Tag Archives: arts and crafts

Indigenous Crafts: Mexican Bark Paintings

Indigenous Crafts: Mexican Bark Paintings
Mexican Bark Painting

Mexican Bark Painting

Latin American bark paintings depict birds, fish, sea horses, alpaca, armadillo, and flowers like marigolds, roses, hibiscus and sunflowers. Consider combinations of these objects when creating your design for the bark painting.

MATERIALS:

White drawing paper

Tracing paper

Pencil

Permanent black fine-line felt-tipped marker

Acrylic paints – bright colors of choice

Paint brushes

Shellac

Large paint brush

1/4 inch thick piece of plywood 8” x 10”

PROJECT:

  1. Draw your design on a piece of white paper. Then place the tracing paper on the drawing. Trace your design on to the tracing paper.
  2. Blacken the back side of the tracing paper and place it blackened side down on the plywood. Tape it down.
  3. Go over the design on the tracing paper with a pencil by pressing down hard. Remove the tracing paper and go over the lines on the plywood with the black marker. (They should show up on the plywood. Take a peek under one corner of the papers first to see if an impression was made.)
  4. Color the designs with the paints. Make it colorful like real Mexican bark paintings. Allow to dry.
  5. Layer a coat of shellac over the painting to make it shine and to protect it. Mexican bark paintings are colorful. Hang it up in a prominent place.
Mexican Banana Bark Painting

Mexican Banana Bark Painting

Share Button

Indigenous Crafts: Dream-catchers

Indigenous Crafts: Dream-catchers
Dream-catchers

Dream-catchers

The Lakota hang dream-catchers where they sleep or over the cradles of babies. Good dreams go through the hole in the center of the dream-catcher while bad dreams are caught in the webbing like flies in a spider web.

MATERIALS:

6 inch embroidery hoop or large metal ring

2 yards of string or yarn

Beads, wood, feathers

Scissors

Glue

PROJECT:

  1. With a pencil make 8 equidistant marks around the embroidery hoop. If using a metal ring, make the marks with the black marker.
  2. Knot one end of the string or yarn on one of the marks. Leave about 3 inches hanging.
  3. Tie the yarn to the next mark and so on until there is yarn looped to each mark.
  4. Tie and loop the string from the middle of one loop to the middle of the next. Do not pull the string or yarn tightly. Continue to loop in this way making three or four rows of loops while occasionally stringing a bead. This is optional.
  5. When only a small “hole” is left in the center, pull the string tightly and knot the end of the string to the previous row. Tie a second knot to prevent unraveling. Trim excess string. A bit of glue will reinforce the knot. This is optional.
  6. Take the original 3 inch piece of string and tie it to the inside of the web. Tie a second knot and trim any excess. A bit of glue will reinforce the second knot.
  7. Tie a piece of string about 5 inches or more to the bottom of the dream-catcher. Toward the bottom half of the string loop two or three (or more) beads and tie a knot. Leave enough string to tie around the tip of a feather. You can make as many as two or three of these but vary the lengths to make a more interesting design.
  8. Reinforce the knots if necessary with glue. Insert feathers into the web of the dream-catcher. This is optional.
  9. Tie a loop of the string or yarn at the top of the dream-catcher so you can hang it up.

NATIVE AMERICAN ART – A BRIEF INTRODUCTION

Native Americans imbued art into everyday objects: baskets, textiles/weaving and pottery. They placed all their hopes and fears into their art. Colors, patterns and symbols reflected their views of the creator and the inner spirit of people and animals.  These colors, shapes and symbols held different meanings for different tribes but some general meanings apply.

Colors:

Blue: female, moon, sky, water, thunder, sadness

Black: male, cold, night, disease, death, underworld

Green: earth, summer, rain, plants

Red: war, day, bold, wounds, sunset

White: winter, death, snow

Yellow: day, dawn, sunshine

Shapes:

Curves and spirals

Parallel lines

Flowing lines, i.e. plants and flowers

Birds, fish and human faces

Triangles, rectangles, squares and other geometric shapes

Bibliography

Haslam, Andrew. Make It Work! Native Americans. Minnetonka, MN: Two Can Publishing, 1995.

Gooch, Randall and Temko, Florence. Traditional Crafts from Native North America. Minneapolis, MN: Lerner Publications, 1996.

