Category Archives: Children’s crafts

Paper Ornaments

On my travels, I found some Christmas trees with paper ornaments. The first trees I found were in the city of Ferndale, California. There were many trees filled with ornaments lining the downtown streets.

I found lots of paper ornaments on Christmas trees in downtown Ferndale, California.

The paper ornaments were made by children and laminated so that they could hold up to the outside weather.

I found lots of paper ornaments on Christmas trees in downtown Ferndale, California.

I love how festive and personal these trees feel. And they look like they’d be a fun, easy project to do with a child.

Paper cranes adorn this Christmas tree.

The paper cranes on the tree above are larger than most of the paper cranes I’ve seen. These cranes were made with 9″ origami paper rather than the usual 6″ origami paper.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Torn Paper Santa Holiday Cards

My Christmas cards this year are a graphic image of Santa made from cut and torn pieces of red, white and tan paper. These are easy to make and would be a fun project to do with children.

My torn paper Santa Christmas cards are waiting to be mailed.

My torn paper Santa Christmas cards are waiting to be mailed.

Materials: I used red paper, beige paper and white paper. For the torn white paper, I tried both a printmaking paper  (unknown brand from my stash) and 80# Strathmore Aquarius watercolor paper. Both worked well, but I really liked how the soft printmaking paper tore. For my adhesive I used double sided tape, but glue stick would work well. You want an adhesive that isn’t very wet because that would wrinkle the paper. I also used a black marker, a light brown marker and blush makeup. In lieu of blush makeup, a crayon or pastel or chalk would work, possibly a marker.

My torn paper Santa cards look more difficult to make than they are.

My torn paper Santa cards look more difficult to make than they are.

Instructions for 5″ by 7″ card:

  1. I used red paper, beige paper and white printmaking paper (light weight watercolor paper would work well too). Text weights are fine for the red and beige papers.
  2. Cut red paper 5″ wide and about 2.5″ high and paste it on the top of the card (I used double stick tape, but glue stick would work as well).
  3. Cut beige paper 5″ wide and about 2.5″ high and paste under the red paper.
  4. Tear a white paper and paste it between the red and beige paper.
  5. For the beard, tear a piece of white paper that is 5″ wide and play around with making it look like a beard. When you are happy with the way it looks, trim the bottom of the paper to where the bottom of the card will be and glue to the card.
  6. Decorate your Santa. Black pen for eyes and mouth. Colored pen for nose. Makeup blush for the cheeks, or use a crayon or marker.
My torn paper Santa Christmas Card.

My torn paper Santa Christmas Card.

Next step is to write messages and address the envelopes.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Halloween Treat Boxes

While I don’t approve of giving a bunch of sugar to young children, I do want to give my Halloween Trick or Treaters something that they like. My answer to this has been to make my own Paper Treat Boxes for Halloween. When I give my Trick or Treaters their boxes, they are more interested in the boxes themselves than what’s inside.

Clover Fold Boxes made from black paper sponged with white paint.

Clover Fold Boxes made from black paper sponged with white paint.

I fill my boxes with spider or skull rings or something related to the season. My Trick or Treaters are happy and I have a clear conscience of not having caved in to giving them sweets.

Close up of two of my Halloween Treat Boxes.

Close up of two of my Halloween Treat Boxes.

This year I am making Clover Fold Boxes from black card stock. I sponged white acrylic paint on the black card stock and let it dry overnight.

Halloween Treat Boxes and the paper I made them from (on the right).

Halloween Treat Boxes and the paper I made them from (on the right).

Since the paper is black, I traced the clover fold template on the reverse side of the paper using blue transfer paper. Then I cut out the box, folded it, and used heavy duty double stick tape to tape the corners of each box. You could use most any glue or tape for this.

Halloween Treat Boxes made from black card stock that was sponged with white paint.

Halloween Treat Boxes made from black card stock that was sponged with white acrylic paint.

If you are making these boxes with children, you may want to use white tempera or other non-toxic and/or easy to clean paint.

You can download the template for making your own Clover Fold Box below.

Template: Clover-Fold Box

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Halloween Envelopes

With Halloween just around the corner, I decided I wanted to make and send Halloween envelopes to some young friends. Again, this year, I took my ideas from Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book. You can check out a review I did of his book: Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

I love these dancing skeletons.

I love these dancing skeletons. They go well with the pumpkin postage stamp.

I have been traveling to Junction City, Eugene, and Portland, Oregon for the past few days, and this project has been easy to do while on the road. I brought along some envelopes, black pens and my address book. I purchased the Halloween postage stamps in Eugene.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

This is a great Haunted House! The name and address go on the right.

I took three of the photos as my friend, Sharon’s house in Portland, Oregon. I usually photograph on a white background, but Sharon has this absolutely wonderful fall tablecloth which I couldn’t help but use for my background. I love how things seem to work out serendipitously.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

This was my first attempt at skeletons. Although accidental, I like the way they grow taller as they go across the envelope.

I love making Haunted Houses, but I must admit that they take an awful long time to complete. The skeletons took much less time, and I think they look great! I think I’ll be making a bunch more of the skeleton envelopes this year.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book.

This envelope was made using the instructions in Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book.

There are so many ideas for making all sorts of Halloween drawings in Ed Emberley’s book. I think it’s perfect adults as well as children. I know that my adult friends have loved receiving these envelopes in the past.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

I should have started making these envelopes a month ago so I could send them to all my mail art and other friends. Maybe next year. So much art to do and still only 24 hours in a day.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – Birds From Blobs On Envelopes

With the Open Studio Tour behind me, I figured it was time to catch up on some overdue correspondence. So, this past week I played with making blobs into birds, ending up with some colorful, happy envelopes. If you missed the instructions for making birds from blobs, check out my blog post: DIY – From Blobs to Birds.

The birds on these envelopes started out as little watercolor blobs. I love how festive they look!

The birds on these envelopes started out as little watercolor blobs. I love how festive they look!

After making the envelopes, I went to my local Post Office and got their last birds stamps. I hope they get more because I plan on making more of these envelopes.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each cof these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

I love how colorful these envelopes are. I demonstrated how to make these little birds during the Open Studio Tour, and they were instant hits.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

Close up of one of the envelopes. Each of these birds started out as a blob of color on the envelope.

I played around with different watercolors, and they all worked fine, even the inexpensive ones. All you need are some watercolor paints and a black marker.

Although you can't see it well in the photo, these birds were mad from metallic painted blobs. They really sparkle in person.

Although you can’t see it well in the photo, these birds were mad from metallic painted blobs. They really sparkle.

These envelopes are sure to brighten someone’s day. Why not try making some of your own?

NOTE: 
For those of you who have signed up to receive my blog posts by email, please know that there was some sort of program glitch this past month and many of the blog posts did not get sent. So, you may want to check my blog itself to see what you missed.

www.mypaperarts.com

Enjoy, Candy

Dorothy’s Dinky Doodles

Last year, before my friend Dorothy moved, she gave me a couple sheets of one of her Dinky Doodles. I’m not sure if they’re laser or ink jet copies, but I absolutely love them! I put them away and forgot about them until I was going through the paper piles in my studio closet this past week.

I was able to make all these little boxes from the two papers of Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave me.

I was able to make all these little boxes from the two papers of Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave me.

I decided it was time for me to do something with these doodles that Dorothy gave me. The papers were light weight copy paper, so I decided folded little paper boxes would look great out of these papers.

These were the two Dinky Doodles that Dorothy gave to me. They are copies of doodles that she makes.

These were the two Dinky Doodle papers that Dorothy gave to me. They are copies of doodles that she makes.

I folded the tops of the boxes out of Dorothy’s paper and made the bottoms of the boxes out of colorful coordinating papers.

Little folded boxes made from Dorothy's Dinky Doodle paper.

Little folded boxes made from Dorothy’s Dinky Doodle papers.

Dorothy paints what she calls Dinky Doodles on papers. It’s fun and easy for anyone to do. Then she copies her doodles. This would be a perfect project to do with children. It would work well with crayons or watercolors or markers.

Little boxes made from Dorothy's painted papers she calls Dinky Doodles.

Little boxes made from Dorothy’s painted papers she calls Dinky Doodles.

Enjoy, Candy

 

Ladybug Cards & Mobile

In just two weeks, I will be opening my home studio to the public during the Ashland Gallery Association Open Studio Tour. It’ll be the first time I’ve opened my home studio for viewing and it’s a little scary for me. I decided to include a number of demonstrations of my more popular blog projects. That includes my ladybug cards and ladybug mobile.

Ladybug cards.

Ladybug cards.

I designed my ladybug cards last summer. They can easily be glued to a card or glued back to back on a string to make a mobile. I’m sure there are many more ways these wonderful ladybugs can be used.

Ladybug card and ladybug mobile in progress.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

The ladybugs themselves are made from a square of red paper. When added to the card, they make a wonderful 3-D effect. And when glued to the string of the mobile, they move wonderfully when there is any breeze or other movement around them.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

Ladybug card with ladybug mobile in progress.

Instructions for making these ladybugs are on my blog post: DIY Ladybug Card. You can also see more photos of my ladybug garland on my blog post: Paper Ladybug Garlands.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – From Blobs To Birds

I was testing out some watercolor combinations and ended up with a number of splotches and blobs on my paper. A little playing with these and I ended up with some cute little birds.

Two little birds made from watercolor blobs.

Two little birds made from watercolor blobs. Mother and son?

It’s really simple. Make some somewhat circular watercolor blobs on a paper. Outline the blobs with a waterproof marker. Then add details like dots for eyes, squiggles for the tail, a triangle for a beak, lines for the legs and feet, and possibly a wing.

These little birds are so easy to make. Just a watercolor blob and a few lines.

These little birds are so easy to make. Just a watercolor blob and a few lines.

These are so cute. They can be added to envelopes, place cards, journal pages and so much more. I think these would make a great children’s activity.

A page from my sketchbook showing a few birds made from blobs of watercolors.

A page from my sketchbook showing a few birds made from blobs of watercolors.

I am pretty sure I saw something like this somewhere, but I can’t remember where, probably on the internet. It might have been done with fingerprints. Anyway, play around with this and come up with your own playful little birds.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Square Envelope Made From Paper Circles

I had a bunch of donated paper shopping bags of various sizes left over from the Arts, Crafts and Collectibles Sale I managed last fall. I wanted to find some use for them. I had seen where someone made square envelopes from 4 paper circles and decided that would be a great use for these bags.

Square paper envelope (above right) made from Coldwater Creek paper bag.

Square paper envelope (above right) made from four paper circles cut from a Coldwater Creek paper shopping bag.

Cutting circles out of different portions of the bag made it possible for me to use specific portions of the bag where I like the pattern.

I used an old CD as my template to cut circles out of my paper bags to make my envelopes.

I used an old CD as my template to cut circles out of my paper bags to make my envelopes.

While the circles can be of any size, I used an old CD as my template. It’s something most people have access to, so I decided to use it for my template.

Four paper circles are folded in half, then intertwined like you would to close a box lid. I used a piece of removable tape to keep the circles in place before turning it over for gluing.

Four paper circles are folded in half, then intertwined like you would to close a box lid. I used a piece of removable tape to keep the circles in place before turning it over for gluing.

Fold the circles in half, then position them (one flap over and one flap under all around to make the square). I found I had to adjust the folded circles a bit to make them form a square. I put a piece of removable tape on the center (see above photo) to hold it in place before gluing.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps.

Turn the envelope over and glue under each of the four flaps as shown in the above photo. Any glue will work for this. Just be careful to use just a little bit for thin papers so it doesn’t crinkle the paper.

Square envelope made from paper circles.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a paper gift bag. In order to use this bag, I had a couple of holes in my circles from where the handles were. I just made sure they were on the inside of the folding, so they wouldn’t show.

