Watch our facebook live broadcast for a step-by-step instruction on how to make these sweet butterflies:
Once you've finished your butterflies, you can hang them from the ceiling, attach them to a window, or even use some floral wire to have hover above a houseplant!
I hope you enjoy this simple summer craft!
Alcohol ink is highly pigmented, typically comes in really small bottles (ours are 0.5 ounces), and can be used in a variety ways--see our pinterest board for more ideas!
A detailed video tutorial for our coasters is provided below, so gather up your supplies and start creating!
See more art activities using these inks:
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links.
We've got this new fun toy on the front desk. Have you see them?
They totally ROCK! (<----cheesy pun)
We were inspired by these wooden stacking stones by Grimm's Spiel and Holz Design. As beautiful as they are, we couldn't justify almost 60 dollars for a set of 12 stacking stones.
So we set out to make our own. And we think you should too. DIY instructions at the bottom of this post.
How to play with rainbow rocks
The most delightful part of having these toys on the front desk is seeing how each child plays with them differently. Some line them up into a train or a path. Some immediately begin building towers (though, four rocks is as high as we've been able to get them to balance). Some arrange them into a circle. Some match up the colors. Some hand out to the other guests in the lobby and pretend they are handing out candy.
There's no wrong way.
And every child--of varying ages--seems enticed to touch, move, and PLAY with them somehow.
All of these candid and casual photos were snapped in one evening by our front desk staff.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOSE PARTS IN PLAY
In our experience, manipulatives like these rocks are some of the best toys. They are "loose parts" that will empower our creativity and challenge our problem solving skills.
In early childhood education settings, loose parts mean alluring, beautiful, found objects and materials that children can move, manipulate, control, and change while they play. Children can carry, combine, redesign, line up, take apart, and put loose parts back together in almost endless ways. The materials come with no specific set of directions, and they can be used alone or combined with other materials. Children can turn them into whatever they desire: a stone can become a character in a story; an acorn can become an ingredient in an imaginary soup. These objects invite conversations and interactions, and they encourage collaboration and cooperation.
If you're interested in learning more about loose parts, check out pinterest board for resources and inspirations.
STEP ONE: Shape
If your clay is too tough, break it into small pieces and gently condition it with the hands. You can also spray it with a mist of water to help soften it (but not too much!).
Our rocks are varying sizes...round or oval and in between 1-3 inches in diameter. You can make your rocks any size, but be sure that they have a pretty flat top and bottom surface so that they can stack.
STEP TWO: Smooth
Once you have the general shape of your rocks, you can smooth out the clay by dipping your finger in water and rubbing it along the surface.
STEP THREE: Dry
Place the rocks on parchment paper or wax paper and let them dry completely for about a week. We flipped ours over halfway through just to make sure that some air got to the underside.
STEP FOUR: Paint
Acrylic paint works best. You can use any colors. We went with the rainbow on our first set, but the next one we made (for the Platte Woods studio front desk), we painted with blues and greens, and we even added some design details. On both sets, we made sure to get a couple good coats of paint and to wait for one side to dry before flipping them over. If you're impatient, a hair dyer works to speed up the drying time.
STEP FIVE: Spray
The clear coat will protect the paint. If you want your rocks to be shiny, use a glossy clear spray. Otherwise, a matte would be beautiful too.
Watch our Video Tutorial
We went Live on Facebook recently to show how to make these popular clay rocks!
CARING FOR YOUR "ROCKS"
Obviously, these aren't really rocks. Clay will break if it is dropped on a hard surface. We've got our rocks sitting on the desk for easy accessibility. They have tumbled quite a few times and hit the tiles below. So far, aside from a few chips in the paint, our rocks seem to be doing pretty well. We anticipate that they will eventually split or break after enough falls. But, that's okay, we'll just make more. :)
For home use, we could recommend stacking your rocks on a surface above a rug or carpet to ensure longevity of your new toy. Or, just play with them directly on the floor to avoid the three-foot drop all together. ;)
If you make rocks for your home, classroom, or to gift to a friend, please send me a picture or tag me on social media! I'd love to see!
Every March, our studio turns its attention to the art of printmaking. We explore both BLOCK PRINTING and MONOTYPE PRINTING here in the studio.
This is the second post and video that we've done on monotype prints. You can check out our previous post and video here.
Monotyping Tutorial for Home
In our video below, we're using a small piece of glass that we removed from a dollar store picture frame (we used the frames for a weaving project)
Other tools were are using:
There's no WRONG way to make prints but we do have some best practices to share with you!
We usually encourage our artists to build up lots of layers and use different textures on their prints. Monotypes make wonderful backgrounds and collage papers. They are perfect for just enjoying the PROCESS of making art. Kids love to experiment and just see what happens! Make sure you have a STACK of paper...you're going to need it!
Valentine's Day Puffy Slime
Light and airy. Like playing with fresh-smelling marshmallow dough. This slime is great by itself, but for extra special occassions, try making a few different colors (different batches) and and swirl together to create a beautiful visual effect.
Click the video link below to watch our facebook live video for the recipe and instructions:
Valentine's Day Slime with Heart Confetti and Glitter
This slime is more dense than above and made with clear glue so that those pretty, sparkly add-ins can really shine.
Click the video link below to watch our youtube video for the recipe and instructions:
Borax Solution for Slime
More heart art:
Check our how to make this paper heart garland:
We call this "dangerous art." It gets their attention.
The rocks are hot (heated in the oven) and the crayons just ooze over the top, encasing the rock in a marbled rainbow shell. The process is oh-so-satisfying in itself. But the product is also delightful: a silky, swirled treasure stone.
We've created a video tutorial for you to try this out at home with your young artists (or old artists--Our instructors love doing this one!). Here's what you'll need:
Orange Easel Video Tutorial
After you've made your rocks, snap a picture of you with your little treasures so we get to see your creative products! #ArtistsInspireArtists Tag us @orangeeaselart.com on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!
DISCLAIMER: This post contains affiliate links.
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.
See below for detailed, written instructions. But here's a super quick tutorial that we did live on our Facebook page.
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.
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
TUESDAY - Ice Art
WEDNESDAY - Salt Dough Sculpture
THURSDAY - Fun with Weaving Art and Pom Poms
FRIDAY - Griddle Art
VIDEO TUTORIAL FROM MISS ALLISON
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!
Content inspired by the artists and art created in our studio.
Orange Easel began as a small art studio in my basement and continues to grow and serve our community. Read more about our story here.