Share Button

Quilling Project: Caterpillar and Caterpillar Note Card

Quilling Project: Caterpillar and Caterpillar Note Card

FIRST MAKE THE QUILLED CATERPILLAR

MATERIALS:

(4) 24” quilling papers of different colors

(2) 12” quilling papers of two of the colors used for the body of the caterpillar or choose contrasting colors

Glue

Scissors

Ruler

Glue the tips of the four quilling papers at one end. Curl slightly.  Leaving 1 ½” begin to fold the rest of the papers like an accordion. Fold tightly as you go along.

Leaving another 1 12” use your finger to make the antennae of the caterpillar.  Curl the tips.

Take the two 12” strips different colors and glue the tips. Curl into a tight coil. Use the one color first and then add the other or wind them together. When finished winding, glue the tips and glue below the antennae. Glue the caterpillar to cardboard or cardstock.

THEN MAKE THE QUILLED CATERPILLAR NOTE CARD

MATERIALS:

Cardstock of various colors

Scissors

Pencil/ruler

Glue stick

  1. Trim mounted caterpillar to an even length and width. The sample shown is 8” x 2 ½”.
  2. Measure and cut a piece of cardstock to 8” x 4 ½” doubling the height of the cardstock but keeping the width to 8”. (Cardstock used for scrapbooking is ideal.) Choose a color that picks up one of the colors of the caterpillar. Fold in half.
  3. Cut and measure a piece of cardstock of another color to 8” x 2 ¼”. Glue the three pieces together, trimming where necessary.
  4. Select a fourth sheet of cardstock. This piece of cardstock and compliment or contrast the other colors. Measure an area 6 ½” x 8 ½”. Then subdivide an area 8 ½” x 2 ½” and mark it lightly with a pencil.
  5. Above that measure an area 2 ½” x 8 ½” and mark it with a pencil.
  6. Above that measure an area 1” x 8 ½” with pencil, too. Fold the marked areas forming an envelope. Glue the three sides at the edges.
  7. Insert the quilled card in the envelope. You have a blank card to write a thank you or a thinking of you note.
Share Button

Quilling Project: Quilled Flower and Flower Note Card

Quilling Project: Quilled Flower and Flower Note Card

FIRST MAKE THE QUILLED FLOWER

MATERIALS:

(3) 24” strips of orange quilling paper (for the center of the flower)

(1) 24” strips of brown quilling paper (for the center of the center of the flower)

(4) 12” strips of yellow quilling paper (for the petals)

(4) 12” strips of orange-yellow quilling paper (for the petals)

(4) 3 ½” strips of orange-yellow quilling paper

(3) 12” strip of brown quilling paper (for the petals)

Cardstock or cardboard

Glue

Ruler

scissors

Tightly coil three 24” strips of orange paper and glue the tip. This is the center of the flower.

Using the 12”strips of yellow paper, make a small loop and secure the tip with glue. Continue to make a loop slightly larger than the first, securing the tip again. Repeat this pattern until there is no more paper to make a loop. Be sure each loop is bigger than the last one and glue the tip each time you make a loop.

These will be the petals of the flower. Continue with the rest of the yellow strips until you have four completed yellow petals consisting of open loops.

Continue this pattern with the orange-yellow strips until you have four completed flower petals. In the end, there will be a total of eight petals.

Make petals with the 12” strips of brown paper making the loops smaller.

On cardstock or cardboard, trace the flower’s center lightly with pencil. Arrange the yellow and orange-yellow petals evenly around this circle and glue down. Glue the brown petals randomly around this circle.

Glue the center of the flower down. Take one end of the 3 ½” strips of orange-yellow quilling paper and curl the tip. Finish curling the tips of the 3 1/2 inch orange-yellow papers. Glue the other end randomly through-out the petals.

THEN MAKE THE QUILLED FLOWER NOTE CARDS

MATERIALS:

Cardstock of various colors

Scissors

Glue stick

Pencil/eraser

  1. Trim mounted quilled flower to an even height and width. The sample shown is 5 ¼” x 5 ½”.
  2. Measure and cut a piece of cardstock to 10 ½” x 5 ¼” doubling the width but keeping the height to 5 ¼”. (Cardstock for scrapbooking is ideal.) Choose a color that compliments or contrasts with the colors of the quilled flower.
  3. Measure and cut another piece of cardstock in another color to 10 ½’ x 5 ¼”. Glue the three pieces and trim where necessary. Glue the pieces together.
  4. Choose a third sheet of cardstock for the envelope. Choose a color that compliments or contrasts with the colors of the quilled flower. Measure an area 5 ¾” x 5 ½”. Mark with a pencil. Cut.
  5. At the bottom of the cardstock, measure an area 5 3/3” x 5 ½” in pencil.
  6. Above that measure an area 5 3/3” x 5 ½” in pencil, too.
  7. Above that measure an area 1” x 5 ¾” and fold the marked areas at the creases. Glue at the edges.
  8. Insert the quilled card in the envelope. You have a blank thank you or thinking of you card.

