Tag Archives: homeschool crafts

Aztec Sun

Aztec Sun


Aztec Sun

                                 Aztec Sun


Two bowls (or plates or other round object)


Yellow craft foam



Tissue paper in four different colors

Wax paper

Mod Podge

Foam brush

Puffy paint


Hole punch




  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.
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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!


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Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets

Summer Camp: Paper Bag Animals/Paper Bag Pets


Paper Bag People and Animals

Paper Bag People and Animals


Lunch size paper bags, brown or white

Newspaper (or similar material)



Scraps of construction paper

Paste or glue

Ribbon and/or yarn

Sequins, buttons, seeds (for eyes, nose mouth)

Crayon and/or markers and/or colored pencils

Clip art


Pipe cleaners (for whiskers)

Wiggle eyes

Rubber Band




  1. Choose the pet or animal you will make.
  2. Stuff 1/3 of the bag tightly with crumbled or strips of newspaper (or similar material) to form the head (about two or three sheets).
  3. Gather the bag at the base of the head. Tie it securely with string or yarn.
  4. Stuff the rest of the bag with more newspaper and tape the bottom of the bag closed.
  5. Cut eyes, nose, mouth, and paws from construction paper or use sequins, buttons or seeds. Use pipe cleaners for the whiskers.
  6. Tie a ribbon or piece of yarn around the neck.
  7. Add buttons or other decorations to dress up you paper bag pet or person.

Alternative Projects:

  1. Make a paper bag person. Use yarn for hair and wiggle eyes. Follow the directions above.
  2. Stuff only the top 1/3 of the bag. Insert a long stick (like a ruler) into the head and secure with string, yarn or a rubber band. Use as a puppet and put on a play for your friends! Read the books below for more ideas:

Gauch, Patricia Lee. Poppy’s Puppet

Marsh, Valerie. Puppet Tales




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Summer Camp: A Tale of Three Rubbings

Summer Camp: A Tale of Three Rubbings


Thin paper like rice paper or bond paper

Any kind of crayons including Wax crayons


Textured surfaces: chain link fences, tombstones, bricks, sidewalks, gratings, certain fabrics


  1. Find an interesting raised surface to rub. For the first rubbing, select a surface and rub with either the graphite or one of the wax crayons.
  2. For the second rubbing, rub with a different wax crayon on another surface or on the same surface. The shift the paper up or down or sideways, rubbing the surface with another color or the graphite.
  3. For the third rubbing, select two or three colors and two or three surfaces to rub. Use only one sheet of paper for this. Select a color and rub the first surface with it. Rub the second surface with a second crayon. Rub the third surface with a third color or the graphite.
  4. Do you notice a pattern created with the different colors and surfaces? Insert your best rubbing in a poster frame and hang on the wall of your bedroom.
  5. Alternative Project: Rubbings also make great greeting or note cards. Cut a blank piece of paper in half. Cut the rubbing and paste it to the front of the folded paper.  Cut the rubbing smaller still and you can make gift tags the same way as the greeting card.


For more ideas on rubbings:

All-Around-the-House Art and Craft Book by Patricia Z. Wirtenberg

Arts and Crafts Activities Desk Book by Joyce Novis Laskin.

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Summer Camp: Textured Prints

Summer Camp: Textured Prints
Textured Print

Textured Print

  Materials: Printer’s ink, black and two colors Glass surface Brayer Lightweight paper (rice or bond) Cleaner Rags

  1. Squeeze a line of black ink on the flat piece of glass. Roll the brayer over it and back and forth on the glass. Cover the brayer with ink.
  2. Find a very rough surface i.e., woven fabric, a collage of leaves, brick, stone, etc. Place the paper over this surface. Hold it firmly with one hand as you roll the inked brayer back and forth over it.
  3. Ink the brayer again and try another textured surface on a clean sheet of paper.
  4. Clean the glass and brayer thoroughly and wait to dry.
  5. Squeeze ink in the second color on to the glass and roll the brayer over it. Coat the entire brayer with the ink.
  6. Roll that color over a clean sheet of paper on another surface or roll the new color over the first sheet inked in black. Try different combinations of the two colors and black and different surfaces.
  7. Frame the finished textured prints or use them to make notecards.


Two textured collages,the one superimposed over the second, resulted in the textured print pictured above. The print was first printed in black ink rolled over a collage made of strings arranged in a pattern and glued to a board.  Geometric patterns made from poster board comprised a second collage. After the black ink dried, the print was placed on top of this second collage. Brown ink was rolled over the geometric shapes creating the design.


