Tag Archives: construction paper

Lazy Day Crafts: Papier Mache Dragon

Lazy Day Crafts: Papier Mache Dragon


Newspaper, cut into strips


Wall paper paste or white glue slightly thinned

Containers for water and paste

½ egg carton preferably made of paper or cardboard

4 – 6 oz paper cup

Masking tape

Bond or construction paper

Green acrylic or poster paint or any color you choose for your dragon

Glitter, buttons, tissue paper, wiggle eyes, foil, etc

Paint brushes

Paper towels


  1. Cover your work space with newspaper. Cut egg carton in half and tape it shut. Tape the paper cup to one end of the carton. (This will be the head of the dragon.) Make a long tube with the construction paper and tape it to the other end of the carton. (This will be the tail of the dragon.)
  2. Cut newspaper into strips.
  3. Read the directions on the label for using wallpaper paste. Mix wallpaper paste with water and stir. Pour into container.
  4. Dip strips into paste mixture. Allow excess paste to drip off into container. Apply to the dragon mock-up. Apply two or three layers. Allow to dry. Add more layers if needed and apply them when the first three layers are dry. Dry thoroughly.
  5. Paint the dragon with acrylic or poster paint. Allow the paint to dry.
  6. Decorated the papier-mache dragon with a variety of embellishments. Use your imagination!


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Fun Toddler Craft Ideas

Getting a toddler to sit still is often a near-impossible feat. They’re constantly exploring the world around them. That’s a good thing, but sometimes they need some creative downtime. That’s where toddler crafts come in.

Crafting is great for toddlers for a number of reasons. It can help them develop longer attention spans. Most crafts help develop hand-eye coordination. And young children can benefit from learning how to follow simple instructions. Let them explore and create their own versions of projects.

Here are some craft ideas that your toddler can do (with supervision and the encouragement to use his or her imagination ).

Craft Stick and other Puppets

Puppets are fascinating to toddlers. Creating their own puppets is easy, and it’s lots of fun. All you really need are some craft or Popsicle sticks, construction paper, safety scissors, markers and glue.

Help your toddler cut animal shapes out of construction paper. He can draw faces and other details with washable markers. Glue the stick to the back of the shape, let dry, and he’s ready to put on a puppet show. If you want to make more elaborate puppets, try cutting shapes out of foam. Glue on a pom-pom for the nose, and add some google eyes.
Variation: Make puppet figures based on favorite storybook characters.

Variation: Colonial Corn Husk Dolls and Paper Bag People and Animals. Tutorials are available found on this website.

Paint with Pudding

Paint with Pudding








Paint with Pudding

Kids love to finger paint, but it’s so messy. And there’s also the concern about them eating the paint. Even if the paints are nontoxic, it can make cautious parents uneasy. The solution? Let them paint with pudding!

You don’t need different flavors to make different colors. Just use one serving of plain vanilla pudding, divide it up into small portions, and add food coloring to create various shades. Give your child a paper plate to use as a canvas for his masterpiece. When he’s done, he can eat it with no worries.

Kid's T-Shirt Design

Kid’s T-Shirt Design







Design a T-Shirt

If your toddler sees you sewing or painting clothes with fabric paint, she may want to try her hand at designing clothes. But needles are small and sharp, and fabric paint is messy. What to do? Break out the markers!

Kids can have a blast decorating a plain white t-shirt with colorful markers. If you use washable ones, they can create a design, wear it, and start over after you wash the shirt. For a more permanent design, however, you’ll have to let him use non-washable markers. You can avoid a mess by covering the work area with newspaper and putting a smock on your toddler.

Kid's place mat project

Kid’s place mat project








Place mats

Making place mats out of contact paper is very easy. Have your toddler cut shapes out of construction paper and glue them on a whole piece with a glue stick. He can add detail with markers or embellish with stickers. When he’s done, place the artwork on a piece of contact paper, sticky side up. Place another sheet of contact paper on top, sticky side down.

Most toddlers will only enough patience to make one place mat at a time. But he or she can make another one tomorrow, continuing until there are enough for the table. He or she will be so proud to know that everyone sees his artwork at every meal!

