<![CDATA[ORANGE EASEL - Orange Easel Blog]]>Fri, 15 Feb 2019 17:25:57 -0600Weebly<![CDATA[Paper Doll Art with Preschoolers]]>Fri, 15 Feb 2019 21:33:05 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/paper-doll-art-with-preschoolersThe post may contain affiliate links.
We've been studying portraiture and figure in our preschool art classes throughout the month of February.  One of the most successful art activities we all shared together this week was an invitation to make paper dolls. 

We judge the success of an art activity in our studio, not by the art it produces but rather the level engagement that we had from our students and the dialogue we were able to have during (and even after) the creative process.

We never really know how long a classes is going to be engaged in the materials we set out. This one keep our artists busy working and chatting for a full 35 minutes!

Once they were done, we stapled them to cardboard tubes so they could stand up.
Since this was a process art invitation, there's very little work on our part.  All we had to do was set out the supplies and facilitate the dialogue!

SUPPLIES:
Before class started, we traced a template and cut our paper dolls from heavy white paper (get our template here).  If you're not up for cutting out your own, or if you REALLY need a lot of them, you can always purchase a pre-cut pad of blank doll figures (check out these ones).

Other supplies that you could use: washi tape, googly eyes, yarn, ribbon, fabric scraps, etc.
Our kiddos pretty much dove right in with very little hesitation or need for direction.  But our students visit the studio weekly and are used to these types of process art invitations (In other words, they've learned not to ask, "what are we supposed to do?" because they know they are just going to get a smile and a shrug from their instructors!) 

If your students are having a hard time getting started, here are some conversation starters:
  • What is he/she missing?  (hair, facial features, clothes, etc)
  • What is YOUR favorite color pants to wear?
  • Do you think you'll use a marker or paper to make those shoes?
  • Is that paper the right size for a shirt?  
  • Do you think you'll cut it or tear it to make it smaller?
Try not to let them get hung up on the perfect shape of a shirt or the perfect shape of a shoe.  Rectangles make great shoes.  Torn bits of paper layered together will be a wonderfully unique shirt.  

Do you see the doll on the left with the big smile and pointy teeth?  He's dressed in a dinosaur costume.  The mask is folds down to reveal the human face underneath. How amazing is that?!
I hope you try this out with your artists at home or in your classroom.  Let me know how it goes for you!

More Figure & Portraiture Art Activities 

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<![CDATA[Top 10 Famous Artists to Teach Preschoolers]]>Tue, 12 Feb 2019 15:00:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/top-10-famous-artists-to-teach-preschoolers
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. We've compiled a list of OUR favorite famous artists, why we love each one, and collection of art activity links to help you if you're planning an art history curriculum in your classroom. So, who made the list? It might surprise you...
Teaching art history to preschoolers is one of my favorite things!  As well as coming up with art activities that support our art history lesson.  We've compiled a list of OUR favorite famous artists, why we love each one, and collection of art activity links to help you if you're planning an art history curriculum in your classroom.

So, who made the list? Here you go:
  • KANDINSKY
  • MONDRIAN
  • MATISSE
  • VAN GOGH
  • SEURAT
  • MONET
  • WARHOL
  • KLIMT
  • POLLOCK
  • O'KEEFE

Yes, I'm aware that Picasso isn't on there.  Sorry, Pablo.  I still love your quote.

Art History Matters

Our preschool classes have a monthly Art History focus that goes along with the art concept that we're learning and the stories that we're reading.  When we're studying CONTRAST (the difference between black and white, shadow and highlight)d in January, we look at VanGogh's Starry Night and we read the books Flashlight and Where the Wild Things Are.  We don't look at VanGogh's Sunflowers because they don't fit into our curriculum.  Don't feel like you have to teach the entire breadth of an artists' work or the entire art movement; it's okay to simplify it.   

It's also important to note that our lessons and our activities that follow are PROCESS ART.  It's never about the product that is created, but rather the learning that took place in the process.  When we're learning about Seurat and then offer an invitation to try pointillism by making fingerprints on giant stamp pads, it's perfectly acceptable for our artists to make handprints instead.  Or even foot prints.  Our art invitations are just that--invitations.  It doesn't mean that the lesson was a failure or that they don't understand Seurat's art. Maybe our artists just really, really needed to feel their whole hand on that stamp pad.   

