Tag Archives: project

Tiny, Wearable Art

18 Apr

If you have young kids, it’s a pretty safe bet that you have a LOT of artwork around the house.  At our house the space on the Refrigerator Gallery as at a premium, particularly great stuff is framed and on the walls, we’ve scanned it in and made cards, and there are STILL more stacks of special work all over the place.  We are LONG on art, which is exactly how I like it.  But, it seems like a shame not to share more of it.  So, with Mother’s Day in mind, consider turning some of that art into fine jewelry that any Grandmother would be proud to wear (at least in the presence of the artist).

Tiny, Wearable Art

Turning original artwork into an art pendant is super easy.  The artwork starts out at regular size (making the production/artistic process so much easier) and then with magic less dramatic than Honey I Shrunk the Kids (i.e. your computer and/or scanner), the artwork is brought down to a tiny size – perfect for art you can wear.  In this example, each of the kids created one drawing on letter-sized paper.  I scanned them in, shrunk them to size, and stacked them so that both drawings would fit in a single pendant.  You could create one pendant per person or string several pendants from different artists on a single chain.  It’s up to you and the art crew.

Items you will need:

  • Metal Pendant: found in the jewelry section of craft stores, there are tons of styles and shapes, be sure to pick one that has a raised edge so that it can be filled
  • 3D Crystal Lacquer: often found at craft stores, but also available online
  • Scanner and printer
  • Scissors
  • Rubber cement or spray adhesive
  • Toothpicks
  • Chain, ribbon, or necklace for stringing the pendant

Get to work:

  1. Select the best artwork ever, or have your artist create some new work designed with the recipient in mind
  2. Take a photo of the artwork or scan it so that you have a digital version
  3. Shrink the image to the match the size of the pendant. Depending on your computer skills, you could do this with photo editing software or use your printer to scan and reduce the size until it will fit.
  4. Using a scissors, cut out the artwork so that it will fit in the pendant. I had the best luck by creating a template with scrap paper so that I knew it would fit in the pendant, then placed it over the tiny artwork, traced it, then cut it out.  This way, all the fine tuning is done with scrap paper and not the art copy.
  5. Using rubber cement or spray adhesive, apply a fine layer to the back of the cut out artwork.  Let it dry (no one ever wants to do this, but it will work better if you do).
  6. When the adhesive is dry, apply it to the inside of the pendant and smooth it flat.
  7. Fill the pendant with the lacquer, careful not to overfill.  If the paper buckles or ripples in the first minute or so, use a toothpick to poke it back into place.
  8. Set the pendant somewhere out of reach where you will not be tempted to touch it to see if it is dry.  Let sit for 24 hours to fully dry.
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Crayon Hearts

10 Feb

In some ways, I’m very much like my parents.  Often, my mom and I will say the exact same thing at the same time.  For the most part it is alright, but when we’re in public it is rather embarrassing.  One person yelling, “Hey, nice hit!” sounds encouraging while two people shouting it in accidental unison sounds weird.  The similarity between dad and me is less obvious unless you happen to stumble upon it; when we think something is unnecessary, we would rather avoid it altogether than go along with the flow.  You only have to be with my dad when a waitress asks to see his ID to know that he’d rather die of thirst than show his driver’s license to prove that he’s over 21.  For me, it is the birthday party goody bags.  I can’t seem to get on board with the bags of treats and treasures that apparently everybody gives at the end of a birthday party.  I realize that admitting this pretty much makes me the parent scrooge – to you, and definitely to my children.  Each year, we go through a series of long-winded speeches to state our respective positions that would rival anything you hear on C-SPAN.  In the end, we usually land on a compromise that includes one item that we make, and a handful of candy.  After all, nothing says “thanks for coming to my party” like a bag full of sugar to take to your very own home.

Over the years we’ve made a few great items for the goody bag – mixed CD, customized temporary tattoos, and my very favorite – crayon hearts.  They were super easy to make and would be perfect for a goody bag or for Valentines.  Plus, it has the added bonus of using up all the crayons that no one wants to use once they have left their pristine, first-time-use state.

For this project, you’ll need the following:
– Silicone tray with heart shapes (any shape will do, but shapes with few pointy parts seem to work best)
– Crayon bits
– An oven, pre-heated to 200 degrees F
– Some children you can talk into doing the project with you

STEP 1:  Collect broken bits of crayons and peel off the wrappers.

STEP TWO: Break them into small pieces and place them into the tray.  We found that the best results were those that had some similar colors in the tray with one or two contrasting colors.

STEP THREE: Place the silicone tray on a baking sheet and put in the oven until they are good and melty.  We like the way they look when some of the crayon shapes are still visible on one side, smooth on the silicone side.

After they have completely cooled, pop them out of the tray.  Craft over.  Goody bag war over for one more year.

Art Cards

10 Jun

Now that the school year is over, let me say this: Kindergarten students bring home massive amounts of papers every day.  I am glad to see the work, love to watch progress being made, but without some regular upkeep the pile of take-home papers can become a Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout re-enactment.

Early in the year we developed a method of sorting, keeping, and recycling the worksheets, but that still left us with a good-sized stack of art.  I love kid art and wanted a way to share the love in a way other than the Upstairs Gallery (aka The Fridge). Turning art into useable note cards is a great solution.  I love having fun stationary and cards to use for myself, and a set of 10 with envelopes makes an excellent gift. 

Project: Art Cards

Get Started: Take a photo of the artwork.  Natural light works best.  Try to zoom in as close as you can to the work while still keeping all of the elements in the frame.

Prepare for Print: If you like the way the photo looks straight out of the camera, you are all set and ready to upload for printing.  For this card, I used two photos and removed the background using a graphics program, then added some text. 

Go to Print:  There are lots of places to print folded or flat notecards.  Art cards are wonderful for personal use, but also make terrific gifts, so order loads.  I’ve used the following sites for printing, but any place that offers this service would work well.  Be sure to check each site for their printing requirements for size or format.
Shutterfly
Wal-Mart
Overnight Prints