Crafting can help your toddler learn important skills while keeping him quietly occupied. Whether it’s a rainy day or he’s just feeling creative, seize the opportunity to let him channel his imagination into something you can both admire.

The place mat sample in the photograph above was made with remnants of other paper projects.

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Make a Shadow Puppet Theater and Shadow Puppets

Make a Shadow Puppet Theater and Shadow Puppets



(1) Large cereal box 13 ½” x 7 ½”


Box cutters

Masking tape or packaging tape

White glue or double-stick tape

Colored papers, i.e. construction paper, scrap booking papers, or material like craft foam or felt

Tracing paper or translucent papers

Small lamp


  1. Measure the large cereal box and cut out the back. Tape down the sides of the box.
  2. Cut out a window in the front leaving 2” width wise and 1” lengthwise.  Discard   cardboard scraps or save them to use for another time.
  3. Select papers or felt or craft foam to cover the front and sides of the stage. Be colorful. The top, bottom, sides and the front of the stage do not have to match. Contrast colors and/or patterns.
  4. Measure the sides, top and bottom of the stage. Measure the front of the stage around the cut out window.  An easy way to measure the front is to turn it over, lay it on a sheet of paper and trace around the outside of the box and around the cut out. Cut the papers and glue them down.
  5. Measure the width and length of the window. Select either tracing paper or translucent paper and measure and cut it a slightly bigger than the window. Glue behind the stage so the ends of the paper won’t show.
  6. Test the lamp: does it work? The lamp will illuminate the puppets from behind.
  7. Add more embellishments such as columns or curtains.
  8. The Shadow Puppet Theater is (almost) ready to go!


The next step is to read the synopsis of the zodiac tale and make the shadow puppets. There are twelve stories, twelve animals and other characters that illustrate the stories of the Chinese Zodiac.

When looking for information on how to draw animals and people, select free downloads on the web. I have listed a handful of sites (below) but there are more. Be sure that the clip art is free!!





White glue

Popsicle sticks

Dark paper


Free clip art websites


  1. Using free downloadable clip art, look up easy to follow instruction for tracing and cutting out the animals.
  2. Glue to a Popsicle stick and recreate the stories for friends and family. Charge a small fee and open the plays to the neighborhood.
  3. As a challenge, rewrite the endings to the stories or add or drop minor characters to make the stories unique!
  4. Act out the stories for friends and family!


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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.
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How to Make a Retablo

How to Make a Retablo





A retablo is a small oil painting on tin, zinc, copper or wood used in Catholic homes to venerate Catholic saints.


6” x 6” oak tag with ½” scored around all four edges

6″ x 5″ oak tag 1/2″ scored on the left and right sides

Yellow construction paper

Yellow crayon or marker

Gold paint (optional)

Paint brush (optional)

5” x 5” construction paper (color of choice)cut into one inch strips

Scraps of construction paper

Black construction paper

Foil papers (optional)


Stickers, crayons, pencils, black markers (preferably Sharpies), rubber stamps and ink, etc.

White glue



Matt or utility knife



  1. Measure ½” around the edges of the 6” X 6” oak tag. Score the edges using a utility knife and ruler. Do not cut all the way through the oak tag.
  2. Cut out the corners, then fold up the edges and tape them to secure them.
  3. To make the doors: measure and cut a piece of oak tag 6” x 5.” Measurements are not always perfect so trim where necessary. Measure ½” on each end of the longest side. Score and fold. Cut in half.
  4. Cut a 2 1/2″ x 3” colored square and cut diagonally to make two triangles.
  5. Decorate the doors and the top triangle piece with gold paint or yellow markers or crayons or glue yellow construction paper.  Tape the 1/2″ edges of the doors on the right and left sides to the retablo.
  6. Cut small construction paper pieces and foil papers into different shapes and glue to the doors and triangle tops. Create a design that reflects you instead of a traditional retablo.
  7. Center and glue the oak tag with the doors on the black construction paper.
  8. Cut 1” x 5″ strips out of the construction paper (any color of choice) and glue into the back of the retablo box.
  9. Draw items of relevance and place them on the shelves or use stickers or glue small objects that mean something to you or use whimsical drawings or objects.
  10. Display the retablo during El Dia de los Muertos or on any day of the year that is special to you.




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