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 activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (May 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

Having some fun at Roaring Point Campground the past month with kids crafts! We’ve created Thaumatropes, Embossed metal designs, String art, & origami hopping frogs!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique fun pencil holders and personal creations! We were also inspired by Alberto Giacometti: Students were asked to create a tall, lean figure depicting and action or movement with wire & tin foil armatures covered with paper mache!

Students finished up and created many different things this past month…..

Paper Mache & Paper Clay Sculptures! Students created an armature out of paper, cardboard, wire or tin foil, and used either traditional paper mache or are working with paper clay, to create 3-D sculptures! These are then finished with acrylic paints and extra details such as feathers, eyes, and more!

Charcoal water drops: Students created a watercolor wash and formed waterdrops with charcoal! Special attention was taken in creating shadows and highlights to give a 3-D appearance.

Watercolor & Pen: Using pen to give texture and shading to their drawings, students then used watercolor to add color!

Mixed Media & Collage: Using several different mediums and techniques in these pieces to create some fun, one of a kind, pieces of art! Expressing personal style and technique! 

Painted botanicals on wood with acrylics – creating designs and patterns with shapes, colors & textures in a botanical theme!

Polymer clay faux taxidermy! Using polymer clay, students created miniature sculpted taxidermy pieces and turned them into magnets!

Students have been busy the past month working on creating collages inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle. We have finally finished them all up and they are awesome! Students chose an animal as their collage subject, then drew the animal out. Using crayons, watered down acrylic paints, and stamps, they painted sheets of rice paper – incorporating several colors, textures and methods into each piece. Students then use their drawn animal as a template for cutting out their colorful papers and apply their cut-outs to their final paper. Finally students incorporate smaller details and design elements to their collage with crayons and/or pens.

Check out these projects you can do at home! And if you’re interested in upcoming classes check out the new session and summer art here!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (May 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our May spotlight is on:

Isaac Clayton

I am a 14yr old homeschool student in the 8th grade.  I enjoy art, soccer, spending time with my family and friends, eating, and the beach.  I enjoy my church, have fun at youth group, and love to go to camp in the summer.

Pencil Sketch “This was just a rough sketch I made when I was working on more realistically showing movement in my art.”

How long have you been taking art lessons? “I started art lessons with Miss Jenell when I was about 9 years old.”


Why did you begin to take art lessons/how did you become interested in art? “When I was little, I always enjoyed art and crafts.  As I got older, I started to work on more projects.  One of the fun things I did with my friends was make up stories and illustrate them.”


What is your favorite thing you’ve ever created and why? “My favorite creation so far is my Mandalorian helmet.  I made it out of just plain cardboard boxes, hot glue, wall spackling, and paint.  I think it turned out quite well.”

Mandalorian Helmet “For this I used cardboard, hot glue, scissors, and wall spackling. I came up with the blueprint from some things I found online, and then scaled it to the correct size. After I finished, I painted it. For the visor, I used a covid face shield, so that’s kind of neat. I did this project during the shutdown, and I will always remeber that when I see the face shield visor.

What are your favorite mediums and/or subjects for your artwork? “My favorite medium is just simple pencil and paper because I love to sketch.  I also really enjoy painting and ceramics.”

Is there anything else about you that you’d like us to know? “I like cool t-shirts.”


Besides visual arts are you into any other art forms? “I really enjoy making costumes, especially superhero themed ones.”


Wall Mural “I was going stir crazy during the pandemic, and my mom wanted to repaint my room.  I begged her to let me do a mural on one wall, and she agreed.  This took me a long time to complete, but I love it!  We went to Lowes and got several sample sized paints in the colors I needed.  I sketched on the wall with my pencil first, then I began to paint.  It was a long process, but it was worth it.

What or who inspires you to create your artwork? “I don’t really have a specific thing or person that inspires my art, but some of my pieces are inspired by things I have seen or experienced. “

Why do you think art is important? – Why is it important for you? “I feel that our world without art would be boring.  Art is fun, and it allows me to express myself even though I’m not a big talker.”

Do you plan to have a career in the arts? “I haven’t really thought that far ahead as far as a career in art goes.  I want to be a missionary, but I’m sure that I could use my art in some beneficial way.”

Vans “I got into customizing my white vans.  I did the first pair with one of my favorite shows, Avatar: The Last Airbender. I sketched with pencil first, then when I was happy with that, I used fabric markers to color them in.  I used the same process with the Gravity Falls vans.”

Do you enter your artwork in any shows or contests? “I have entered two contests, and I won one.  I have also had several pieces in the Ward Museum student art show.”


Is there a certain style, or type, of art that you’d like to someday try? “I’ve always wanted to get into digital art.  I also think it would be awesome to use spray paints, kind of like street art or murals.”

Isaac takes his time, mindfully working on his creations with passion and determination. He always puts forth his best effort and focus into his work. It’s this perseverance and calm manner, along with openness to new mediums, ideas, & techniques, that help him grow and evolve in his artwork, and his humble personality is sure to inspire others!


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!

Make, Create, & Share!

Mini Table Top Gardens & Sculpted Toadstools!

Put together a cute little table top garden complete with a handcrafted toadstools! Add your own finishing touches to your garden – like fairy houses, gnome houses, rocks, signs, etc.! These gardens are great for small indoor plants (these are not meant to be kept outdoors) and make great additions to desk, counter, windowsill, or sunny table centerpiece!

What you’ll need:

  • Decorative bowl or dish for your garden (I use a ceramic cereal bowl from the Dollar Store – it’s approx. 5″ wide)
  • Soil
  • Pebbles or rocks to add a drainage layer to your bowl
  • Faux moss – I use reindeer moss
  • Polymer clay (I use Sculpey III)
  • Toothpick or jumbo paper clip
  • Tin Foil
  • Chalk pastels
  • Soft paint brush
  • Wire – 18 gauge or similar, cut to approx. 2″ (this is only needed if you decide to use the paper clip – see instructions below!)
  • Scrap paper
  • Pliers for cutting & twisting the wire

MAKING YOUR GARDEN!

Step one: Place a layer of rocks or pebbles in the bottom of your bowl – this gives your plants some drainage so you’re roots aren’t sitting in water!

Step two: Fill you bowl with soil and top with your faux moss.

Step three: Make your toadstools! Use the directions here for a polymer clay toadstool bookmark to make your mushrooms! You can eliminate the paper clip and wire and replace it with a toothpick or wooden dowel instead (or the paper clip will also work as a stake for mushroom too)!

Step four: Plant seeds or small indoor plants in your bowl and water! Add you sculpted toadstools and any other creations or adornments!

Use a toothpick or wooden dowel instead of the paper clips if desired!

Get creative and add fairy houses, pathways, signs, rocks, shells, gems and more!

Make, Create, & Share!

Simple Monochromatic Landscape!

Create an easy monochromatic landscape painting with your favorite color! Monochromatic paintings only contain a hue of one color – By adding white to your color you create a tint, by adding black to your color you create a shade, and by adding grey to a color you create a tone! By creating different tints, shades & tones it’s possible to paint a picture using only one color!

What you need:

  • Acrylic paints – White, Black, & one color of your choosing (Start with a bright color that doesn’t already have black, white or grey added to it).
  • Brushes – A 3/4″ flat brush and a smaller round brush (or something similar)
  • Canvas – I used an 8″x8″ stretched canvas
  • Palette and Water for rinsing brushes
  • Paper towels

Step one: Gather your supplies and pour your paint – you’ll need black, white & one color.

Step two: Paint the top inch or two of your canvas with just white paint using your larger brush.

Step three: Mix a little bit of your color into your white paint to make a very light tint of your color!

Step four: Paint a wavy line just at the bottom edge of your white paint

Step five: Mix another scoop of your color paint into your light tint you made in the last step.

Step six: Paint another wavy line just below your last wavy line!

Step seven: Add more of your color paint to your tint created in the last step.

Step eight: add a thicker wavy line below your last one!

Step nine: Use just your plain color….

Step ten: And paint another thick wavy line below the last!

Step eleven: Now mix a little bit of black to some of your color paint (not the tint, just the color).

Step twelve: Use this shade to paint a wavy line and rest of your canvas

Step thirteen: Use a thinner brush and paint vertical lines at different heights, from your bottom layer up. These will be our tree trunks.

Step fourteen: Go back to your larger brush and add just a little black paint – we don’t want a lot of paint on your brush for this step, you can bounce your brush a couple times to get off extra paint.

Step fifteen: Dab or bounce your brush up and down on your vertical lines (tree trunks) to create your trees. Bounce back and fourth making a triangle shape – your tree should be smaller at the top and larger at the bottom.

Step sixteen: Finish your trees and add more dab/bounce marks at the edge of your bottom wavy line to act as some shrubbery or ground cover.

Art activities, Greetings!, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

What’s up in the art room? (April 2021)

Check out some of our current projects happening in the art room and how they’re made!

This past month I’ve been able to hold some classes back at other locations! It’s been fun to get to have some in person classes going again!

