Tag Archives: low cost ideas

Take It or Leaf It

8 Nov

Successful Leaf Rub

Today’s Two-Cent Tuesday post gives you a prompt to explore the great outdoors and take advantage of the season of Autumn.  If you are in a different season where you are located have no fear you can still do this leaf project in your area if you have access to trees and plants.

Staying true to low-cost activities, today is no exception as you learn how you can create on a limited budget.  This activity requires some time outside as well as inside.  It is perfect for children of various ages, and it is easy to do with limited resources.  Leaf rubbings!

MATERIALS NEEDED:

Leaves.  A variety of leaves in different sizes and shapes work well.  The color does not matter.

Paper.  As long as the paper is not too thick, you can do a successful texture rub with most types of papers.

Crayons.  If the wrapper from the crayon is removed, the side of the crayon can be used in a rubbing, along with the side of the point.

Optional:  Tape, paper clips, or clothes pins can be used to secure a leaf from possible shifting under the paper.

Making use of the falling leaves from trees and plants in your area can be fun. First, gather a variety of leaves. For best results leaves that are still a bit supple work best however, they should not be damp or wet. If a leaf is too dry, it will crumble easily and your rub will be difficult to do properly.

Place a leaf directly under a sheet of paper. Using the side of a crayon rub the crayon against the leaf to reveal its pattern from under the paper. As you rub you will see the veins and details of the leaf shape emerge before your eyes. Try to overlap your rubbings for an interesting look and alternate colors for additional uniqueness. Try incorporating different items from around the house and see what texture you can pick up as relief. Be careful as to hold the paper secure for the best results. Tape, paper clips, or clothes pins can be used to hold down the leaf from slipping but remember to remove it before rubbing the surface or an unwanted texture may be created.

Colorful Fall Leaf Rubbing. Now you can say that you've seen a blue and purple leaf!

Additional:

Water color paints, paint brush, cup of water. A quick “wash” of paint over the paper surface can seep color into the art while the areas with wax crayon will resist the paint, creating an interesting added effect.

Explore More: 

After rubbing, try to crinkle up the paper by wadding it in a ball and tightly smash to make fold creases in the paper. Once folded flat again do a water-color wash over the paper and watch in amazement how your work changes!  Children love to ball up the paper like they are going to throw away their creation.  Simply remind them not to be too rough as to rip the paper. They are happy when they can take several easy steps in a project at their own pace and can experience open-ended art.  I know, this has always been a favorite Fall art lesson plan exploring texture, technique and color mixing.

Texture rub using coins.

This creative exercise may not be a new discovery to try but, hunting for items that will make an interesting rub can be.  Be on the lookout for anything with texture that is fairly flat.  Consider these ideas: lace, buttons, tape and glue adhered to paper before rubbing begins, stencils, puzzle pieces etc.  Use your imagination. Take these suggestions or “leaf it”.  Good luck and have fun creating a unique leaf rub and appreciate nature at the same time.

Have Your Cake and Eat It (Part 2)

26 Oct

Club Creative Studio has captured a display of photos here that will have you wanting to create in the kitchen.  To continue with the Halloween theme and cake, you may find inspiration to try a few creative cupcake decorating ideas seen here.  Maybe this can be a challenge to yourself or others to see how you can also express the Halloween theme.

This photo shows two projects I would like to write about.  First the decorated cupcake.  This cupcake starts as an ordinary frosted cupcake. Here the cake is frosted in a light vanilla color which also can be substituted for a green icing that would make a striking witch-face complexion choice.  The hat is a chocolate sugar ice cream cone.  The cone can also be a dipped cone in chocolate if you can not find the chocolate flavored cones available.  If you desire a roundness at the base of the cone to look like a rim, a thin cookie wafer can be added and attached with more frosting.  Black licorice strips are used to resemble hair.  Almost any small confectionary can be used for the eyes, and the nose is a single candy corn candy.  As an added touch, I think that I would add {paper} legs and shoes attached to the underside outer bottom cake liner.  Makes me want to start this project now!

The second project in the photo shows stuffed pumpkins made from paper lunch sized bags.  One way to do this is to buy the gift bags that are already made in the orange color, stuff with plastic recycled bags or newspaper bawled up and then twist the top portion to make a stem.  Adding details in paint and maybe hot glue artificial leaves at the stem site.

