Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Sharpie Tile Coasters!

Create these fun and super easy tile coasters with a few Sharpies and some rubbing alcohol! Ceramic tiles make an inexpensive substrate to make these wonderful abstract designs on – I find tiles from our local Re-Store in all different shapes and sizes! Perfect for inexpensive & unique gifts to give!

What you need:

  • Sharpies or permanent markers
  • 91% Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Clear Coat spray – I used Rust-Oleum Gloss
  • Ceramic Tile
  • Adhesive Felt pads
  • Small paint brush

Step one: Gather all your supplies and clean your ceramic tile surface with the rubbing alcohol, you can apply it to a cotton ball or paper towel!

Step two: Make sure your tile is dry from the rubbing alcohol, then start coloring your tile with your Sharpies or permanent markers! Keep in mind your colors are going to get moved around and colors will blend together – it’s best to just create abstract designs here, don’t try to create a picture, as it will get messed up in our next few steps!

Step three: Continue to color in your tile – you can leave some areas blank if desired, however, I find that the more color the better!

Step four: Dip your rush in the rubbing alcohol and gently “dab” the alcohol on the tile – a little bit goes a long way. You will immediately see the alcohol have an effect on the color.

Step five: Continue to add rubbing alcohol, I did mine in all dabs, creating a droplet effect. You could try splattering, brush strokes, or a combination to achieve different effects!

Step six: I continued to add dabs until all of my marker lines were gone. Be careful not to add too much rubbing alcohol as it moves and spreads your colors out, making the colors lighter and allowing more of the white to show through (this is why I find the more color the better in step three).

Step seven: Let you rubbing alcohol dry completely and then spray your tile with a clear coat – I used Rust-Oleum Gloss. Start with a very light layer of clear coat as sometimes it can effect your design. Let the light layer dry and then add a second coat to finish your tile!

Step eight: Let your tile dry completely – you can tell the clear coat effected my colors, making them a bit more muted!

Step nine: Once your tile is dry flip it over and add felt pads to the corners so your tile doesn’t scratch any surfaces! I used self adhesive felt pads but you could also hot glue cut felt pieces or cork as well!

Step ten: Enjoy your coaster! Or make and give as gifts!

Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, origami, paper art

Origami Window Stars!

These window stars are easy, fun, and sure to brighten your home! Made from kite paper, also known as colored wax paper, these stars are vibrant and translucent, letting the light shine through and overlapping colors combine to create new colors! Perfect for color mixing lessons!

What you need:

  • Kite paper – I get it from amazon
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Hole punch & ribbon or string (optional)

Step one: Cut 8 squares of kite paper – all the same size. Try various colors! I started with 4″ squares for this example, however, you can make them any size you’d like!

Step two: Fold your square from corner to corner, crease, and unfold.

Step three: Fold the opposite corners together, crease, and unfold – your square should have a crease line from corner to corner, forming an X on your paper!

Step four: Fold one corner into the center of the X.

Step five: Fold the opposite corner to the center of the X.

Step six: Fold the right top edge to the center line as shown.

Step seven: Fold the left top edge to the center line.

Step eight: Repeat with all remaining 7 squares!

Step nine: Once you have all your squares folded, begin to glue them together – the point you just created in the last step will be the outside points of your star! Use a glue stick, starting on one side of the center line, from the wider tip of your origami, up to where the folds begin.

Step ten: Place a second folded piece on the center line and lining up the tips.

Step eleven: Continue to glue 7 pieces of your star together, making sure each one lines up on the center line of the last one and all tips meet in the middle.

Step twelve: Your eighth, and final piece, will be placed with one half on top and the other half underneath your star (or under the first piece you started with) to complete the pattern.

Step thirteen: Complete your star by punching a hold and adding a string or ribbon to hang it from!

Craft, decorating, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, paper art

Tissue Paper Flowers!

A fun, simple & easy project to brighten your day! Create these fun flowers from basic supplies and give your decor a fun burst of colorful flowers!

