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4 posts categorized "..Projects by Courtney"

Project #43 Apple Placemats

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Apple Placemats by Courtney Russel from Two Straight Lines

As we celebrate the harvest season here in the US, it's nice to get the kids involved in decorating the holiday table.  These cute apple placemats are painted using a freezer paper stencil, a technique easy enough for kids.  Freezer paper can be found at many grocery stores or online, but be careful, once you start you'll be stenciling every thing in sight.

You will need:
*Burlap
*Scissors
*Printed fabric
*Fabric glue (I like Alene's Tacky Glue)
*Red and Brown Textile Paint (I use Jacquard Paint)
*Paintbrushes- 1 wide, 1 narrow
*Freezer Paper
*Iron
*Heavy Weight Paper
*Marker
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Step one:
Cut your burlap to 13" x 17".
Step two:
On the heavy paper, sketch your apple, refining your drawing until you're happy.  Cut the apple out and trace around it on the paper side of the freezer paper.  Cut the apple out of your freezer paper, making sure that the area surrounding the apple is uncut-- this is your stencil.
Step three:
Place your stencil on the burlap where you would like it and iron it in place.
Step four:
Using the wide paintbrush, paint the area inside of your stencil with the red textile paint (tip: I used both foam and bristle paintbrushes and preferred the bristle).  Carefully peel your stencil away. Using the narrow paintbrush and the brown paint, paint the stem on your apple.
Step five:
Cut a leaf from your printed fabric.  Glue it next to your stem just above your apple.  If desired, use the marker to draw pretend "stitches" on the leaf.
Step six:
One at a time, pull four or five threads from each edge of the placemat to create a fringe.
Step seven:
Repeat until you have a placemat for every seat at your table.

..Two Straight Lines..

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Project #41 Sticker Art

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Sticker Art by by Courtney from Two Straight Lines

I originally had another more complicated craft planned for this week, but on Sunday I put together a little project for my son so that I could buy 15 minutes to make dinner.  He was so pleased with the results that we thought we'd share it with you today. My son loves these dimensional stickers, but I am always reluctant to buy him for them, because they are rather expensive.  One sheet of them is about $3.99 if you don't have a Michael's coupon, which is a lot to spend for your young child to stick them to a piece of paper that you will likely throw away a few days later.  I purchased a set of canvas covered boards for another project, so I decided to let him use one of those, which would make his "artwork" seem a little more special.

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Step one
Have your child draw a "setting" for the dimensional stickers on the canvas board using the pastels.
Step two
Have your child place the stickers on the board where he would like them to be glued (the adhesive on the stickers doesn't work on the waxy pastels).
Step three
Heat up your glue gun and fasten all of the stickers to the canvas board.  (tip: regular school glue such as Elmer's would work as well, but would take longer to dry)
Step four
Place your child's artwork on a shelf or pop it in a shadowbox frame, and enjoy.  Alternatively, you could use my son's idea, and "send it to the museum."
Variations:
One nice thing about this project is that you can adjust the degree of difficulty depending on the age of the child.  The very young child could simply scribble on the board and stick the stickers in random places. This is likely what my 2 1/2 year old daughter would do.  My nearly 6 year old son drew a more detailed drawing and placed the stickers in appropriate places.  An older child could draw a very detailed background, or work with other mediums such as paint or decoupaged fabric, adding the stickers when the background is dry.   Because the canvas board is rigid, it would work well on a shelf as a part of a seasonal display.

..Two Straight Lines..

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Project #39 Wild Things Tote

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Wild Things Tote by Courtney Russel from Two Straight Lines

I have monsters on the brain as we in the States near Halloween, as well as the upcoming release of the film Where the Wild Things Are.  This fun tote project would make a perfect Trick o' Treat bag, library tote, or even a slightly spooky gift bag.
You will need:
*Pre-made canvas tote
*Pen and paper for sketching
*Fabric or felt
*Scissors
*Fabric glue (I use Alene's because it doesn't soak through to the front of the fabric)
*Fine point permanent black or brown marker
*Other embellishments such as yarn, cording, buttons, ric-rac, googly eyes
Optional
*1" Masking tape
*Craft paint or fabric paint
*Paintbrush
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Step one:

