Posts Tagged With: recycled art

DIY: Cool Art with Aluminum Foil, Glue & Shoe Polish!

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View From The Cabin, By Captain and Mom

This project is soooo cool!  Captain and I had a blast doing this, and it has a wide range of possibilities that meet the needs of smaller kids, big kids, and adults.  Our first attempt at creating aluminum foil, glue, and shoe polish art had some mistakes that we learned from.  Our second try was inspired by the view out of our front window at home.  We love how it turned out, and enjoyed working on it together.  We’d like to frame it as a “mom-n-daughter” piece 🙂 This project can be adapted to all kinds of images, and I hope you try it!

You’ll need:

A piece of cardboard (we used the back of a pad of watercolor-paper)

White glue and a glue stick

Heavy duty aluminum foil

Black shoe-polish (the kind that comes in a sponge-applicator bottle is best)

Method:

Create your basic image (don’t worry about the little details as they get added later) by drawing on the cardboard.  Go over all of the lines with the bottle of white glue, squeezing out some of the lines in a thin stream and go back over some of the main lines heavily with the glue.  Let it dry.  Or, as we did, you can skip the drawing part and just use the glue to make the free-form shapes.

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As you can see here, the glue has dried clear.  If you run your fingers over it you will feel the relief-texture that will create the basic shapes in your picture.  Very simple!

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Next, use the glue stick to go over the parts of the piece that don’t have the dried glue.  This will help hold the foil tightly onto the cardboard.  Be sure to rub the glue stick around all of the edges too.  You will then decide if you want the shiny side of the foil to show, or the matte side.  We chose the matte side, but it will depend on your image and the effect you would like to have.  Place the image, glue side down, onto the foil and press it down.  Be sure to have a big enough piece of foil so that you can wrap the flaps around and tape them on the back.

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Put a piece of toilet paper, or a thin, soft cloth, over your fingertip and carefully (don’t rip the foil!) go over both the raised, and flat, parts of the image.  Take your time.  Use a cotton swab to go over every line to make the image really stand out.  This is an excellent time to talk about “relief”.

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Ooh, good fun here.  Swab the whole thing with the shoe polish, wait a couple of minutes, and then wipe it all off with a paper towel.  Use a dull pencil to make details, textures and patterns on the foil.  If you used heavy-duty foil and your pencil is dull, the foil wont rip.  All these little swirls, dents and marks help add dimension and life to the finished piece. Cover it with the shoe polish once more, let set.

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Wipe off the polish, taking care to let the very dark parts of the polish, right up against the edges of the raised parts stay.

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Voila!  Your very own “antique-ish” piece of art!

Below you will see our first try.  We were inspired by two beautiful, pearlized ammonites.  Our mistake was that we used yarn to make our relief, and it was too thick for the foil.  We looked online and saw how others had made this project and learned that simple glue was enough to get a good relief.  We loved making this one and it turned out pretty sweet anyways!

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The possibilities with this project are juicy and delightful!  We saw some nice owls and other free-form patterns when we looked online.  I hope you try this one.  It is inexpensive, easy and rewarding.

Cheers! Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Make Beautiful Rock-quariums for Mother’s Day, or Any Day!

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Mother Nature shares her lovely gifts of rocks and water!

Do you love the look of stones resting in water? There is something peaceful and beautiful about having little bowls of water and stones inside our house. They make delightful table decorations, and really shine when placed on a surface near a window, where the natural light spills in and lights up the colors of the stones. I adore rock-quariums!  I used to collect stones when I visited my family on the east coast, and would leave one for them as a thank you gift when I left.

Stones, quartz, granite, pebbles, and little rocks from our driveways, make great decorations. The very act of collecting them is a wonderful experience for adults and children alike, and they seem to add a peaceful air to our counters and tables.  Place one in your bathroom for a little “moment” near your bathtub, or children can put one in their room. Why do they make us feel better?  I suppose the beauty alone helps, or water and rock together being such a natural draw to our human spirits, or perhaps it is because rock can absorb negative energy?  Does it matter? They are my most favorite simple project ever!

