Handmade Book Covers

It’s that time of year again. School has officially started! And no doubt your kids will be telling you they need their new school books covered ASAP. Obviously, the main purpose of this is to protect their books from the usual wear and tear that the school year ahead will bring, but it’s also a cool way for your child to personalize some of their school supplies. Here are two simple ways to turn a classic textbook into a piece of art. – Jill Topol

PAINT SWATCH BOOK COVER

SUPPLIES:

A roll of brown recycled kraft wrapping paper. Cutting up a paper grocery bag would also work.

A handful of paint swatches in assorted colors. You can grab these for free from any local paint store.

Elmer’s Glue

Cover the textbook in kraft paper and then proceed to glue the paint swatches on the front and back cover. I used Elmer’s Glue to adhere the swatches. That is it! Easy as pie. Lay out your colors beforehand to come up with an interesting color palette. I chose to use a gradient color pattern and it turned out pretty gorge.

BUBBLE WRAP BOOK COVER

SUPPLIES:

The same roll of brown recycled kraft paper or paper grocery bag from the previous book cover project.

3 different colors of acrylic paint. It must be acrylic because it won’t run if it gets wet.

A piece of bubble wrap long enough to wrap around the entire book. Either the small or larger size bubble wrap will work. I used the smaller size bubbles.

A foam paint brush

Paint vertical stripes onto the piece of bubble wrap. Alternate between paint colors and slightly blend each stripe into the next color. Complimentary colors tend to work best when blended into each other.

Once you’ve finished painting the bubble wrap, gently flip it over onto the piece of kraft paper. Press firmly and evenly over all the bubble wrap. This is to ensure all the paint will transfer to the paper. Slowly peel away the painted bubble wrap. What will be left is an abstract polka dot pattern printed directly on the paper. Once the paint is dry, it’s time to cover your child’s book in their new masterpiece.

 

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Max’s Star Wars Birthday

This past Sunday in a galaxy far, far away, we celebrated Max’s 5th birthday with his dream Star Wars party.

I wanted to make his special day the raddest party ever, and came up with the brainiac idea of giant Star Wars posters with the faces cut out. It was the perfect and easy way to take photos of all the kids (and some furry guests) portraying their favorite characters. As you can see, the results were hilariously awesome.

I made the Star Wars cut outs by simply blowing up photos of all of Max’s favorite Star Wars characters poster size (approx 24” x 32” inches). Next, I mounted them onto foam core. The third and final step is to cut out the face (oval shape works best) with an X-Acto blade. And voila! Time to stick your head into the Dark Side. – Jill Topol

Max (my very self-confident boy), dressed up as his all-time favorite Star Wars character, Padmé Amidala….and Jedi cake was enjoyed by all!

Max’s furry cousins and partygoers, Schmutzy & Wedgie are also huge Star Wars fans!


Oh, You Beautiful Doll

As delicate as porcelain, Co Pirate’s handcrafted paper dolls are truly a work of art. This French DIY trio lovingly creates each one of their unusual “Poupée Papier” by hand. Just like a snowflake, no two are exactly alike. While they may not have the classic beauty of Barbie, their bizarre and awkward charm makes them way cooler. Jill Topol

http://viaa.fr/copirates/ 55.00 euros (approximately $69.00)


The Distressed Stripe Tee

Distressed stripes are a big trend this season. Here’s a super easy method to make your very own worn out, looks like it’s been washed with rocks, distressed stripe t-shirt. This craft works best with white or very light colored cotton fabrics. It would also be adorable on a onesie or plain summer dress.

SUPPLIES:

A White Cotton T-Shirt, Tank Top, Onesie, Dress etc….

Acrylic or Fabric Paint in Whatever Colors Float Your Boat (fabric paint will feel softer)

Sponge Brushes (one for each color)

Masking Tape (try getting a few different widths)

Line the inside of your tee with paper to insure that the paint doesn’t soak through to the backside. Lay out the masking tape in a horizontal pattern over the t-shirt. You can do this evenly or go crazy with a random pattern. Wherever the fabric is exposed is where you’ll paint in the stripes. Take your sponge brush and dab in the paint. Make sure not to stroke on the color. Dab it in, light and unevenly! You should see some white through the paint. This will give the distressed feel we’re looking for. I added white to my paint as the stripes progressed to give an added worn effect.

Let the paint fully dry and then peel away the tape. Now it’s time to rock some stripes.


Easter Egg Theatre

The Addams Family

Welcome to Easter Egg Theatre. Where eggs are spared the tragic demise of being scrambled or poached in exchange for fame and glory.

This moderately easy craft project is the result of trying to find a funky alternative for decorating Easter eggs that didn’t involve any dyes or stickers. This is basically an eggy version of a classic shoebox diorama.

Yo Gabba Gabba

SUPPLIES:

Hard Boiled Eggs

Magic Markers (permanent ink works best)

Small Bottle Tops (I used Vita Coco Coconut Water tops because they’re so tiny)

Shoe Box

Construction Paper

Color Copies for your Background

Justin Bieber

With the markers decorate your eggs with your favorite celebrity, cartoon character, family member etc… Use the bottle top as a base for your egg to stand on. If they’re wobbly add a touch of glue.

Cut out the photo copied background that coordinates with the theme of your egg character to fit in the bottom section of the shoebox. Use colored construction paper on the inner side of the shoebox to create a floor.

Place egg characters into the shoebox diorama and voila, let the show begin!


Happy Valentine’s Day.You Bug Me.

This is the first year that Max was actually excited about Valentine’s Day. I think he was too young to really get the concept of the holiday up until this year, or maybe he just decided that a holiday based on love and chocolate is kinda great. His nursery school has a theme for their class each week, and last week’s theme was “bugs & insects”. I racked my brain to try and come up with some kind of buggy themed Valentine’s Day card he could give to all his teachers and classmates. I nixed my first few ideas of a slug wrist corsage and “maggots need love too” chocolate bar and went for the quintessential pretty bug, the butterfly. This is a super easy craft. Plus you get to use up the rest of the googly eyes from our last craft project.

SUPPLIES:

Lollipops

Construction paper

Glitter sticker back foam paper (I bought mine at Michael’s)

Googly eyes

Glue the googly eyes onto the wrapper of the lollipop. Non-toxic glue please!

Cut out 2 equally sized hearts out of construction paper for your butterfly’s wings and a smaller single heart out of the glitter sticker paper. Sizes will vary depending on the size of your lolly and personal preference.

Lay out the wings behind the lollipop stick and lay the small glitter heart (remember to expose the sticker back) on top, to hold everything into place. Decorate wings as desired. Happy hearts day!


The Googly Eyed Obliteration Trinket Box

After being so inspired by Yayoi Kusama’s “The Obliteration Room” I was determined to come up with some type of bizarro, yet cool craft project to pay homage to her amazing polka dot themed works of art. I had been dying to use these crazy colored googly eyes for a while now, and then it hit me that they kinda look like the stickers used to create the Obliteration Room! Minus the eyeballs of course. This trinket box is not only the perfect little vessel to store your kids hair accessories or first lock of hair in. It promises to always stare at you lovingly from any angle of the room.

SUPPLIES:

Glue

A small round cardboard box (I got this one at Michael’s)

Colored googly eyes (Also purchased at Michael’s)

Acrylic paint

Paint Brush

Paint the lid and outer area of the box. You don’t necessarily have to use hot pink. Just make sure to pick a color that coordinates with one of the colors of your googly eyes.

Once the paint is completely dry start glueing on the eyes. Keep the lid tightly on the box when you glue the googly eyes to the bottom half of the box.

“I see you!”