Gather "monster inspiration" with your kids.  Do you have any stuffed monsters or monster story books?  What do you turn up if you do an internet search for "monster?"  Bring your inspiration to the table with your supplies.
Step two:
Draw a variety of monsters with the pen on the paper.  Which one is your favorite?  Do you prefer scary monsters?  Silly monsters?  One-eyed monsters?  I prefer friendly monsters.
Step three:
Select which monster you would like to put on your tote bag and refine the drawing, if necessary.
Step four:
Look over your fabrics and felt and see which ones you would like to use for your monster's body, eyes, nose and mouth.  Does he have any other parts?  Is your monster made from solid or printed fabric?  Is he plush or smooth?  Would you like to use any additional materials for your monster--  ribbon, ric-rac, buttons or googly eyes?  You can see from my photos that at first I tried felt, but decided I wanted to use a printed fabric instead.  I thought he looked too much like an Ugly Doll and wanted something a little more original.  I also really wanted to use to the more muted palette of the book Where the Wild Things Are.
Step five: (optional)
If you have the desire to make your tote striped as I did, cover one side of the tote with stripes of masking tape, alternating with 1" blank stripes.  Mix up the color of paint that you would like (I made an orange-y pink), and paint between the masked stripes.  When dry, remove the tape and if you wish repeat on the other side.  You don't need to be too fussy about this, it's supposed to be imperfect. Tip: you could also make a polka dot background by placing circle stickers on the bag and painting the unmasked area.
Step six:
Cut your monster out of the paper and trace around him on the fabric you've chosen.  Cut out any other parts he might have out of the paper, and trace around those too.  Finally, cut the parts out of the fabric.
Step seven:
Lay your tote flat and arrange your monster parts on the front.
Step eight:
Glue your monster parts on the bag, beginning with the ones that go on bottom and working your way to the top.
Step nine:
Using the fine point permanent marker, apply details to your monster, such as pretend stitching or outlining and any other characteristics that you wish him to have.  I also used the marker to draw my monster's mouth.

Finally, you can enjoy your Wild Things tote.  Does your monster have a name?  Mine is named Coriandre.

..Two Straight Lines..

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Project #35 Chalkboard clipboard and photo magnets

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Chalkboard clipboard and bottle neck photo magnets by Courtney Russel from Two Straight Lines

My son Elliot started kindergarten last week and together we came up with a few fun projects to decorate his first locker.

Chalkboard clipboard...by painting a small clipboard with chalkboard paint and adding magnets to the back you create the perfect place for sweet notes, permission slips or photographs.

What you'll need:
*Small clipboard
*Clamp or zip tie
*Chalkboard paint
*Foam brush
*Sandpaper
*Glue or glue gun
*Magnets*Chalk

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Step one: 
Cover your work surface with newspaper.
Step two:
Secure open the clip on your clipboard with a clamp or zip tie.
Step three:
Paint the clipboard with 3 coats of chalkboard paint.
Step four:
When thoroughly dry, sand the clipboard to distress it lightly.
Step five:
Glue magnets to the back at each corner.
Step six:
Draw all over chalkboard with chalk and wipe off. (this makes it look more like a chalkboard)
Step seven:
Hang in your little ones locker and scrawl a sweet note.

1_magnetsBottle cap photo magnets...make these magnets with your little one and you can keep him company at school.

What you'll need:
*Bottle caps
*Photos
*Flat screwdriver
*Mod Podge
*Paintbrush
*Glue or glue gun
*Magnets
Step one:
Cover your work surface with newspaper.
Step two:
Reduce photos to the size of your bottle caps (roughy 1") and cut out.  Check the size by placing in the bottle caps.
Step three: 
Remove the plastic gasket from the inside of the bottle caps. (a flat screwdriver works well)
Step four:
Apply Mod Podge to the inside of the bottle caps and insert your photos.
Step five:
Cover photo with two layers of Mod Podge, allowing it to dry between layers.
Step six:
When dry, glue magnets on the back of the bottle caps.
Step seven:Hang your smiling faces in your little ones locker.

..Two Straight Lines..

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