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Recycled Art Materials

Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

Foil Turtle and Fish Collage

By on Apr 8, 2016 | 29 comments

This tin foil sea turtle and fish collage was a huge hit with my third grade class. The kids loved how the sea turtle and fish looked, swimming in the glittery waters. WANT A DRAWING GUIDE? CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW & WE WILL EMAIL IT TO YOU…. HERE’S HOW https://d11vly3u9uru85.cloudfront.net/promo/Foil+Fish.mp4   CREATING THE BACKGROUND There are a couple of ways to make the water background for the sea turtle and fish. One method is to use liquid or tray watercolors and table salt to make a traditional speckled background as shown below or you could use Mod-Podge and glitter liquid watercolor paints. HOW TO MAKE SHIMMERING WATER To make a watercolor and salt background,  use 6″ x 9″ pieces of 90 lb watercolor paper and regular watercolor paints. Wet the paper with a sponge or large brush, then mix blue and green watercolors onto the wet watercolor paper (wet-on-wet technique). Sprinkle regular table salt or Kosher salt over the damp paper. Salting the surface will give the “ocean” a sparkly quality. MAKING GLITTERY MOD-PODGE I made glittery paper by brushing a combination of glossy Mod-Podge and glitter watercolor paints together.  The students brushed the home-made “glittery paint” onto a piece of blue or lavender drawing paper. The results were shimmery and ocean perfect. The recipe isn’t exact, but I used about ¼ cup of Mod-Podge and pour enough glitter paint into the solution until I saw the color emerge. It’s good to remember that the Mod-Podge dries to a clear finish, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see the glitter at first. It will dry and the sparkles will emerge! After making the background, decide of you want to draw a Sea Turtle or Fish. If you draw fish, you can draw two or even three to fit onto the paper. The sea turtle is larger and is best to draw just one. Here is a drawing handout PDF to download:  CLICK TO DOWNLOAD How to Draw a Sea Turtle & Fish Handout ADDING COLOR & TEXTURE Set the ocean paper aside and use the handout to draw the fish or sea turtle.  The idea is to keep the drawing very simple because the drawing will be created on tin foil. It may be helpful to do a practice drawing on a piece...

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Watercolor & Paper Bouquets

Watercolor & Paper Bouquets

By on Jan 30, 2014 | 8 comments

Here is a simple art lesson that combines a watercolor and oil pastel resist with creating shapes with paper and scissors. We created these bouquets in January so colors veered towards that lovely February holiday. The students used regular sulphite paper instead of watercolor paper since there was very little blending or advanced watercolor skills involved in the project, so using my limited stash of watercolor paper wasn’t necessary. What you do need is watercolor paint. For fast application, you can’t beat liquid watercolors. I showed a few vase sample son the white board so the kids drew a vase first with oil pastel. Then they added a table line and finally a few stems for the flowers that would be added in the next step. When you are applying watercolor to sulphite paper, you will notice that the paint will soak into the paper. To avoid using too much paint, tell the children what will happen so they understand not to keep applying paint over paint. It will dry lighter but it will look nice. I bought some printed scrapbook paper at a craft store and felt that this was a good opportunity to use it. I don’t like making pre-printed materials the star of any art project, but the truth is, the kids loved being able to select their colors. I asked the kids to make 2-3 centers first, glue the middle of the centers to the paper and then start adding petals. As the children worked, I sat with each table and encouraged a variety of shaped petals. Oil pastels were set on the table so that children could add details. This lesson requires about three, 45-minute art sessions.  Fifth Grade...

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Shape Robot Art Project

Shape Robot Art Project

By on Aug 19, 2013 | 6 comments

An excellent back-to-school project for Kinders, these Shape Robots offer a look into how well a child can cut and paste, identify shapes and apply a little whimsy to their artwork. What You’ll Need… Colored Paper Scraps cut into 4″ x 6″ pieces 12″ x 18″ black sulphite (or any other color) background paper White school glue Black markers Colored beads, buttons or recycled materials Vocabulary… Triangle Square Circle Trapezoid Rectangle Starting with a tray of colored paper, children create a head, body and appendages for their robot. Using plastic tubs in various sizes helps little hands master a circle by tracing and cutting. You can eliminate the plastic cups if you are doing this project with older children. Starting with the head, children decide on a shape and create one. Add a body next and then the arms and legs. I ask the children to leave a space between the head and body in case they want to add a neck. Using a black marker, the children can add details and definition to their robots. This is a good opportunity to talk about line and patterns. When its time to add the details, instruct the children to drop the glue onto the robot instead of trying to place a drop of glue onto a tiny bead. Much easier for little fingers! Kinder Shape Robots…...

