Tag Archives: arts and crafts for homeschooled children




Paper in shades of pink, red, white and/or purple



Ruler or yard stick


Glue stick

Puncher for holes

Ribbon, paper twists or similar material

Heart-shaped stencils or templates (optional)

One chain link fence or interior wall (optional)


  1. Make a sign to celebrate Valentine’s Day or just make a string of hearts. Make a loop for every letter or heart and for the space between the words if you are making a sign. Make a loop at the beginning of your garland which will be blank and a loop for the end of your garland which will also be blank. For example, a sign that says “Happy Valentine’s Day!” will have 20 loops for the words (including the apostrophe and the exclamation mark), two for the spaces between words and an extra loop at each end. That would be a total of 24 loops.
  2. Use as many colored papers as you choose or use the suggested list of colors (above). Measure and cut the colored papers into ½” x 8” strips.
  3. Glue one strip of paper measuring ½” x 8” overlapping the ends. Then glue a strip of paper measuring ½” x 8” through the first loop. Alternate the colors of the paper strips until you have the required number of paper loops forming a garland.
  4. If you ae making a sign, cut paper rectangles in various colors about 1 1/2” by 3.” Make enough to spell out your message.
  5. Or cut out hearts using templates or stencils. Vary the design by cutting out small, medium and large hearts or overlap a small heart of one color over a larger heart of another color. See the examples provided.
  6. If you are sending a message, trace a letter on each paper rectangle by using a template, stencil or draw the letters free-hand. Trace or write free-hand any exclamation, question mark or symbol, too. Decorate the squares with paper hearts.
  7. Punch a hole at the top of each paper rectangle or heart. Punch a hole in the loops. Do not punch holes in the first and last loops and the loops that represent spaces between words.
  8. Cut string or pipe cleaners or similar material and loop it through the holes.
  9. VARIATION: Cut a slit in the hearts and loop it through the next loop. Close the loop.
  10. Use your imagination and glue seeds, glitter, sequins and other decorative objects! Dangle ribbon from the bottom of the hearts!
  11. Tie a string through the first and last loops and tie them on to the fence.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Share Button

How to Make Paper Molas

How to Make Paper Molas



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


  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

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)

How to Make a Hojalata (Mexican Tin Art)



Hojalata – Kid’s Arts and Crafts


Disposable round aluminum pan

Paper like construction paper or bond paper

Permanent markers



Puncher to make holes

Jump rings (optional)


Pencil or pen



  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

Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye)

Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye)

                                    GOD’S EYE


Chop sticks or dowel rods (12” in length)

Yarn in assorted colors


White glue

  1. Cross the chopsticks or dowel rod in the center. Pick a color for the center of the God’s Eye. Tie securely with the end of the yarn.
  2. Loop the yarn a couple of times to secure it further.
  3. Holding the center of the sticks, wrap the yarn under and around one of the sticks a few times. Make sure the sticks don’t show by pushing the yarn together on the stick. Pull snugly.
  4. Pull the yarn to the next stick. Wrap it under and around.
  5. Continue to wrap the yarn from stick to stick by wrapping under the sticks.
  6. If you choose to change colors, tie the yarn to a stick and cut off the excess. Tie on a second yarn.
  7. Continue to wrap until the sticks are almost covered. Make the last wrap and tie the yarn to the stick. You will need extra yarn so cut this piece about 5 “– 6” from the knot.
  8. Place a small amount of glue on the end of the stick. Wrap the end of the yarn over the glue, covering the entire end of the stick. Snip any excess yarn.
  9. Make two small God’s Eyes to hang on either horizontal end of the larger God’s Eye. Use pencils or narrower dowel rods and wrap the yarn like you did in Steps 2 through 8.
  10. Make a loop. Tie it to the opposite vertical end of the stick and hang.

TIP: Small God’s Eyes make great Christmas tree and/or window ornaments. Use pencils to make these smaller Ojo de Dios.

Share Button

Our Imaginations! Part 2: A Tale of Two Umbrellas!

Our Imaginations! Part 2: A Tale of Two Umbrellas!
Yellow Umbrella

Yellow Umbrella

Read: The Yellow Umbrella by Caitlin Dundon

A little boy and his mother are hurrying to school and work. It is a rainy day and they are almost late. The little boy spots a yellow “umbrellow” in the gutter. “Umbrella,” his mother corrects him and hurries him along.

A gust of wind blows his mother’s black umbrella inside out and it breaks.

When they reach his school, the little boy sees all kinds of umbrellas: red ones, blue ones,  orange ones, umbrellas with polka dots and “shapes of all kinds.” There are “even ones with Mickey Mouses.” When his mother picks him up at the end of the school day, she has a surprise for him.

Project: Paint an old umbrella yellow (or any color you wish) and/or decorate it with dots or stripes or Mickey Mouses!


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

Share Button

Art That Flies: Summer is Fun! Mobile

Art That Flies: Summer is Fun! Mobile


What is a mobile? A mobile is a construction whose lightweight parts are suspended by threads attached to fine wires or rods.

Now take the banner designs and use them to make mobiles. See how they change when you go from a flat design to a three-dimensional design.

Follow the tutorial below and try your hand at making mobiles!