Gather stones from your yard, parks, anywhere!  Scrub the rocks with soap and water, arrange them in a glass jar or vase, and fill with water. Voila! Change the water whenever it gets too cloudy and occasionally scrub the rocks off again if you need to.  At a certain point we like to return all of the rocks to the great outdoors and make new rock-quariums another time.

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These make great gifts!  Mother’s day is coming and I would much rather have a beautiful rock-quarium from my Captain, than flowers, candy or other presents!  In fact, a rock-quarium next to a bathtub with a note that tells mom to take as long as she wants in there would be perfect!

I purchased the vase with the frilled edge (on the right in the photo) at the dollar store.  We also use old mason jars, jelly jars, etc.  Another sweet idea is to make mini rock-quariums in the small, 8 oz mason jelly jars and put one at each guest’s place at the table, with one large one as the centerpiece.  Sweet!  We like to add plant cuttings, like manzanita or bear clover to them for table decorations as well.

This is the simplest, most inexpensive, loveliest project I know.  Nature rocks!

Cheers!  Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects, Sequoia National Forest & Park | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Make Easy Recycled Rings of Power!

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Using the seal from a 1/2 gallon of milk, a piece of a cereal box and some pretties, we made ourselves a couple of power rings! 

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This is a cool project that Captain and I did yesterday, in only a few minutes, and it was fun!  We discovered that the seal from a 1/2 gallon cardboard milk, or juice, container was a perfect ring.  It fits almost any sized finger because the top flap holds it on comfortably, and can have just about anything glued on to it!

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Save your tops for rings of power!!  We want to figure out how to put dragons on them next 🙂

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The little seals fit both of us nicely…

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We used a pink cap and a stone for Captain’s ring.  I used a hot glue gun to attach the pink cap and then glued the stone inside.  We finished it off by gluing the edge with sparkly red ribbon.  For my ring, I used a piece of cereal box, which we cut out into a pentagon shape.  I liked the orange side of the cardboard so I left that and glued a red, ruby jewel onto it and attached it with the hot glue.

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I just wanted to share our simple idea for using stuff around the house. No need to buy anything when you have a hot glue gun, a creative moment, and a desire to make something out of what’s around.

Cheers!  Karen

Categories: Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Child’s Art Inspiration: Make a Recycled Clay & Dried Flower Sculpture

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“All The Love In My Heart For Mom” ~ clay, dried flowers, feather & cardboard box sculpture, made by Captain when she was 3.

This is a sculpture that Captain made as a gift for me a couple of years ago.  She had been in the habit of picking flowers from a large Rose of Sharon bush and then drying them in baskets.  One day she decided to use a little white box to stuff all of the leftover bits of clay (the parts where all of the colors are mashed together) and, very privately, went to work. She stuffed the box with the clay very tightly and then carefully (yes, I do mean carefully!  Even though she was 3 she was very intent on her art projects!) placed the dried roses and pushed them in.  She was so proud to give it to me as a present, and I cherish it to this day!  It is gorgeous, and all of her own creation.  Originally, the sculpture didn’t have a feather in the top corner but she was bothered for a couple of months when she looked at it because she said that it was “not finished yet”.  She was pleased (and relieved) when she finally found what was missing and placed the feather in the top right corner.  I keep this sculpture on the mantel in our living room.

This sculpture is an awesome (we think!) use of all of the leftover bits of clay (do you have a baggie full?) dried flowers, or any other bits of found nature, feathers, beads, trinkets, well, just about anything that can be pressed into the clay.  She used a small 4 x 3″ white box, the kind that a little necklace would come in, but just finding a tiny box of any sort would work.  This is, afterall, a work of recycled art, and kids love that!

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There is a gentle old-fashionedness to this piece that strikes such love in my heart!

I recommend first explaining the project and having the clay on hand. Then have an art “treasure hunt”, whereby the child searches for a suitable box and goes outside to gather found bits of nature.  This is a Captain-recommended project for kids and we truly hope you will try it, just in time for April Earth Month.  I am going to post a photo of this sculpture in the k’ARTwheels art gallery, and if your child makes one, feel free to contact me to show their recycled clay sculpture in the gallery, if they like!