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Art Projects Inspired by Earth Day

Art Projects Inspired by Earth Day

By on Apr 21, 2011 | 6 comments

I’ve been known to dig through the lunch bins rescuing styrofoam trays for printing projects. I save newspapers for delicate ceramic projects and concentrated juice can tops for robot heads. Is it enough? No way. Sometimes I start to collect things then abandon the idea when I can’t come up with an art project or the pile threatens my limited storage. Then back to the bin they go. Depressing. But every once in a while, I adapt or create an art lesson that uses up my collections of recyclables. Here are some of my favorites Projects using recycled materials… Recycled Robots This lesson came to me via Painted Paper. Laura’s colorful little darlings inspired me to start collecting tag board from the teachers workroom. After I got enough to crop at least 60 rectangles, we embarked on our project. I added concentrated juice can tops, sode can tabs, plastic fruit baskets and old buttons and yes, I actually snip them off all my old clothes!   Using similar recycled materials, I created Rocket & Space Collage. I saw this idea behind a glass case at the Aerospace Museum at The Los Angeles Science Center. I snapped a picture and began collecting tag board scraps. You’ll need something heavy like tagboard but you could also cut up corrugated cardboard boxes or cereal boxes. It’s a dynamic piece that not only uses up old scraps but covers many art concepts. A real keeper! “Katrina” Dolls require some collecting. Egg cartons, newspapers, old lunch bags, paper plates or recycled card stock, cereal boxes and toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls. The results are worth it!    Foil Fish This is a bit of a half and half project. You’ll need new tin foil but it’s a fantastic use for old fruit and vegetable net bags. I collected dozens and made my own texture boards. My students created fish and sea turtles but you could change up the subject to include almost anything. The original idea came from a Usborne Art Book.  City at Night is a one of my favorite art lessons. The project was created by Gail at That Artist Woman. I did this lesson with my sixth grade students and...

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Recycled Robot Art project

Recycled Robot Art project

By on Apr 24, 2010 | 5 comments

I’ve been collecting odds and ends for this project for some time now. Things like concentrated juice can toppers, plastic strawberry baskets, bottle caps, soda can tabs, old buttons, scraps of shiny paper, old aluminum foil, etc. Even the paper is recycled. The cardboard backing is the cardboard used to wrap newsprint in. Our local newspaper gives this stuff away, so even though it’s a bit bulky to store, it makes for good backings with projects like this one. The robots are made from corrugated boxes. One peek in our recycling dumpster and I picked enough boxes to supply 60 kinders with enough robot body parts for ten years! The Background Set out a few tubs of tempera paint, brushes, foam rollers, texture items and let the kids paint their cardboard backings. If you don’t have heavy paper, regular construction paper is fine. It’ll wrinkle alot but you can put in under some heavy books after they are dry to flatten them out. I had some small cups in my art room and used them to make rings on the paper. Simple dip cup into white tempera paint and dot the page as you like. The Robot With the background paper set aside (but not far away), set out a tray of corrugated cardboard pieces. I pre-cut squares, rectangles and a few triangles. Make sure there are different sizes available. Have the children set and glue their robot to the background paper as they make it. If you made the background paper first and let it dry, you’re smarter than me. I did most of this project in one class and with the cheap cardboard edges curling and robot parts not sticking, it was quite a challenge! At the end of the day, most children had all their body parts glued to the paper. If some parts don’t stick right away, don’t worry. The paint will adhere it well enough. After everything is dry, set a tray of oil pastels, old paper trimmings, and recycled materials on the table. Resist the urge to demonstrate this step. You don’t want to influence their imagination! Simple suggest that that they can decorate their robots any way they wish. After the robots...

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Symmetrical Paper Cut Aliens!

Symmetrical Paper Cut Aliens!

By on Jul 28, 2009 | 23 comments

This lesson is based on symmetry so as far as teaching kids cool subjects, this one is perfect. In my opinion, there is nothing more pleasing to the ear than hearing a six year old explain symmetry, let alone saying it. It’s a fun word…lots of syllables that when spoken correctly (or very near to it) earns a pretty respected look from parents and teachers. Kids LOVE this word. So now turn the word into creepy, strange, whimsical ALIEN and you have one hour of pure joy on your hands. Step One: Creating the Alien. Not easy for wee kids, but the older they are, the easier it’ll be to teach. I have done this lesson with first and third grade students and it’s a safe bet to say that the older kids got more out of the lesson. But the younger kids do, too. Take a sheet of construction paper and fold it in half lengthwise. It doesn’t have to be lengthwise, but it’ll make the alien taller. Please forgive the kid who folds it the wrong way. Now, for the next step, you have options… First option:For younger kids (1st-2nd grade), give them a crayon (not a pencil…it evokes to much perfectionism) and have them draw a line from the top of the paper down to the bottom. Not just any old line, but something that resembles a half of a head, half of a body, arms, legs, etc. A little talk on symmetry helps here. Explain how the children will only draw half a body. You will need to demonstrate this step repeatedly, but consider it an investment since the rest of the project is a breeze. Once the line is drawn, cut it out. Second option: For older kids, give them a pair of scissors and instruct them to create their half of an alien body just by cutting. This ends up to be more of a surprise. When they open up the paper, they will have a big blob. Now it’s time to turn that blob into an alien. Step Two: Decorating the Alien It really helps to have small scraps of paper (get out your scrap box), sequins, googly eyes, plastic and aluminum...

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