Check out our easy tutorial below for how to make your own marbled paper using some common items you probably have around the house:
  • shaving cream
  • liquid watercolors or food coloring
  • eye droppers, medicine droppers, or pipettes
  • pie plate (we like the light weight aluminum ones)
  • wooden skewer (or something to stir with)
  • paper shapes
  • squeegee
For older artist, the results are stunning and the design possibilities are endless.  For younger artists, the process of squirting out the shaving cream and dropping the color is great for fine motor development (not to mention, it's fun to play in the colored shaving cream when your done!).  

For a edible version, try whipped cream instead of shaving cream.  The colors aren't as bright, but it's safe for the really young artists to put in their mouths.

Step-by-Step

Step One: Squirt the shaving cream into the pie plate.  
You need complete coverage but it doesn't need to be deep.  We usually look for about half an inch.  You can use a spatula to spread it evenly around when your done squirting it out.

Step Two: Drop color onto the shaving cream.  
I think small drops work best.  We usually use 3-5 colors.  We don't dilute our watercolors for this activity.  You don't need much at all--maybe two teaspoons of total color!
Step Three: Swirl the colors together.  
The keyword here is SWIRL.  Not stir.  Not mix.  You're looking for swirls of color.  Using a thin stick (like a wooden skewer or even a toothpick) help ensure that the colors don't get too mixed up.  Hold the skewer perpendicular to the table surface and think of cutting and dividing up the dots of color instead of mixing.
Step Four: Place your paper shape on top of the shaving cream.  
Press down to make sure that the two surfaces connect at all points (press harder than you think).  
Step Five: Lift paper out of the pie plate and use a squeegee to scrap all the shaving cream off.  
If you don't have a squeegee, try an old gift card or expired credit card (or hotel key!)
Afterward, you can drop in more color, swirl again, and repeat the printing process.  Or, you can just enjoy the shaving cream as a sensory play invitation.  
We recently use our shaving cream prints to make planets. We splatter painted a piece of black construction paper with white paint and then glued on the marbled planets. 
These printed papers are perfect for collages (think spring flowers, fall leaves, etc).  They also make a beautiful set of notecards!
 
 
Not everyone can make it over to the studio over Christmas Break so we brought some art ideas to you via Facebook Live.  All of these tutorials use the basic art supplies and stuff we figured most people have around the house. If you need a new activity to keep the kids occupied, check out our tutorials and let us know how they go!

MONDAY - Paper Mosaic Art

Perfect for the older kids, these mosaics use magazines to create a sophisticated and texture-rich piece of artwork.

SUPPLIES:
  • Magazines
  • Glue
  • Paper or cardboard backing

TUESDAY - Ice Art

Sensory fun for the younger artists.  We even show you our trick for an inexpensive light table.

SUPPLIES:
  • Ice
  • Food coloring
  • Droppers
  • Salt

WEDNESDAY - Salt Dough Sculpture

Easy to make, clay or playdough substitute!  If you bake it, you can even finish your sculptures with paint.

SUPPLIES: 
  • Flour
  • Salt
  • Oil
  • Water

THURSDAY - Fun with Weaving Art and Pom Poms

Use whatever you've got: yarn, ribbon, scrap fabric, etc.  Over-under-over-under...this weaving process is great fine motor practice for small kids, while the big kids can make a stunning piece of unique art.  

SUPPLIES: 
  • Yarn, ribbon, scrap fabric, material
  • Cardboard
  • Scissors

FRIDAY - Griddle Art 

One of our ALL TIME FAVORITES.  We love this way of "painting" with crayons.

SUPPLIES:
  • Flat electric griddle
  • Crayons
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper
 
 
Our regular May classes are exploring art with metal all month.  

We began our month with a metal tooling project using aluminum foil, tacky glue, and shoe polish; and, we're wrapping up our month with continuous line drawings turned into wire sculptures!  The challenge in working in three-dimensions is that we have to abide by the laws of gravity!  
 
