Saturday, January 30, 2016

Mexican Sun Huichol Yarn Painting Art Lesson


My 1st grade students are studying Weather and I thought this would be a fun lesson to link to their Weather Unit.

The Huichol People of Mexico create wonderful art using wooden boards coated with a layer of beeswax.   They push yarn into the coating of wax to create their designs.



The Sun and the Moon are prevalent in their designs.

I am going to use linoleum tile with an adhesive coating on the back instead of the traditional materials.

I divided the one square foot of tile (purchased at a home goods store on clearance - .32 each)
into 4" sections.  It's a little bit of work, but scoring (with a utility knife) the lines using a t square several times will allow the tile to break along the scored line.

Keep the wax backing on and separate the squares.

When you are ready to begin the lesson peel the backing off the square of tile.


Using lengths of yarn begin pressing the yarn onto the tile.  If you want to move it that's
 fine a few times, but then it will start to lose it's adhesive.  Overall it's pretty forgiving and well worth the effort to avoid a gluey mess.


I'm going to ask the students to begin with a round shape which is easy to make by coiling the yarn around itself.




It's a good idea to use short lengths of yarn so you get a variety of colors.


Once you get the sun as big as you want you can start adding rays around it.
There are lots of ways to do this, here are a few I tried.




Now just keep adding more yarn and colors until you have your tile filled.
Every now and then push the yarn down firmly onto the tile.




I think this lesson will allow for intuitive artistic decisions and lots of individual creativity while we study Contrast, Texture, Warm and Cool colors, etc...
1st Grade Student Work:









Sunday, January 24, 2016

Spring Snow Globe Craft


I taught these wine glass snow globes for Christmas a few years ago and everyone loved them so I decided to try and do a Spring version.

Materials needed:
plastic wine glasses
pom poms
pipe cleaners or ribbon
glitter
3" scalloped card stock circles
mini eggs
mini bunny
hot glue 

Using a Dremel I ground the stem of the plastic wine glass down so that there was an opening at the top before the class.  

Have your students choose bunnies and eggs - I found these at Michael's.

Glue them to the card stock base of their choice.  You can also have them cut their own base.
I used a Cricut to cut mine.
Tacky or hot glue works for this step.
Put hot glue around the rim of the wine glass and center it on the base.

Students use a glitter funnel to add the glitter and put the craft over a paper plate so we can recycle the glitter.
I think green glitter would be great too, but went with the pink on this one.
I also added these flowers I had in my stash of craft goodies.  Sequins might be fun too.
To finish wind half a pipe cleaner around the top of the glass (or tie a ribbon) and then seal the top with a pom pom in spring colors.
You can add a string for hanging or leave it as a standing decoration.
Hoppy Spring!

I was featured on Fun Family Crafts












Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Double Heart Optical Illusion Art Lesson

I have seen several of these Op Art examples online, but I didn't know how to make them.  I chose this one because I want to do it with 2nd grade students and some of them seem too complex for that age group.  This one is impressive, looking like it has depth, without as much difficulty.

I'm going to introduce Jim Dine:


An American artist born in 1935 whose Heart paintings are part of the Pop Art Movement.

Although this project isn't in his style it's still a pertinent link and an opportunity to introduce students to another artist's work.

I'm also going to ask the students to limit their color palette to warm or cool colors.  My example uses cool colors.

Materials needed:
4X4" white paper
Heart stencils
Colored pencils
Ruler
Fine point Sharpie or marker

I'm going to give the students a 4X4" Square of white paper, marker, stencils and ruler.
They are going to follow along with me step by step.


Trace a heart in the center of the square.
Add another heart inside that first heart.
Place a dot somewhere inside the small heart - anywhere will work.
Draw 12 lines with a ruler from the dot to the outside of the paper.
Pick one of the outside sections and color it.
Now finish coloring the outside sections with every other one being colored in.
Use another color (green) to do the opposite sections in the bigger heart.  Making sure to alternate sections so there is never a solid area of color.

Finally choose another color for the inside of the heart and do the opposite sections from the green ones in the layer before.  It is like the outside ones continue with a layer of white in between.

This creates a tunnel effect and makes the drawing look like it has depth - an optical illusion - 
or Op Art.











Friday, January 8, 2016

No Sew Sock Penguin Tutorial

 I wanted to do a fun project for Winter and my students all loved the owls I made a few years ago.
With a few changes I came up with this little guy : )

What You'll Need:
Black socks
Black, white, orange felt
Googley eyes
Polyfill
Dried beans
Fabric glue


I found these socks at Target.  
They were the only ones I found without white or other colors stitched into them.
Cut them just before the heel.

Here is a jpeg for the felt shapes you'll need to cut-
Cut the feet on a fold.

Put a tablespoon or so of dried beans in the bottom of the sock and then a handful of polyfill.  
Make sure it stands up on it's own.
Glue the white onto the front of the sock with Fabri-Tac.

Fold the sides and front in at the top, pull the back down and over the front and sides and onto the white and glue it with Fabri Tac.  Hold it for a minute so it stays.
Now add the wings, feet, beak and eyes and you're done.  I put a drop of glue on the inside of the beak so it would stay folded, but still open up.

You can use a hot glue gun for this too, but I like the kids to glue their own and the hot glue gun is too dangerous for them to use.  Fabri Tac works really well, I have had kids carry these around in their backpacks for weeks and they don't come unglued.

Happy Winter!
Student Examples
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No Sew Whale Pillow

I'm teaching a Summer Camp with an Ocean theme so wanted to do one of my pillows with my students.  They seem to really like...