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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Make: Little Things

I spent the rainy weekend making miniatures. I have made a tiny chest of drawers before (although never with leftover torrone boxes), but the wee gum ball machine was a moment of pure Lilliputian inspiration.

I’m planning to bring my creations to school and install them in the shoebox house that the students have been building in our library makerspace. Fingers crossed that they will flip out.

If you are so inclined to make your own mini gum ball machine, you need one of those plastic bubbles (which, yes, come from gum ball machines); colorful teeny beads, and some sort of spool. I think you can intuit the rest but make sure to arm yourself with a hot glue gun.

Happy 2016, folks~

 

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!

Creative Kid: Shoebox House

I recently opened a “maker space” in the school library where I work. In some libraries, maker space refers to a spot for a 3-D printer; in mine, it means something more basic: recyclables, masking tape, glue sticks and scissors.

The kids (grades 3-5) decided to make a shoebox house for a library elf–a mythical creature they hope to lure to our library with some luxe real estate. The project is collaborative, with each group of kids adding to what the others started. I’ve been amazed, watching as the structure grew and grew–the pad even has a pool and barbecue. Although I’ve only had a light hand in the project, I do occasionally get out my glue gun to solidify the foundation.

Our maker space rules are simple: share the space; build, don’t break; and when class is over, clean up the blizzard of little bits of paper scattered all over the carpet.