kids


Easy CD scratch-off Art

julia-cds

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:


Selfmade Rainsticks – cheap, easy, great for kids!

The easiest way to make a Rain StickDo you need an easy, cheap craft idea for kids? When it’s nasty and rainy outside, I love to create these rainsticks. I tell the kids that we can make our own rain now, so the clouds might think: “Hey, it’s already raining down there, I guess we can stop” 🙂
But as you can see in the pics, it works in spring or summer, too – then you can say that nature needs a lot of rain to make the flowers grow.

This tutorial isn’t only easy, it’s very cheap even for large groups. Anything you need is available at your local hardware storeI love hardware stores! I can spend hours there, and I come up with great ideas how I can re-purpose things! These rainsticks, for example.. Here we go:

You need:

  • foam insulation tubes (approx. 2 inches in diameter)
  • cutter knife
  • a large pack of wire nails (ca. 1-1.5 inches long)
  • scissors
  • rice or gravel
  • plaster bandages (or large sheets of paper)
  • paint brushes (or felt tip pens)
  • acrylic paint

Prepare one rainstick so you can show it to the kids.

Of each tube, cut approx. 4 inches off. Cut the rest in half: you’ll get two rainsticks from one tube.

Now take the wire nails and stick them into the foam (if you like, you can draw a spiral around the tube and use it as a guide). Tell the children to leave at least a thumb-tip wide space between the nails.

With the cutter knife, cut round plugs from the foam. Their width should be as large as the tube’s diameter. Do this while the children are busy with the nails. Stick a plug into one end of the tube. Fixate it with 3-4 wire nails. Into the other side of the tube, pour half a cup of rice or gravel.

Close this side with another plug.

For young kids: Let them draw on large paper. This artwork can be wrapped around the tubes, simply attach it with a few more wire nails. Easy and mess-free 😀

For older kids: Cut the plaster bandages to the length of the tubes. Pull a bandage through a bowl with water and flatten the bandage on the tube. Repeat until the tube is covered with two layers of plaster. After the plaster has dried, paint the tubes with acrylic paint.
By the way, the rainsticks sound really great!

The plaster-and-paint version is not suitable for indoors – except if you’re into scrubbing tables and floors.. Here are some pics from a rainstick project in summer. Afterwards, some dads had fun with the garden hose.



This tutorial was first published in 2011, here’s a revised version.


Glitter Galaxy in a Bottle 1

Glitzer-GalaxieAs I’m a huge Pinterest fan, I recently came across the project: “The Pinterest Project: A Calming Glitter Bottle”. Thanks for the inspiration, Jamie! Our junior loves playing with plastic water bottles, so I simply had to give this project a try. It’s easy-peasy and looks marvelous! Adding blue food coloring (well, I guess it would work just fine with ink) lets the glitter look like a swirling galaxy.

You want to try it, too?

 

You need:

  • 1 empty plastic bottle (not too large, it should fit in your child’s hands) without the label
  • 1 transparent container for mixing
  • glitter glue
  • transparent craft glue
  • glitter from the stash
  • hot water
  • blue food coloring (or blue ink)
  • duct tape

zutatenI didn’t have any exact measures, it was an experiment after all. On the container, I marked the level of liquid I would need to fill the bottle.

First, I squeezed all the contents of two old glitter glue tubes (silver and gold) into my bowl, then half a tube of craft glue. It makes the liquid more viscid so the glitter won’t settle too quickly. You can add glycerin for that reason, but I didn’t have any. Jamie says that she prefers non-water soluble glue, but mine was water soluble – I didn’t have any problems with foam or suds, so I guess it’s just worth a try whichever brand you use.

gemischtUsing boiling hot water, I filled the bowl up to the mark and mixed the “potion” thoroughly. It still looked a little lame, so I emptied two small tubes of holographic and gold glitter into the bowl. When some of the glitter clotted, I simply squeezed the clots with the back of a spoon.

In the end, I added a shot of blue food coloring which made the water dark blue. When the potion had cooled down to room temperature, I used a funnel to fill it into the bottle. I secured the cap with a strip of duct tape because I don’t want any dark blue surprises on our furniture 🙂lmfarbe2

Anyway, the bottle is a hit! If you shake it and move it around, it sparkles like crazy!

As it’s not easy to capture the effect photographically, I made a short video for you: