Tag Archives: crafts for homeschooled kids

The Double-Headed Serpent: Paper Mosaic Design

The Double-Headed Serpent: Paper Mosaic Design
Paper Mosaic Design

Double-Headed Serpent Paper Mosaic Design


White pencil (optional)

Poster board or matt board

Construction or similar paper in four colors




Double stick tape

Glue stick

Utility knife

White paper (optional)

Paper Clips (optional)


  1. Select a design like the double-headed serpent in this project. (Double-headed serpents were popular cultural and religious symbols among the Aztec and Mayan people.)
  2. Draw the object on poster or matt board. Or draw it on a piece of white paper. Turn the paper over and blacken the back of the design with pencil. Turn it over to the front, place it on the matt or poster board and secure the paper on the board with paper clips or tape. Trace.
  3. Design a border around all four sides of the design.
  4. Select three or four colors of the construction or similar paper. Decide where to place the paper mosaic tiles. Measure and cut these paper tiles no smaller than 1/ 4” x 1/ 4.” The smaller the size of the tiles, the longer it will take to complete the project.
  5. Decide the color pattern. Lay down strips of double-stick tape on the area, one strip at a time, and place the paper tiles side by side, forming a mosaic pattern. In the sample, the colors of tile form a random design. Repeat until the area finished. Use a utility knife to shape round corners, etc.
  6. Following step #2, trace the central design on the construction paper and cut and glue this cut-out to the poster or matt board. If you are using the double-headed serpent as the central design, use a white pencil to highlight the eyes and teeth.
  7. Cover the other areas of the design including the border.


Morris, Ting. The Arts and Crafts of the Aztecs and Maya. North Mankato, MN: Smart Apple Media, 2007.

Robinson, Fay. Hispanic-American Crafts Kids Can Do! Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Elementary, 2006.

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Summer Camp: Sponge Painting

Summer Camp: Sponge Painting
Sponge Painting: The Sun

Sponge Painting: The Sun



Household sponges in various shapes and sizes (Household sponges found in grocery stores can create interesting patterns and designs.)

Craft paints in various colors

Water jar

Paint palette or paper palette

Printing paper like bond or rice paper or sheets of canvas

Markers or colored pencils.

  1. Draw a design or picture on a piece of paper and use it as reference for the sponge painting. Or draw directly on the surface that you are going to paint, i.e., a sheet of canvas.
  2. Cut small pieces of the sponge from the larger sponge. To create an abstract design, snip tinier pieces from the divided pieces of the larger sponge.
  3. Squeeze the paints on the palette.
  4. Dampen the sponges and squeeze out the excess water.
  5. Dab the sponge in the paint and dab it on a piece of scrap paper to test the design and the amount of paint needed. A lot of paint on a sponge will create large blobs of color on the paper or canvas.
  6. With the design as reference, dab the paint on to the paper. Do not drag the sponge because that will smear the paint (unless smearing is the effect you want to create).
  7. Remember to wash and rinse the sponge to use again or use a separate sponge for each color.
  8. Continue until you have completed the painting. Add details with a marker or colored pencil when the paint is dry.

NOTE:  In the example above,  the central design was painted first, then the background.


Create a sponge painting on wood or stone.


Inspired by Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin

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Our Imaginations! Yellow T-Shirt, Blue T-Shirt, Red T-Shirt

Our Imaginations! Yellow T-Shirt, Blue T-Shirt, Red T-Shirt

Read: In My New Yellow Shirt by Eileen Spinelli

Aunt Betty gives her nephew a new yellow shirt for his birthday.

“That’s no fun,” his best friend, Sam, declares.

But the birthday boy loves it and imagines himself transformed into a variety of yellow shapes and forms:

A yellow dick

A yellow lion

A yellow cab

A yellow caterpillar

A yellow daffodil

A yellow tropical fish

A yellow tennis ball

A yellow trumpet

A yellow canary

A yellow butterfly

A golden treasure hidden in a dark, dark attic

A yellow banana

A yellow submarine

A yellow and black fire fly

And a “smile of moon.”


Do you play soccer? Do you collect fire flies? Do you belong to a secret boys’ or girls’ club? Decorate a T-Shirt with a favorite shape or symbol.



Fabric paint

Fabric brushes

Fabric markers

Water and container for water

Fabric glue

Iron-on transfers

Iron-on patches

Additional Reading:

Boase, Petra. T-Shirt Fun

Gould, Deborah. Aaron’s Shirt

Wells, Rosemary. Max’s Dragon Shirt

Wollman, Jessica. Andrew’s Bright Blue T-Shirt


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Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-Outs: Spring/The Four Seasons Mural

Our Imaginations! Paper Cut-Outs: Spring/The Four Seasons Mural
Spring Panel

Spring Panel Four Seasons Paper Cut-outs





Tracing paper

Glue Stick


  1. Research the paper cutouts of Henri Matisse which are a mix 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 second section will be spring. Plan the design for the season. The sample shown features flowers. There are other symbols for spring: rain, butterflies, bees, birds, grass, etc. Sketch your design on tracing paper.
  3. The sample features five spring-like colors: white, peach, yellow, and two shades of pink. Other colors that evoke spring are pastel shades of most colors. Limit the palette to three to five colors as in the sample.
  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. The sample shows a medium pink as the background color. Light pink, peach, yellow and white are the color choices for the flowers.
  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 on to the background paper and you have the second section of the Four Seasons Mural: Spring!




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