These envelopes are easy to do. As with most projects, there’s a bit of a learning curve, but after making a couple of these envelopes, they go really fast.

Square envelope made from four circles cut out of a Happy Birthday gift bag. You notice the word "birthday" showing on the top left envelope flap.

Square envelope made from four circles cut out of a Happy Birthday gift bag. Notice the word “birthday” showing on the top left envelope flap. I cut out my circles to make sure it would show.

Position the CD before cutting to get the best possible pattern from the bag.

Square envelope made four circles cut from a Coldwater Creek shopping bag.

Square envelope made four circles cut from a Coldwater Creek shopping bag.

While I used old gift bags, these envelopes can be made from any paper. Scrapbooking paper or paste paper will work fine.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a gift bag.

Square envelope made from four paper circles cut from a gift bag.

A really fun children’s project would be to use portions of drawings or paintings made by children. The circles could be larger or smaller, depending on what you wanted to put in the envelope.

Square envelope made from four circles cut from a white gift bag that someone had sprayed with color and spray webbing.

Square envelope made from four circles cut from a white gift bag that someone had sprayed with color and spray webbing.

This was a fun project. I love it when I can recycle or upcycle to make something new from something that was going to be discarded.

Five square envelopes made from circles cut from old gift bags.

Five square envelopes made from circles cut from old gift bags.

Enjoy, Candy

DIY – Making Heart Garlands

I think what I like most about Valentine’s Day is hearts. I love hearts! And around Valentine’s Day, I get to play with them for weeks on end. Over the years I have made a number of different heart garlands. So here’s a bunch of them along with instructions or links to the instructions from past blog posts.

I used red, dark pink and purple papers along with some beads to make this paper folded heart garland.

My Folded Paper Heart Garland is made with red, dark pink and purple papers along with thread and some beads.

Below are some photos of a super easy heart garland. All that is necessary are strips of paper and a stapler. It’s a perfect activity to share with a young child.

A strip of paper and a stapler are all you need to make this heart garland.

A strip of paper and a stapler are all you need to make this heart garland.

For this garland I cut 3/4″ strips out of a couple of 8 1/2″ by 11″ red papers. You can use multiple colors to make you heart garland. You can use double sided scrapbook pages too.

You can see the staples on this photo.

You can see the staples on this photo. The staples are actually hot pink staples which were a gift from a friend. I love how they look on this garland.

And, should you want something a little more “professional” looking, just use glue instead of a stapler. Glue stick dries quicker than a liquid glue, but any glue will work.

Red and white heart garland made with strips of paper 1/2" x 6"

Red and white heart garland made with strips of paper 1/2″ x 6″. I used glue stick rather than staples on this garland.

Another heart garland can be made by sewing paper hearts, like I have with the heart garlands below.  While I prefer to sew by hand, you could use a sewing machine which would speed up the process.

"String of Hearts" hand sewn with metallic gold thread (about 6' long)

Rainbow Heart Garland, perfect for any time of year, not just Valentine’s Day!

I like to fold 2 hearts together and sew them with a coordinating thread. I use either embroidery thread or waxed linen thread. I add a few beads at the bottom and a loop at the top.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers that are now blooming.

My Spring Heart Garland has bright colors that remind me Spring flowers.

By changing the colors of the hearts, I have made heart garlands for more than just Valentine’s Day. I have used green hearts for St. Patrick’s Day, spring colored to celebrate spring and pastel pink and purple hearts for Easter. You could even make a red and green garland for the Christmas season. You can find instructions for this type of garland on my blog post: DIY Saint Patrick’s Day Paper Garland.

My finished garland is about 8 feet long.

Heart garland in colors perfect for St. Patrick’s Day.

Did I mention that I love heart garlands? My folded heart garland is my favorite of all garlands. I made this one last year and I have had it hanging in my studio ever since. Instructions on my blog post: DIY Folded Paper Heart Garland.

Folded Paper Heart Garland finished.

Folded Paper Heart Garland finished.

Not exactly a heart garland, but you could make multiple and make them into one, is the hanging heart ornament. Instructions on my blog post: DIY Hanging Paper Heart Ornaments.