Our Top 10 Favorite Famous Artists to Teach Kids

Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by Wassily Kandinsky.

Wassily Kandinsky

First of all, Wassily is just a fun name and all the preschoolers love it.  In the studio, our lessons focus on Kandinsky's concentric (that's a great vocabulary word!) circle art because it's a shape that most of our students can identify and replicate!  We are inspired by this artwork to draw, paint, collage, and print.
KANDINSKY INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES:
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by Piet Mondrian.

Piet Mondrian

Similar to Kandinsky's circles, Mondrian's lines are perfectly tailored for preschool curriculum.  And check out the squares and rectangles that his lines create!  Mondrian's artwork is also a wonderful lead-in to a lesson in primary colors and the secondary colors that they can create if they cross Mondrian's lines.
MONDRIAN INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse

Studying Matisse gives us a reason to break out the scissors and the glue.  We focus on teaching pattern (repetition of shapes throughout a space) and collage.  Matisse called his later cut paper work "painting with scissors."
MATISSE INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by Expressionism and VanGogh.

Vincent VanGogh

When we study Van Gogh with our students, we really mean that we're studying the most well-known Van Gogh painting...Starry Night.  We look at the texture, colors, and movement .  We also notice that the way Van Gogh made stars is different we would normally make them!
VANGOGH INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by George Seurat and Pointillism

George Seurat

Hooray for pointillism!  We love making lots of little dots.  Q-tips make wonderful pointillism-makers.  You can even bind a bunch of them with a rubber band for more efficient dot making.  Finger prints are another favorite invitation when we're learning about Seurat.
SEURAT INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
Teaching Art History to Preschoolers can be engaging and full of process art invitations. Check out our favorite art activities inspired by Impressionism and Monet.

Claude Monet

We study Monet in April when it's just beginning to feel like spring in Missouri.  It's perfect because his water lily paintings make us want to make ALL the nature art.  The Impressionist style is perfect for preschoolers to try to imitate!
MONET I​NSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
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Andy Warhol

Our Orange Easel students study Andy Warhol during our printmaking unit.  We practice being "like a machine" and mass producing art using different printing and stamping techniques.   If you have tried out printing foam, I highly recommend it!
WARHOL I​NSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
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Gustav Klimt

Sigh.  We study Klimt so we can use All. The. Gold.   Seriously.  Gold foil.  Gold paint.  Gold markers.  We look at two paintings (The Kiss and Tree of Life).  There are so many wonderful shapes patterns happening in these works that are easily imitated by our young artists.  
KLIMT INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
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Jackson Pollock

If you're going to do art history with kids, you have to do Pollock.  It's such a unique way of producing art.  Put the paper on the floor and spend an hour dripping and drizzling paint ALL OVER IT.    I promise they'll remember that lesson.
POLLOCK INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES
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Georgia O'Keefe

When we look at the art of Georgia O'Keefe, we talk about perspective (like we're an itty -bitty ant on a flower nearby) and we talk about color (how many different reds can you find?)
O'KEEFE INSPIRED ART ACTIVITIES

Additional Preschool Resources

We hope that our Top 10 gets you thinking about YOUR Top 10 list.  And inspires you to incorporate some art history into you ABCs, colors, and shapes lesson.  There are so many tie-ins between famous artists and famous paintings that you can use in the preschool classroom.  Happy teaching!
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Inside the Preschool Classroom : Exploring Art Concepts of Shadows and Highlights (contrast)
Inside the Preschool Art Room : Portraiture and Figure Study by using magazines as your canvas (and whatever else you have lying around)
How to encourage more drawing (longer drawing) from toddlers and preschoolers through the use of sound games.
Watercolor Hand Prints are a fresh take on an old favorite. Plus, they are more acceptable to our artists with sensory issues (because it just feels wet...not messy)
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<![CDATA[Painting Live - Valentine Hearts]]>Fri, 08 Feb 2019 06:00:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/painting-live-valentine-heartsI thought it would be fun to go live on facebook and share some watercolor painting with you today!   