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Summer Camp: Windsock

Summer Camp: Windsock




One sheet craft foam any color

One bandana any color or design or scrap of fabric (Ribbon is a good substitute)

Ink pen or fabric marker

Additional craft foam in various colors or craft papers in assorted colors


Peel ‘n Stick Adhesive tape



Hole punch

  1. Trace and cut patterns provided (below) on to the large craft foam.
  2. Adhere the adhesive tape to the back of the patterns, peel the back off and arrange them on to one side of the craft foam sheets (i.e., use green foam for the leaves, yellow foam for the daisies, etc) or use glue.
  3. Run a line of glue or the adhesive tape down the length of one short edge of the craft foam. Fold down the opposite edge of the craft foam and press to form an oblong windsock.
  4. Cut 1” slits along one edge of the bandanna or fabric and tear to form long strips.
  5. Punch three evenly spaced holes along the edge of the windsock. Insert a strip of fabric or bandanna into each hole. Make a knot to hold the strip in place. Gather the opposite ends of the fabric trips and tie them together into one knot.
  6. Punch evenly spaced holes along the bottom edge of the windsock for the remaining strips of fabric. Or cut small slits and poke the fabric through with the scissors. Place each fabric strip into each hole and knot each to secure in place.

Airports use windsocks to show wind direction and relative wind speed but they are also used for decorative purposes. Windsocks made of paper and silk originated in China and Japan. The ancient Romans used windsocks as military banners.

For more information go to www.ehow.com




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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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Intro to Summer Camp: Paper Garland Sign

Intro to Summer Camp: Paper Garland Sign


Paper in various colors



Ruler or yard stick


Glue stick

Hole puncher

Pipe cleaners, string, paper twists or similar material

Number stencils or templates (optional)

One chain link fence

  1. Make a sign for your clubhouse or to celebrate the beginning of summer and the end of school. Make a loop for every letter of your sign and for the space between the words. Make a loop at the beginning of your sign which will be blank and a loop for the end of your sign which will also be blank. For example, a sign that says “School is out!” will have 11 loops for the words, one for the exclamation mark, two for the spaces between words and an extra loop at each end. That would be a total of sixteen loops.
  2. Use four or five different colored papers. Measure and cut the colored papers into six or more 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. Use the photograph for reference.
  4. Next, cut paper rectangles in various colors about 1 1/2” by 3.” Make enough to spell out your message.
  5. Trace a letter on each paper rectangle by using a template, stencil or free hand. Trace any exclamation, question mark or symbol, too.
  6. Punch a hole at the top of each paper rectangle. Punch a hole in the loops. Do not punch holes in the first and last loops and the loops that represent spaces between words.
  7. Cut string or pipe cleaners or similar material and loop it through the holes.
  8. Or use your imagination and glue seeds, glitter, sequins and other decorative objects!
  9. Tie a string through the first and last loops and tie them on to the fence. Don’t forget to add extra loops when you change the message!
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Coloring Pages from the Pittsburgh Folk Festival

Coloring Pages from the Pittsburgh Folk Festival


Decorated Eggs

Decorated Eggs

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Art That Flies: Fall Mobile!

Art That Flies: Fall Mobile!


What is a mobile? A mobile is a construction made up of lightweight parts suspended by threads that are attached to fine wires.

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. Scroll down to the Fall Banner tutorial below this info.


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


Wire, sticks, pencils, etc 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.


Holz, Loretta. Mobiles You Can Make. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company, 1965.

Zubrowski, Bernie. Mobiles: Building and Experimenting with Balancing Toys. New York: Morrow Junior Books, 1993.


Fall Mobile

Fall Mobile



Ages: 5 – 12 years

Time: ½ hour – 1 hour


Construction paper or Fun Foam in 5 colors for fall: red, yellow, orange, brown, green

2 dowel rods cut to 12” each

Ball of jute or string or wire

Eraser/ Pencil

Hole puncher (optional)


Tacky glue or glue stick

Or preserve and use real leaves: http://www.ehow.com/how_2068272_preserve-fall-leaf.html

1. Ask an adult to cut the dowel rods so that you have two. Cross them in the middle and tie them tightly with a piece of string or jute or wire. Cut another piece to tie on each end when hanging the mobile. Lay aside.

2. Select Fun Foam or construction paper in fall colors: orange, yellow and brown. Dark red, purple and dark green also work well for autumn themes. Trace and cut the leaf patterns from the fall banner project. Cut two leaves for each leaf shape. Vary the sizes for more interesting results.

3. Cut pieces of thread 12” long and even longer depending on how many leaves you will hang. If you are using thread, double it. Lay the thread on the leaves leaving space between them. Vary the amount of space between the leaves or arrange the leaves so that they point in different directions. Apply glue to the back of the leaves.

4. Take the second leaf and attach it to the back of the first leaf hiding the string or wire. Or thread the needle through a single leaf with the needle and make a loop. Tie the ends.

5. Hang the leaves from the dowel rods balancing the mobile. Tie a piece of string, jute or wire and tie to the ends of the dowel rods. Hang it up and see the mobile move.

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?


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 bend 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. Close the loops when finishing the mobile.. Hold the wire so that the eyelets or circles are on the under side of the arm when attaching the shapes to the mobile.

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