One of my paper Valentine Hanging Heart Ornaments for the Ashland Art Center front window.

One of my paper Valentine Hanging Heart Ornaments.

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Enjoy, Candy

Halloween Envelopes Based On Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book

I did a review of Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book a couple of years ago, but it’s something I thought I’d write about again. I love this book. Although the book is written with children in mind, I had ever so much fun drawing using Ed’s directions.

This is a 6" by 9" manilla envelope. The address will go to the left of the Spooky House.

This is a 6″ by 9″ manilla envelope. The address will go to the left of the Spooky House.

The instructions are easy to follow. Ed uses just a few basic lines and shapes for most of the drawings.

This is my copy of Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book. There is a newer version currently in print.

This is my copy of Ed Emberley’s Halloween Drawing Book. There is a newer version currently in print.

Making Halloween envelopes sounded like fun. I love sending and receiving mail—real mail, the kind delivered by the post office—and I love to make special envelopes for my friends. For the first envelopes I made for this project, I used an 02 Pigma pen because it was what I had handy. It took me a long time to color in the black, so I would suggest a larger nib if you decide to make some of these yourself, especially the Spooky House. When I got to coloring the ground, I used my Pentel brush pen to color it and that took much less time to do.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

This is a #10 business envelope with the address written with a white gel pen.

The step-by-step instructions in the book are very easy to follow. There are symbols below each step of the drawing, and it is easy to see the progression. I purchased my copy of the book years ago, so I checked on Amazon to see if it was still available, and it is, in what looks like an updated version at a higher price. Ed Emberley has a series of books, and though I have only tried out this one book, I think his other books would also be a whole lot of fun for children (and some adults too).

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshop – Children Making Paste Papers

As part of my First Friday Art Walk demonstration this past Friday, I invited children to make their own paste papers. First I demonstrated how I make my paste paper, then with the permission of a parent, I let the children make their very own paste paper.

Miles chose blue, green and yellow for his paste paper.

Miles chose blue, green and yellow for his paste paper.

I had an assistant on hand to dry the paste papers with a hair dryer so the children could take their paste paper home with them. Needless to say, it was a great success.

Miles using tools to make marks in his paste.

Miles using tools to make marks in his paste.

Moving my paste paper set from my garage to my studio at the Art Center takes a huge amount of time. I figure it takes me 3 days to prepare, set it up and then take it down afterwards.

Miles has used stamps and graining tools to make marks in his paste paper. He's almost finished in this photo.

Miles has used stamps and graining tools to make marks in his paste paper. He’s almost finished in this photo.

Watching the children make their very own paste papers was so worth the effort of setting up for this project. They were all so proud of their masterpieces. They kept coming back to check on how the drying was going on.

Mari chose pink, purple, blue and teal as her colors.

Mari chose pink, purple, blue and teal as her colors.

It’s not necessary to use the high quality materials I use if you are making paste paper with children. Your paste can be flour and water and your coloring can be tempera or food coloring. You can use just about anything to color your paste.

Here Mari is using a comb to add lines to her paste paper.

Here Mari is using a comb to add lines to her paste paper.

If you are looking for some high quality non-toxic children’s paints, check out my friend, Leah’s, Natural Earth Paints. Leah has created a line of paints that are non-toxic, from paints for children to paints for professional artists.

Mari's finished paste paper.

Mari’s finished paste paper.

This is not the first time I had children make paste papers in my studio at the Ashland Art Center. I did this a couple of years ago too. It was a huge hit then too.

Remy's colors were pink, purple and teal.

Remy chose pink, purple and teal for her paste paper.

Remy starting to make marks in her paste.

Remy making marks in her paste.

Remy's finished paste paper.

Remy’s finished paste paper.

Scarlett chose teal, blue, magenta and purple as her paste colors.

Scarlett chose teal, blue, magenta and purple as her paste colors.

 

Scarlett is about to make marks in her paste.

Scarlett is about to make marks in her paste.

Scarlett is stamping patterns in her colored paste.

