Posts Tagged ‘frame’

paper bag creative challenge: weaving

we are delighted to take part in tinkerlab’s february creative challenge: make art out of paper bags!


acquiring the art materials for this challenge so brought me back to the first week i lived in boulder, colorado, in 2002. i went to whole foods without my own reusable grocery bags (the horror!) and got reception that was… well, not unlike jack mcbrayer’s recent guest appearance for the grocery bag sketch on portlandia (who else thinks this show is brilliant??! click text above to watch the sketch.) so, yeah… i related to jack’s character when we scored these paper bags from whole foods last week. i wanted to shout, “it’s for art’s sake, people! we’re upcycling!”


we set out on our paper bag art adventure without knowing the destination (er, product.) N wanted to “paint the bags like huge canvases.” so we started there.

she created large blocks of carefully selected colors on them with large sponge brushes and paint rollers.

it was like a rothko study in our play shed where they hung to dry.

after the paint was dry, N decided she wanted to make a weaving. before cutting up the paper bags, N wanted to color on some of them with her metallic creamy crayons.

we cut the bags into strips which were about an inch thick and 16 inches long. then N laid them out in the order she wanted, horizontally, and then vertically.

she chose some ribbons to use in the weaving, as well.

together, we wove. over, under, over, under. N practiced at lifting every other piece of paper and guiding the next one through it.

the finished weaving was so vibrant and lovely!

we decided to frame it in an ikea ribba shadowbox frame, size 20.5 x 20.5, without the mat. i put a few dots of glue between some key parts of the weaving to hold it together, and used double-sided tape to adhere the weaving to white cardstock/posterboard. this piece is such a fun addition to N’s colorful bedroom!

check out my other blogger friends’ paper bag creations around the web:

Imagination SoupHands On: As We Grow, Child Central Station, Putti Prapancha, Irresistible Ideas for Play-Based LearningTeach Preschool, The Chocolate Muffin Tree, Nurture Store, Small Types,Make Do & FriendThe Imagination Tree, Toddler Approved, Red Ted Art, Kids in the Studio, Rainy Day Mum, Glittering Muffins, Sense of Wonder, Mom To 2 Posh Lil Divas, Come Together Kids, My Creative Family, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, A Mom With A Lesson Plan, Angelique Felix, The Golden Gleam, Clarion Wren, Living at the Whitehead’s Zoo, Let Kids Create, De tout et de rien, PlayDrMomCreativity My Passionpaint cut paste, Kiwi Crate, Tinkerlab

if you’d like to share in the paper bag creative challenge fun, YOU are invited to join the linky below with you and your kiddos’ paper bag creation!

also, you can enter to win a $100 VISA gift card and three-month subscription to kiwi crateto find out how by visiting this link over on tinkerlab or the kiwi crate blog. (pssst – the contest involves the beloved pinterest, so you know it’s gonna be fun!)


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a new masterpiece

one of my favorite art media combos is sharpies and watercolors. i just love the definition the sharpie provides, and how it just won’t budge with the watercolor. something about that satisfies me greatly. apparently it’s hereditary.

last year i created (and framed – all in one day! it was a miracle) some bird pictures for above our bed in the master bedroom. at least once a month, N comments on how she’d like to do the same sort of painting for her own room – “framed!”

sure, she’s used sharpies and watercolors together before, supervised.  we’ve framed her paintings in her room before. but this time (and this painting was made about three weeks ago) she had a vision, so i supported the execution, of course.

with beautiful watercolor stock, my black sharpie, and a palette of watercolors, she began her process.

she was excited about having used “mommy’s special marker” for this drawing.

"this is about a girl who loves her cat"

time to apply the color.

N is so smitten with the watercolor palette, like her momma.

then came the exciting part — framing it for N’s bedroom. she’s sooo proud!

hooray for art boosting kids’ self-esteem! gotta love that side effect that creating produces!


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framed poster

you, dear readers, may recall the huge frame that N and i painted as a prop for her rainbow-themed fourth birthday party.

well, this lovely rainbow ikea frame was just calling to us for some original artwork to fill it. N was up for the task! we started by painting a lavender (N’s choice) watercolor wash onto a heavy weight piece of drawing paper. N wanted to background of her mixed media picture to be purple like her bedroom.

after the paint was dry, N wanted to draw a picture with pencil onto the page. she had an idea that she wanted to draw a porcupine wedding taking place under a decorated tree, with some animal guests.

after N drafted most of the picture in pencil, she got out our crayons and got to work coloring in this huuuge coloring page.

some of the areas were so large (like the tree trunk and some of the tree top.) that her hand got tired and she asked me to help out coloring “in the lines, mommy!” as it was progressing, the look on her excited face was priceless!

the details are fabulous, and i wanted to share a few…

dancing groom & bride

fox, mice, bunny wedding guests

mama bird, nest with eggs, and squirrel

N was pleased with the finished piece.

but even more psyched when it was framed in her bedroom!




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rainbow birthday party

today is N’s 4th birthday – happy birthday to my sweet little artist! last weekend, per her request, we had a rainbow art birthday party. i was THRILLED at her choice of party themes, as i, myself, had a rainbow birthday party for my fifth birthday – the same year i coerced my parents into painting a rainbow on my bedroom wall and getting me rainbow sheets, while blasting “the rainbow connection” 24/7. anyway, i thought i’d share a few (well, quite a few) images from our party preparations and the party itself.

we created waldorf kite paper rainbow stars for window decorations for the party, using garden mama’s tutorial. N loved doing this, and now has them in her bedroom windows. (if these composite images seem too small to see details, click on them to open the larger version.)

another item we made for the party is a rainbow striped picture frame. i got a large, inexpensive, lightweight wooden frame at ikea, and we painted it so that it could be a prop in a “photo booth” area at the party, where i hung rainbow fabric as a backdrop and let the kids hold up the frame. a huge hit!

N and i also created shrinky dink nametag pendents for the guest’s gift bags. N had a great time decorating each kid’s nametag with colors or a theme that she knew they’d love. the nametags are necklaces that each child can wear on rainbow yarn.

the gift bags were filled with rainbowy fun toys and art materials, including some homemade snowflake (winter bday) rainbow crayons that we made like the heart ones from last valentine’s day. (you can see them in the post just before this one.)

for the party, we provided light snacks and cake, as it was between lunch and dinner, and we had 20 kids (plus parents) there! as a surprise to N, i created two different rainbow cakes. the first was a 7 layer ode-to-ROY.G.BIV cake, ordered properly according to the chakras, of course. i saw the idea on one charming party.

it turned out to be so awesome inside!

i made a second rainbow cake, which was a psychedelic swirly rainbow cake, just two layers. i saw this idea on omnomicon, but i did *not* make her sprite/weight watchers version. i just followed the cake box recipe.

on both, i kept the icing simple and just made cream cheese icing (1 8oz package of cream cheese, 1 stick of butter, and 1 lb powdered sugar, a little vanilla.) i had to triple that recipe for these 2 cakes. my talented baker friend over at bliss bakery created a dozen gluten-free, vegan rainbow cupcakes for our guests with dietary restrictions.

in addition to some good ol’ pirate booty, i made a rainbow layered fruit salad. i left out the candy – cake offers enough sugar!

since it was a rainbow ART party, of course we had a few art stations. one was a place where kids could create watercolor initial paintings, like N did when she was two years old in this post.

we also had a model magic table, with the primary colors of model magic, along with white. the kids had fun with this modeling medium, and it’s not at all messy!

we also had a table where i rolled out a large doodle roll sheet of paper and offered a couple buckets of crayons so the kids could work on a mural together.

we found that playsilks make for beautiful window decor…

and helped to warm up the entry area. (p.s. – this isn’t our home. it’s my friend’s condo’s clubhouse room.)

the kids had a ton of fun… and let’s be real. there was more running than art-making at the art party.

the birthday girl had the most fun of all!


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circle series exhibit

oh, how i am loving my new wall art in the playroom/guestroom, so i just had to share… we’ve had these great cool-hued finger paintings that N made before she turned two framed on the walls for quite a while now. here are the old ones, which i do love…

the finger paintings will live on in my heart and N’s portfolio, but N was making these amazing concentric circle watercolors the other day that i adore.

she loved choosing color schemes and watching how the paint colors overlapped and interacted as she painted.

after she had made a few of them, it dawned on me that these are the perfect addition to the newly rearranged playroom. as soon as they were dry, they were behind glass and hung.

N was super excited to see them in her play space.





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bottle cap art magnets

i recently realized that we recycle so many plastic juice (and otherwise) bottle caps, so i figured i should start saving some to see what art comes from them. the first (of likely more projects to come) are bottle cap magnets.

yep, this has traditionally been done wit metal bottle caps from glass bottles, but we honestly don’t buy anything like this in our house, so i’m using the plastic and large metal ones we’ve got.  first i used some elmer’s household cement to glue little round magnets to the backs of the caps.

i let them dry overnight.

the next day, i used 1.5″ and 1″ hole punches to crop selected pieces out of some of N’s art work to “frame” in the caps.

i mod podged both sides of the art so that it wouldn’t get soaked when it was coated in the next step. from this i learned that next time i’ll “laminate” the art with contact paper or clear packaging tape on both sides.

(who knew that cats like to lick mod podge?!? place up high to dry!)

next i glued the art down to the bottom of a few of the caps. i coated the top of it with this great stuff called dimensional magic, which is like a thick resin or clear casting medium. you can find it on amazon, though i couldn’t find it in my local craft or hardware stores. i found some helpful tips for using dimensional magic on this web site.

after each was coated, N helped me drop some seed beads and sequins onto the wet medium to give the bottle caps some bling.

looking foggy through the wet dimensional magic

we let it dry overnight… and then some, as the thicker ones were still tacky after 12 hours. i learned that the art that she had painted with acrylics and watercolors got smeared by the dimensional magic, despite the mod podge coating, which is why next time i’ll laminate.

unfortunate blurry painted dragon & bunny

the pencil and crayon drawings came out really great.

now we have art holding up the art on our fridge!



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decorated frame

just a simple little thing to share… one of N’s oldest (well, he’s 3 years young) so, i should say longest friends is celebrating his birthday this month. for a gift, we decided to make a fun little frame commemorating their friendship. (they now live on opposite coasts of the country and haven’t been able to see each other in a while.)

N watercolored an ikea wooden frame with her favorite color – purple. then we collected various trinkets, buttons, shells, her sculpey creations, some shrinky-dink designs, and other findings from our art cabinet, and set out to glue them onto the frame once it was dry.

N drew and wrote a cute little card for him, and we framed a picture of the last time they hung out together.


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