Monthly classes have been working on ceramic pieces using hand-building techniques. They’ve created unique fun pencil holders and personal creations! In the monthly paint, draw, sculpt classes, students have also created distressed wooden signs! Join us next month for a new session of monthly ceramics and paint, draw, sculpt classes – check out the classes page!

Students finished up and created many different things this past month – two point perspective, pastels drawing, acrylic painting landscapes, artistic playing cards & polymer clay creations!

Students have been busy the past few weeks working on creating collages inspired by children’s author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Students chose an animal as their collage subject, then drew the animal out. Using crayons, watered down acrylic paints, and stamps, they painted sheets of rice paper – incorporating several colors, textures and methods into each piece. Students then use their drawn animal as a template for cutting out their colorful papers and apply their cut-outs to their final paper. Finally students incorporate smaller details and design elements to their collage with crayons and/or pens. Can’t wait until they are all done – these have been looking awesome!

Check out these projects you can do at home!

Art, Happenings, Make, Create, & Share!, student artwork

Student Spotlight! (April 2021)

Each month I will be spotlighting one of my students – past or present, and their artistic ventures! I work with students of all ages and abilities and you’ll get to learn a little bit about these amazing artists and their work!

Our April spotlight is on:

Caden Gleason

My name is Caden and I am in the 2nd grade. I have been taking art lessons since I was 5 years old. I am now seven years old! I wanted to take art lessons because my sister took them. I love spending time in the art room with Miss Jenell, my sister, and other friends I meet in class! We enjoy telling jokes and being silly while making art (Mom: “Sorry, Miss Jenell!”) I like learning about the birth of our country. I draw lots of pictures with pencils of the Colonists and the Redcoats. My favorite thing I have made was a paper mâché crab with Mrs. Jenell. My favorite style of art is music. I often create new songs on my piano. When I make art projects, I usually use blue because it is my favorite color. I think what makes a good piece of art is its beauty. I like beautiful art pieces. One day I would like to try mixing different colors of paint on top of different things like balloons, furniture, or even trees. I look forward to my next art class! I love learning from Miss Jenell!

“Crabby Army”, Paper Mache  
“Young Pumpkin”, Acrylic Paint 
“The Light Tree”, String & Nails 
“The Hot Cup”, Markers, Water Color 

Caden is fearless when it comes to trying out new mediums and techniques in art – happily learning new methods and bringing creative ideas to the table! He always goes about his art with a positive and happy attitude, which shows through in his playful artwork! Keep on creating Caden!  

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!

Make, Create, & Share!

Resist Dyed Easter Eggs!

Make fun Easter eggs with this technique which gives a similar look to batik! Simple and easy to create, use liquid masking fluid as a resist on your eggs surface, place in a dye bath, then remove the masking fluid to reveal your beautiful designs!

Liquid masking fluid, or liquid frisket, (a type of liquid latex) is typically used to block out small areas in watercolor painting – blocking the paint from the surface of the paper where it has been applied. Once dry, the masking fluid is then easily removed from the papers surface.

What you need:

  • Eggs – either blown or hard boiled, I used blown white eggs but you could use any color!
  • Masking Fluid – This is what I used!
  • Small paint brush – the masking fluid can clog up a brush, it’s best to use an inexpensive one!
  • Food coloring (or egg dye)
  • Bowls for mixing your dye
  • Spoon
  • Paper towels

Step one: Gather all of your supplies! If you’re using blown eggs you can plug the holes in the ends of your egg with poster putty so the dye doesn’t fill up your eggs!

Step two: Paint a design on your egg with the masking fluid – you can help protect your brush bristles from the masking fluid by coating the bristles with liquid dish soap first.

Step three: Use bottle caps, egg cartons, or make egg stands from strips of paper (like a napkin ring) to hold your egg while you paint with the masking fluid and/or to place your egg on while the masking fluid dries. Work on one side of an egg at a time, letting the masking fluid dry before turning over! If you make a mistake, let the masking fluid dry, then peel it off and start over!

Step four: Mix some food coloring and water together – the more drops you add to your water the more intense your color will be. Once your resist is dry carefully place your eggs in the dye. If using blown eggs you will need to rotate your eggs every once in a while as they’ll float and only one side will be sitting in the dye! If using hard boiled eggs make sure your dye is deep enough to completely cover your eggs!

Step five: Let your eggs sit in the dye until they’ve reached the desired color – the longer you leave them in the dye, the darker the color will be! Use a spoon to gently place your eggs on paper towels to dry off.

Step six: Once the dry is dry, remove the masking fluid by gently rubbing it off the surface of the egg with your finger.

Display your beautifully dyed eggs, give them as a special Easter gift or serve hard boiled versions! Check out how to make marbleized eggs here!