Scarlett is stamping patterns in her colored paste.

Samara chose magenta, purple and blue as her paste colors.

Samara chose magenta, purple and blue as her paste colors.

Samara adding texture to her paste paper.

Samara adding texture to her paste paper.

Samara is just about done with her paste paper here.

Samara is just about done with her paste paper here.

Drake was a two fisted painter, chose yellow, teal and green as his paste colors.

Drake was a two fisted painter, chose yellow, teal and green as his paste colors.

Drake was my only 2-fisted painter. He was a delight to watch.

Drake was my only 2-fisted painter. He was a delight to watch.

In addition to using both hands, Drake really slathered his paste on the paper. It took a little longer to dry, but he sure got into the process.

In addition to using both hands, Drake really slathered his paste on the paper. It took a little longer to dry, but he sure got into the process.

 

Emelia chose purple, blue, magenta and pink for her paste colors.

Emelia chose purple, blue, magenta and pink for her paste colors.

Emelia painting  her paste paper.

Emelia painting her paste paper.

Emelia's finished paste paper.

Emelia’s finished paste paper.

Owen chose yellow, blue, teal and green as his colors.

Owen chose yellow, blue, teal and green as his colors.

Owen is making marks in his paste paper.

Owen is making marks in his paste paper.

Owen has almost finished his paste paper.

Owen has almost finished his paste paper.

The kids had a great time and I loved watching them. Here are some links if you are interested in additional information.

For non-toxic paints for children:
Natural Earth Paints

For more information on paste papers:
Making Paste Papers: Part One
Making Paste Papers: Part Two

To see the paste papers children made a few years ago:
Children Making Paste Papers

Enjoy, Candy

DIY Ladybug Card – Perfect For Making With Children

Ladybugs are universally thought of to bring good luck. No one seems to know why ladybugs came to be viewed as lucky or why this is common in many different cultures. So after running across a wonderful ladybug quote, I decided I wanted to make it into a cute little card. The result is a project that is perfect for sitting down with some young children and making some ladybugs and cards them.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

An alternative would be to make one of these cards and send it to a child along with some “extra” little ladybugs. These little ladybugs can be made in a variety of sizes and can be modified in a number of different ways. Have fun playing with them.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3" square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

The above photo shows the steps to make a paper ladybug. I started with a 3″ square of red paper, but they can be made any size.

Instructions for making a paper ladybug:

1. Cut a 3″ square out of a red piece of text weight paper.

2. Fold the paper into a triangle (#2 above)

3. Fold the bottom left corner up to the top of the triangle (#3 above)

4. Repeat with the right corner (#4 above)

5. Using a circle template (I used a spice jar lid) make a pencil line around the open end of your folded ladybug. See #5 above which shows the way the circle is drawn.

6. Cut along the pencil lines you made (#6 above)

7. Open up your folded paper and color the section that will be under the ladybug’s wings black. I used a black coptic marker, but any black marker will work. (#7 above)

8. Fold your ladybug back up and using a black marker, color her face black (#8 above)

9. Make black circles on her wings. You can also make white dots for her eyes. A white paint marker or gel marker works well for this (#9 above)

For the card, I drew a dashed line and wrote “Ladybug . . .” on the front and hand lettered the inside in my own ordinary printing. I think it would be fun for children to write the quote themselves and have it reduced on a photocopier for the card. Another possibility would be to do the writing on a computer.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

Front of the Ladybug Card. On this ladybug, I trimmed her wings just a little to make a bit of a curve.

After I finished my ladybug, I decided to curve her wings just a little. You can play around with other possibilities. You could make legs and antenna. Have fun with your ladybug. Make multiple ladybugs. Try making different sizes. Make other bugs in other colors. Play and enjoy!

The quote I found:

Ladybug . . . a good luck symbol. It’s believed she first came to earth by lightening sent by the Goddess of Love and Beauty. When she swoops in, it’s to remind us that life is short, and not let worries cloud a single day. Author Unknown

My Ladybug Card with a few extra ladybugs hanging around.

