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 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.

  • Magazines
  • Glue
  • Paper or cardboard backing


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

  • 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.

  • 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.  

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

FRIDAY - Griddle Art 

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

  • Flat electric griddle
  • Crayons
  • Aluminum foil
  • Paper
These swirling colors are made from just a few ingredients.  Similar egg dying instruction may have you use shaving cream for this, but since we hope to EAT our hard-boiled eggs afterwards, we've chosen to use a whipped topping. 

Supplies needed:
Whipped Dessert Topping
Food coloring
2-9x13 pans or baking dishes
Eggs (we like hard-boiled)
Paper towels
Cooking oil (optional)

Step 1: Preparing your "Tie Dye"

  • Cover one of the baking dishes with a layer of whipped topping.  You'll need about 1/2 inch thick.
  • Drop food coloring on the surface of the whipped topping.
  • Using a toothpick, swirl the colors into the whipped topping.  TIP: Keep the toothpick perpendicular to the surface and be careful not to stir.  

Step 2: Dying your Eggs

  • Make sure your eggs are dry. 
  • Roll each egg into the whipped topping to completely cover.
  • Place covered eggs into the second baking dish to rest.
  • You may need to add cool whip and repeat step 1 if you start to run low on your "dye"!
  • Let the eggs rest, covered in the whipped topping mixture for 30 minutes.

Step 3: The Reveal!

  • Wipe the eggs with a damp paper towel to remove all the whipped topping and uncover the swirls of color!
  • You can also rub a small amount of cooking oil on the eggs to make them shine!

If you try this at home, share your pictures with us by tagging us @OrangeEaselArt on Instagram or by posting to our facebook page.  
Local artists are invited to attend our Egg Decorating Workshop on Saturday March 26th.  Tie Dye will be one of SIX stations we'll have set up!  Click here to learn more.
A new take on the traditional paper chain!  All you really need is paper and a stapler.

Construction paper strips (ours are 1.5"x9")
Small piece of yarn or string (optional)
Scotch tape (optional)


Step 1: 
Fold all of the strips of paper in half.

This will make the chain "building" process easier!
Step 2:
Insert one folded paper strip inside another, making sure that they folds are lined up and pushed together as tightly as possible.
Step 3:
Staple. Just above the folds.

Step 4: 
Leaving the inner most strip in place (red), gently pull down on the the outer strip (pink) to form a heart.
Step 5: 
While holding those (pink) ends together, wrap another strip (red) around the bottom of the heart.
Step 6:
REPEAT steps 4-6 to build a chain to your desired length
As the chain gets longer, you may find it easier to work "upside down"
To hang, make a small loop from a piece of string.
Locate the top two strips of paper which have not been formed into a heart.  Tape the sting on the outside of one of the strips. 
Then, bend the paper strips inward and pinch to form a heart.  Staple or tape to secure (depending on the size of your stapler, it may not fit!  Tape works just fine.)

Take it step further...

Here are some ideas to ADD to this project:
  • Before building your chain, write a name of someone you LOVE on each strip of paper
  • Add beads to the top yarn piece
  • Bead a string down the middle of the entire chain.  To do this you'll need a needle to poke through the folds of the construction paper
  • Create multiple strands to hang in a doorway or a window like a curtain
  • Join the ends of your chain together to make a wreath
  • Cut the strips of paper using decorative scissors
  • Play with different lengths and widths of paper in a single chain (you'll get different sized hearts!)


After-School ARt


Want your kids to talk to you about their day at school? Try ART.

Some children (and adults) speak more freely when their hands are busy and they are sitting side-by-side instead of face-to-face. The art process makes it acceptable to have their eyes focused down on the paper--which makes it easier to talk!

Get out a sketchbook, a spiral notebook, or some loose leaf computer paper. Find some crayons or markers or pencils. It's doesn't have to be fancy.

Just sit down and start doodling. Or painting. Or any of the easy art ideas listed below!


