Tag Archives: arts and crafts for homeschool children

Picture Book Month: A Tale of Two Umbrellas I

Picture Book Month: A Tale of Two Umbrellas I
Yellow Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella

ReadThe Umbrella by Ingrid and Dieter Schubert

A family dog finds a red umbrella on a windy day in the yard. When the dog opens up the umbrella, the wind carries them over the clouds and around the world. They go to Africa where the dog confronts elephants, alligators, hippos, zebras and storks; the oceans and their inhabitants; the tropics; the North Pole and finally, back home.

Project: Decorate an old umbrella and if you want to challenge yourself, give the design a theme: animals, fairies, sports, etc.


An old umbrella






Silk flowers



Paint in squeeze bottles


Additional Reading:

The Umbrella by Jan Brett

The Umbrella Day by Nancy Evans

Umbrella by Taro Yashima

*Copyright Art work by Marion Constantinides 2015

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Tissue Paper Flowers

Tissue Paper Flowers



Tissue paper in a variety of colors including complimentary colors if you can find them


Chenille stems or pipe cleaner


Vase or tall empty container

Chop sticks or dowel rods


  1. Stack two pieces of one color tissue paper and two pieces of another color tissue paper.
  2. Make a one-inch fold at the short end. Turn the stack over and make a one-inch fold again. Continue to fold back and forth until the entire stack forms a strip (like an accordion).
  3. Fold the stack in the middle and cut it in half.
  4. Round off the corners of each strip.
  5. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the middle of a strip and twist it tightly.
  6. Fan out the tissue and pull on one layer at strip of papers at a time.
  7. Repeat steps 4 -6 with the second strip.
  8. VARIATION: Using the complimentary colored tissue papers, stack two pieces of blue and two pieces of orange and repeat steps 1 – 7.
  9. Continuing to use complimentary color combinations, stack two pieces of purple and two pieces of yellow tissue paper and follow steps 1 – 7.the chop sticks
  10. Using red and green, stack two pieces of each color and follow steps 1 – 7
  11. When finished making the flowers, attach them to the chop sticks or dowel rods using the pipe cleaners. Put them in a vase or jar and decorate your favorite room.
  12. Attach the various color combination flowers to gifts or the covers of photo albums and journals. Paper flowers have lots of uses!
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Newspaper cut into 1 inch wide strips

7” x 12” heavy paper (i.e., oak tag)

Masking tape

Rice or beans

White glue

Self-adhesive decorative contact paper

Empty toilet paper rolls


Bowl of water

Various paints and brushes



  1. To make the handle of the maracas: cut out a 7” x 12” piece of heavy paper like oak tag. Make a fringe along the top edge by cutting 1” slits every ¼.”
  2. Roll the paper into a tube shape and tape along the edge. Gather the fringe at the one end of the tube. Set aside.
  3. Or skip steps #1 and #2 and use an empty toilet roll.
  4. Blow up a balloon.
  5. Cut the strips of newspaper into one-inch wide strips.
  6. Mix the white glue and water so it is the consistency of pancake batter. Stir. Dip the strips into the glue/water mixture. Remove the excess with your fingers. Cover the entire balloon with these strips.
  7. Smooth the paper on the balloon with your hands removing all excess glue/water. Let the balloon dry completely. Take a pin, poke the surface and pop the balloon.
  8. Make a small opening in the balloon with a utility knife and pour a handful of rice or s into the opening. Seal with tape.
  9. If you are using the fringed paper, spread the fringe on the papier mache ball and tape down. Or if you are using the toilet paper ball and tape securely against the balloon.
  10. Wrap the tube with decorative contact paper or decorative tape or paint it.
  11. Paint the papier mache balloon. When dry, add sequins, glitter, etc. Refer to the examples above.
  12. Have making music!
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Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-outs: Fall/The Four Seasons Mural

Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-outs: Fall/The Four Seasons Mural





Tracing paper

Glue Stick


  1. Research the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse. These paper works combine symbolic and abstract shapes. “I have attained a form, filtered to the essentials,” Matisse once said and this sums up his philosophy as an artist. Study the paper cutouts for color and form; www.henri-matisse.net/cut_outs.html.
  2. There will be four panels or sections for the Four Seasons Mural. The fourth and last section will be fall or autumn. Plan the design for the season. The sample shown features falling leaves. There are other symbols for fall: pumpkins, apples, corn, and other foods of the harvest, corn stalks, scarecrows, etc. Sketch your design on tracing paper.
  3. The sample features five colors: orange, yellow, dark red, green and dusty pink. The background in the sample is brown like the brown of a brown paper bag. Colors that evoke fall are orange, dark reds, dark, purples, shades of green (especially dark and olive greens), browns, gold, etc. Limit the palette to five colors as in the sample. Use patterned paper if it compliments the design or use a paper bag.
  4. Decide the size of the paper cutout. The sample shown is 4” x 6.” Cut the background paper to the size you want for the paper cutout. Orange, yellow and dark red are the color choices for the sun and the sun’s rays.
  5. Sketch the design on tracing paper. Decide the colors for each part of the design. Blacken the back of the design and flip it over on to the papers you will use. Trace the outline of the shapes.
  6. Use embroidery scissors to cut out the shapes. Embroidery scissors enable you to cut inside larger shapes.
  7. Glue the shapes down and you have the fourth section of the Four Seasons Mural: Fall!
  8. Glue the four panels down on to a larger piece of paper to form the Four Seasons Mural.






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Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids! Fence Weaving Part II

Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids! Fence Weaving Part II


Chain link fence

Paper – solid colored paper, patterned paper, crêpe paper, tissue paper, rice paper, construction paper, newspaper, etc. as long as the paper is pliable

Fabric scraps



Anything that you can use to decorate a fence


Wire or pipe cleaners or string for attaching various elements of the design


Markers, pencils, rub down lettering or crayons for writing messages


A chain link fence works best. Please get permission to use it first.

Colorful, funny, serious, or informative designs can cover the entire fence or a part of it. Decorate the fence alone or with friends. Think about celebrating the project with a “weaving” party! Each of your friends could design their personal section of the fence.

Themes are popular: nature, animals, the zodiac, outer space, the sea/ocean, beach, transportation, abstract art, etc.

You can take down your fence “weaving” if you don’t like it and start again.

Weave your design vertically, horizontally or diagonally!

Use your imagination!

If you are not allowed to leave the fence “weaving’ up for a long time, take a photo of all the designs and post them on Facebook or tweet the photos to your friends and family.

Fence "Weaving"

Fence “weaving” design made of two kinds of fabric

Chain link fence banner

I Love Summer! Banner

Fence "Weaving"

Fence “Weaving”

Fence "Weaving"

Fence “Weaving”


Fence "Weaving" Paper Loops

Fence “Weaving” Paper Loops







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Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids: Nature Collage

Our Imaginations! Camp for Kids: Nature Collage

The craft NATURE COLLAGE was adapted from the project “World of Nature/Spring Mural Collage” found in the Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin and published by Parker Publishing Company in 1971.


White glue or glue stick

cardboard any size


Any combination of: poster or acrylic paints, brushes, fabric scraps, newspapers, magazines, photos, pen and ink, crayons, construction paper, tissue paper, brown paper bags, ribbon, buttons, etc.

Objects from nature: leaves, twigs, bark, shells, pebbles, seeds from plants, etc.

1. A collage is a composition or picture made by attaching different found objects and materials to a surface. That surface is often (but not always) flat. Like all forms of art, the first step in making a collage involves thinking. What will the collage be about?

2. Decide the size of the collage. Glue, draw or paint everything on the cardboard so it is important to decide if you want a large or a small collage. Use a large sheet or cut it in half.

3. Next, decide if you want the design to flow across the cardboard (horizontally), from the top to the bottom (vertically) or from corner to corner (diagonally).To create depth, larger objects should stand in front of smaller ones. It is smart to work from the back to the front of the collage so glue the smaller objects first. This gives the person looking at the collage a feeling of depth. “Depth” means that you can see objects in back of the objects that are in front of the scene that you are creating.

4. Collect the materials that you will be using. Different materials make up a collage.  This collage project has one main subject (nature) so collect many objects from and about nature. Photographs, drawings of objects from nature (the sun, butterflies, bees, birds, clouds, etc.) can also be used.

Use cut paper, too. Cut the paper into different shapes suggesting nature (i.e., leaves and flowers) using scissors. This will produce paper edges that are wavy, zigzagged or straight.

Or fold the paper once. Turn the paper on the other side and fold again in the other direction. Tear the paper along the fold. Continue to fold and tear the paper into shapes. This creates ragged paper edges which will look different from the papers cut with scissors.

Glue the papers down and overlap them. The layers of tissue paper will show the color and shape of the paper or board underneath and create pretty designs.

5. Glue the materials to the cardboard. If you are not sure about the design, glue them to a piece of paper like construction paper. Then, decide if the materials can be added to the collage. If you decide that you can, glue the paper with the objects to the cardboard.

6. Frame the collage and hang on your bedroom wall!


SEASHELLS: Find a couple of seashells. The kinds that are sort of flat are the best for this idea. Choose two or three colors of paint and squeeze some on a palette or piece of wax paper. Brush the paint on one side of the shell. Experiment with the amount of paint. Print the shell on a piece of construction paper by rolling it and pressing. Do this with the other colors and shells, occasionally overlapping some of the shells to create a pattern. To add another dimension to the shells, glue tiny seeds or pebbles on the ends of the printed shells. When the paint is dry, cut the printed shells and glue to the cardboard along with the other objects collected. (See the Summer Camp for Kids: Nature Prints tutorial on this website for more information.)

The collage below includes a drawing of a flower, a sun print of leaves and twigs, a part of a nature print of leaves and rubber stamped leaves. Assorted cut paper was used for the background.


Nature Collage

Nature Collage


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