What to do when you’re stuck at home with a cold?
If you’re five years old, you may gather some lovely yet wilting flower petals (from mama’s anniversary bouquet of sunflowers)…
adhere them to watercolor paper…
cover the petals with glitter glue…
and be occupied for an hour or two.
I’m feeling thankful for simple projects these days.
With July Fourth quickly approaching we decided to do a few simple and festive flag painting projects.
First we talked about the historical significance of Independence Day. We discussed why there are 13 stripes on the flag. (Wait, there are 13 stripes on the flag?! Thanks to David for that tidbit; my knowledge of American History is sorely lacking. I’m enjoying learning along with our daughter!)
We talked about the original 13 colonies and the Betsy Ross legend.
Then we decided to make two types of flags.
One from circa 1776 (in the Betsy Ross style), on the left, and one for today:
(Oh, how I love those stars that she drew!)
She wanted to color in the California state flag too:
We then set about designing our own flags just for fun:
Above is a drawing of the house she wants to live in when she grows up. It’s an actual house located on Jesse Street; in her eyes that street’s named after Jessie, her favorite character from The Boxcar Children book series. (Any time we head into town she asks if we can “take Jessie street.” As long as it’s not too far out of the way, I try to oblige her.) How sweet that she wanted her flag to depict that house!
We recently did a redux of our picture bottle cap magnets, one of our most popular craft posts here on the blog. We were excited to improve upon this previous project, making several changes, while using new family photos from the past year.
Here’s what we did differently this time around:
We bought bottle caps. After saving exactly six caps over the past year we wanted to make more than half a dozen magnets. So we picked up inexpensive bottle caps from our local art supplies store.
We mixed silver paint in with our base color to paint the caps. On top of this we painted with homemade glitter glue to add extra sparkle to the bottle cap area framing the photos.
We used stronger magnets (adhered with this non-toxic super strong glue) so they could be more useful holding papers on the fridge.
We used Golden’s Self Leveling Clear Gel, the artist version of Mod Podge Dimensional Magic, to create a smooth, glossy film over some of the magnets. (No more brush strokes obscuring our beautiful daughter’s face!)
We found this product took so long to dry that it changed the color of the pictures. Next time we might seal the photos first before applying the gel on top (or let the pictures dry longer after coming off the printer before coating them with gel), although we were pleased with the more artsy result using this product (shown on the right).
The rest of the magnets we used the same mod podge technique as last time:
All in all, a little bit better, yet still super cute!
I love this simple way to do leaf printing with kids, using leaves, paint, paper and a brush. (No fancy brayers required!)
First paint the underside of a leaf using whatever type of paint you have handy (we like washable paint since it’s likely to end up, oh, everywhere!):
Then lay the leaf paint side down onto a piece of cardstock or heavy paper. Place a piece of paper towel on top of the leaf, then have your child press gently down on the towel with the palm of her hand.
Remove the paper towel, carefully peel off the leaf from the cardstock, and admire your beautiful, unique print!
We used our leaf characteristics terminology to discuss the various leaf types, veins and margins of each print too. (After all, we couldn’t resist turning our artwork into a homeschool activity!)
We love how each leaf print looks slightly different.
The next day, after the paint had dried, our daughter used crayons to decorate her leaf artwork… it’s now hanging up on our art clothesline!
Love those pink and orange colors she mixed. Those leaf colors scream fall!
* Thanks to my friend Dorothee (owner of the fantastic children’s accessories shop Sofee and Lenee) for the paper towel tip and the Charles M. Schulz Museum for the inspiration and how-to!