What you need:

  • Tissue Paper in multiple colors
  • Green Pipe Cleaners
  • Scissors
  • Button

Step one: Cut out circles from your tissue paper – I use a roll of masking tape to trace and cut for size. You will need approx. 5 circles per flower. I chose to use shades of one color but you could do all the same color or multiple colors for one flower!

Step two: Thread about an inch of your pipe cleaner through your button.

Step three: Bend the inch piece of pipe cleaner in half and push back through another hole in your button. Twist the end to your stem to secure!

Step four: Cut your circles to give your flowers different appearances – here, I cut slits in a radial fashion to make my flower look more ruffle like! For the red flower I cut waves around the edge of my circle. I did this step to all 5 of my tissue paper layers. *Note: don’t have cuts too close to the center of your circles – this may cause them to tear easily in the next few steps!

Step five: Poke the end of your pipe cleaner through the center of your tissue paper circle, gently push your tissue paper all the way up the stem so it’s under your button! Gently crinkle your tissue paper around your button, repeat with all your other layers!

Step six: With all 5 layers on your stem, crinkle the papers up around your button, being careful not to tear your paper! This helps give our flower some more dimension!

Step seven: Carefully “fluff” out your flower petal layers so your center is visible again. You can go back and crinkle individual layers more if needed! You can also add a drop of tacky glue, hot glue, or wrap some floral tape around the stem where the tissue paper is to help hold it in place.

Step eight: To create a leaf, use another piece of pipe cleaner, place across your stem and twist it tightly around a few times to hold it in place. Bend each end back to the stem, creating a loop, and twist it to the stem to secure.

Step nine: Make more flowers! Try different cuts to achieve even more variations of flowers, use larger or smaller circles and create different size flowers! Give as a gift, use as a gift topper, make into pins, hair clips, or just place in a vase and enjoy!

Check out other projects to make at home here!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Shrinky Dink Pets!

Create your own magnet or key-chain of your furry friend on shrink film! Use a photo of your pet to trace an outline on shrink film, color you pet in, and then place your shrink film in an oven to shrink! Turn these mini pet masterpieces into a key chain or magnet! Learn more about Shrink film here!

What you’ll need:

  • A sheet of sanded shrink film (Learn how to make your own here)
  • Magnets and/or Key-chain pieces
  • Colored pencils
  • A fine point permanent marker 
  • A photo of your pet approx. 3.5”x5” or 4”x6” 
  • Scissors 
  • Hole punch & Pliers if making a key-chain
  • Oven or Craft Oven

Step one: Print a picture of your pet – a head shot will work best, with clear details & good lighting. If you don’t have a pet or picture of your pet you can use a picture from a book or magazine! The photo should be at least 3.5”x5” or similar – I wouldn’t go much smaller as it will make details more difficult!  

Step two: Place your shrink film over your pet’s photo with the rough/sanded side facing up. We will want to color on the sanded side! 

Step three: With your permanent marker trace your pet; Tracing from a photo can be tricky – we want to include some details but not EVERYTHING, especially with shrink film as our artwork will become very small and details become more condensed. Focus on outlining the main features of your pet (like the eyes, nose, coloration spots) and the main outline.  

Step four: Slide your outline off you photo to see what it looks like without your photo! Sometimes this helps us see what more we need to add! If needed, finish up any lines or details with the marker. You can also use the marker to color in any black areas (such as the pupils). *Tip: When making eyes be sure to leave a little white dot to help make them look more alive!  

Step five: Color your pet in! Use the colored pencils to add color to your pet – you can make your drawing any color you’d like or similar to your pet’s real colors! The colored pencils will look very light on the shrink film – this is okay, when we “shrink” your film the colors will become more vivid and bright!  

Step six: Be sure to color any white areas of your pet in with the white colored pencil – it’s hard to see on the shrink film before it’s shrunk but if we don’t add the white colored pencil these areas will look grey! You can also layer and blend your colored pencils to create different shades and shadows!  

Step seven: Once you have your pet colored in you can add a background or outline! 

Step eight: Cut out your pet – I like to leave a little border space around my drawing but you don’t have to do this. If you’re going to make your piece into a key-chain, make sure to leave an area where you can punch a hole!  

Step nine: If you’re making this into a key-chain or anything else that you need a hole for, use a hole punch to create your hole before baking!