Quilled

Share Button

Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto

Lazy Day Crafts: Sgrafitto
Sgrafitto

Sgrafitto

Sgrafitto is an etching technique that uses a pointed tool to scratch through a covered surface to show the art work beneath it.

Materials:

Wax crayons (Do not use black)

India ink or back poster paint

Pointed tool for etching such as a knitting needle or a toothpick

Cardboard or mat board

Brush

 

  1. Draw and color various abstract shapes on the cardboard or mat board. Make sure to use a heavy hand and leave a thick layer of wax crayon.
  2. Paint the cardboard or mat board with India ink or black poster paint. Allow the surface to dry completely. If the wax crayons show through, you need a second coat of paint or ink. Allow this coat to dry.
  3. Select the pointed tool you will use. You can experiment with different tools on a scrap of cardboard and then decide which one is best for your work of art.
  4. Have an image or design in mind or draw one on sketch paper first. Etch the design directly on the painted cardboard or mat board using various strokes: long, short, or circular going in various directions: horizontal, vertical or diagonal. Etch deeply enough to penetrate the first layer of ink or poster paint.
  5. Frame the Sgrafitto and don’t forget to etch your name in the lower right-hand corner.

 

 

Share Button

Valentine’s Day Votive/Vase Project

Valentine’s Day Votive/Vase Project

Beat the winter doldrums with a fun craft project! Use it as a Valentine’s Day decoration, give as a gift

 or use it all-year round! Super easy and cheap to make too!

 

VALENTINE'S DAY VOTIVE AND VASE

VALENTINE’S DAY VOTIVE AND VASE

Materials:

Shells in different sizes

Strand of pearls or beads

Large clear vase with a neck (See photo)

Small votive/candle holder (make sure it fits into the opening of the vase)

Small candle or tea light that fits into the votive holder

Optional: Red or pink ribbon (the neck of the vase will decide the width and length of the ribbon)

1. Wash and dry the vase and candle holder/votive so that they shine.

2. Let the shape of the vase dictate where the shells, pearls and other objects of choice will lay inside the vase. Intertwine one strand of beads or pearls. Add some shells. Mix again.

3. Place the larger shells and pearls or beads next and then intertwine another strand of beads or pearls.

  1. Finally, arrange the medium objects on top. Add the last strand of pearls or beads.  Mix. Make sure there is enough room for the candle holder/votive which should protrude above the neck of the vase just enough so that it is noticeable.
  2. Optional: Tie a bow around the neck of the vase. If the vase is narrow at the bottom, and widens just below the neck, place the small ones on the bottom. Refer to the photo of the finished craft.

Substitutions for the vase:

Potpourri

Small handmade soaps

Beads

Buttons

Heart-shaped paper cutouts

Ribbons

Mix it up!

Substitutions for the votive/candle holder:

Flower bud

Tiny beads

Colored water

Potpourri

Share Button

RAINY DAY CRAFT FUN FOR ALL AGES

RAINY DAY CRAFT FUN FOR ALL AGES

 

Rainy Day Craft Fun for All Ages

Rainy days are a drag for children and adults alike. Despite the weather outside though, children can find fu n things to do inside as well. Rainy days are the perfect time to break out the arts and crafts that will drive away the rainy day dreariness. Crafts are perfect for all ages and make sure that nobody is left out.

Crafts for Small Children

Children age two and up can sit at the table with paper and crayons. While the younger children may not have a long attention span, coloring will help to keep a child entertained when it is not possible to play outside. Cut out some shapes on paper and let the children decorate the shapes. For more fun, break out some glitter markers and some stickers. Foam is also a good option for younger children. Foam does not tear easily and is very versatile which makes it a good material for young children to craft with.

Crafts for School-Aged Children

Children who are attending school are likely more adept at handling items such as scissors and glue. Popsicle sticks are a great item to have on hand for rainy days.Children can build houses, picture frames and many other things with them. The possibilities for creative play are limitless.

Paints are also a good idea. Lay out some paint, brushes, paper and some water and paper towels for cleanup and let your kids paint the day away.

