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

Arm Knitting!

Create your own chunky knit scarf or cowl with arm knitting! Use jumbo size yarn to create the chunky loose knit pictured or use larger weight yarn for a tighter knit look! You can also double up yarns and follow the same directions with two strands to give a fuller scarf look! If you’ve knitted before, your arms just replace the knitting needles! 

What you need:

  • Jumbo 7 yarn, approx. 46 yards – I used Red Heart Grande/Jumbo 7 
  • Your arms! – this is easiest with no long sleeves and no bracelets or watches on!  
  • Scissors 

Casting on: This will determine the width of your scarf – I cast on 8 stitches, which made my scarf around 8” in width – when not stretched or bunched (as the knit is very loose). Cast on more or less depending on the size of your yarn and the width you would like your scarf to be!  

  •  Step one: create a slip knot at the end of your yarn. Place your right arm inside the slip knot and pull tight. Make sure you leave a tail to your knot – around 6” or so to help tie off at the end!  

Step two: Begin casting on stiches to your arm. I added 7 more stiches for a total of eight (the slip knot becomes one of the stiches). Keep your working yarn taut with your left hand, grab the working yarn with your right hand, twisting the yarn to make a loop (pictures 1 & 3 below). Continue with the same steps until you have the desired number of stiches!  

Knitting right arm to left arm: We will be taking all the stiches cast onto your right arm and knitting them onto your left arm! The “working yarn” is the yarn coming from your skein.  

  • Step three: Take the top loop on your right hand and carefully pull the working yarn through the loop. Place the new loop you’ve pulled through onto your left wrist, dropping the old loop. Pull the working yarn to tighten the loop on your left wrist. 

Step four: Continue step three for each remaining stitch on your right hand. 

Knitting left arm to right arm: Continue to knit from your left arm to your right arm!  

  • Step five: Hold onto the working yarn firmly in your left hand. Pull the top loop over your left fist and drop. Open your left hand and place that loop onto your right wrist. Pull the working yarn to tighten the loop.  

Step six: Continue with step five for all remaining stiches on your left arm.  

Step seven: Continue knitting from your right to left arm, and left to right arm, until your scarf is the desired length – make sure to stop when you have at least 36-48″ of yarn remaining. I find it easier to end with the stiches on my right arm. 

Casting off: Now to get your scarf off of your arm! The directions below will show as if you’ve ended on your right arm, however, can be completed in the same manor if you’ve ended on your left arm. 

  • Step eight: Knit two of your stiches onto your left arm (following step three), take hold of the top loop in your left hand, pull the bottom loop on your left wrist over your fist and drop it. Open your left fist, keep this loop on your left wrist. Bring another stich from your right arm over to your left (as in step three) and repeat by holding the top loop in your left hand while you bring the bottom loop over your fist and dropping. Continue until you have one loop remaining on your left wrist.  

Step nine: Finish off your last loop by bringing your last bit of working yarn through the loop and pulling tight (if you have a long piece remaining or still have some of your skein left, trim your yarn to leave a 14-18″ piece before pulling though).  

Finishing your scarf: Weave in your tails or make your scarf into an infinity scarf/cowl by “sewing” your ends together with your tail pieces!  

Art activities, Craft, decorating, DIY, Holiday, Make, Create, & Share!, Painting

Salt Dough Ornaments!

Salt dough is fun and easy! The dough can be baked to harden, painted with acrylics and last for years! I had my nephew create some simple cut-out ornaments but you can also make 3-D sculptures with salt dough too! There’s various recipes for creating salt dough, and other similar dough – I’ve listed one below that we used with good results!

What you’ll need:

  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Warm water
  • Cookie Cutters
  • Rolling pin
  • Straw and/or Toothpick (or something to make holes in your ornaments for hanging)
  • Cookie tray
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paint brushes
  • Spray Sealer or Mod Podge
  • Ribbon
  • OPTIONAL SUPPLIES:
  • Beads to add to your ribbon
  • Glitter
  • Stamps – for making impressions on your dough
  • Sharpies
  • Hot glue or craft glue

Step one: Mix together 2 cups of all purpose flour, 1 cup of salt and 1/2 cup of warm water in a large bowl.