Another method that works well is the way that I did this project with my students in art class.  We used recycled or new brown bag lunch sacks and grocery bags.  Stuffing with newspapers, the bags were formed into the round shapes like fat pumpkins are.  Each shape was different because each child stuffed their paper differently.  Make sure to identify the bottom of the bag at this time with the child’s name if you arr making as a group project. The top of each bag was then secured with tape and twisted into a stem form and tied off with natural jute string.  The jute also looked like a vine in the end of the project, and you can hot glue leaves along it as an added detail.  Orange paint was used to cover the bag surface, green paint used for the tip of the stem area.  The pumpkin patch was left in an area outside to dry.

To display a group project, this would look great in an entry way of a school or hallway. Benches could be used as levels for lined pumpkins or place them on top of stacked hay bales.  Transform one side into a jack-o-lantern by making features with black paints or markers and leave the opposite side of the bag “blank” so that the display can flow into the November theme of Fall or Thanksgiving, assuming the children will want to leave them instead of taking them home.  Have fun creating one or many of these stuffed pumpkin craft ideas.

Hungry for pumpkin spice cake in the shape of a pumpkin?

Transform your ordinary bunt cake into a pumpkin.

Use orange frosting and a green frosted ice cream cone to complete the look.

Enjoy  creating odd and unusual items to eat during any season.  Especially now, the hand-made goodies can be more whimsical and not so perfectly made to be enjoyed.

Be inspired to create with food, or with craft.  The best thing about creating in food is that it has two rewards: process and taste.

Make Your Cake and Eat It (Part 1)

26 Oct

Club Creative Studio has an area near the design table with a supply of sweets on hand for that extra added energy.    This post has a focus on both creativity and sweets.  For the Halloween theme, an easy way to combine both creativity and sweets is to make cupcakes and decorate them. Enjoy the challenge to be creative in the kitchen.

Do you need some inspiration from others to spur you on?  Enjoy the suggestions for decorating your special sweet theme cupcakes. You can be equally creative! Good luck friends!

Slice those mint wafers for bat wings and ears.

These just make you smile, don’t they?

“Eye” think that you can decorate like this.

Sideways cupcake, sugar cone hats.

From Paper Comes Products

8 Oct

Club Creative Studio’s blog posts focus on CREATIVITY.  How exciting to know that this is a topic that can go in many different directions.  Today, as I continue to highlight the theme of recycling, reusing and repurposing I have a few items to admire that you can also mimic with your own sence of style.

From a company founded in  2008 located in the UK, Fresh Cargo is based around the principle of creating Funky Fair Trade products from fashion to homeware. I share two items they have for sale.

Their items are said to be eco-friendly because they say: “Our green mill housewares are brought to you by Fresh Cargo. This product is made from recycled magazines in Indonesia, where the team has great working conditions, paid above the minimum wage, paid healthcare, regularly retrained and encouraged to develop their own designs”.

You will notice that the magazines are cut or rolled then applied to a photo frame base in an interesting manner.  You may want to try your hand at creating these projects at home yourself or with the help or supervision of creative children in your home or classroom.  You will need to have imagination, magazines or newspapers, an adhesive and scissors.  Basicly, that is it.  Cut or torn sections from a newspaper or magazine leave endless opportunities for use of print and pictures to be incorporated into your art.  Special note to color and design are considerations too.  Although this can be a happy accident to combine the separate and random areas, they can also be planned to make a certain design that is both pleasing and spontaneous.  Adhesives to use can be regular white glue or an acrylic based gloss coating.

With magazine pages or newspapers cut to the same size, you can proceed to hand-roll the pages to form many individual hollow log forms.  Perhaps using a pencil as a form to roll the paper around will allow you to roll consistent sized paper logs. Then, when you have collected many of these”paper logs” you can use them more creatively.

After rolling the paper around the pencil, the pencil can be gently removed as long as the paper is not wound too tightly.  With the log collection, you can then stack the “magazine logs” side by side and adhere them together with a light stripe of school glue together.  Connecting each log to form the shape you need end to the body base of the paper log.

Close-up of rolled paper used to decorate this frame.

Begin to form, the shape that you want and let your imagination take hold.  Use the paper to make a sculpture-like item, functional or decorative.  Ask neighbors and friends who discard their magazines to help you by passing along the colorful papers for you to experiment with. Recycle with purpose!

As I sit in the library typing this blog, it occurred to me that they have many magazines here.  I asked a staff member what the procedure was to discard outdated magazines and newspapers.  Their answer: Newspapers automatically go out to the recycle bin and the magazines go to our local Red Cross Association.
If a specific organization requests magazines there should be a point of contact within the reference department for such inquiries.
Happy creating with recycled paper items.  Reuse them creatively and repurpose them in to art!
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