Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mixed Media Spring Mural

While checking Pinterest for some fun Earth day projects, I came across this fun mural. Originally done as a photo of the day on the blog, I figured it would be the perfect project to work on today. You see, it is suppose to be spring here in Indiana, and in typical Indiana fashion, it is cold and rainy with light warmth in sight. D and I figured if we made a wonderful flower mural, then maybe, just maybe, it would encourage Mother Nature to share some sun and warm weather on us in the next few weeks.

The original post only had a picture, so we made things up as we went. We didn't have the cardboard or brown paper that the original had, but we do have the Ikea paper roll. I can't say anything but wonderful things about this paper roll! We normally use it on the Ikea easel that we have had for many years now, and has been used for chalk, dry erase markers, washable markers, crayons, colored pencils and paint!

Supplies needed:
large piece of paper
tape (we taped down our paper to make it easier) *optional
brown, green, and blue paint
paint brushes
tray (we re-used a foam tray from some produce)
green paper
tissue paper of all colors
glue sticks and Elmer school glue
cotton balls

Our first step was to paint brown dirt along the bottom of the paper. This was D's idea. She thought that since we didn't have the brown paper like the picture, then we needed to add the brown ourselves. So we painted just a small strip of brown along the bottom.

 Next step was to paint the green grass. I figured that we would just paint a strip like we did for the dirt, but D had other ideas. She insisted that we paint points to the grass. Sure, why not! In the end, I do love how it looks better.

When the grass was done, and while the paint was drying, we sat on the floor and cut long strips of green paper for the flower stems. D said she didn't want long ones, but I did. So we ended up with all different sizes of stems. Worked out great! We then dug through our tissue paper box, looking for fun flower colors. There were dark blue, light blue, green, pink, purple, red, yellow, and orange! We just cut small squares and then crumpled them a bit. The paint was mostly dry at this point, and we decided that instead of gluing the stems down, it might be best if we paint the sky so that way we knew how tall to make the stems. We painted a nice size strip of blue at the top, making sure to not have a straight line, since "the sky is not straight". D started to add rain drops, but when I reminded her that we were trying to keep the rain away, she changed her mind. While the blue sky was drying we got to work on the stems. We used all different sizes for the stems. Once we were happy with how many stems there were, we used the school glue to add a drop at the top of each stem. Then just squish a small ball of tissue paper to it, and you have spring flowers!

By the time we were done with the flowers, the sky was dry, so it was time for the big fluffy clouds! In the picture they just glued down the cotton balls in groups, and painted around them. I asked D if she wanted to do it like that, or if we should pull the balls apart and fluff them up a bit. She thought we should do both, so we did!

I am really happy with our finished mural! I really can't wait for it to dry totally so we can hang it up on the wall. We had a great time making it, and D was so excited to show Daddy and L. It was a simple, relatively mess-free craft!

For some fun Earth Day ideas, check out what we did last year!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blooming Flowers!

I had the great fortune to be included in the Little Indiana Quarterly Magazine once again! This time the theme was spring. One of my favorite seasons, not too hot and not too cold normally.  Adam and I brainstormed for an all new craft idea. Together we came up with this fun one.

Supplies needed:
toilet paper tube
green paint
paint brush
tissue paper in fun bright colors
green plastic straw (found in the Meijer kitchen department)
brass brad fastener
glue stick
brown, green, and orange construction paper

We started out by having flower shapes pre-cut out of the tissue paper, small circle out of the orange paper, seed shape in the brown, and leaves shapes in the green.  Have the kids paint the top edge of the tube with the green paint, this will be the grass.

Each kid picked 3 flower shapes, stacked them on top of each other, glued the orange circle to the middle, and attached them all together with the brass brad.

We then glued the leaf shapes to the green straw. We started with 2 separate leaf shapes, but that didn't work well. So we re-cut the leaves with a section where they are connected in the middle. This makes it easier to glue onto the straw.

Now to glue the seed to the brown part of the tube under the grass. This gives you a chance to talk about how plants grow and what they need. :-)  Make a small slit in the top of the green straw and insert the brad with the flower attached. Roll the flower, and leaves up, and slide inside the tube from the top down.

Now slowly push the straw up and out pops the pretty flowers! You could always staple the bottom of the straw to the bottom of the tube to create a stand, or do what I eventually did, gather all the flowers on the straws and put them in a vase. That way you can have pretty spring flowers that the cat won't eat!

To buy your copy of Little Indiana: Spring Edition

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