 
So excited to share this project with our budding artists in June!  Check it out:
Wire Wrapped Beaded Bracelets (ages 10 and up)
Monday June 8th and June 15th 
1:00pm—3:00pm
$60.00, all supplies included
Artists will use sterling silver wire in two gauges to shape a bangle bracelet to the correct size.  Once the metal is shaped, we'll use a wire-wrapping and beading technique to fill-in the design.  Each artist will make one bracelet over the period of two classes.  

Tools used: jeweler's pliers, small anvils, and hammers.
 

May Day Baskets

04/30/2015

 
We're making May Day baskets in the art studio day!  

We invite you to [PRINT our FREE May Day basket tags] and make your own May Baskets!
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Many people that I talk to remember celebrating May Day growing up, but we don't see it much anymore.  At least, not in our Kansas City metro area.  

 

EARTH DAY IDEAS

04/07/2015

 
Looking for new ART ideas for Earth Day?  These are three of our favorites that focus on REDUCING, REUSING, and RECYCLING materials in a new way!

 

Nature Critters

03/15/2015

 
Here's a fun idea of outdoor art.  It works best in a wooded area since you'll be looking for FOUND nature objects to construct some loveable creatures.  

Our little guys are made from found nature objects, google eyes, glue dots, feathers, gems, paint, and permanent marker.


This is would be a fun project to bring camping--keeping little hands busy while the grown-ups relax and chat by the campfire!
 
 

[All proceeds benefit the halo Foundation]

Remember that Splatter Art that we made in the studio last week? Well, it's NOW available for purchase! We're having an online auction this week ONLY for anyone who wants to take a piece of this art home with them; all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Halo Foundation.
 
 
It's easy to skip over Thanksgiving and get straight into Christmas, especially with all the cute crafts and art activities floating around Pinterest.  Let's face it, there's just MORE STUFF out there for the snowy winter holiday at the end of December.  
Never fear, we've rounded up a few of our favorites for the November holiday:

GRATITUDE Mandala

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Express and display your thankfulness in an artful way with this mandala drawing prompt.

Take it one step further by including intricate geometric designs likethese mandalas.

From: http://orangeeaselart.com

Leaf Coloring Pages

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Suitable for every age and skill level.  Studies have shown that coloring reduces stress.  

(all the more reason to add these to your pre-holiday schedule, right?)


From: http://www.itsybitsyfun.com/

Mayflower Step-By-Step Drawing

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For young artists who want a challenge, try your hand at drawing the Mayflower.  

Once you have the drawing sketched out, outline in a fine point paint and add color with watercolors.

From: http://drawinglessonsfortheyoungartist.blogspot.com

Turkey Step-By-Step Drawing

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If the Mayflower tutorial above is too advanced for your little artist, try this simple turkey drawing!

You could color your finished drawings and even laminate them for use as holiday placemats.

From: http://thepearlsofhomeschooling.blogspot.com

More Step-by-Step Drawing Resources

Check out our Pinterest Board! (yes, you'll find some Santas and Olafs on there too)
 
 
With Halloween around the corner, we're doing quite a bit of dress-up play in the Orange Easel studio.  

Wait...what?  Dress-up?  Is this ART???
Preschool Art Class getting creative with our dress-up play {OrangeEaselArt.com}
Playing dress-up exercises the imagination through role playing, acting, and plot development. Done properly, the game of dress-up demands a large selection: garage-sale-treasures, out-dated accessories, old Halloween costumes, and dance recital dresses.  

But, we believe that the dress-up bin has the potential to include a variety of homemade (CHILD-made) items.  There's the possibility for CREATION.  And THAT is the Art.
Making hats for creative time. {OrangeEaselArt.com}
These are the types of invitations we're setting-up this month in the studio.  Yes, there's still an Ironman costume, and a tutu, and a sword and shield.  But where the supply is lacking there's the possibility of creation too.  Encouraging the children to make their OWN costumes for play fosters an attitude of self-sufficiency, confidence, and independence. 

