Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas paper-mache

Another fun and successful project with 3rd to 5th graders is this simple paper mache creations. We did it tis 2nd Quarter just before Christmas, so students worked on either Christmas ornaments or bowls with Christmas themes. They are both very fun ann simple, and same process. There are many You tube videos on paper mache, but I took most short-cut process, as I had only 2 class sessions (2 hours with some parents helps :D). This project is easily started as most materials can be found around your house.

Materials (per student)
balloons (12" for a bowl, or water balloons for an ornament or small cup)
many newspapers (cut into 1" stripes for a bowl, 1/2" for an ornament or small cups)
1" craft brush and several small brushes for painting
school glue mixed with water in 2:1 ratio in a bowl to make paste
acrylic paints
Sharpie pen
some wax paper for a working space
a pipe cleaner


1.  Blow up a balloon. Setting it on a cup will make it easy while you work next step.
2.  Dip newspaper strips in the paste OR paint paste with brush on strips (both front and back) and cover the balloon.  Repeat this process and cover the entire balloon (no need to cover the whole if you are making a bowl) with many layers. Tip for the success in this process is laying each strips carefully removing any air bubbles. For the bottom of the bowl, make a small circle with pipe cleaner and secure it with many layers of strips. Let dry.

3.  When dry, pop the balloon and remove it. If desired, trim the edge with scissor this will make a straight opening for a bowl and cup. For natural looks, many students left untouched the openings which had irregular edges. Draw design with a Sharpie pen. Paint your design with acrylic paints. I instructed students to choose only three colors, white and black. They mixed colors to create new colors.
4.  For an ornaments, poke two holes at the top to string through and make a handle for hanging.

May you be blessed with the spirit of true joy at Christmas and always~!

metal embossing

Our 3rd to 5th graders tried on metal embossing and they had really good time (and outcome was amazing!). It is a century-old art form of relief sculpture in many parts of the world; called repousse or repajado (Mexico and South America). The designs are pressed with tools (we used colored pencils) into a sheet of metal to create 3-dimensional artwork. 
I ordered all materials from dickblick.com and please refer to their "teacher pages" for more detailed instructions. For my limited time frame I have simplified the project. Students really loved this project, but I recommend very easy, abstract designs, instead of concrete designs which will take long hours even for adults. I also recommend a small size as shown here.

Materials (per student)
Amaco ArtEmboss Soft Metal Sheets (I cut into 1/4 sheet per student)
Colored pencils (metallic colored pencils worked well too)
Copy papers for sketch (I cut into 1/4 sheet)
Small magazines, one per student
Optional (mat board 6.5" x 8", 2 mini pop dots)


1.  Draw your design in a copy paper.
2.  Tape your design in the middle of metal sheet (so it won't move) and trace and press the     design onto metal sheet with a pencil. Remove the copy paper.
3.  Turn the metal sheet over. You can see the traced design is raised in front. Use colored pencils to color around this raised lines with some press, this will define raised edges. Suggest students not to press very hard, as it will make holes.

4.  After student finish coloring, mount the embossing work on mat board with  2 pop dots, so the work is raised from the board. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Holiday Book Signing

Holiday Book Signing with Kimberly and Keli Jackson 
December 16, 12:00-1:30 at Kona Hualalai Resort