If the children are in middle or high school, they are adept at doing more than coloring or painting. Craft ideas for older children include painting on a canvas, scrapbooking and other paper crafts, as well as building crafts out of wood and other items. Cross stitching and fabric arts are good deterrents from the weather outside as they are time-consuming.

Crafts for Adults

There are many crafts that adults can do. Jewelry making and scrapbooking are two of the most popular activities. Sewing, whether by hand or machine, is an activity that can take up a lot of time and therefore drive away the rainy day blues.

Crafting is not age oriented. There are many craft types, with different levels of difficulty available for preschool age children all the way through adulthood. Keeping craft supplies on hand will make a rainy day easier on everyone.

All tutorials are available on this website.

Share Button

How to Make Paper Molas

How to Make Paper Molas

 

Materials:

Pencil with eraser

Scissors (embroidery scissors work best for cutting out small pieces of paper)

Three pieces of different colored construction paper, memory album paper or craft foam

Glue stick

White glue

Project:

  1. Draw a design on one of the pieces of paper with a pencil. Cut the design out.
  2. Place a second piece of paper under the first. Line up the edges.
  3. Draw smaller design shapes on the second piece of paper.
  4. Pull out the second piece of paper and cut out these smaller shapes.
  5. Place the first piece of paper over the second one and glue them together.
  6. Place these two pieces on top of the third piece of paper and line up the edges.
  7. Glue the third piece into place.
  8. Frame and hang the molas.
Share Button

Aztec Sun

Aztec Sun

 

Aztec Sun

                                 Aztec Sun

Materials:

Two bowls (or plates or other round object)

Ruler

Yellow craft foam

Pencil

Scissors

Tissue paper in four different colors

Wax paper

Mod Podge

Foam brush

Puffy paint

Glue

Hole punch

String

 

Project:

  1. Center a large bowl upside down on the yellow craft foam.
  2. Draw triangles all around the bowl with a pencil indicating the sun’s rays.
  3. Remove the large bowl and place the small bowl upside down and in the center of the sun. Trace.
  4. Cut outside of the sun. Fold it in half and make a small cut in the middle. Unfold it and cut from the middle to the circle. Cut around the circle.
  5. Cut the tissue paper into small pieces. Vary the size, shape or color; variety is more interesting than uniformity.
  6. Cut a piece of wax paper larger than the sun. Squeeze some Mod Podge on the wax paper and spread it over an area larger than the sun with the foam brush.
  7. Lay the pieces of tissue paper on the Mod Podge, overlapping them. Cover the Mod Podge completely.
  8. Brush Mod Podge over the tissue paper with the foam brush and allow it to dry thoroughly.
  9. Decorate the sun and its rays with puffy paint, glitter glue and sequins. Allow to dry.
  10. Place the large bowl on top of the tissue paper and trace it. Cut around the circle, removing excess tissue.
  11. Put a thin line of glue around the edge of the circle. Place the sun over the glue and press. Weigh the sun down with heavy objects until the glue dries.
  12. Punch a hole in one of the rays and pull a string through it. Tie a knot and hang.
Share Button

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)

 

Hojalata

Hojalata – Kid’s Arts and Crafts

Materials:

Disposable round aluminum pan

Paper like construction paper or bond paper

Permanent markers

Scissors

Newspaper

Puncher to make holes

Jump rings (optional)

String

Pencil or pen

 

Project:

  1. Cover the work table. Place the disposable aluminum pan on a piece of paper and trace the bottom of the pan so you have a circle.
  2. Sketch a design on a piece of paper: the sun, flowers, cactus, birds, the moon, an animal, etc. (Hojalata artists traditionally draw humorous, religious or cultural objects.) Then draw the design in the circle using a black marker. Cut out the circle and the bottom of the aluminum pan.
  3. Lay the drawing on the aluminum pie pan circle. Pushing hard enough to mark the metal, trace the design with a sharp pencil, pen  or similar tool.
  4. Turn the aluminum pie pan circle over and color in the design with permanent markers.
  5. VARIATION: Cut a fringe around the outside of the pie pan circle when finished coloring.
  6. VARIATION: Use mini-aluminum pie pans.
  7. If you make more than one, you can string them by punching a hole at the top and bottom of each and connecting them with jump rings.
  8. Punch a hole at the top of the pie pan circle, pull a piece of string through and hang the hojalata.  If you hang the hojalatas outdoors, watch them shine in the sun or blow in the wind!  Hang small hojalatas on a holiday tree!

 

Share Button