I'm going to be painting with three different types of watercolor-ish paints (okay, the last one is technically an acrylic ink, but it's my favorite!).  I hope you enjoy this little heart tutorial!​
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<![CDATA[How to Advocate for PROCESS Art]]>Mon, 28 Jan 2019 13:00:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/how-to-advocate-for-process-art
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
We are a PROCESS art studio.  Which means, at all ages, OUR focus is on the learning that takes place through the manipulation of art supplies and art concepts, rather than the resulting project.  

I'd like to talk for a minute to my fellow preschool teachers.  (Teachers of grade school and older, I'll get you another post here soon). 

​Now, preschool teachers (and by teachers, I mean superheros), I know you value the process.  I know you see the magic in the mess and the beauty in a smudgy brownish blog of painted paper.    

But how do you explain it to parents?  When they are headed out the door at the end of the day with art that isn't quite refridgerator worthy, how do you explain what you did all day?  How to you fight the pressure to produce pinterest-worthy projects for our students to take home from art class?  

I put together some of my best tips from the past 10 years of experience:

Process Art is not about us.  It's about them.

Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
TIP #1: Set the expections up front
At the beginning on the year, send home a flyer about the types of activities you'll be doing in your room and WHY.  If you need a template to get you started, I've got you.  Click here to download a one-page document that you can personalize for your class.
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
TIP #2: Take pictures 
Capturing the actual creation will help parents to visualize what exactly happened.  Video is even better.   See how focused they are?  See how they are smiling?​
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
TIP #3: Stop sending the art home
Stop worrying about HAVING something to send home.  It's okay if they don't take something home.  If the process is what really matters, the product created isn't needed as proof.  Don't feel like you need to keep everything.  Often times in our art centers, those small quarter sheets of paper get used and left there, with no name or way of knowing who it belongs to.  We usually pile them all up and save them until the end of the day JUST IN CASE someone comes back for it.  If not, it get's thrown away.  If the kids don't care, why should you?
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
TIP #4: Make collaborative art instead
Giant collaborative art is wonderful for the classroom because it's easier to prepare, uses fewer resources, and encourages communication skills between students.  Plus, when the art stays in the classroom,  it can be revisited over and over (and none of the parents have to figure out what to do with the day's art.)
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
Process Art for Preschoolers - Our best tips on how to incorporate it and how to explain it to parents
TIP #5: Document what the children say about their art
Write a note quoting the child's explanation of their art.  Drawing for preschoolers is more about communication than it is about making something pretty.   This way parents can continue the conversation at home.​ 
I hope that those tips are helpful.  What's your best tip for advocating for more PROCESS ART in the preschool classroom?  I'd love to know!
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More Process Art for Preschoolers

Inside the Preschool Art Room - Creepy spider drawing and painting lesson for the the preschool classroom
Inside the Preschool Art Room - Learning Contrast by Exploring Shadows and Highlights
From the Art Studio - Process Art Activity for Kids of all ages - Hot Crayon Rocks
How to use shaving cream and washable watercolors to marble paper
Squishy, paint-filled sponges are the best exercise for those little finger muscles. Check out this process art activity for your preschool train lovers!
Draw caterpillars using rich, buttery sumi ink.
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<![CDATA[3 Tips for Impressive Snowflake Cutting]]>Thu, 17 Jan 2019 06:00:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/3-tips-for-impressive-snowflake-cuttingI love cutting paper snowflakes.  It's one of my favorite winter-y art activities to do with the kids during down time.  Today, on facebook, I'm sharing three quick tips that you can incorporate to take your snowflake cutting from beginner to advanced.
It's that simple.  Not a fancy template you have to download or some crazy pattern to follow.  Just some general guidelines to take your paper snowflakes from beginner to advanced.  Happy creating!
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More Snow Art Resources:

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<![CDATA[Valentines Art Activity - Printing on Gelli Plates]]>Tue, 08 Jan 2019 17:30:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/valentines-art-activity-printing-the-gelli-plates
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
This post contains affiliate links.
I adore these homemade, paint-printed valentines with metallic gold details.  They are made using gel printing plates from Gelli Arts and the result is a layered, textured, one-of-a-kind Valentine.  I hope you enjoy the tutorial below!
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Printmaking Valentine Tutorial

Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
SUPPLIES:
Blank notecards
Gelli plate
Acrylic paint
Brayer
Paper plate or scrap paper (palette)
Baby wipes (to clean gelli plates)
Drawing paper
Scissors
Q-tips
Gold sharpie
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
We started by picking a color scheme.  We opted for coral, magenta, turquoise, and white knowing that the gold sharpie would be the perfect finishing touch.   Gelli plates work best by layering pattern and colors, using masks each time you print so that the bottom layers peak through.  
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
To make the masks, we cut hearts from the white drawing paper, making sure to keep both the positive hearts AND the negative mask.  Both will be useful!
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
Since each layer has to dry a bit in between, we started by printing the bottom layer on all six cards.  (You can work on one card at a time if you'd rather.)  Each card was prepped with a center circle mask taped in place. Some backgrounds were gradients.  Some were patterns.  Some where solids.
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
Leaving the white circle in place on every card, we continued to the second layer.  This is really something that ONLY makes sense if you play around with it!  By placing a heart on a painted gelli plate, you allow the bottom layer to peak through on the card (in the shape of a heart).  Conversely, but placing the negative mask on a painted gelli plate, you print the positive heart onto your card.  Whew.  Brainteaser.
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
You can do as many layers you want.  Just keep adding patterns and masks to create depth to your prints.  Use the q-tip to doodle a pattern into the paint before you print.  Wipe your gelli plates off in between paint colors, especially if they are complimentary, so you don't end up with brown!
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
For the final touch, we removed all of our masks and added gold detailing and lettering.  
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
Since the heart masks are so textured and gorgeous, we decided that they needed to be saved!  So, we used glue to collage a few on our final cards.  
Gel Print Kids Art Activity perfect for homemade diy valentines -- uses gelli plates -- finished with gold detailing
If you want, you can also add a varnish on top of the paint to create a glossy shine to your finished card.  Be sure to let it dry COMPLETELY before putting in envelope! 
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More Valentines Day Arts & Crafts Activities

Valentines Day Watercolor Painting Lesson Activity for Kids and Adults
Valentines Day Heart Paper Garland - Easy Kids Craft Project!
Easy slime recipes for valentine's day classroom parties -- perfect for the craft activity, science activity, or take-home favor!

More Printmaking Art Activities

Mix & Match Stamp Carving Project for Adults and Teens - Perfect for Spring Art Projects!
Printing with Preschoolers - Using foam stickers to make Block Prints
Art at Home - How do do Mono Printing using gelli plates (video tutorial)
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<![CDATA[Fairy House Camp]]>Sat, 29 Dec 2018 01:48:25 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/fairy-house-camp
This post contains affiliate links.
We've been doing Fairy House camp since the first summer I taught art classes out of my basement (see that story here).  It's one of my favorite camps because it combines magic and imagination with building and creating.  Plus, it uses all the best supplies...like glitter, sharpies, and hot glue, so what's not to like, right?  

This project works wonderfully for half day camps and I can't help but think that it would make an adorable birthday party project (still working on that!). 

​If you've got an art studio  (or summer camp, daisy troop, moms club, five-year-old birthday party, etc), this project would be perfect for your group.  And, before say that it's too girly, think again.  Our boys love the magic of their fairy houses just much as the girls in class!

Host Your Own Fairy Camp

Step One:
We begin with a look at architecture. We look at photos of different houses and discuss what we see.  We talk about windows and window frames.  Types of siding.  Types of roofs (rooves?).  We notice trim.  And gutters.  And eaves.  Only after we've OBSERVED the world around us, we can begin to create.  
Step Two:
We use these little wooden  birdhouses.  They come in different sizes and I feel like over the past six years, we've used them all!  Most recently, we used these ones.  They are only about 1.5 inches high and are perfect for fairies!   Plus, they fit really nicely on our saucers and leave plenty of "yard."

​Our artists use sharpie markers to add architectural details onto their fairy house.  If we have a particularly young crowd, we usually discuss the difference between DRAWING and COLORING before we had out the sharpies.  We're going to be painting these with watercolors, so DRAWING is all we need here.  Not coloring.  
Step Three:
Our favorite paints are liquid watercolors.  And our favorite liquid watercolor for this is Colorations GLITTER Liquid Watercolor.  Because it's washable.  And it has glitter.  Duh. 

