Tutorial: How to make that cool 5-nibbed pen

As I announced in my previous post, here’s the tutorial for my 5-nibbed pen which I used to create the drawing in my Instagram video.
At first, here it is as a – surprise! – Instagram video, below that you’ll find it as a picture-by-picture tutorial:

Tadaa – easy-peasy. It takes five minutes to create such a pen for writing music staffs, and you can embellish it completely individually. If you make one for yourself (or as a gift, as I often do for my recorder students), send me a pic or tag me on Instagram 😀 @ankeart

Easy CD scratch-off Art


These CDs were made by my 8yo student

Mother’s Day is approaching quickly (in Germany it’s on May 8th), and here’s an easy diy project for kids of all ages. You can turn any old CD or DVD into a little work of art and use it as (window) deco, as coasters and more.

You simply need:

  • old CD or DVD
  • Acrylic paint (black and white result in nice contrasts, but any colour is possible)
  • container to mix paint
  • dishwashing liquid
  • paint brush
  • toothpick/skewer
  • drinking glass (optional)

Into your mixing container, add a drop of dishwashing liquid plus a small amount of acrylic paint (approx. 1 tablespoon full). Carefully mix both with the paint brush, not too quickly or it will result in bubbling.

Put the CD/DVD on top of your drinking glass, the printed side facing down. This way your disc won’t stick to any surface when you paint it. Put on an even coat of paint until the disc doesn’t shine through any more. It may be necessary to apply a second coat of paint. Tip: Use a blow-dryer to accelerate the drying process.

When the paint has dried completely, use a toothpick or skewer to scratch patterns into the paint. Even kids who can barely draw have fun scribbling along, and it looks great 😉

Now you can seal your disc with a clear varnish if you want to use it as a coaster. Or you glue a piece of pretty ribbon to the top of the back and hang it on your wall. If you glue the disc onto a piece of felt, you can use it as a lid for drinks which keeps wasps away (great in summer!). In my little collage on the bottom left, you can see how it looks if you remove all the silvery material from the disk by using a strong piece of duct tape. The disk becomes completely transparent where you scratch off the paint, and it looks pretty as a window decoration.

Easy CD scratch-off Art, a great art activity for kids of all ages - not only for Mother's Day


Tutorial: Polo Shirt in Charlie Brown’s Look 1

Last week we watched the new Peanuts movie with our son. And I had the idea to make a Charlie Brown shirt for my son – oh how cute! Now here’s the tutorial for all of you who want to give it a go as well:

A Happy Page, a little tutorial, and a font preview

Did you ever buy kitchen towels just because you loved the embossed pattern? Some time ago I came across cute towels with a heart pattern, and now I used them to prime my altered book pages in my art journal. Totally quick and easy:

Then you can add different layers to your liking. I want to try this technique with bold colors as well, but for now I simply used it as a base. For the current Get Messy season of “Happy”, I did this spread in my favorite colors:

I wish I had more time for experimental art, but I am working on two fonts which I had planned to release this weekend. Well, my child caught a bad cold, so my priorities shifted 🙂 Anyway, I can show you a preview of one of the fonts:

Now doesn’t that look promising?

Wish me luck that I’ll be able to publish this happy little font within the next days!

Easy, fast and beautiful Advent Calendar

Surprisingly enough, Christmas is coming again this year 😉

As I’m going through some (positive) changes in my offline life, here’s a little tutorial I had published some years ago.

Time flies, and it’s only a little more than a month until Christmas. If you need a last-minute advent calendar which is easy to make, looks great and doesn’t cost a fortune, go on reading:

You need:

  • a sheet of Scrapbooking paper (12″x12″)
  • a piece of sturdy carton in the same size (old vinyl record covers work great!)
  • Paper Glue
  • scissors, cutter knife, cutting mat
  • a 3/4 inch circle punch or stamps/stickers with numbers
  • thin ribbon
  • hole punch, for example the Crop-a-Dile
  • 24 printedstories/recipes/quotes (I can’t offer mine for download because I don’t own the copyright).

The basis for each calendar is a simple 12×12 sheet of scrapbooking paper glued to a 12×12 piece of sturdy cardboard. I used a 3/4 inch circle punch to create numbers in matching colors. If you like, you can download my numbers-in-circles design, print and punch (3 color schemes on one sheet).

Beneath the numbers, I used my crop-a-dile to punch small holes through the calendar. If you don’t have a crop-a-dile, you can use an eyelet tool or a hole punch out of daddy’s toolbox. Punch two extra holes in the upper left and right corner, so the calendar can be hung to the wall.

As you can see, I chose to stamp the numbers directly on the dots of this beautiful paper.
I chose 24 short stories, poems, recipes etc. and printed them on high quality paper. I folded and/or rolled the sheets, tied them to a pretty ribbon and threaded the ribbons through the calendars’ holes. A square knot on the back – that’s it. I used a small IKEA Allen wrench to push the ribbons through the holes. If you give the calendar to a couple, you can use two different ribbon colors for them to take turns in opening the gifts.

Here’s another version …

… with a tinted mirror snowflake as an embellishment.

This tutorial was first published in 2009.