How To: Make a Thankful Tree
By Amanda Crowe, Assistant Educator
Follow-up to Story Time in the Galleries on November 21, 2013
Bridging language connections to art-making deepens a child’s understanding of and appreciation for literature, the arts and the world they live in. Carry out the message from our reading of “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble,” by author William Steig, through creating “thankful trees” at home.
Paper, cut into small, individual pieces
Ribbon or shortened pipe cleaner
Small terracotta pots
Small Styrofoam ball to fit snugly inside the pot
Cotton batting to cover the Styrofoam
Artificial pine branches or floral sprigs with spreadable branches
Embellishments to decorate the tree: buttons, pony beads, ribbon, foam shapes
Fabric scraps to decorate the outside of the pot (watered-down glue or Mod Podge is a great collage medium)
- Place the Styrofoam ball into the pot.
- “Plant” the artificial pin branches or floral sprigs in the Styrofoam and cover it with the cotton batting (will look like snow in the pot).
- (Optional) Decorate the tree and pot.
- Ask your child what they are thankful for. Write down their thoughts on small, individual pieces of paper. Hole-punch each piece and tie a ribbon through it, or simply use a shortened pipe cleaner.
- Tie your child’s notes of thanks to the tree’s branches and celebrate a moment of gratitude!
How To: No-Sew Lavender Eye Pillow
By Amanda Crowe, Assistant Educator
Follow-up to Creative Playdate: Yoga for the Young
Help your child relax while crafting this simple no-sew lavender eye pillow.
1 tube sock cut down to 10 inches long (cut off foot portion and elastic band near knee)
1 cup dried lavender flowers or 6 drops essential lavender oil
1 ½ cups buckwheat hulls or uncooked rice
- Close the sock at one end by typing with a ribbon.
- Fill the sock with the lavender and buckwheat hull filler, allowing enough room to close the other end of the sock with a neatly tied ribbon.
- Now, snuggle up in your favorite cozy place and relax with the eye pillow across your forehead while listening to music or a good book.
Check out all our fun kids classes and playdates at https://akronartmuseum.wpengine.com/calendar/list/kids-families/16/.Read More
How To: Plantable Art
Liquid water colors OR colored tissue paper (bleedable)
Flower seeds (small)
Plastic stitchery canvas
Plastic tracers and/or cookie cutters
1. Rip and tear pieces of paper, do not use scissors because the rough edges are necessary.
2. Place pieces of paper in a warm bucket of water. Once paper has been in the water for a few minutes, tear pieces into smaller shreds.
3. Add liquid water colors or bleedable tissue paper to the water/paper mixture.
4. Drain the water and fill blender half way with the paper mixture. Add one cup of water and blend on low speed. Paper pulp will be created!
5. Take the paper pulp out of the blender and add in flower seeds.
6. The paper pulp can then be molded to create a 3-D form or you can flatten the pulp out, forming it with cookie cutters or plastic tracers.
7. Allow pulp to dry. Then the shapes can be planted to grow flowers or sprouted in a ziplock bag.Read More
How To: Plastic Bag Fabric
Inspired by Untitled by Alvin Demar Loving Jr.
Plastic bags (variety of colors, patterns)
1. Collect plastic shopping bags. Look for interesting colors, patterns and designs.
2. Cut the plastic bags into shapes. Holding the bag taught makes it easier to cut.
3. Layer the cut pieces onto a larger shape of plastic bags. Create at least 6 layers but the more layers there are, the stronger the fabric will be.
4. Sandwich the layers between pieces of parchment paper.
5. Use a dry iron and press the layers together until they melt and fuse.
Make your fabric into a one-of-a-kind envelope with instructions at http://www.youaremyfave.com/2013/07/17/a-fused-plastic-bag-envelope-is-my-fave/.Read More
How To: Plastic Bottle Beads
Embossing heat guns
Needle nose pliers (insulated)
String or wire
1. Collect and rinse plastic bottles. Try experimenting with different colored plastics.
2. Carefully cut the bottles into strips, varying the width of the strips will create different size beads.
3. Decorate the strips with permanent markers creating designs, patterns, or even writing a secret message.
4. Roll up the plastic strips and hold firmly with the pliers.
5. Heat the plastic with the heat gun and watch the plastic shrink and harden. When you are finished, let the bead rest on the pliers.