Make: Tissue Paper Collage Creature Feature

 

 

When Danielle Davis of This Picture Book Life blog asked if I’d make a craft inspired by the delightful picture book Normal Norman by Tara Lazar, illustrated by S. Britt, I thought, no problem! After all, Norman is my kind of guy. A dune-buggy-driving, jet-pack-flying, tiara-toting, out-of-the-box orangutan dude.

Norman’s multi-hued self is decidedly not orangutan normal, but it is fun-loving, just like the big guy. And tissue paper collage seemed the best way to capture Norman’s coat of many colors. Tissue paper collage is also great because it’s very forgiving in less experienced kid hands–you can smudge, rip, and layer exuberantly, and still the results are delicious.

What you need:

Tissue paper in fun colors

Mod Podge

paint brush

white card stock

stick-on googly eyes

paper fasteners

popsicle sticks

Trim the tissue paper into 1″ squares. (We sorted our tissue squares for easy use: purples, blues, and greens in one bowl, yellows and oranges in another.)

Next trace Norman’s orangutan bulk, his adorable eggplant-shape head, and his 2 longish arms onto card stock. (If that step seems onerous, we traced some basic gorilla shapes for you here.)

Brush a layer of Mod Podge onto a small area of your shape and cover with tissue squares. Make sure to overlap squares to create new hues. Seal the squares by brushing another layer of Mod Podge over the top of them. Continue in small areas until you’ve covered the shape.

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Give your collage time to dry. Once dried, cut along the outlines of each shape. Adhere the face with glue or Mod Podge and attach the arms with paper fasteners (to give them a little gorilla swing).

Now for the best part: accessorize!

Add goggly eyes, brown specs, a teeny tiara and tutu, or even a dual-rocket jet pack (Norman’s preferred not-normal way to get around). Attach a popsicle stick to the back of your creation to make a puppet. Do not forget to make some friends for Norman: a magenta clarinet-playing hippo, a rollerskating giraffe, a top-hatted snake!

 

 

 

Make: Paper Hearts

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Heart Day is almost here. What to make? For me, this holiday is not about red roses but paper and scissors. (And maybe a bit of chocolate, too.) I like trading valentines that remind me of my school days: home-hewn, simple, with lots of pink and red.

Paper hearts fill my criteria for simple: the folds are easy enough for kids’ hands and the results are colorful, with the delicious gloss and saturation of origami paper. I used 3 x 3″ origami paper (which makes 2″ hearts) but larger paper would work well, too.

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DIY: 3D Paper Snowflakes

These paper snowflakes are the miniature version of the kind I’ve seen kids make at elementary school. Instead of 8.5 x 11 office paper cut into a square, I used 3 x 3″ origami paper in many colors. My smaller rendition does require a little extra dexterity and teeny tiny pieces of tape but it is also very easy. Even though the little coils look intricate, they are deceptively simple to make.

Materials:

3″ origami paper

Scotch tape

mini stapler

scissors

 

Step 1:

Fold the 6 squares of paper in half to form a triangle, and then fold again into a smaller triangle.

Step 2:

Make three cuts into the folded bottom side of the triangle, each cut parallel to the diagonal edge. Cut almost to the top, but leave a little space intact.

Step 3:

Unfold back to a square.

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Step 4:

Roll the innermost corners together and tape.

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Step 5:

Flip your square over and roll the second innermost corners together and tape. Repeat (flip and tape) until all of the corners are rolled together. Complete this process with all six pieces of paper.

Step 6:

Join 3 coils together and staple. Repeat with the remaining three. Then staple the two sets of three together in the center. Some instructions suggest that you also staple each coil together, but I found that because these stars are small and compact, I didn’t need to do that step.

String and hang in a window!

Make: DIY Ribbon Belts

Fresh notebooks, long pencils with sharpened tips, uncreased shoes on polished floors–I love the possibility implied by the start of a school year.

And what evokes school in its pressed, preppy essence more than the ribbon belt?

I made these for myself, and was surprised when the white-and-blue belt was nabbed by my teenage son. So, make enough for everyone!

Materials

grosgrain ribbon (your waist measurement plus about 10 inches)

webbing (to match and back your ribbon)

D-rings

thread to match

Step one: Pin the ribbon to the webbing, making sure to fold 6-8″ of ribbon over the back of the belt. (This bit will be visible when the belt is looped through the D-ring.)

ribbon belt by homemadecity.com

Step two: Sew in place.

ribbon belt by homemade city

Step three: At the other end of your belt, add the D-ring and fold over once. (The webbing was too thick for me to fold over twice).

ribbon belt by homemadecity.com

Step three: Sew the D-ring in place. And . . . wear!

DIY: Mini Carp Streamers for Japanese Children’s Day

May 5 is Japanese Children’s Day, a holiday during which Japanese families celebrate the health and well-being of their children. As part of the celebration, families fly carp wind socks, or koinobori, outside of their homes. Koi are a symbol of power, energy, and determination. This is my miniature version. Instead of fluttering in the wind, my koinobori display will sit on the kitchen table.

What you need:

scissors, glue stick, origami paper, googly eyes, wood stick, spools (or something to serve as a base for your koinobori pole)

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Step 1

With the white side of your paper facing up, fold lengthwise about 1/2″–this fold will serve as an inside fold to be used to glue your koinobori together. Now fold lengthwise again–about 1 1/4″ for larger fish; for smaller carp, about 1″. (Larger koinobori represent the parents in the family; the smaller koinobori represent the children, descending from oldest to youngest.)

Koinobori Step 1 by homemadecity.com    Koinobori Step 1 by homemadecity.com

Step 2

With paper folded, draw a pencil line at the edge of the fold. This will be a guide for trimming off excess paper. You should now have a rectangular sandwich with one 1/2″ inside fold.

Koinobori by homemadecity.com   Koinobori Step 3 by homemadecity.com

Step 3

Trim triangle shape from one end of your folded rectangle to make the carp’s tail; then trim your rectangle to a length that suits you. I made larger carp about 3 1/2″ long; for smaller carp, I trimmed them at 2 3/4″.

Koinobori Step 2 by homemadecity.com   Koinobori by homemadecity.com

 Step 4

At the center fold, cut a 1/2″ or 3/4″ incision (at the opposite end as the carp’s tail). This will be where you fit your carp streamer to the pole (your wooden stick).

Koinobori Step 3 by homemadecity.com

Step 5

Time to make the fish scales. Fold a piece of origami paper (you can use the leftover paper from the koinobori you’ve already made). Trace a a half circle (I used a small spool). Cut out your fish scale and use it to trace and make more fish scales. Glue one side of your scale and adhere to your koinobori. I used two fish scales per carp.

Apply the googly eye!

Koinobori Step 4 by homemadecity.com

Step 6

Apply glue stick around the incision at the center fold and along the inside fold. Position where you want the koi to go on the “pole.” Wrap the incision around the wood stick and press; then press together along the inside fold. One koinobori should be in place!

Koinobori by homemadecity.com

Once all of your koinobori have been glued in position, use modeling clay or a wooden spool to create a weighted base.