Crafty Monday: Wire Trees

(c) 2015 Creative and Curious

Wire trees are one of my favorite art projects. I love seeing the different ideas that students come up with once I’ve given them the foundation. This project works great for both children and adults.

Here is what you will need:

  • Wire – Jewelry or floral wire will both work. I’ve found 26 gauge to be the easiest to work with. Floral wire is cheaper, but jewelry wire is prettier!
  • Buttons or beads – for your leaves/flowers.
  • Anything for a base – we’ve used spools, wood pieces, rocks, etc.

IMG_3235First, cut about 10 strips of wire around 24 ” each.

Select 10 beads or buttons to be used as your flowers/leaves. You can always do more than 10 branches, of course. But this is a pretty manageable number for a class.

To add the beads, fold one piece of wire in half and thread your bead through the open end, putting both ends through (see below). If you’re using a button, only go through two of the four holes.

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Thread the wire through until about 2-3 inches is hanging out and begin to twist – holding the wire tightly in your one hand and twisting the bead with the other. You will feel it start to tighten. Repeat this step for all of your beads.

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Once you have all of your beads threaded, group them into 3’s or 4. These will become your branches.

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Twist these groupings together to create your tree, bending the branches however you wish.IMG_3237Lastly, select your base and attach. You can wrap excess wire around a rock, hot glue it into a spool or onto cardboard. Whatever works! We happened to have a lot of wood scraps lying around the art room, so we used mostly them. Here are some student made trees featured in our summer program’s art show – both finished an unfinished.

IMG_1155 You can easily link this art project to literacy, by pairing it with a book such as The Giving Tree and a writing component.

You could also create a tree for a particular season for science or write a math problem adding beads/branches. Lots of fun academic links!

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Halloween Arts and Crafts!

(C) 2015 Creative & Curious

Eeeep! Halloween is only three days away. I’ve been focusing mostly on costume-making, but now that that’s complete I wanted to create some fun spooky crafts to use as decorations around the house!

First up, spooky silhouettes. I found some color diffusing paper left over from an art class I taught last summer and I knew I wanted to use it up. It’s a really neat product that can be used in a variety of ways. I know ours was purchased at S&S Worldwide. This paper is absorbent, so washable colors (we used Crayola washable markers) will blend beautifully together when sprayed with water while the permanent markers stay put creating a silhouette effect! Don’t have diffusing paper on hand? A coffee filter works just as well (see the spooky sample below)!

(c) 2015 Creative and Curious

I used a Sharpie to create the silhouette portion of the craft, coloring in any areas I wanted to be black. Then I handed it over to my one-year-old, who happens to be a great scribbler!

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Once she was finished, I sprayed the paper with water and laid it flat to dry! That’s it. These look great displayed in windows, as they almost have a stained glass feel to them.

Next, we made some mummy candle holders using (1) Mod Podge, (2) empty glass jars (3) gauze and (4) googly eyes.

(c) 2015 Creative and Curious

I applied the Mod Podge to the jars using a sponge brush. Then I wrapped the jar in gauze. I had two types of gauze on hand, the one in the foreground looks much better (in my opinion!). It was woven less tightly than the other, which allows more of the candle light through when it’s dried. Sadly, I only had enough of that type to cover one jar!

To seal it, I applied a final coat of Mod Podge over the gauze in a dabbing motion and added some googly eyes.

Once it was dry, I used an electric candle to light it!

(C) 2015 Creative and Curious

Lastly I want to share this cute pumpkin stamping activity. All you need is (1) an apple (2) orange paint and (3) paper! Cut your apple in half and dip it into the paint to stamp your pumpkin shape!

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Allow the paint to dry, then decorate the pumpkins as you wish. We used a combination of more paint and number stickers 🙂

(C) 2015 Creative and Curious

Looking for other Halloween Crafts? Head on over to our Pinterest board and check out other projects we’ve pinned for you!

Crafty Monday: Paper Marbling with Shaving Cream!

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Marbling with shaving cream is a simple, fun and pretty mess-free project for kids and adults. I’m happy to share this step by step ‘how to’ with you! Here are the supplies you will need:

  • Plain old shaving cream. Nothing with lotion or any added items. We got ours at the dollar store.
  • Paints or food coloring. I used acrylic paint, because I liked the color options. I’ve also used food coloring with students in the past and it works just as nicely. For fun I added glitter paints this time ’round, but didn’t really get the effect I hoped for.
  • Paper or card stock. Thicker paper does work better.
  • A chopstick, end of a paintbrush, toothpick or similar to swirl the paints.
  • Wax paper for drying.
  • Ruler, cardboard or other hard edge to scrape the paint off.
  • Tray for containing mess.

First, spray your work area with shaving cream. Be sure to create a section large enough for your paper.

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Then, drop your paint randomly on the shaving cream. Start out with just a few drops, you can always add more later if necessary.

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Next, using a chopstick or similar tool, create swirls with the paint on the surface of the cream.

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Once you’ve gotten a design that pleases you, use the palm of your hand to gently press your paper onto the design, making sure the entire surface is touching the cream.

ShavingCream3IMG_3009-1Peel the paper off and place it on waxed for about 3 minutes.

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Using a ruler or other hard, straight edge (I improvised and used a paint tray!), scrape the shaving cream off in one, steady motion to reveal your design!

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You can reuse the shaving cream, if you’d like. Adding additional paint for round #2! I decided to marble book marks and go with some darker paints this time.

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My favorite part about this activity is how easy it is to clean up. All you have o do is rinse your tray in the sink and you’re done!

These are some examples created in an art class I teach at a rehabilitation center to adults with traumatic brain injuries. We added lettering to create greeting cards!

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