Here are some basic supplies that you will need on hand for all the mobile designs:


Wire, sticks, pencils, and the like, for arms


Thread, light and heavy weight

Poster board

Colored pencils and pens



Pencil and ruler

Recyclable materials

Tracing paper

Whole puncher (optional)


Making a circle and a cone:

Technique #1: use a round object and trace.

Technique #2: Use a pencil compass to allow you to make a large or small circle. To find the diameter, measure circle from one edge through the center to the opposite side.

Technique #3: Cut out a circle. Cut out a section like a slice of a pie, from the edge to the center. Remove the section. Bring one edge over to the other side. Glue the overlapped edge. The larger the section you cut out, the taller and thinner to cone.

Technique #4: How to attach a thread: Thread objects by using a large needle. Push the needle through the shape at the balancing point and pull the thread until a small length is left. Then make a knot at the top of the shape. Cut off excess thread. When attaching the thread to the wire, tie it tightly.


Summer Moblie

Summer Mobile


Ages: 5 – 12 years

Time: ½ hour – 1 hour


White felt square 36”x 36”

Orange Fun Foam

Yellow Fun Foam

White Fun Foam

Beige Fun Foam

Turquoise Fun Foam

Black Fun Foam


Black marker


1. Using the patterns provided, trace and cut the sun from the yellow Fun Foam, the pail from the orange Fun Foam, the shell from the beige fun Foam, the shovel from the turquoise Fun Foam, and all four colors of Fun Foam for the ball. Finally, cut the sunglasses from the black Fun Foam. You don’t have to use all the patterns from the banners project.

2. Take a small amount of moss and glue it on the top of the pail. Press down firmly while it dries.

3. Use a black marker to draw the sun’s cheeks, smile and nose. If you are using the shell pattern, sketch a few lines on it to make it look three-dimensional. Also, spell out “Summer Is Fun!”

4. Cut two dowel rods. Tie a piece of string, jute or wire around the middle of the two dowel rods to secure them. Then, lace a piece of string, thread, jute, or wire 6” to 8” in length through the hole at the top of each shape. Tie the shapes to the dowel rods.

5. To balance the mobile, place two or more shapes to each dowel rod and be sure that some of the shapes hang lower (or higher) than some of the others. Cut a string long enough to tie on either end of the dowel rods for hanging.

6. Does your sculpture move? What makes it move? How is this design different from the banner design? Can you list the differences? Can you list the similarities? What is the difference between attaching the leaves on the mobile and attaching the leaves on the banner? What makes the leaves on the mobile three-dimensional and the leaves on the banner two-dimensional?


How to make wire arms: Make loops on the ends. This will make it easier to tie on shapes. Use needle-nose pliers and wire with a gauge of 14, 1, 18 or 20. Cut the wire to the desired length and bent until it is slightly curved. This will make the objects look more graceful as they balance from the wire. The curve also makes them look more graceful as they move in the air.

How to make a smooth curve: Grip one end of the wire with one hand and gently pull its length between the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, bending as you pull.

How to make a loop: Grasp the end or the wire with the needle-nose pliers. Hold the wire as you twist to form a circle. If you are tying on the objects, close the circle completely. If you are slipping on a loop into the circle, leave it slightly open. Complete the mobile and close the loops.  Hold the wire so that the eyelets or circles are on the under side of the arm when attaching the shapes to the mobile.

Share Button

Kid’s Crafts: Red, White and Blue Banner

Kid’s Crafts: Red, White and Blue Banner


Fourth of July Banner

Red, White and Blue Banner

Ages: 5 – 12 years

Time: one hour


White felt 14” x 18”

Red, white, blue craft foam sheets

Sharp tool like an awl

¼” red, white and blue ribbon

Dowel rod 18”

String – double the length of the dowel rod

Measure and cut white felt to 14” x 20”. Place felt horizontally. Make a loop by measuring and folding and ironing a 1” seam. Measure and fold a second 1” seam. Iron and glue the second fold. You will be inserting the dowel rod through this loop. (This piece of felt should now measure  14” x 16”.)

Using templates or stencils trace the large star pattern and cut one large star out of the white craft foam sheet. Cut 13 smaller stars out of the white craft foam using the smaller star pattern. Trace and cut a large circle out of the blue craft foam sheet. Glue the large star in the center. Arrange the smaller stars around the circle. Make sure that they all face the same way. Lay aside.

Measure and cut 7 stripes ¾” x 16” out of the red craft foam sheet. Arrange the stripes on the banner so that there is a ¾” stripe of white felt showing between them. (Refer to the photo of the banner.) Glue the stripes down and trim if necessary.

Glue the blue circle with the stars in the center of the red and white stripes.

At the bottom of the banner, poke holes every 1” with a sharp tool like an awl. (Small children should let adults do this for them.) Insert the ribbon in the holes, alternating the colors. Pull the ribbon through and tie a knot in the back.

Trim the dowel rod to 18”. Cut a piece of string to a length suitable for hanging. Tie the string to each end of the dowel rod. The first Fourth of July celebration occurred in Philadelphia, PA. Eventually, all the states celebrated the holiday which included parades, picnics, military displays and fireworks.

VARIATION: You can also hang your banner on Memorial Day or Labor Day!


Share Button