How to make watercolor blooming hearts

watercolor heart craftIn this video tutorial, I show you how to make these beautiful watercolor hearts. This is a great Valentine’s Day craft for kids. Each heart is one of a kind.

What you will need for this craft is high quality watercolor paint. I recommend winsor newton. In the fall leaves craft tutorial, I mentioned that this craft will not work with cheap paints. That means that you cannot use those little dry cakes of watercolor; you must use a professional grade paint. You also must use 140lb cold pressed paper. This paper has more grit or teeth and creates the nice effects that you see here. As far as paint colors, choose 1 or 2 reds and one blue. I use alizarin crimson in the video but cadmium red is fine, and french ultramarine is a lovely blue. In the heart pictured above, I use a tad of Q gold.

This is a wet in wet technique. Your paint should be prepared ahead of time and mixed with water until you achieve the texture of heavy cream.You will tear your watercolor paper into 4″ X 6″ pieces (or smaller) and draw a heart with a pencil. Then use plain water to wet the paper only inside the heart. It should be wet but there should be not puddles (you can suck up extra water with the edge of a paper towel. Then simply drop in your colors and tilt the paper to mix.   To dry the hearts, you can use a hair dryer, but beware that little puddles of paint may blow across the page. This is a great project for the art classroom.


DSCF1340DSCF1347photoSacred Heart in watercolor IMG_7535



Boy’s Day Pencil Craft

Boy's Day Pencil CraftIt may be cinco de Mayo, but we celebrate Boy’s Day. This is a fun little craft you can do with the kids or give out as gifts.

What is boy’s day? Also known as children’s day, Boy’s Day is a Japanese holiday that takes place  on May 5th. It is a day set aside to respect children’s personalities and to celebrate their happiness.

On Boy’s Day (or Children’s Day), families raise the carp shaped wind-socks also known as koinobori. Koinobori are flown on a pole with one carp for the father, one for the mother, and one carp for each child.

Here I taped one koinobori to each pencil to give to the boy’s in 3rd grade. I will make these “colorable” koi available as a free download soon.

Paper Christmas Villages, Houses & Church

Paper Christmas Village

Paper Christmas ChurchPaper Church with Stain Glass windowpaper village templare

Color, cut, fold, and glue! Making Paper Christmas villages is fun to do. Hey a rhyme!

Color a template, cut it out, fold it, glue it. I can do that! Easy as pie.

I found some FREE templates for little paper Christmas houses on pinterest.

This paper church template came from the Three-Dimensional Christmas Ornament Coloring Book and Paper Crafts, which also includes dozens of other 3D paper Christmas crafts.

You can also get the book as a download from Teachers Pay Teachers.

How to make 3D paper peacock ornaments

How to make paper peacock ornamentI just love doing paper crafts with kids during the holidays! Here is a fun Christmas craft for you and your kids…paper birds that you can customize and hang on your Christmas tree.

This peacock coloring template is from the Three-Dimensional Christmas Ornament Coloring Book & Paper Crafts.

To make the peacock ornament:

1.) Color in Peacock and Feathers page.
2.) Cut out peacock body, following dashed line around the head-dress. (For best results glue to a piece of cardstock before cutting.) Cut out connector.
3.) Cut out feathers as one big rectangle cutting around scalloped edges.
4.) Fan fold (back and forth) peacock feathers using the scalloped edges (valley) as a guide.
5.) Fold fan in half so it becomes a wedge of feathers.
6.) Tape the back of fan together where edges meet.
7.) Fold the “connector” along 3 creases into a triangle, overlapping the last two sides and glue or tape shut.
8.) Glue “connector” to the back of peacock body. Let dry.
9.) Put glue on the other two sides of the triangular connector and then glue peacock body to feathers.


How to make tissue paper flowers for Dia de los Muertos

It’s October and craft season has officially begun. I am especially excited about Dia de los Muertos this year because Guillermo Del Toro will bring us a wonderful animated 3D movie called the Book of Life that will introduce this colorful holiday to the world.

One of my favorite things to make for Dia de los Muertos is Tissue Paper Flowers. The kids love to make these. At my parties, I find even the dad’s will get into it.

All you need to make these beauties is an array of colored tissue paper, scissors, and a piece of ribbon or floral wire. You can even do it with newspaper.

I layer about four to six sheets of tissue paper, fold in half length-wise. You can cut in half and layer again if you like.

Start a fan fold at one end and just fold back and forth.

Secure the center with a piece of ribbon, a twist tie, a pipe cleaner or floral wire.

Cut the edges so they are rounded.


Open up the fan on each side.


Then pull each layer of tissue paper towards you.



All Finished. Add them to an alter or give them to your friends. And of course they make great party decorations.


Dia del los Muertos Alter

Making Masks on Dia de los Muertos is another fun activity for the kids. There are tons of free coloring sheets on the internet. Or you can get them on Amazon from one of these best-selling coloring books.

Day_of_the_dead_cover_websugar skull coloring sheets

Sugar Skull Art Project for Kids


Sugar Skull Coloring for KidsLocal elementary school students got a preview of Day of the Dead Sugar Skulls 2 Coloring Book. Pictured to the left, children were asked to color in sugar skulls that will appear in the new book.

After the amazing success of the Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Coloring Book, Lucid Publishing asked illustrator Monika Mira to create a second book to include more sugar skulls. While teachers were loving the life-sized skeleton in the first book because they were using it for classroom anatomy lessons, many customers wrote in saying they just wanted MORE sugar skulls. So, Sugar Skulls 2 is expected to reach the market sometime in late August in preparation for Dia de los Muertos. The book will include 20-30 brand new original skull illustrations.

In the mean time, you can still order the Day of the Dead Sugar Skull Coloring Book from Amazon. Check back with us for updates, when we announce the release of Sugar Skulls 2!



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Paper Christmas Ornaments

paper christmas ornamentsOh what fun it is to craft on gusty winter day, HEY!

Here are some fun ornaments that you can make strips of paper. You can use construction paper, recycled magazines, recycled books, newspaper, fancy scrapbook paper, or make strips out of artwork that your kids have pre-designed.

You will need scissors, a stapler, a hole punch and some tacky glue for this craft. Cut paper into 1/2 inch strips of different sizes. I typically cut the paper into strips that are about 2 inches shorter each time. For this ornament, I think I cut a 6″, 8″, and 10″ strip. Glued them into circles and then glued the circles together.

paper flower Christmas Ornament

I made this flower ornament using this same template.

Paper ornamentThen, I glued both sides together…tacky glue works best.

Then I glued them in the center using a paper clip to hold them together while it dried.


paper ornament instructionsThen I glued two of these together (holding with paper clip) to make this:

You will need to make 2 sets of these.

paper ornament instructionsThen I cut a slit half way through (perpendicular) the center of both of these sets of petals.

paper ornament instructionsThen with both slits facing, I slid the 2 together to make the flower.

Paper flower ornamentI cut a small paper circle, smaller than a dime and glued on top to finish.

Paper flower ornamentI just wish I had some better colored paper when I started. A fun activity for an indoor day.

How to Make Cork Christmas Wreaths

How to make a cork WreathYou’ve been saving corks for some unknown reason and now you need something to do with them. Cork wreaths make great gifts and corks are easy to work with. Kids love to work with corks because of their ease of use.

This fun cork project requires a bucket of corks, a straw wreath base, and a ton load of hot glue. If you don’t have corks, just ask your favorite waiter at a local restaurant to start saving them for you.

Let’s get started:

Sort the corks into two piles: synthetic and authentic. I use the synthetic corks for the base. Simply start gluing corks in rows to the inside ring of the wreath base. Make sure to remove any plastic from wreath as it will melt. If you are doing this project with the kids, make sure to use a low-temp hot glue! With this much glue, someone is likely to get burned….though I must admit that the high-temp glue works better.

If you get to a place where you have a gap, but your cork is too long, you will have to cut your cork. Here’s a secret, put a few corks in a steamer basket and steam them until they swell. This is when they are easiest to cut. When you have covered the front of the wreath with rings of corks, you can move on to the random pattern to bulk it up. You do not need to cover the back of the wreath. If you like the result of the concentric rings, you are done and can decorate with ribbon, silk grape vines, or whatever suits you. I like to bulk up the wreath a bit.

To bulk up the cork wreath place a line of glue along a cork and place it somewhat perpendicular to the ring. Alternate the direction and angle with which you place the corks. Continue placing corks until you have accomplished your desired result.

Hope you enjoyed!

How to Make Sign Language Alphabet Flash Cards

Sign Language Flash Cards

Flashcards are fun to make and are very useful for helping children (and adults) learn the signs for the letters of the alphabet. They can also be used for playing different games and other activities. Flashcards can be made in a number of different configurations using basic signs, colors, the alphabet or numbers. However, for this article, I will show you how to make flashcards for the alphabet.

The basic idea behind the flashcards is to show the hand shape for each letter on one side of the cards while the opposite side shows the letter itself. Children love to help make the cards. Cutting, gluing and taking pictures are the perfect activities to get them involved in the project. There are obviously many variations that you may discover when making flashcards. There are no set rules he. The point of this exercise is to have fun and make a useful end product.

The instructions below focus on the assembly of the flashcards. If you are not familiar with the Sign Language alphabet, also referred to as the Manual Alphabet, you will need to learn your letter signs. While there are numerous alphabet charts on the internet, I recommend going to the LifePrint site where you will be able to print out some of the letters and even download the Sign Language alphabet font. Another option is to purchase the Sign Language ABCS Coloring Book and make larger flashcards 5X7″ or so, or buy the downloadable version from TeachersPayTeachers and when you print the pages, choose the option of scaling the images to 25% or 50% before printing. Then you can use them as is or color, cut and paste on the opposite side of the card.

Can you buy pre-made flashcards? Of course! But more learning takes place if you do this on your own, or in a classroom. Whenever you add a kinesthetic activity to your lesson, more connections are made in the brain, even if it is just coloring. So, I believe that this is a worthwhile project.



Supplies needed for flashcards:

Index cards or card stock cut to 3” X 5” or your desired custom size

Pictures or illustrations of the alphabet signs

Letters (stenciled, die cut, or cut from magazines)




Laminating pouches & a laminator(optional)

how to make sign language flashcardsInstructions:

1.)  Print out your alphabet signs (again, you may find these on the LifePrint site, by doing an internet search for Sign Language Alphabet, or purchasing the Sign Language ABCs Coloring Book). Make sure that they are the right size to fit on your index cards. Alternately you can take pictures of your students, friends or family signing each letter. This personalizes the flashcards and makes them more fun to use.

2.)  Cut out each hand shape and glue it to one side of the card. Glue the corresponding letter to the opposite side of the card. If you do not have a stencil or die cut letters you may simply write the corresponding letter on the back of the card.

3.)  Always allow the glue to dry before moving onto step 4.

How to make alphabet flashcards4.)  Laminate the cards.

5.)  Have fun and enjoy!


Note: While laminating the cards is optional, it will keep them from getting damaged and they will be reusable for new children that come along, either in your classroom or in your family. These cards can be used to play memory and matching games, or you may use them for what they are: flash cards.