Step two: Add up to 1/2 cup more of warm water, one tablespoon at a time, until dough forms. Dough should not be sticky – if it is add a bit more flour!

Step three: Kneed your dough and roll it out on a flat surface – use flour to help prevent sticking if needed. We rolled it to 1/4″ – 1/2″ thick for cut-outs. You can also make sculptures with your salt dough instead!

Step four: Use cookie cutters to cut shapes out of your salt dough. Place cut-outs on a baking sheet (I lined mine with parchment).

Step five: Before baking your salt dough make sure to put a hole in your ornaments to hang from! A plastic straw works well or a toothpick for a smaller shape! Bake your salt dough for approx. 2 hours at 275*F or until firm and dried out. Time will depend on size and thickness. You can also leave your salt dough out to air dry. Be sure to fully bake/dry out pieces before painting and sealing to ensure they’ll last a long time!

Step six: Once your pieces have been baked or dried out, use acrylic paints to paint them with! We used acrylic craft paints!

Step seven: Paint your creations and let them dry completely!

Step eight: Once your paint is dry, seal your salt dough – I brushed on a layer of glossy Mod Podge. You can also use an acrylic spray sealer instead. Let dry.

Step nine: Add ribbon and beads to hang your ornaments from! Alternatively, you could also use pipe-cleaner or wire for hangers!

Step ten: Use a sharpie to add names, dates and details to your salt dough!

Step eleven: Hang those ornaments up!

We had a lot of fun making salt dough ornaments! Create your own ornaments from cut-outs like we did or create some 3D ornaments – you can use a little water to help pieces stick together. You could also make personalized gift tags & toppers, hand/foot print plaques, small sculptures (like snowmen!), key chains, pendents, pins, or magnets! Use Popsicle sticks, wooden skewers, or toothpicks for tools. Adorn finished salt dough pieces with pom-poms, pipe-cleaner, glitter, ribbon, beads, and other craft items! Try decorating pieces with marker instead of paint for easier clean up!

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

DIY Ornaments!

Create some fun little ornaments with simple supplies! Find the instructions below each of the three pictured!

Snowman ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar Lid (not the jar band)  
  • Small piece of sandpaper 
  • Piece of 1/4″ wired ribbon – approx. 12″
  • Two small pom-poms  
  • Piece of ribbon/twine for hanging
  • Acrylic Craft Paint (White, red or pink, Orange)  
  • Mod Podge  
  • Scissors 
  • Paint brush 
  • Sharpie pen 
  • Hot glue or craft glue 

Step one: Scuff up the mason jar lid with your sandpaper to help the paint adhere better! 

Step two: Paint your mason jar lid with white acrylic craft paint – let dry and apply a second layer if needed. 

Step three: Once your white paint is dry, use the orange paint to make your snowman’s nose – I made a dot near the center of my lid and towards the edge, and then connected them to create the nose!

Step four: Use your pink paint or make pink by mixing a little red paint to white paint and give your snowman rosy cheeks!  

Step five: Once your orange and pink are dry, apply a layer of mod podge sealer over the entire surface, let dry completely! 

 Step six: Use a sharpie pen to give your snowman eyes & a mouth – check out the pictures below for face ideas! Also outline your nose. Tip: leave a white spot in your snowman’s eye to give him a spark!  Download some additional snowman face ideas and practice your own below!

Step seven: Hot glue a ribbon to the back of your lid for a hanger!

Step eight: Cut and glue a piece of your wired ribbon, from side to side of your lid, glue pom-poms on the ends to look like ear muffs! Use leftover ribbon to make a bow for your snowman if desired!  