Perfect card to send to friends who love ladybugs or to the children in your life.

Enjoy, Candy

Studio Snapshot – What To Do With Empty Metal Tea Tins

One of my favorite teas is Double Green Matcha tea. It comes 50 bags to a tin. But what to do with the tins once the tea is gone? I’ve been drinking this tea for years, so I’ve built up quite a stash of tins. The empty tins are too good to just throw in the recycle bin.

All these started out holding tea bags, like the tea tin in the middle of the photo.

These all started out holding tea bags, like the tea tin in the middle of the photo.

First, I clean the tea tins. The paper comes off  easily, but the adhesive is a little harder to get off. I found De-Solv-it works fairly well. It sometimes takes a few applications, but I usually have a clean and sparkling tin in minutes.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

For these tins, I printed some of my paste papers onto a light weight Japanese sketch paper. The paper muted the colors of the paste paper a bit, but I loved the look and the texture. I found that a light weight paper, and light weight oriental papers specifically, work wonderfully for this project.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

I wrote a DIY blog post on how I wrap these tins a number of years ago (see link at bottom of this article). This technique will work for lots of different containers you may have in your kitchen. I’ve wrapped cocoa tins, spice jars, even oatmeal containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

Empty metal tea tins are easy to decorate for use as gift containers.

This is an easy project. It’s a perfect summer project to do with children. All you need is a container, a light weight paper and some double stick tape. It would work great to use children’s artwork as the paper wrapping too.

link to DIY – Decorative Gift Containers

Happy Creating, Candy

DIY Chocolate Mice From Hershey’s Kisses

In anticipation of Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival, I’m sharing how to make these really cute mice made from chocolate kisses (and a little bit of paper, the ears). The Chocolate Festival isn’t until March, but I like to be prepared, especially for chocolate.

A bunch of mice made from chocolate kisses. The ears are made from paper.

A bunch of mice made from chocolate kisses. The ears are made from paper. Perfect favors for Valentine’s Day.

The following quote about chocolate is dedicated to my friend, Sophia.

Chocolate comes from cocoa
which comes out of a tree.
That makes it a plant,
Therefore, chocolate counts as salad.
The end.

Now for the instructions for making your salad.

Here are the steps to make your chocolate mice.

Here are the steps to make your chocolate mice.

Steps to making your mice (the numbers below refer to the numbers in the above photo):

1. Get 2 Hershey’s Kisses. I got a package or red, pink and silver kisses and another package of gold kisses.

2. Remove the printed paper message from the kisses.

3. Glue googly eyes on one of the kisses. I suggest using a liquid glue for this step.

4. Cut a 4″ length of bakers twine, put a knot in one end and insert the unknotted end into one of the kisses where you removed the message paper.

5. To make the ears, cut out 2 ovals out of brown paper and two smaller ovals out of pink paper.

6. Glue the pink ovals on the brown ovals. I suggest using stick glue for this step.

7. Glue the paper ears on the kiss with the googly eyes. I suggest a liquid glue for this step.

8. After the glue on the paper ears has dried, glue the two kisses together. I suggest a liquid glue for this step. Hold the two kisses together for a little bit to make sure the glue adheres well. Your mouse is now finished.

Two chocolate kisses mice.

Two mice made from chocolate kisses.

I realize that the ears are the only part of these mice that are made from paper. But, they’re so cute, I couldn’t help but share them with you.

Chocolate mice made from Hershey's kisses.

Chocolate mice made from Hershey’s kisses.

I will be demonstrating how to make these little mice during the First Friday Art Walk on March 6, which is also the first day of Ashland’s annual Chocolate Festival.

These chocolate mice are so easy to make. And in Valentine's Day colors too.

These chocolate mice are so easy to make. And in Valentine’s Day colors too.

I am making a whole bunch of little mice to share with friends on Valentine’s Day. They will be placed as table decorations on numerous tables where I will be having Valentine’s Dinner.

These are the start of my table decorations for Valentine's Day.

These are the start of my table decorations for Valentine’s Day.

Happy chocolate, Candy