So, ORANGE EASEL doesn't have an Elsa costume?  Let's make one!  
(And we're not talking about the picture-perfect one that you see on Pinterest that is a 24 page pdf pattern that Momma sew together.  We're talking CHILD-directed, CHILD-created.  It isn't going to look like something from the store.  And that's okay.  Actually it's better.)
One of the best gifts we can give our children is the belief that they can be MAKERS.  If something isn't accessible, they can MAKE it exist.  If something isn't readily available, they can FIND it and MAKE it.  

We are called to be makers...inventors, creators, and problem solvers.  Make it.  And be proud of what you've created.  These handmade articles should be kept alongside our manufactured items and given the same value, if not more. 

Below is a list of dress-up play items to get you started creating items for your dress-up bin.   Make a few with the kids to get them started THINKING about costume creation.  Once they know it's a possibility, they'll be coming up with their own patterns and designs!
10 Dress Up Crafts that Kids Can Make. And WHY they SHOULD. {OrangeEaselArt.com}

Build your Dress-Up Bin

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From www.Picklebums.com
MAKE A MASK
This is an easy mask from Picklebums that we're doing this month with our preschool classes. The cardboard egg cartons are a wonderful material to paint on!  

Our little artists are having fun adorning them with glitter glue, gemstones and feathers. 

http://picklebums.com/2013/10/22/make-an-egg-carton-mask/#comment-40274
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From One Savvy Mom
A CAPE FROM A TSHIRT
All you need is an old tshirt and some scissors to make a new cape!

http://www.onesavvymom.net/2013/06/no-sew-upcycled-super-hero-cape-kids.html
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From PreschoolPlaybook.com
PEEKABOO ANIMAL MASKS
So many animal options.  Just a paper plate and an imagination!

http://www.preschoolplaybook.com/2009/03/lion-and-lamb-mask.html
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From CuttingTinyBites.com
PAPER DINOSAUR COSTUME
Can you imagine a herd of these creatures running around the house?  And roaring?  Maybe this could be just the beginning?  Next, dragons.  Or unicorns.  

http://www.cuttingtinybites.com/2014/09/diy-paper-dinosaur-hat.html

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From ReadingConfetti.com
EASY DRESS UP HATS
Paper plates can become crowns, alien antennas and more!


http://www.readingconfetti.com/2012/10/easy-dress-up-hats-paper-plate-craft.html
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From Babble.com
PRETEND WATCHES
Toilet paper rolls become watch bands in this costume creation.  

http://www.babble.com/toddler/toddler-crafts-for-the-non-crafty-paper-roll-projects-101/

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From DoodleCraftBlog.com
TAKE FLIGHT WITH A JET PACK
Where would your kids fly with just a couple soda bottles and some duct tape?  

http://www.doodlecraftblog.com/2012/04/super-sci-fi-rocket-fueled-jet-pack.html
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From HomeWithTheBoys.net
PAPER BAG VESTS
Teach your kiddos how to make these vest and there's no limit on what costume they can create!  Check out the adorable Tiger costumer from Home With The Boys.

http://homewiththeboys.net/friday-fun-paper-bag-vest-tutorial/

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From KidsActivitiesBlog.com
MAGICAL WANDS 
Glittering wands are the perfect accessory for ANY costume.  As a bonus, these wands are guaranteed to double as swords.

http://kidsactivitiesblog.com/47366/easy-wizards-wand
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From Pre-KPages.com
CHEF'S HAT

Pretend to be a head chef or award-winning baker with a simple paper hat.

http://www.pre-kpages.com/dramatic-play-chefs-hat/

If your kids really get into making costumes, you can encourage this creativity and independence: keep a stash of recyclables, scrap fabric, old clothes, construction paper and craft supplies near your dress-up station!

What's the favorite item in your dress-up bin?