The liquid watercolor is perfect to stain the wood a beautiful, sparkling, rainbow of color while still allowing for all the sharpie details to show through.  Bonus: it drys really quickly.
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Step Four:
Once the houses are dry, we invite the artists to glue even more details onto their wooden houses.  These details could really be anything you have laying around the craft closet, but OUR favorites are sequins, faux flowers, and gemstones.  You could use regular glue or modpodge for this, but hot glue is the real winner.  (Yes, we let our 4-5's use low temp hot glue guns.  It's something we're pretty proud of.  But that's another blog post for another time.)   

The video below show our artists hard at work on this step.  We also offered glue and glitter shakers at this camp. :)​
Step Five:
Our artists create gardens for their houses using a terra cotta plant saucer.  The gardens are made from moss, glass gems, and faux flowers.  Some of our older artists use popiscle sticks to construct bridges and fences.  
If we have an older crowd it's fun to just put out a variety of supplies to see what they can come up with.  Things like twine, ribbons, cardboard, washers, buttons, thread spools, sea shells, and toothpicks make for wonderful tinkering materials. Again hot glue is your friend.  In longer classes, we've even put out the polymer clay so kids can sculpt miniature forrest animals and tiny home funishings.

Step Six:
Once the garden is done, we add the houses and the fairies.  Our "fairies" are battery-powered led lights.  They are the perfect size for placing inside the tiny houses.  (Tip: Tie a string to little loop on the light if you want to be able to get it back out of your house easily to turn it off.)

Enjoy this video of Miss Sara introducing our artists to the fairy:
When the fairies are inside the houses, they make a perfect little night light!
So, there you have it!  Our guide to a successful and artful fairy house class, camp, or group project.  Of course, you could do this with just one kiddo too, but we love the creative energy of a group.

If you get a chance to try it out, send me some pictures or tag me on social media, okay?  I'd love to see!

Related  posts:

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<![CDATA[Tips for Developing Preschool Scissor Skills]]>Thu, 08 Nov 2018 16:20:00 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/tips-for-developing-preschool-scissor-skills
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Preschool Fine Motor and Scissor Skill Development Tips and Activities from Orange Easel
Our preschool classes are learning about the art of Henri Matisse this month. We're painting papers, cutting them up, and mod-podging them together to make art. Matisse called this "painting with scissors."

We encourage artists as young as two years old to begin exploring scissors.

Learning to use this tool shouldn't begin at age five when they go to kindergarten. The trick to starting early is making sure that you've selected the right scissor, the right cutting material, AND the right positioning! 

Take a look below as Miss Allison gives you all our best scissor-skill-developing tips!

Watch here for our best tips:

Our Favorite Scissors:

Here are the links for the scissors mentioned in the video above!
Need some inspiration?  Check out our preschool class in action--cutting up herbs and flowers!
I hope these tips inspire you to get out the scissors a home with your little ones.  The right tools make all the difference...it will give YOU peace of mind and it will set them up for success!
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More Fine-Motor Activities for Preschoolers:

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<![CDATA[Screen Printing DIY]]>Thu, 18 Oct 2018 02:05:26 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/screen-printing-diy
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It's that time of year again!  The time of year where I need 30 matching shirts on short notice and every t-shirt printing company in town has a three week wait on production!

Thank goodness for I found this Speedball kit last year.  It was a lifesaver when I wanted to put our logo on the kids' splat-painted parade shirts.   So, I knew exactly how to solve my last-minute crisis this year for festival volunteer shirts.  

Did you know that a single-color screen printing is totally do-able for the average joe?  You'll need the right supplies, some patience, and some grace to accept a learning curve...but, serious, mass printed shirts could be your future!

Our experience 

This is our second time using this kit (Speedball Intermediate Screen Printing Kit from Amazon) with great success.  We screen printed last year's parade shirts (after we have splatter-painted them), and I gotta say, it was MUCH easier the second time!
The whole group in their custom printed tshirts that we tie dyed and diy-ed with a screenprint design on the front!
Last year's parade crew in their TEAM Orange Easel shirts.
I also think that screen printing BLACK INK on a white shirt is probably not the way to go on your first print!  This year's design with WHITE INK on dark orange seemed so much less stressful!
Beginner screenprinting using a kit from hobby lobby.  This DIY wasn't has hard as it might seem at first!
Our 2018 Fall Festival Volunteer shirts
Since our design as some pretty intricate details, we choose to create our screen using the photo emulsion.  The kit also comes with the drawing fluid and screen filler that you can use to hand paint your screen if you have a simpler design.
The instructions that come with the kit are extensive--and for good reason!  They are well-written and easy to follow (provided you read them).  Understand that you're probably not going to get the kit and print tshirts in the same day.  Preparing the screen takes a little time.
First step is mixing the photo emulsion and spreading it nicely on the screen.  You want a thin layer that fills the screen evenly and doesn't have any globs or drops.  This isn't as easy as it sounds--since you're spreading a liquid over a porous screen, the green goop kinda ends up everywhere.   Do this over the sink.  

