Hipster's Tea Party Is A Place Where Modern Style Meets Good Ole' Fashioned Arts and Crafts.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Watercolor Leaves - Kids Craft!

Wondering what the kids are going to do while you're busy entertaining on Thanksgiving day?  Craft!  That's what!  Aren't these watercolor leaves gorgeous?  So, so simple and really a "set up and leave" (hehe) kind of craft.  Every kid, big or small will know exactly what to do when they approach the craft table without adult supervision or too many directions.  Yay! And, you can set it up entirely the night before.  Here's what you do:

Set aside a low work station for  the kids, somewhere where they can all gather and not worry about staining your carpet.  I covered my coffee table with craft paper and set it in the corner of my kitchen. 

You are going to need a hanging mobile with little clips attached to hang the leaves from as they dry.  You can make your own like I did, or you can buy one designed for photographs.  Either way, make sure it has little clips attached. This is also instant fall decoration!  So pretty!  And, you can reuse your mobile over and over with different crafts as the seasons change.

Here is how to make your own mobile.  You need:
A 10" craft ring.  Or, use a coat hanger if you're in a pinch.
Baker's twine or string.
A handful of little clips.  I got mine at the craft store.  They conveniently have little loops on the end for easy hanging. You could use small clothes pins or little hair clips and hot glue them to the end of your strings.
Here's what you do:
Take 3 long pieces of twine, about 4' long.  Just eyeball it.
Tie the ends to the craft ring in thirds, so they form a triangle if you were to connect the dots.  Next, place your ring on a flat surface and pull your strings up, and tie all together in one overhand knot when all of the strings are an even length about 12" above the ring, so your ring stays level when you lift it.  Tie tightly.
Now, trim one of the three strings off above the knot. Thread one string down through the ring, and pull the other up in the opposite direction.  You'll hang the mobile from this string. Let the other dangle through the center of the ring for now.
Next, tie different lengths of strings to the ring all the way around. I used 8 strings with 2 clips attached to each.  You can add more or less depending on how many leaves you make.  It is best to hang the mobile from a doorway so you can see what you are doing.  Tie a clip to the end of each of the strings and a second clip above it somewhere random between the ring and the end clip.
Make all of your clips staggered at different lengths.  I think it is best to keep it random, but if you feel better making a pattern, go for it!
Hang a couple of clips from the middle string too.  Trim all of the ends. 
Hang your mobile directly above the kids work station.  They can drip a little when they dry.

Next, make your leaves!  Here's what you need:
My 2yr old made this one.  Love it!
4" white coffee filters.  The cone ones rather than the wavy buckets.
Leaf template (download mine) or, you can draw your own. 
Washable magic markers in red, orange, yellow and brown.  Make sure to use washable or your sister in law's gonna get mad when your son draws all over hers.
A spray bottle.
Paper towels.

Here is what you do:
Cut out your leaves from template and trace them onto a filter, and then cut out the filter leaves.  I double stacked (okay, triple stacked) my filters.  I cut about 20-25 leaves.
Place just the leaves and markers on your craft table for the kids.  If you leave the spray bottle, you'll have a water fight, so keep that up.
Have the kids draw on their leaves with the markers.  When they're done,  hold the leaf above a paper towel and mist with about 3 squirts of water.  Don't over spray or all of your color will drip off.  And, don't set the leaves down on the paper towel or the color will all bleed into the towel. The colors of the markers will bleed together beautifully!  Don't judge the look of the leaf before it's sprayed.  They all turn out great!  

Clip them up to dry and that's it!  Easy as pie!
If you want to keep track of whose is whose, write their names in pencil on the leaf before you color. 
Have fun everybody!  Happy leaf making!

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