We would love to hear your thoughts, or how this project worked for your family.

Cheers!  Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Art Rocks! Kids are doing it for themselves…

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One of the Colors of Her Hair – ink on paper, September, 2011

This is a drawing that Captain did right before her 4th birthday.  She was very into human anatomy and was so proud to have drawn ribs for the first time.  We just love this piece, and the cool name she gave it,  and framed it to hang on our kitchen wall at The Cabin.

Kids do amazing things when they are allowed the freedom to express themselves through art and music!  I am a huge proponent of letting kids use any art supply available, as long as it is safe. I will be posting photos of artwork from kids, and adults as well, from time to time here on kartwheels.  Sometimes it feels really great to just know that others have viewed your work!  If you have a piece of artwork to share, please contact me and we’ll try to post as many as we can.

Happy creating and cheers!  Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Crayon Cupcakes!

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Recycled Crafts: One thing to do with all of those leftover bits of crayons!


We were looking for a way to recycle and reuse a jar of broken crayon pieces, and really wanted to melt them with an iron between sheets of wax paper to make “stained glass” crafts, but alas, I realized we were low on gas for the generator to power the cabin to run the iron, and at the same time realized that I don’t own an iron anyways! Aside from they joy I took in knowing that I never need to actually use an iron, we forwent that activity and looked around for something else to do with the crayons.

We decided to melt them down to make our own crayons!

Method

We removed all of the wrappers from the crayon bits. I put a muffin tin on the table and Captain put a paper cupcake liner in each hole. We used the small-sized liners and they worked great; next time we will try the full sized ones as well. Now for the fun part! Captain filled each of the cups with different combinations of the crayons, breaking them into even smaller pieces as needed. Fill the cups about 2/3 full. Place in a 250 degree oven for about 10 minutes and then check them often until they are “done”. The pieces should be soft but not completely melted. I didn’t know to keep the oven on low and our crayons completely melted but turned out really cute anyways. I looked online and found Dina Brook’s method on Education.com and also saw that another mom wrote in to say that she puts the crayons into silicone baking molds to make shapes like seahorses and hearts- fun!

After they cooled, Captain enjoyed peeling the wrappers from them and we put them on a dish to admire. The “cupcakes” are fun to color with and she was excited to save one for her Grandma and Auntie as they make a sweet recycled gift!

Good times, I love the age of 5!

Cheers, Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

DIY Sand Candles!

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Ahh, I must be dreaming of warm days on the beach again!  Captain and I made these fabulous candles when we were on vacation with Grandma and Grandpa in New Hampshire during Hurricane Irene.  They are extremely simple and fun!  If you use a lot of candles, you can melt down your leftover ends for a beautiful lesson in recycled crafts.  We didn’t have any candle stubs but fell madly in love with the peachy-orange color of wax flakes that I found at Michael’s Craft Store (I also got the short votive wicks there).  We lugged home a bucket of sand from the beach and packed it tight (it should be moist) into a tub.  We each took turns scooping out sand to make a little form.  A perfectly smooth, round form is nice, but we really loved the ones that were more free-form the best.

Method

What you need:  Chunk of wax, approx 1 lb, clean empty tin can (24 oz size works well), saucepan, short votive wicks with metal clip on bottom.

Make smooth mold and place wick so metal is on the bottom, wick straight up.  Mom’s job: Boil water in saucepan and melt wax completely in the tin can which is set in the double boiler.  Be very careful with the hot wax on the stovetop.  Pour wax leaving at least 1” of wick exposed.  After the wax hardens, lift them out and dust any loose sand off the outside.

We used orange and cream layered wax and they turned out beautifully!

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Captain really liked Grandma’s because “it looks like the shore and mine looks like the ocean where everyone runs into the waves.”  She was very excited to take home a very special candle for her Dad.

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I originally got this idea from my wonderful mother in law Judi, who made these back in the 70’s.  There is also a project listed on education.com. Here’s to summer dreams and the smell of sand, sun and the ocean!

Good Thoughts, Karen

Categories: Art Rocks For Kids!, Homeschooling Projects, Science Rocks For Kids! | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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