Tree Scene Ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • 3” Embroidery Hoop 
  • 2 pieces of approx. 3”x3” decorative cardstock 
  • Small pieces of decorative cardstock 
  • Mini paper snowflakes 
  • Piece of 8” burlap like ribbon 
  • 9 Small foam mounting squares  
  • Sequins 
  • Glue gun 
  • Craft Glue  
  • Glue Stick 
  • Scissors 
  • Colored Pencils 
  • Additional items to decorate with, such as, stamps, glitter, ribbon, stickers, etc.  

Step one: Cut a piece of cardstock large enough to glue to the back of your hoop – this will become the background to your tree scene, use craft glue to adhere it to your embroidery hoop.  

Step two: Work on getting your trees ready while your hoop dries! Using smaller pieces of decorative papers, cut triangles for trees! Make different shapes and sizes for added interest! 

Step three: Use colored pencils to shade the side/edges of your trees, giving them a border!  

Step four: If your hoop glue is dry, cut the paper off around the edges, you can also use an x-acto knife.  

Step five: Add your trees to the hoop! Glue some trees directly to the background paper and use the small mounting squares to adhere some trees, making them “pop” off of the surface – stack mounting squares to add more depth.  

Step six: Add sequins as tree toppers and/or ornaments on your trees and add the paper snowflakes (I cut one of my snowflakes in half to use around the edge). Add any other desired decorations and glue the piece of burlap like ribbon to the back for hanging!  

Wreath Ornament!

What you’ll need:

  • Mason Jar Lid Band 
  • 6 Pieces of green pipe cleaner 
  • Piece of 12” ribbon/twine for hanging  
  • Glue gun or craft glue 
  • Items to decorate your wreath with – I used pieces of artificial greenery and berries. Some other ideas may include miniature ornaments, pom poms, ribbon, etc. 

Step one: Wrap all 6 pieces of green pipe cleaner around your mason jar band! 

Step two: Collect items to add to your wreath 

Step three: Glue your items to your wreath!  

Step four: Add a ribbon to hang your ornament!

Give as gifts, hang on your tree, or use as gift toppers! Have fun making your own!

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

Radial Designs on Glass!

Create a radial design or Mandala, with glass paints, for an awesome piece of window art! Mandalas are a type of radial design – where your design radiates and repeats from a center point. Mandala comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “circle”. Mandalas can be found in many cultures and can have different symbolic meanings and processes. In Buddhist and Hindu traditions, mandalas are a spiritual symbol that represent the universe. More modern mandalas are used for meditation or just to create and enjoy beautiful designs!

What you need:

  • Picture Frame with Glass – we used 8″x10″ frames from the dollar store but any old frame will do!
  • Glass Paints – We used Gallery Glass, Martha Stewart and Arti’stick, brands, transparent, glossy, glass paints.
  • Copy/Printer Paper – that’s at least the same size of your glass/frame.
  • Pencil
  • Compass
  • Sharpie
  • Light box or sunny window!

Step one: Create your radial design! We did this with a square piece of paper, folded into fourths, from corner to corner. You can do this any size, however, ours were approx. 8.5″x8.5″ to fit our frames.

Cut out one fourth of your paper on your crease lines.

Step two: Draw your design on your cut 1/4 of paper – to make your design have a complete circle pattern, use a compass from the center of your paper out.

Step three: Fold another square piece of paper into fourths, corner to corner. We will be tracing your design onto these four sections. You can use a light box or a sunny window to help your design show through your paper – you can also go over your design with a marker before tracing to help make it more visible. Trace your first 1/4 section and then flip your triangle pattern over and trace your next 1/4 section (this will reverse your design and make the edges of your design line up). Flip it again for your next section and back over for your last section!

Step four: Next line up your radial design under your piece of glass and begin outlining your design – We used Gallery Glass Liquid Lead for this (I’ve also transferred the outliner to a small applicator bottle for easier handling and a smaller line). Let your outline dry!