Step ten:  Bake your shrink film! Place your shrink film in an oven @ 325* F for just a few minutes – You can bake it on a piece of parchment paper or tin foil on a baking sheet. You’ll notice your shrink film crinkles up and then will flatten back out as a much smaller and thicker piece of plastic. Once flat remove your shrink film & let cool. 

Step eleven: Finish your shrink film! Add your key-chain piece by connecting the jump ring to your shrink film and key-chain part with pliers. Or adhere magnets to the back of your piece to create a magnet! These could also be made into zipper pulls, ornaments, hair clips, pins, necklaces, earrings, etc.! Check out other ideas for shrink film projects here!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Sand Clay!

Create some cool sand clay sculptures and pieces of art with this simple recipe! This clay recipe dries hard as a rock when left exposed to air or can be wrapped in plastic to save for another time! Finished sculptures can be dried out and displayed as is, or painted with acrylics! Gather shells, rocks, sea glass to press or encase in your clay. Make ornaments, wall hangings, or fossils!

What you need:

  • 2 cups of sand (I used play sand but any sand will work!)
  • 1.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup of salt
  • Warm water (approx. 1-1.5 cups)
  • Mixing bowl & wooden spoon

Step one: Gather all your supplies!

Step two: Measure the flour, salt & sand in a mixing bowl.

Step three: Mix your flour, salt & sand together!

Step four: Add a little bit of warm water to your bowl at a time (around 1/2 cup at a time) and mix, then add a little more water & mix. Depending on if your sand was super dry or a little damp you may need more or less water – we want your clay to hold it’s shape, not be too crumbly, and we also don’t want it to be too wet and soggy. You may find it’s also easier as you get started to mix with your hands instead of a spoon! If you add too much water you can always add in a little more sand, flour, & salt, to firm it back up. Once completely mixed, the sand clay should not be too sticky and hold its shape!

Step five: Create with your sand clay! Make sculptures, faux fossils, hand print impression plaques, or draw a picture in the sand! Some examples of what I’ve done with the sand clay are below – get creative! Let you creations fully dry – this can take several hours to several days, depending on how thick & wet your clay is. Place it in the sun or use a fan to help speed up dry time! Once dry, clay becomes very hard and can be painted (I’ve used acrylics)!

Check out other projects you can do at home here!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Polymer Clay Mushroom Bookmarks!

Create a fun little bookmark out of polymer clay!

What you need:

  • Polymer Clay – I used white, however, any lighter color will work with the coloring techniques we will utilize. You’ll need approx. half an ounce of clay to make one mushroom (depending on how small or large you make it!), most blocks of polymer come in one ounce blocks.
  • Chalk Pastels – in the colors you would like to add to your mushroom
  • Jumbo paper clip
  • Paintbrush
  • Scrap paper
  • Tin foil
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire
  • Toothpick

Step one: Gather all your supplies and knead your polymer clay so it’s soft! Cut a piece of wire approx. 2-3″ long.

Step two: Wrap your piece of wire around the end of your paper clip – make sure it’s the end of the paper clip shown in the photo (as the other end will become the part of your bookmark)! Twist your wire tightly around the paper clip, like in a twist tie fashion, this is easiest with a pair of pliers.

Step three: Divide your one ounce piece of clay into 4 pieces (or if you have 1/2 an ounce divide it into 2 pieces). Use one of your 4 pieces to form the stalk of your mushroom, pushing the wire and top part of the paper clip into your clay (if needed, you can trim your wire down so it’s not taller than the stalk!). Secure your stalk to the paper clip by making sure the clay is tight around the paperclip where it was pushed in – I used my toothpick to help with this!

Step four: Use another one of your 3 remaining pieces of clay to form the cap of your mushroom (or if starting with 1/2 an ounce, your remaining piece). Roll it into a ball and slightly flatten it – we don’t want it too thin, it should still hold it’s shape and not be floppy when picked up, not much thinner than a 1/4″.

Step five: Use the back of your paint brush, or eraser end of a pencil, to make an indent in the center of your flatten ball – this will become the underside of your mushroom cap.