The photo emulsion is light sensitive once it dries, so it needs to be kept in a dark space until you're ready to expose it with your transparency.  I put ours inside a empty dresser drawer in the girls bathroom and then taped that drawer shut with half a roll of duct tape (along with some sharpied words-of-warning for anyone who dare open it). 

The Speedball instruction book suggest putting the wet screen inside a black garbage bag if you can't find a dark closet or room.   I wouldn't recommend that.  We tried that the first year and ended up having to redo the screen when the emulsion dried with plastic stuck all-bunched up next to it.
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See my IG Story of the whole process here!
I had our design printed on transparency by Office Depot because the inkjet in the office makes a smudgy mess when printing on film.  Plus, then you don't have to buy a whole box of transparency papers.

Next step, is making a sandwich.  This sandwich is made with the screen on the bottom, the transparency in the middle, and a piece of glass on top to hold everything in place.  Then, the whole sandwich is carefully placed outside onto a black sheet of paper.  The paper's important so that the light doesn't reflect off the sidewalk and expose the underside of the screen.  (Tip: We took our glass out of a picture frame.  From the dollar store.)  

The sun hardens the photo emulsion where the transparency ISN'T.  Where there is ink on the transparency, the screen will later rinse clean.  I recommend checking the exposure time table in the instructions.  And then adding just a few more seconds.  A slightly over-exposed screen can be salvaged with a little extra elbow grease.  A slightly under-exposed screen just washes down the drain!
I know it seems like a lot of work up to this point, but I promise with was downhill from here.  And I was able to print about 30 shirts in under an hour (for under $100) so it's all worth it.  

Once the screen was rinsed and dried (and cured briefly in the sun again), I was ready to print. 

I glued four pennies to the corners of my screen so that it would sit slightly above my t-shirt.  You can see that I didn't attach them last year (see video below) and spent the a great deal of time trying to get them lined up with the frame for each print.  Duh.  #thingsyoulearnthesecondtime
Make a practice print on paper first.  Heck, make LOTS of practice prints. Screenprinting is an ART.  With practice, you'll get a feel for how much ink and how much pressure.  

Here's me printing four shirts for this year.  You'll notice I don't put any cardboard or anything inside the shirt.  I did that the first year and then realized that the ink wasn't bleeding through and the extra step was causing finger prints and smudges.  
If you need a bunch of matching shirts and you want to save a little money with a DIY, I highly recommend you try screen printing your own!  The screens can be saved for future printing of the same designed or completely cleaned and reused with a new design.  (Any budding entrepreneurs who are interested in a design and printing biz...this would be make a great gift!)
the kit we used
additional ink colors
additional screens

More DIY-ing Fun:

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<![CDATA[My favorite slime recipe]]>Thu, 11 Oct 2018 02:21:59 GMThttp://orangeeaselart.com/orange-easel-blog/my-favorite-slime-recipeIt's no secret that we make a lot of slime here in the studio.  So, naturally, I have a favorite kind to make.  It's stretchy.  It's squishy.  It's marshmallow-y.   It's fool proof.  If you've struggled to make a successful slime in your home...try this recipe :)
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My Favorite Slime Video Tutorial

Is this Art?

​So, is slime art?

We understand that some may question a slime activity as part of an art lesson. It's not your traditional art form. ?

But, in it's process we get to exercise so many of our maker skills that are important for art. We make decisions about color and texture. We have silly ideas and the freedom to try to bring them to life. We test out theories and change our plans when things go awry. We gain confidence when we have success.

There is so much joy in the process. Maybe fine art needs a fine product at the end to "count." But we don't. ?. The act of creating is what matters to us. We're growing artists and makers and creators who will change the world. One slime recipe at a time. ? #theworldneedsmoreartists #makesomething
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