Step five: While you’re waiting for your outline to dry, you can color your triangle in how you’d like to color your glass!

Step six: Once your outline is dry, use your glass paints to fill in the design with color! We used a mixture of different glass paint brands!

No matter what brand you use, you just want to make sure it’s transparent color as we want these to hang in a window and create a stained glass effect!

Step seven: Once your color has dried, place your glass back in the frame (you can use hot glue, silicone, E6000 or Goop Glue, etc. to help hold your glass in if needed), glue a ribbon to your frame or add eye hooks and a chain/ribbon for hanging! Our frames were very light weight so a hot glued ribbon worked well! Hang up your finished artwork in a sunny window! 🙂

Check out more of our radial designs here!

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

DIY Painted Signs!

Create a custom distressed wooden sign to add to your décor or to give as a gift!

What you need:

  • Wooden board – My example is approx. 8″x9″ and 1/4″ thick, but you can use any board or wooden plaque you have on hand!
  • Acrylic paints – I suggest acrylic craft paints in black or dark brown, white or cream, and a color of your choice (you could also incorporate multiple colors if desired). I used teal as my color.
  • Sandpaper
  • Rope or twine for hanging – I’ve drilled holes in my board but you could also staple the rope or twine to the back, or use a picture hanger instead!
  • Stencil or pattern – You can download & print the ones I used, or create your own!
  • Pencil
  • Masking Tape
  • Ruler
  • Paper Towels
  • Hairdryer
  • Optional: Minwax finishing paste in special dark or other sealer

Step one: Sand down any rough edges or spots on your board.

Step two: Paint your board with your black or dark brown color – paint the edges too!

Step three: Once your black paint is dry (you can speed this up with a hairdryer), cover your board with a layer of white or cream paint. Let the white dry – you may need to add a second coat of white/cream if you can still see a lot of your darker color show through. Let it dry!

Step four: Download and print out the desired lettering and designs for your board here or create your own! Follow these steps to transfer a printed design to your board!

Step five: Fill in your design outline with the color paint of your choice!

Step six: Make sure your board is very dry before moving on to this step! Sand your board to add age and a distressed look – I sanded more heavily around the edges of my board and lightly near my lettering. If you sand too much off you can always touch it back up with your paint!

Step seven: This is an optional step, you can leave your board as it is or add a sealer. I prefer to Minwax finishing paste in special dark!

Step eight: Add a rope for hanging (I drilled holes in my board and tied my knots in the front, but you could also staple a rope to the back). Hang your sign as is or hot glue some silk flowers for some pizzazz!

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

Scoops of the Sea!

Take a scoop of the sea with you! Use a large shell to “scoop” up a piece of the sea – with ultra thick embossing enamel to encase your beach treasures and act as the water! You could also do the same method with resin! Finished scoops of the sea can be made into decorations, ornaments, jewelry, etc.!

What you need:

  • Sea shells – At least one shell that’s large and deep enough to hold sand and smaller shells!
  • Beach glass, pebbles, or other small beach treasures! (Make sure they’re clean and dry)
  • Sand – it must be very dry before using, if collecting your own sand you can dry it out by placing it on a cookie sheet and baking at 325*F until it’s dried out!
  • Melt Art – Ultra Thick Embossing Enamel
  • Tin Foil
  • Optional: You can add bits of paper (like if you wanted to include writing or doodles). Wire or ribbon if you wanted to add a hanger to your shell – You can wire wrap, drill a hole, or glue, to your shell if you’d like to make it into a ornament or hanger!

Step one: Clean and dry your large shell (you want to make sure it has a dish or spoon like shape to it – flat shells won’t hold our enamel!)

Step two: Make sure your large shell is sitting level – you can use a piece of shaped tin foil to hold your shell. *Note: the embossing enamel has to be heated in an oven……it’s easiest to make your scoop of the sea on the surface it will be heated on).

Step three: Add some sand to your shell – just enough to cover the surface! If you’re collecting your own sand make sure it’s super dried out first!

