Tutorial — Handmade Pinwheels

Another wet day here, but we had a tiny bit of time when we could go outside and run around with our newly made pinwheels. I have been meaning to make these for awhile to use in the garden as a way to keep the birds away. Emily needed a little help to make hers, […]

Spin Art (Lazy Susan Style)

We had a rainy day this afternoon, so while Clara was napping, Emily and I had a pocket of time for a fun messy art project. I remember making lots of spin art as a kid, but I had a battery-powered kit which included paper and paint. The kit was fabulous, but once the batteries ran […]

Patriotic Wreath Craft

Happy Memorial Day! Here’s a simple craft Emily enjoyed in-between picnics, barbecues, and working in the garden. To make your own patriotic wreath, you will need a star-shaped hole puncher (I found this one at Big Lots for $1), some red, white, and blue construction paper, glue, a paper plate, and a pair of scissors. […]

Block Prints from Foam Meat Trays

I started saving our foam meat trays to make our own block printed cards, and Emily enjoyed the entire process of this activity! To make your own block prints, you will need: foam meat trays, water-soluble block printing ink, brayer, cardstock, and a large spoon. We used the opposite end of a paint brush to […]

Bean Face Mosaic

Emily informed me this morning that she wanted to make a smiley face. I have no idea why she chose to make such an angry face this afternoon, but she kept telling me this was a picture of a bad guy who is very very VERY ANGRY.  To make bean faces, you will need heavy […]

Organizing with Recyclables — Pencil Holder

This decorative pencil holder is great for organizing pencils, paint brushes, pens, and/or markers. We used chalkboard paint, and a little ribbon to give new life to an empty baby formula canister! This is messy, so you might want to do the painting part outdoors. We used a water-soluble non-toxic chalkboard paint. You can find […]

Leaf Prints

I love incorporating elements from nature in our art projects. Nature provides free art supplies, and I feel it’s important for kids to connect with nature on a regular basis. Emily enjoyed gathering leaves from the yard for this one. I have a feeling we will be doing more block-printing type projects in the future, […]

Butterfly Paintings — Lessons in Symmetry

Like most 5 year old girls, Emily adores butterflies. Today we painted butterflies and I introduced the concept of symmetry. To make your own butterfly painting, start with a sheet of paper, and fold it in half.  Draw half of a butterfly, as shown. I used watercolor markers (just $2.50 for a pack of 8 […]

3-D Spring Art

Today we used Q-tips and twigs for a 3-D Spring craft — catkins (a.k.a. pussy willows) in a vase! These buds are one of the first signs of Spring. The one in our front yard has since bloomed, but this was a nice way to remember how the buds looked. Have your child mix black […]

$5 Friday — Mother’s Day Gift Idea and More

Here is the sundress I made for Emily using one of Mark’s old dress shirts. If there is enough interest (just leave a comment), I would be happy to post a tutorial on how to make one — it’s very easy! Today, we used our marbled paper from last week to make a Mother’s Day […]

A Sundress for My Sunshine

I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I have not used my sewing machine since college and that was a long time ago. *gasp* It’s not that I don’t like sewing, it’s just that I’d rather be knitting or crocheting. When the weather starts to warm up, I find myself wishing that I would just start […]

$5 Friday — Paper Marbling — This is awesome!

After yesterday’s post about making an art smock from a garbage bag, you knew today’s post was going to be about a fun, messy project, right? Paper marbling is a bit messy, but lots of fun, and very frugal!  To do your own paper marbling, you will need: cardstock, liquid starch, water, 2 dish tubs […]

Oil Pastel Art

A few months ago, I picked up a pack of Crayola Oil Pastels from the clearance section of Office Depot, and Emily enjoys drawing with these much more than regular crayons. She made a comment today about how the oil pastels are easier to mix colors with than crayons. In any case, if she will […]

Make Kites, Not Friends

Today’s post was going to be all about making kites, and how we followed this great tutorial from maya made showing how to make your own kite. Not just any kite, mind you, but the best damn kite ever! I’m planning a similar activity for my MOMS Club, so I thought I would take the […]

$5 Friday — Spring Shaped Bubble Wands

I’ve posted previously about how much the girls enjoyed our Homemade Bubble Solution. Today after Emily helped me weed the flower beds, we made our own Spring bubble wands! To make your own Spring bubble wands, you will need: 12″ wooden dowels, thin-gauge wire, some electrical tape, and some cookie cutters. Wrap the thin gauge […]

Beads from Old Magazines

We were inspired by upcoming Earth Day to make beads from old magazines! I first saw this idea in The Complete Tightwad Gazette — a terrific resource. To make your own magazine beads, you will need: glue mixed with some water, toothpick (or straw, or bamboo skewer), old magazines, and a paint brush. We wanted […]

Treasure Box

This is one of those activities that keeps the kids busy, and has the added benefit of organizing tiny toys. To make your own treasure box, you will need a small fold up box from the craft store (this one cost just 30 cents), some stickers, and an empty egg carton.  Have your child decorate […]

Pasta Necklaces

I know this is a classic preschooler activity, but I did not realize how much Emily would enjoy making these pasta necklaces! She was excited about every step, and loved wearing her necklaces around the house for the rest of the day. To make your own pasta beads, you will need uncooked pasta such as […]