Here’s a great craft for older kids and teens to show off their creativity and bring new life to boring clothes. Try your hand at bleach pen altering!
Victoria made this lovely shirt from an old peach t-shirt of mine that I was going to donate.
She put a layer of waxed paper inside the shirt (to prevent bleach soaking through to the other side) and laid the shirt flat, then drew a freehand design on the shirt and put it aside to dry completely before washing (do this in a well ventilated room).
She had so much fun that she altered a ton of other clothing she scrounged up, from colored undies (peace signs were added in back!) to shirts and socks.
This could be done with younger kids if a parent does the actual bleach pen work, since bleach is very caustic.
For young kids, have them draw the design with chalk, then have a parent go over it with the pen.
Want to see some inspiration from others? Here’s a google image search of all sorts of great designs others have done. Fun!
(Photo courtesy Evan-Amos, Public Domain)
I’m not much of a journal keeper, but I think I could be if I got to use these delightful pages from Grace is Overrated.
Blog owner and artist Christie Zimmer says:
These pages were created out of a sense of delightful (and occasionally insightful) personal exploration. They combine fill-in-the-blank journal prompts with off-kilter to-do lists with game-show-inspired lightning rounds with whatever else comes to mind. I’ve had a great time creating them and I hope you’ll have just as much fun filling them in. Collect them all in a binder or envelope and look back every once in a while to see all that you’ve accomplished!
The pages are absolutely delightful and could be used by moms or kids (or anybody else!) alike. (Christie asks that her images not be reprinted elsewhere so you have to head over there to see the pages.)
Click on each page to view it and download it via Google docs. If you have trouble printing, check out her FAQ section for troubleshooting ideas.
I think I’m going to need more ink…
Here’s a fun project to do for your next art adventure. Alter some artwork! Twisted Sifter posted the altered thrift store masterpieces by artists Chris McMahon and Thryza Segal, and the results are so fun!
You can generally pick up oil and acrylic paintings at thrift stores for next to nothing, and then assign the kids the task of adding in a magical creature or two.
My late father was an artist and he often bought thrift store paintings and just painted over them completely since it was much cheaper than buying new canvases. I’ve planned for a long time to take some paintings and have the kids just add on to them, but I like this idea even better. We recently bought a bucketload of framed art and pictures for Victoria’s photography, and now I think we need to go back and get another stash for this project.
Here’s a fun little activity my girls and I made up yesterday. Newspaper acting!
I grabbed a copy of our local newspaper and a few junk mail flyers and challenged them to read lines in all different types of voices. For instance, Victoria read a sentence about a basketball game as if it were an ad for a horror movie. Anna read a sentence about a city council meeting as if it were heartbreaking news. I read a sentence about a budget proposal with terrible rage.
Want to play along? Just grab some really boring or random reading materials like newspapers, ads and magazines. Even homework pages would work!
Here’s some suggested voices and styles:
- As if it’s the funniest thing you’ve ever read
- Like an action movie preview
- In the voice of an evil genius
- With great rage
- As if you’re heartbroken
- With a strong, funny accent
- As if it’s a children’s book for very young kids
- As if you’re super excited
- With terrible sorrow
- As if it’s a line in a romance movie
- Like you’re terribly scared
We had so much fun doing this! We were all laughing like crazy and the girls have asked repeatedly to do some more.
Dollar Store Crafts just blogged about the neatest project I’ve heard in a while! Did you know that International Yarn Bombing Day is coming up on June 11?
I’ve seen photos of a few trees and lamp posts that have been adorned with crocheted and knitted artwork, but apparently there’s a whole movement for this creative outdoor adornment.
Here’s some fun photos from Streetcolor’s Blog.
Here’s some fabulous ones from the Yarnbombing Flickr group.
And here’s some helpful and inspirational links from Dollar Store Crafts.
Of course, if you didn’t have the gumption to yarnbomb a public space, you could also do it on a tree in your own front yard for a similarly sweet sight.
I wonder if we can all learn to knit or crochet by June….
Do you or your kids finger knit? I’ve never tried but this video makes it look so easy I think we might do this tomorrow! Some commenters say this is finger crocheting instead, but no matter what you call it, it’s certainly pretty!
You tube has lots more videos showing how to get started too.
Looking for a way to have some goofy fun with your kids? Here’s a totally silly activity we did with friends on vacation one year.
We bought a bunch of grapes and handed out Sharpie markers, then altered the grapes to make little people, bugs, messages, you name it. After that, we wandered around town and left the grapes in surprising places.
We left a little bulls-eye grape in an outdoor ashtray, a little “bless you” grape on a park bench, a row of “The Grapeful Dead” grapes and so on.
It was utterly ridiculous and grape fun!
Jack and I did a craft this week that I’ve been meaning to do for years. We gathered up some big, smoothish rocks from the garden and popped them in the oven. I heated them at 450 for about 20 minutes (which was quite hard to make myself do in the heat of summer!) and then carefully took them out with pot holders and put them on folded towels on the table.
I instructed Jack to be super careful since the rocks were hot and we went to work drawing on them with broken crayons. The crayons melted like glittery paint when they touched the hot rocks, making the most vivid sheen. We had about 10 minutes to work before they were too cool to work well.
Note: if kids do accidentally touch these it should not do much harm if a couple of minutes have passed. I carefully explained to Alex (3) that the rocks were hot, hot, hot and it would hurt if he touched them and then he darted out his hand and touched mine anyway. He didn’t even blink. He’s like that.
When we were done, we took them back out to the garden and found spots to show them off.
It was quite a lot of fun!
I’ve posted links to homemade seed tape instructions before, but I especially liked these simple instructions using newspaper strips and flour paste. The packaging is so pretty too! Head over to Giver’s Log for the tutorial.
Have I mentioned how much I love, love, love spring?
Eleven year-old Victoria has been having a blast lately making clip art with a free art program we found online. She made all of these little characters…
She wants me to let people know that she’s happy to do custom work for free! She already got a request for plant eating dinosaurs and mammoths, leading to some darling little prehistoric cuties.
If you or your kiddos want to play with it yourself, visit Sumopaint. Note that there are open discussions and there may be inappropriate material on the main site, so it’s wise to explore the site with your child (I haven’t found anything objectionable myself, however).
To open directly into the painting program (which you do online, no download necessary), click here. This is a wonderfully fun art tool for kids (and grown ups)!