Step four: Add in other little shells, sea glass, or other beach treasures! You could also add in bits of papers with lettering or doodles on them too!

Step five: Cover the sand and items carefully with the ultra think embossing enamel.

Step six: Let the embossing enamel mound up in the center but don’t fill it all the way to the edges of your shell. *Note: You can gently blow or brush off any embossing enamel that got on your tray before baking – It will stick to surfaces somewhat once melted! (You can protect your baking surface with a layer of tin foil).

Step seven: Carefully transfer your shell to an oven or toaster oven. Bake at 350*F (watching closely) until the enamel just turns clear.

Step eight: Remove from the oven and let cool! If you have a lot of air bubbles form on the surface, you can use a heat gun to heat the enamel back up – this will remove the bubbles! Or leave the bubbles to create a fun foamy effect! If your sand and inside shells are not covered with enough enamel after it melts, you can add more powder on top and heat again to melt it! It’s also okay if your inside shells aren’t completely covered….you just don’t want your sand able to leak out!

Have fun creating your own scoops of the sea! What treasures will you include? 🙂

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

Alcohol Ink & Yupo!

Experiment with mediums and surfaces in this project! Use alcohol inks on Yupo paper to create beautiful blooms of colors, then draw a design on top with a chalk pen! Yupo is actually polypropylene and allows the alcohol inks to sit on the surface and have fun reactions! Adding rubbing alcohol to the inks also creates more “blooming” effects!

What you need:

  • Yupo paper
  • Alcohol inks
  • Rubbing alchol
  • Paint brush
  • Chalk pens

Step one: Dot some colors of alcohol ink on your yupo surface!

Step two: Continue to add inks and begin to apply dots of rubbing alcohol with a paint brush – both on and around your alcohol inks.

Step three: Continue to apply inks and rubbing alcohol – I just added a section of color from corner to corner. Keep in mind, when choosing colors, your ink colors will begin to mix somewhat!

Step four: Let your ink dry completely!

Step five: Once the ink is dry, use your chalk pen to create a design on top of your ink!

Step six: Add details to your drawing – I just used a white chalk pen for the most contrast but you could use other colors as well!

Have fun creating blooms of colors! 🙂

Art, Art activities, Craft, DIY, Drawing

Watercolor Resist Painting!

A fun little technique to create some colorful pieces of art! These also make great pieces to add to collage techniques or are fun for art journaling too!

What you need:

  • Watercolor paper (I use Canson XL cold press 140lb)
  • Masking tape
  • watercolor paints
  • Oil pastels or Crayons
  • Large flat brush

Step one: Tape down your watercolor paper – the tape also creates a nice border to your artwork you can decorate later! I cut my paper to be a bookmark!

Step two: Create a design or picture on your paper with your crayons or oil pastels – press firmly!

Step three: You don’t need to fill in all of your paper – leave some areas white, this will be filled in with your paint color!

Step four: Prepare your watercolor paints and gently brush overtop of your crayon or oil pastel design!

Step five: The oil pastels or crayons will resist the watercolor paint and only stick to the white areas of your paper! I used warm color crayons and cool color paint for more contrast!

Step six: Let your paint dry and remove your tape!

This piece was created with oil pastels instead of crayons!

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

DIY Shell Trinket Dishes

Turn some of those beach treasures into a lovely trinket dish! These make great personalized gifts too!

What you need:

  • Clean shells – larger, smoother shells are easiest to start with!
  • Mod Podge – I used gloss
  • Paint brushes
  • Decorative tissue papers, or thin papers (like origami paper).
  • Scissors
  • Acrylic paints in desired colors
  • Metallic paints – I used Lumiere by Jacquard

Step one: Gather and clean your shells – ones that have larger, flat/smooth insides will be easiest to start with!

Step two: Find printed tissue papers, pieces of maps, origami papers, or any other thin paper to decoupage your shells with