Ideas and inspiration for young crafters!

Category Archives: Art

One of the many crafts we love looking at on Pinterest, are painted rocks and pebbles. We’re always on the lookout for flat or oddly shaped stones to decorate. You can paint pictures on them as if they were a tiny canvas, make creatures or even paint them as trees, houses, cars and people for a tiny rock town. We also seem to have amassed a collection of Altoid tins, so after a little brainstorming to combine the two we present…

Pet Rocks

Pet Rocks

You will need:

1 or 2 pebbles, small enough to fit in the tin with the lid closed

An Altoids (or similar) tin

Googly eyes

Glue

Paints and brushes

A scrap of fabric

Fimo or air drying clay

  • First, paint your rocks. You can add detail with a pen when the paint is dry if you like. We kept our rock pets quite simple, but for some more detailed inspiration, check out these amazing creatures!

(From the book: Painting Stones by Doris Epple and G. Verdant.)

  • You can paint or draw the eyes on, but we stuck googly eyes on ours. You can get bags of assorted sizes in most craft shops quite cheaply. You don’t have to stick to two eyes either, maybe your creature has three eyes, eyes in the back of it’s head, it could even be a cyclops!

Our rock pets

  • Next, decorate your tin. We painted the inside of ours – it helps to line it with paper or a thin fabric like calico first. Then used scrapbooking paper and a sparkly decal and glitter glue to decorate the lid.

Outside     Inside

  • We then cut a little blanket from a scrap of fleecy fabric and made a plate, mug and food from polymer clay. We used white clay and painted the details on after it had been baked.

Picnic time!

And you’re done! If you make your own pet rocks, leave us a link in the comments section – we’d love to see your creations!

Our next make, later this week, will be a Valentine’s Day gift, so stay tuned…


Today we were looking through an awesome old book, who’s brilliant illustrations inspired this spooky make. The book is called Witches and is written and illustrated by Colin Hawkins. Ruby’s Grandad bought it for me when I was Ruby’s age!

We have been wanting to show you how to make box cards for a while, they are simple to put together, but  look very impressive. So when we saw this fantastic witch’s house in our book we instantly thought – aha! Haunted house box cards. You could send them as invites to a Halloween party, or simply as a monstrous message to a friend 😀

You will need:

Card (black or white)

Scissors

Glue

A pencil or a silver pen or coloured pens/paints.

  • Firstly take a rectangle of card (fig. 1)
  • Fold it in half (so you have a square shape) and cut two slits in to the folded edge (fig. 2)
  • Bend the flap up and crease it (fig. 3)
  • Then open the card out and push the flap through (you will need to crease it in the opposite direction) so when you stand the card up it has a 3D box in the front  (fig. 4 and 5)

  • If you would like two or even three tiers, follow the instructions in the diagram below.

  • Now you are ready to design your house. On a separate piece of card (we had some left over after we cut our rectangle out) draw a haunted, creepy looking house. If you have more than one tier on your card, do the house in separate bits to add to the pop up, 3D effect. We drew ours in pencil on black card, a silver pen would also look awesome. You may want to decorate the box card background, or use white card or paint the whole card in colour – feel free to put your own spin on it.
  • Cut out your house parts, glue to the front of each tier and you’re done!

A haunted house is just one idea, maybe you could try making Dracula’s castle, a graveyard full of dancing skeletons, Frankenstein’s lab…whatever you decide, we’d love to see what you made 🙂


Our creepy make for today is an awesome idea from our lovely cousins, Faith and Maisy. Faith showed us how to make these fantastic biting bookmarks, so we could share the tutorial with you.

You will need:

Coloured or patterned paper or card (either is fine, card will probably last a bit longer)

A piece of white paper

A black pen

Glue

Scissors

  • Start with a square of paper, 13cm by 13cm.
  • Fold it in half to make a rectangle, then fold in half again so you have a small square. Crease well.
  • Open the paper back out and cut out one of the squares.

  • Next fold the two end squares in half to make triangles. Crease well.
  • Cut the outer half of the triangle off.
  • Fold one triangle over so that it covers the top half of your remaining square.
  • Put some glue on it and then fold the other triangle over on top of it. Leave to dry.
  • Place the bookmark over a corner of your white paper and draw some fangs (on the white paper), then cut them out and stick to your bookmark.

  • With your black pen, draw some fierce eyes on the white paper and cut these out and stick to your bookmark.
  • Leave it to dry and it’s ready to use! Attach it to the corner of your page to mark your place.

It’s such a simple idea and you could go as crazy and spooky with it as you like. Make your bookmark into a werewolf by using brown paper and attaching ears, or maybe a vampire with white paper, black hair and red inside the mouth. We’d love to see what you make!

 


We’ve been gathering supplies to make our doll’s house residents, but in the meantime Ruby created a fun little project with endless possibilities.

There are always a lot of supplements from the Sunday papers lying around our house at the weekend. All of us at Ruby Makes love a bit of cutting and sticking, so it’s only ever scraps and skeletons of these magazines that end up in the recycling bin. One of Ruby’s favourite interests is fashion, so yesterday she made a mini look book from pictures that she either found or created as a collage:

You can easily make your own zine this way using pictures from catalogues, magazines, papers or comics. You could make it a fanzine, where you showcase a band you love, or maybe a football team or a tv show. You could create one for your favourite hobby or about something you collect. You don’t need to cut and stick either, you could illustrate yours by hand or using the computer. Maybe you could print a few copies off for your friends – or have them contribute articles so you have your own newspaper or newsletter. It may even be something your teacher would be interested in as a class project.

Ruby’s magazine is made from folded sheets of paper, which we think is the simplest method, if you’re feeling a little more ambitious, here are a couple of other techniques we like:

Folded Paper Mini Album by Papervine

Click here for the excellent tutorial.

 

Mini Book Tutorial by Ruth Bleakley

Also a great tutorial which you can find here.

What did you make?


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in to the craft area!…

As promised, though possibly a day late, here is the next step in our dollhouse project:

Decorating The House

You will need:

Paints

Brushes

Tissue paper

Card/thin cardboard

Fabric or patterned paper

Glue

Scissors

  • Before we got decorating we looked at different styles of houses on the internet. The style we have chosen is quite a traditional dollhouse one, but it’s really up to you how you want your house to look. It doesn’t even have to be a dollhouse – it could be a mad scientist’s lab, a shop, a Pokemon Centre, a Moshi Monster home, a haunted house, a toy’s hospital, a vets, a cafe, a Gormiti lair…as usual, let your imagination go wild!
  • Let’s start with the inside. Again you have lots of options. You can paint your walls, you could wallpaper them with pictures from magazines, wrapping paper, scrapbooking paper or material. We chose to use fabric. An easy way to make sure you cut your paper/material etc to the right size is to push a scrap of newspaper into the house and use your fingers to crease around the sides of the wall (fig. 1)
  • Then you cut around the creases and use the newspaper as a template for your fabric, which you then glue in to place (fig. 2)
  • We cut our material slightly longer at the bottom so it overlaps on to the floor. That way when you put your floor in it looks nice and neat with no gaps showing (fig. 3)
  • For the floor you could use more material, maybe some cord or felt, you could use card, cork tiles or – if like us – you have scraps of old lino or carpet lying around, use that! (fig. 4 & 5) Use your glue to attach it. You could even make rugs to fit your house using our rag rug tutorial.

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  • For the outside, pick what colour/s you’d like your house to be and get painting! You can add details when the paint is dry with pens, or you can do slightly different coloured layers of paint and use an old pencil or crafting tool to scrape patterns in to a wet layer of paint so the layers underneath show through. We used this for a tile effect on our roof (fig. 1)
  • When we had finished painting and the house was dry, we added some white trim which we cut from card and glued on (fig. 2)
  • If you do this remember to leave a gap to ensure you can still fit your lid on to the box (fig. 3)
  • Then we used more card and tissue paper to glue on windows and a door (fig. 4)

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  • For a final bit of colour we added a rose bush growing around the door of our house. We spread glue on the area we wanted covered and scrunched up tiny balls of tissue paper for the bush and roses.

And we are almost done!! Stay tuned for the final stage…making dolls and furniture.

 

 


This is quite a big make, so we’re going to post it up in three stages:

  • Making the house
  • Decorating the house
  • Furnishing the house

Everything in the house will be handmade, including the dolls. We’ve had lots of fun designing and brainstorming for this project, so we hope you will enjoy making along with us!

Making The House

You will need:

2 cardboard shoe boxes with removable lids

sellotape

scissors

newspaper

pva glue

brushes

white paint

a pen or pencil

  • First, select which box you are going to use for your main house – the largest box is best – and put it to one side (fig. 1)
  • We’re going to start by making a roof, which will also provide a third/attic floor for the house. Take the lid off your spare box and put to one side. Cut one end off the box (fig. 2)
  • Now cut right down the sides stopping at the other end (fig. 3)
  • Flatten the box out so it looks like the picture in fig. 4
  • If your boxes are the same size you can skip to the next photo diagram. If, like us, your spare box is smaller you will need to place the house box on your flattened card and mark where the edges are (fig.5 & 6)

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  • All of the area between the lines will be the floor, press hard over the lines (using a ruler) with your pen or pencil so that you can fold up the sides to form a triangle roof shape, trim it if you need to and tape this in place (fig. 1)
  • Now, using the natural crease of the box, fold the triangle back on to the card and draw around the triangle, to form the back wall of the attic (fig. 2)
  • Cut it out and tape it in place (fig. 3)
  • Take your roof and tape it firmly to the top of your house box (fig. 4 & 5)

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  • To make the second floor we just need to divide the main box using card from the spare box (you might need to use the lid for this) Measure a piece of card and make sure it fits, it should be tight rather than loose (fig. 1)
  • Roll up a piece of newspaper in to a tight tube and tape it so it doesn’t unroll. Cut it in to two pieces and tape them to either side of the box, these will be our supports (like on a shelf) to slide the floor in and keep it in place (fig. 2)
  • Insert the floor and tape firmly in place to the supports (fig. 3) We put tape on the top and underneath.

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  • Next we need to make sure the lid of our house box (which will be the front of our house) fits around the roof. So, start by cutting slits down each end and measuring it against the roof. Mark where the triangle of the roof starts and trim these bits off your lid (fig.1 & 2)
  • Then using a bit of card from your spare box, mark out the rest of the triangle and tape it to the lid so it matches the shape of the house and roof (fig. 3)
  • Now you need to make sides so that it fits like a proper lid on to the main house. We used the sides from the lid of the spare box, which we trimmed to fit (fig. 4)
  • Tape the sides firmly on, use as much tape as you need so it’s sturdy, taping the apex together aswell. Check it fits your house box and that’s the main construction done! (fig. 5 & 6)

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  • With all that tape everywhere it’s going to be hard to get your paint to stick, so we’re going to give the outside of the house a layer of paper mache. Mix some pva glue with a little water and use this to glue strips of newspaper all over the outside of the lid and box.
  • The next day, when it’s completely dry, you can give your paper mache a few coats of white paint.

Ok, that’s all for today. Check back on Sunday for the next step in our dollhouse DIY…interior and exterior decorating!


We love magnets, the front of our fridge is crammed with them! Homemade magnets are the best because you can turn literally anything in to one by sticking a small craft magnet to it. They’re really cheap, we bought a hundred for under £4, including postage. Check out sites like ebay or your local craft store.

Here’s a nifty little idea to get you started…

You Will Need:

Small, round magnets

Glass beads, the type used to fill decorative vases etc

Pictures from photos or a magazine

Scissors

Clear drying glue

  • Cut out pictures from magazines, you could use letters to make an alphabet or spell out certain words, see what you can find!
  • Draw round your glass bead and cut the picture out to the right size.
  • Put some glue on the flat side of your bead and glue the picture to it. Now put some glue on your magnet (the anti magnetic side usually has a circle indented in to it, glue this side otherwise it won’t work) and leave to dry.
  • Hey presto, mini magnets!

Here are some more great ideas we found via Pinterest to help inspire you…

Alphabet Magnets from Everyday Art

Bottletop Magnets from How About Orange

Glitter Magnets from Microwave Girl

We’ve seen lots of other cool ideas like using Scrabble tiles and other gaming counters, small plastic toys, handmade fimo creations…what did you make?