Step six: With the toothpick, score the clay from the center indent made in the last step, to the outside edge, in a radial fashion.

Step seven: Now you have your cap and stalk!

Step eight: Attach the cap to your stalk with the toothpick – placing your stalk in the indent created by your pencil end or paintbrush. Blend in the stalk clay and cap clay to help secure the two pieces together. You may need to touch up your cap texture after this step! Flip your mushroom right side up and make any needed adjustments to the cap shape!

Step nine: Scribble your pastels on a scrap piece of paper to create pastel dust!

Step ten: Use your paint brush to pick up some of the pastel dust and gently brush it on to the top of your mushroom cap!

Step eleven: I brushed a layer of my lighter color pastel over the entire cap and a layer of my darker color around the edges of my cap! Once your have your cap colored to your liking, bake your mushroom at 275*F for approx. 10-15 min. (check the package directions on the clay you have compared to your mushroom thickness). I use a piece of tin foil crunched up to make a cradle for my mushroom cap as it bakes so the cam doesn’t get flattened. Let your mushroom cool and enjoy your one of a kind bookmark! Use your leftover clay to create another!

Variations: Instead of making this a bookmark, use the same steps above only use a jumbo toothpick instead of a paper clip, making your mushroom great for fairy gardens, table top gardens, or decorations for flower pots! If your paper clip is large enough to support the weight of your mushroom, you could definitely use it in a fairy garden, etc. too! Try making more than one mushroom on the same paperclip – just add more than one piece of wire to your paper clip! Use extra clay to give your mushroom dimensional spots on it’s cap before baking!

Let me know if you’ve given this project a try and check out other projects here!

Art, Art activities, card making, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting, paper art

Suminagashi

Suminagashi is one of the oldest practices of marbleizing paper! This Japanese art form can be dated back to the 12th century and it’s name, “suminagashi”, means floating ink! Floating ink is exactly what we’ll be doing to create these fun pieces of paper!

What you’ll need:

  • Plain copy paper – Just regular printer paper I found worked best!
  • A large pan of water – I used cold water in a 9″x13″ glass baking dish
  • Sumi brushes or large soft round brushes
  • Sumi ink or Higgins ink – I suggest black when first getting started for the best contrast!
  • Liquid dish soap
  • Optional: Pieces of cardstock & Mod Podge to turn your suminagashi papers into cards, tags and more!

Step one: Gather all your supplies. Fill your vat with approx. 1-2″ of water. In a small clean cup or dish, mix together a little dish soap and water (a drop of soap in 1/2 cup of water should do).

Step two: Dip one of your sumi brushes into your ink (try to just get ink on the brush bristles & avoid getting ink on the handle) and gently touch the surface of your water in your vat with the ink. You should be able to see the ink spread on the water’s surface! If it sinks to the bottom, try again, being careful not to break the waters surface with your brush. This also works best if your water is still – watch out for a lot of movement of a wobbly surface or a fan!

Step three: Grab another brush and dip this one into your soap mixture. Gently touch the surface of your water again, this time with the soapy mixture, placing your brush in the center of the ink bloom you made in the previous step! (Note: it can be hard to see the ink at first on the water’s surface, this is why I used blue ink, but don’t worry – your ink is still there!).

Step four: Continue going back and forth between your ink brush and your soapy mixture brush, repeating steps two & three, placing each alternating medium in the center of the last bloom you created. As you add more and more, it will continue to spread and fill your vat! If you’re having trouble getting your ink to float, sometimes this can mean we have too much soap in our water – try starting over with clean water and less soap in your soapy mixture!

Step five: If you have multiple colors of ink you can create your designs in the same steps above – just add in another brush with your additional color! This photo also shows a spot of ink that sank to the bottom of my vat – that blue spot we see on the left….any ink that ends up sinking, will not show on your paper, on the floating ink will become apart of your pattern!

Step six: You can also create multiple spots/centers on your surface by creating the pattern with your ink & soap mixture in various places – in this picture you can see four areas where I repeated the ink & soap mix pattern. You can also gently blow on the water’s surface to “move” your ink around on the surface. Even a little air movement will naturally do this to your ink on the surface, as well as the movement to the surface you’ll create when adding your ink and soap mixture! Be prepared to have your ink move around on the water surface slightly!

Step seven: Once you have your ink design on the surface of your water, gently place a piece of your paper on top – I find the best way to do this is to roll the paper slightly, having the center hit the water first and then carefully let the paper unroll onto the water.

Step eight: Let your paper sit in your water until the ink shows through slightly (like in the photo here or in step seven), this will only take around 30 seconds.

Step nine: Carefully lift your paper out of the water – the paper will be fragile as it’s wet, try to support it with your whole hand.

Step ten: Lay your wet paper on a flat protected work surface to dry. You may find that once dry, your paper is wrinkly – you can remedy this by placing a heavy stack of books on your paper for 24hrs (just make sure your paper is completely dry first!) or by ironing your paper flat – use a piece of parchment paper under and on top of your paper to protect from the iron.

Turn your papers into cards, gift tags, collages, bookmarks, stationary, origami, or for scrap booking projects!

Check out this method for other marbleized papers and this one to marbleize eggs! Be sure to let me know if you’ve given this a try!

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

Wire Wrapped Sea Glass Pendants

Take your found beach glass treasures and turn them into a wearable piece of art! Great as a gift or to wear yourself. The instructions below are for making a necklace, however, you can turn your finished wire wrapped pieces into key chains, zipper pulls, pull chain pendants (for ceiling fans, etc.), ornaments, or gift toppers.

What you need:

  • Sea Glass (Either found pieces or you can purchase some from craft stores)
  • 14 Gauge aluminum wire (I use aluminum sculpture wire as it’s very easy to shape but also holds and is non staining)
  • Pliers – I prefer to have a pair of round tip pliers, needle nose pliers as well as wire cutters. See an example of the pliers I use here. The project can be completed with just a pair of needle nose pliers (and wire cutter), however, you will need one of the items below to take the place of the round pliers;
    • Wooden or metal skewer, thin diameter knitting needle, or jewelry mandrel.
  • Cord, leather, or chain for your necklace – I used 3/16″ leather lace, 16″ long.
  • Jewelry findings – For a cord necklace you will need: A clasp, two jump rings, & two fold over end caps. If you’re going with chain skip the end caps!

GETTING STARTED:

Step one: Cut a length of wire – I start with between 10″ & 16″, depending on the size of my sea glass. It’s better to have a piece that’s too large and we can trim down later.

Step two: Using your round pliers, “pinch” the wire at it’s center (or close to the center!) – see the next step if you don’t have round pliers.

Step three: Bend the wire around the round pliers, crossing the wire over one another, creating a loop. If you don’t have round pliers bend the wire around a skewer or mandrel for the same result!

Step four: Twist your wire two or three times, tight against your pliers or skewer/mandrel, just like a twist tie! You can use your needle nose pliers to twist instead of your fingers!

Step five: Remove your wire from your round pliers (or skewer/mandrel). This loop will become the top of your pendant.

Step six: Now we will create coils at each end of the wire we just created the loop on. Pinch and twist the end of the wire with your round pliers (or needle nose pliers).

Step seven: continue to twist and coil your wire around until you create a loop.

Step eight: Switch to your needle nose pliers or fingers and continue to coil the wire around the center loop. We want your coil to be flat – not like a spring.

Step nine: Coil your wire around 3-5 times. It’s okay if you coil too much – we can always uncoil later if you need more wire to wrap with!

Step ten: Repeat with the other end of your wire!

WRAPPING THE SEA GLASS:

Step one: Place the piece of sea glass you would like to wrap between your wire.

Step two: Tightly bend and wrap your wire around your glass – try to wrap around all sides/edges of the glass. It’s okay to overlap and cross your wire. If you feel you need more wire to wrap, try to uncoil a little from your ends to give you more slack.

Step three: Press your coils down on your glass – I have a coil on each side of this pendant but it’s okay if they both are on one side as well! Make sure your glass is secure and won’t fall out! If it does simply undo & repeat the last step until you have it wrapped tightly!