Try pipe cleaners as a fun and colorful building material.
Toothpicks and marshmallows (or grapes) work together like tinker toys!
Cut some paper squares and check out a library book on origami, the Japanese art of paper folding

Watercolor trays are inexpensive and easy to clean up.  Experiment with different technique, like wet-on-wet painting or adding salt to the wet paint.
Make a super-shiny, home-made paint from sweetened condensed milk and food coloring
Make microwaved puffy paint [recipe here]

Use old magazines and scissors to create a picture.  Henri Matisse called this "painting with scissors."
Print photos from a special trip or season and collage them onto a canvas
Cut words from junk mail, magazines, and newspapers to write a special message

Play a game of "Simon Says" Drawing.  Each person can take turn being "Simon."
Explore Zentangles and mandala drawings.  
Increase the novelty of drawing by using different papers...newspapers, phone book pages, or even aluminum foil.  
Fold a stack index cards in half and staple along the fold to create a mini drawing book.
Pre-draw a simple frame onto the drawing paper and let your child fill in the frame.
Pick fall leaves and doodle on them with silver paint pens

It's important to note that you should make art WITH them. And, your kids don't care if you can draw. As a matter of fact, they probably think that you draw really well. (Please, don't tell them otherwise!)

3doodler Review


We've had out 3Doodlers for a month now and I finally feel comfortable writing a short review of the product.  If you're not familiar with the 3Doodler, check out the video link below for the newer 2.0 models:
Our studio invested in a few of the 2.0 because they were quieter and lighter and not too much more expensive than the older model.  We currently have three of the 3D printing pens.  We've used them for two classes and the our instructors have had a chance to play with them.  

Here's what we've learned:
  • It's really hard to draw in the air.  They make it look easy on promo video; it's not.
  • Like any art medium, there's a learning curve.  The more we practiced with them, the better we became at controlling the plastic.
  • We had the best luck "building" by creating flat pieces and the assembling them (see video below)
  • The type of plastic matter.  Some projects are great in ABS while others (like the butterfly below) worked much better in PLA.  The 3Doodler 2.0 came with both.
  • Dealing with mechanical issues...either jammed plastic and plastic not feeding correctly was incredibly time-consuming.  Patience and persistence is required.  Although there's no reason that young artists can't USE the pens to create, an adult would need to be present to keep things "flowing."
  • Youtube is your best friend for troubleshooting
Check out the video of the butterfly Miss Allison made from a translucent blue PLA plastic:

Want to play with a 3Doodler?

Our Emerging Artists class which meets on Wednesdays nights will have access to use the 3Doodlers whenever they wish.  We'll also be using them during many of our Camps and Makerspace Events
At-Home Drawing Ideas for Summer []
Ava colors her outspace drawings using melting crayons.
Drawing is probably the most accessible at-home art project.  Generally, it's not too messy and it doesn't use a bunch of supplies.  

Because it's readily accessible, the challenge for some parents is in making a drawing project enticing.  "Go draw something" isn't always enough to get the kids motivated.  

We've lined up a few novel invitations for parents to try out this summer! Check them out below and then let us know if you try any of them.  We love to see your pictures on social media...feel free to post them directly to our facebook page or tag us @orangeeaselart on Instagram and Twitter.

7 Drawing Ideas for Summer ARt

Coloring on aluminum foil on a warm griddle

Posted by Orange Easel School of Art on Wednesday, February 4, 2015
  • Be sure to cover the griddle with aluminum foil to protect it.  
  • Low, low, low temp
  • Peeled crayons work best
  • Color SLOWLY
#1 Introduce an element of danger
Seriously.  Just a hint of danger and the appeal of an activity increases ten-fold.  In this activity, the danger comes from a kitchen griddle set on low.  

[ See full set-up instructions here ]

After a brief safety lesson, artists can draw and color on the griddle with crayons.  

The biggest obstacle with this one is that you probably only have one griddle and multiple artists.  Ah, patience.

Artists can draw pictures with sharpie FIRST and then color in their drawings, like the picture below (full blog post here) or just color straight on the griddle like the video on the left!


Painting Ideas for Summer Art & Play

We hope our lists below get the wheels turning!  Most of this stuff you already have just LAYING around the house.  

Set it out on the table today (maybe cover it with a vinyl tablecloth first) and let the kids go wild!

Summer is the PERFECT opportunity to explore different types of painting...

We support plenty of "go figure it out" activities, especially during the summer.  So you aren't going to find many pinterest worthy craft projects here.  It's all about the process!

The parents' role in this type of play is in setting up the materials and in facilitating. We call these invitations... 

Ready for some great ideas to do art (and other creative play) AT HOME this summer?  We're going to make it easy for you!  

Every single MONDAY beginning next week, our blog will feature oodles of ideas that you can use to exercise those young creative muscles.

To make it easier for us to organize, we've divided the nine weeks (yes, that's right, NINE weeks) of summer into different categories.  We're starting next week with sculpture, assembly, collage, mixed media...think small parts coming together into ONE work.    
See the complete list: