Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Inaugural Crafting Workshop!

In October, while I was in the midst of work craziness (I have a small family photo business) I was longing for crafting time. I kept coming across fun ideas for DIY Christmas ornaments. I have had a few of the girls' friends' moms joke with me "When are you going to start offering art camps?' I know it was said in jest, but it planted the seed. And the fact that more than one of them said it made me honestly consider it. So I started thinking how fun it would be to make ornaments with my girls and their friends. I had to really think through things though. How many girls could I fit into our little art room? How many girls and what ages did I really think I could handle and have it be a good experience for everyone? After much thought, I contacted two moms and asked them if they thought it was a fun idea and they thought it was a great idea! So I sent out an evite to a few of the girls friends and capped the total number at 10 (my two girls + 8 friends).

I used Michaels' coupons in the next several weeks to keep the costs low and I asked for a small donation per child for art supplies. I made a few ornaments myself and I had my 9 year old make a few practice ones so I could see how everything would play out.

Then the big day arrived! I was actually pretty well prepared and was all set to go three hours early! I had four third graders and six first graders. All of the girls were super sweet and super excited about the event.

The girls took this:
 And turned it into this:
I actually made the examples above. But wait until you see what the girls created! :-)
I had everything set to go and staged it in my daughter's room just off the art room so I could quick grab whatever it was we needed.

I printed off snowflake drawing pages for the girls to color as everyone was arriving. The wood table you see in the photos is the table that lives in our art room. I borrowed a longer folding table from my friend for the other table. I put the four third graders at the art room table and the six first graders at the folding table.

After everyone arrived, we got right to our first ornament which was a pour paint ornament. I was inspired by the following posts here, Buggie & Bean, and Yellow Bicycle. There are plenty of other posts if you search "pour paint ornaments" or "paint ornaments" on Pinterest.
I don't have any in progress photos of these ornaments because I was too busy making sure the girls were putting in enough/not quite as much paint. I suggested they use two or three colors of acrylic paint and one metallic paint. I also discussed the color wheel briefly and what colors are warm colors and cool colors. In my practice runs with these ornaments, I learned that the colors can become more "muddled" if you mix warm colors and cool colors. If you keep to one side of the spectrum or the other, your ornaments tend to turn out brighter and more harmonious. HOWEVER, a couple of the girls ignored this and mixed some pretty amazing combinations of colors and came out with gorgeous ornaments. So experimenting can be fun! 
All I suggest with these is "less is more" when it comes to the amount of paint used. And, "patience is key". You can put in less paint, but you have to be patient to watch it move around in the ornament. Swirl it, shake it very gently, tilt it, turn it. If you pour in a lot of paint, it will be more easily covered, but you get a less layered look to the paint.

The second ornament we did was super EASY! Inspired from a post on the Cook, Love, Craft Blog, we simply filled ornaments with feathers! I had organzied the feathers by color and told the girls to pick 4-6 colored feathers and then fill the middle with white feathers. I gave each of the girls a knitting needle to use to move the feathers around once they were in the ornament. 
After this, we took a break and had a snack. I gave each of them water, a pumpkin muffin, and some holiday trail mix I put together.
After their snack we got right back to it! I saw seed bead ornaments here and came across white ceramic ornaments at Michael's. I got a multi-pack of seed beads with a 40% off coupon. We painted a thick layer of tacky glue on the ornament. We used plastic spoons to pour the beads in stripes on the ornaments. At the end of the workshop, while the girls were playing, I quickly put a layer of mod podge over the top of each ornament to seal the beads.
The last thing we did, I made the easiest! I wasn't sure how tired they would be at this point. I created foil covered winter trees on canvas boards ahead of time. I gave them permanent markers and had them color it in. I told them to make a design if they wanted. A few of the girls came up with the idea to have everyone sign the outside around their tree. They even included me! I thought that was so cute. :-)
The above images are from my prep. I printed off a tree image, cut it out and pasted it to the canvas board. I outlined it with tacky glue and created a design in the middle. I made them all the same. If this were a multi-day camp, I would have let the girls design their own image and cover it with the glue. But it takes a day or two to dry before you add the foil so I knew this wouldn't be an option for this workshop.
I sent each of the girls home with a tray of their ornaments and instructions to let them dry a day or two. 
All in all, it was a super fun time and I would definitely do something like this again. I think in the future I would do a smaller group (6-8 kids) and do one grade level at a time. It was nice because the third graders were a bit more self-sufficient than the first graders so I could stay more at the first-grade table. But I think it would be easier for me to focus if they were all one age group. I polled the girls before they left and they all seemed to have a good time. Almost all of them liked the pour paint ornaments the best, the bead ornaments were second and then the feather ornaments. It was fun to hear their responses and get their feedback.

1 comment:

  1. This looks like an amazing time for those girls. Great job planning and organizing this event. I think it was a success!