ADDING A CORD:

Step one: Cut your cord to the desired length – mine’s approx. 16″. Place through your loop.

Step two: Fasten the end caps on your cord – place the cord inside the cap…

pinch one side of the cap down, sandwiching your cord between the metal. Pinch down the other side. Squeeze tight to secure your cord in the metal!

Step three: Repeat with the other end of your cord.

Step four: Use a jump ring to attach your clasp to one side of your end cap.

Step five: Place a jump ring on the other end cap for your clasp to connect to!

Step six: Wear your wire wrapped pendant!

This project is a lot of fun and a great way to make some handmade gifts! Try using different types & gauges of wire, wrapping with more than one piece of wire, creating more coils, etc. for more variety! You can also wrap stones, pebbles, and marbles for a different look!

Take a look at some upcoming classes and find more projects to do at home here!

Art, Art activities, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!

DIY Bird Feeder!

Make a little bird feeder for your yard! Paint, decorate, and design your own to give as a gift or keep for yourself! This cute little platform feeder is a simple and fun project!

What you need:

  • Wooden craft picture frame – mine is approx. 8″x6″ with a 4″x6″ opening
  • Acrylic craft paints in desired colors
  • Paint brushes
  • Sharpie
  • Krylon clear gloss outdoor spray sealer
  • Flat thumb tacks – Use stainless steel ones for longer lasting outdoor results
  • Plastic mesh cut to the opening size of your frame (I used needle point plastic but you could also use aluminum gutter shield, or plastic food mesh – if you have some with small enough gaps to hold birdseed!
  • Twine, rope, chain, leather, or any similar material suitable to use outdoors – I used approx. 6′ of jute, cut into two, 3′ pieces
  • Hammer

PAINTING YOUR FRAME:

Step one: Paint both sides and all edges of your frame one color.

Step two: Let your first layer of paint dry (use a hairdryer to speed up the dry time) and apply a second layer of paint if needed!

Step three: Add some designs and patterns with your other colors – I did dots and stripes! Let your paint dry completely before moving on!

Step four: Apply the outdoor sealer – do this outside on a protected work surface. Apply the sealer to both sides and edges of your frame – letting it dry completely before flipping your frame.

Step five: Once your sealer is completely dry use a sharpie to outline and add details to your painted design. I decided to cover most of my painted area with additional doodles!

ASSEMBLING YOUR FEEDER:

Step one: If using jute, twine, or rope, line up your two 3′ pieces and fold in half, creating a loop as shown in the first photo. Make sure the ends of your rope are even. Gathering all four strands of rope, tie a knot towards the top – leaving a loop, shown in the second picture.

Step two: Attach your rope and mesh to the frame with a thumb tack. Sandwich the ends of your rope between the mesh and the frame. Use a hammer to make sure your tack is firmly pressed into your wooden frame.

Step three: Continue to add all 4 pieces of your rope to the frame in the same manor! Make sure the knot and strands of rope are not twisted or tangled before attaching!

Step four: Add extra thumb tacks to your mesh to keep it securely in place!

Step five: Hang and fill your platform bird feeder!

Where to hang your feeder: Depending on where you place your feeder will determine what types of birds you attract (along with feeder type & seed). Attract the most birds by offering a range of feeders & food placed in various locations! Most feeders do best in a quiet, semi-sheltered area, or near shrubs & trees so birds can rest and hide from predators. Make sure you also have a good viewing point of your feeder from inside! Placing your platform feeder closer to the ground will attract ground-feeding birds such as, Juncos, doves, sparrows, & blackbirds. Placing your feeder up higher will attract birds such as, sparrows, finches, & titmice!  

What to put in your feeder: Different foods can attract different birds to your feeder – some types of birds are picky and only eat certain things while others will eat most anything you put out! I like to use black oil sunflower seeds or a seed mix. You can also try foods such as, peanuts (raw kernels only) and other nuts as well as coconuts (fresh, cut open), stale breads, cakes, & cookies (no chocolate). Fruits such as apples, oranges, grapes, & bananas. With foods that you put out, make sure to keep your feeder clean- and pick-up uneaten foods that could attract rodents, insects and other pests as well as create mold & bacteria growth.  

Feeder care: Feeders can become messy quick! Platform feeders can hold trampled food and droppings, and should be regularly cleaned out. A little soapy water and rinse should be sufficient. Re-coat your feeder with a clear coat each season to help keep it in shape (clean and dry your frame before re-coating).  

Making more feeders: If you had fun with this project, and want to make more, here are some various ideas for supplies! 

  • The frame in this kit is a small wooden craft frame, you could also re-purpose old picture frames in the same manor! Outdoor spray paint is a quick and easy way to cover old frames! 
  • I used needle point plastic in this kit for the mesh to hold seed, you could also use aluminum gutter shield, plastic food mesh, or window screen material. Just be sure your mesh material has small enough gaps to hold seed!  
  • The included hanging material is jute – eventually this will get weathered down, as an alternative, you could use twine, rope, chain, leather, or any similar material suitable to use outdoors.  
  • The included thumb tacks are stainless steel – this helps with the longevity of them being out in the weather! Depending on the frame being used, nails, screws, & staples could be utilized instead of tacks!  

BONUS PROJECT: Make a winter treat for your birds! What you’ll need: Pinecones, String or Wire, Peanutbutter (or Crisco), & Birdseed. Gather your pinecones and tie a string or piece of wire tightly to the top of your pinecone! Next completely cover your pinecone with peanutbutter or crisco – pushing it into all the gaps & spaces on your pinecone. (Note* if your pinecones are not open, let them set inside for a day or so or place them in your oven on 200*F for 20 min or so to speed up the process). Roll your covered pinecone in birdseed and hang up!  

Like this project? It was from one of our Creative Science lessons – a partner program between Brad Hartle, 4-H STEM educator with UMES and myself! We work together to create fun & engaging lessons that involve art and science for youth! Check out other projects to do at home and upcoming creative science lessons here!

Creative Science: Feed the Birds
Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Make, Create, & Share!, paper art

Marbleized Paper Valentine Hearts!

Marbleized paper is a lot of fun to make and you can use the papers for a variety of projects! This is a simple and easy method for creating marbleized paper with fun results every time! Turn your marbleized papers into greeting cards, bookmarks, elements in collage work, book covers, etc. or use this same method to create your marbleized effect on things like envelopes, eggs (for Easter decorations) blank sticker/label papers, etc.! Since it’s almost Valentine’s day, I thought a heart garland would be fun but you can use any shape with the same method!

What you need for Marbleized paper:

  • Shaving cream
  • Food coloring
  • Card stock
  • Wooden skewer or toothpick
  • 9″x13″ baking dish or aluminum foil pan (or something similar to be used as a vat)
  • Squeegee, ruler, or piece of cardboard (around 4″x6″)

What you need to make a heart garland:

  • Your Marbled paper!
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Heart stencil or cookie cutters to trace (or heart punches)
  • String – I Used embroidery thread but you could also use twine, cotton, yarn, or smaller thread for mini garlands!

CREATING MARBLEIZED PAPER:

Step one: Fill the bottom of your vat with shaving cream!

Step two: Use your ruler, squeegee, or cardboard to smooth out your shaving cream (this doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth!).

Step three: Add drops of food coloring to your shaving cream – I just started off with a few drops of one color, we can add more colors later!

Step four: Swirl your food coloring around with your skewer or toothpick to create a marbleized effect!

Step five: Continue to move your color around by dragging your toothpick or skewer through the shaving cream and color! Be careful not to mix too much – we want to see the swirls!

Step six: Once you’re happy with your marbled look, carefully place your paper on top of your shaving cream! I find the best method is to gently roll your paper and place the middle of your paper on the shaving cream first, then letting the sides unroll into the shavings cream. This way helps reduce any air bubbles that get trapped between your paper and the shaving cream! Gently press your paper into the shaving cream!

Step seven: Pull your paper out of the shaving cream!

Step eight: Lay your paper on a flat surface, shaving cream side up!

Step nine: Use your squeegee, ruler, or cardboard, to remove the shaving cream from your paper – try to do this in one swoop of your tool. You can place the used shaving cream back into your vat and use again!