the floor and then move it back and forwards causing the marble to bounce off the sides faster. The pattern is more of a zigzag but still very nice.


Step 4:
Do this whole process over and over adding new paper and paint in the box. You can use other colors than the first time, it might just mix a bit with the former paint, but the patterns and outcome will still be pretty and colorful.


Step 5:
You now have created in very short time a whole bunch of beautifully decorated sheets of paper. You can use them for any craft you like. For example as a card, cut out a shape or in my case I made them into ice skates to hang on our windows as decorations. If you would like to make ice skates too, here is a template you are welcome to print out and use.

Happy crafting!

 

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Painting Technique: Plastic wrap print


Being a kindergarten teacher I come across loads of different painting techniques. I thought it might be helpful to share some of my favorites with you to either do yourself or make with your child on a rainy day.

What I love most about this first painting technique I want to introduce to you, is that most probably you will have everything you need at home and can do this any time you feel the need for some fun creative time or your child needs some entertainment or stimulating.

In addition this painting technique is an excellent sensory activity, it is relaxing and fun. It supports your sense of touch, creating patterns and promotes creativity. My daughter found great joy in just making lots of swirls, dipping her whole hand in paint and experimenting with the colors.

Another great pro to this technique is, it is not messy at all and cleaning up only takes a few moments.




Needed items:

  • plastic wrap
  • tray
  • paints
  • white paper
  • paper plate


any items you need to then create your craft (scissors, glue, colored paper…)


Step 1
Take the tray and wrap plastic wrap a few times around the whole thing, covering everything. Don’t worry about wrinkles in the plastic wrap. These give the print some nice structure, so the wrapping around doesn’t need to be perfect.


Step 2
I found the easiest approach to this painting technique was putting the colors you’d like to use on a paper plate, that way if they get mixed it doesn’t matter. Now you can begin. Dip your finger in the colors of your choice and paint patterns and pictures on the tray. Make sure you keep going and don’t take too long breaks, so the paint stays wet for the print.


Step 3
When you are satisfied with the amount of paint, the pattern or picture you drew on the tray, take your piece of paper and print it on the pattern you made. You just made your own picture print.
Now you can start over again and create as many different prints as you like.


Step 4 is optional
If you chose to make patterns instead of drawing a picture, you will have a bunch of papers with nice patterns printed on them. You could now use these papers as a base for a craft. My craft suggestion is a snowman, since it is winter here where I live.

If you’d like to make a similar snowman:
I cut out 3 circles sizes 14cm, 12cm and 10cm. Then I cut out a hat, carrot nose, arms and using a circle punch I made the eyes and mouth. For a special effect I chose real buttons to go on the body of the snowman.

Glue it all together and there you go, your snowman is done in no time!

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A walk down memory lane part 2

Create a memory box

A new year has started, so on this note Happy New Year to you all!

Is there a better way to start the year, than with a fun project to accompany you for many months to come?
Have you collected items over the years that have sentimental value to you and you don’t know where to put them? Here is an easy to do craft project, of what to do with these things – create a memory box. You will benefit from this for a lifetime and some memories that you didn’t want to forget, will be treasured in here.

needed items:

  • shoe box
  • wrapping paper
  • glue and scissors
  • or

  • shoe box
  • acrylic paint and paintbrush

 

Step 1:
First you need to find the right size box. Since the box is bound to look quite boring, you definitely want to pimp it up a bit.
Either using the wrapping paper of your choice, cut and glue it all over the shoe box (including the lid) or you use the acrylic paint to paint the box.

Step 2:
When it is dry you can write the name of the person it is for on the lid of the box. If the box is for yourself you could write a nice poem or saying on it. You could also add the date of when you started this memory box.

Step 3:
Then the fun begins… you collect items that are special to you, things that you want to remember or you once want to tell your child about.

I made my daughter a memory box, that I will give to her when she is an adult. I made myself a memory box when I was a child and I still add items… concert tickets, books, special gifts I have gotten and anything else I don’t want to forget.

I love looking through the box and going back down memory lane.

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Advent Snowman

advent_snowmanDo you have a hard time waiting for Christmas to finally arrive? Here is a fun way of counting the days till Christmas. It does not require much material or time to make. A quick but fun advent feature to help Christmas come quicker. It’s a snowman advent count down. You can choose if you want to count down 24 to 1 or up to Christmas from 1 to 24, that is entirely up to what you prefer.

snowman_itemsneeded items:

  • 1 round canvas
  • acrylic paint and paintbrushes
  • 1 piece of black and orange card paper
  • printer
  • scissors, pencil, glue
  • 1 envelope clasp (or also called brads)

 

Step 1:
Print out the snowman’s hat and carrot nose template and outline these on your black and orange card paper. Then cut them out.

Step 2:
Using your pencil carefully write the numbers 1 through 24 around your canvas. Bare in mind, that at the top you need some empty space to stick the snowman’s hat.

Step 3:
Time for painting. When you are satisfied with the positioning of your numbers you can paint them. Then add a fun snowman face in the middle. You can also use black and white paper as eyes, that’s up to you if you prefer to paint or stick them on.
Write in big letters on your snowman’s hat “Days ‘Till Christmas” and you are almost done.

snowman_carrot_noseStep 4:
The last step is a bit tricky. You need to make a small hole in the middle of the canvas for your envelope clasp. Then fold your carrot paper flaps back and stick the envelope clasp through them into the canvas. Your carrot nose should now be able to turn all the way around without the clasp being visible.

I hope you enjoy the project and you find yourself getting into the Christmas spirit.

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Hedgehog picture frame

Are you looking for an autumn craft for your child? Here is a simple, but cute idea with the bonus of it being a picture frame. My daughter is two and loves me tracing her hands or doing hand-prints. This craft doesn’t take long to make and is suitable for ages 1-6. The older the child, the more he/she can do on their own. A one year old will only be able to participate, by you tracing its hands and then him/her decorating the hand-prints and hedgehog. Still there is much fun to be had in the whole process and it’s a great activity for a rainy autumn day.

hedgehog_itemsneeded items:

  • printer to print the template
  • brown paper or card
  • light brown or orange paper
  • small piece of white paper
  • pens, scissors & glue
  • a photo for the finished picture frame

 

hedgehog_handprintStep 1:
Download the template and print it. Use it to outline your hedgehog on the brown paper/card, then cut it out.

Step 2:
Trace your child’s hand three times on the light brown or orange paper. Then cut them out.

Step 3:
My daughter had great fun decorating and coloring in the hedgehog and hand-prints.

Step 4:
Cut out one small circle using the white paper and stick it down as an eye for your hedgehog. Either cut out a black circle and stick it into the eye or just draw a black circle to complete the eye. Then stick down the hand-prints on the back of the hedgehog too and add a mouth under the eye.

hedgehog_picture_frameThe only thing that is still missing, is sticking a photo of your child in your finished hedgehog picture frame.

As a second option instead of tracing your child’s hands you can paint and then print them on your piece of paper, which will give you a different effect on your hedgehog picture frame. I chose to let my daughter color them, since she loves drawing. But next time I will try painting and printing her hands.
Have fun and happy crafting with your child!

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“A walk down memory lane” part1

Footprints

This is a unique way to see the growth of your child. It needs some perseverance, but is easy to do and only takes a few minutes of your time each month and creates a beautiful lifelong memory.

footprint_items
needed items:

  • water colors
  • paper
  • paint brush
  • scissors
  • laminator

 

footprint_on_door

Step 1

When your newborn is just a few days old, get the water colors out and using the paint brush paint one foot a color of your choice. Don’t worry the water colors wash off the baby’s skin very easily.

Step 2

Print your babies foot onto a paper you have prepared. Now paint the other foot a different color and print it on a piece of paper. I found a trick to make this project a bit easier, since children don’t always cooperate, is sticking the paper on a box or cardboard and holding the paper up against the baby’s foot instead of printing the foot onto the paper.

Step 3

Once the color dried, cut the footprints out, write next to each footprint your babies age (e.g. 1 week) and to help them last longer laminate them.

I hung them up on my daughter’s door, you could also hang them on a wall, the fridge or anywhere else you have a lot of space.

Every month you repeat this procedure. Paint each foot a different color. And stick them above the last months.

After a year you have 12 months worth of footprints walking up the door or wall. It is a wonderful memory of how small the child once was and how fast they grow.

For the second year we just made footprints every quarter of the year, since the child’s growth isn’t as rapid anymore.

And after the second year we decided to continue doing yearly footprints as long as we want to.

I love looking at the footprints and treasuring the memories.

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