Archive for the ‘IF Kids’ Category

IF Kids :: Crayon Jewelry



Designer Tim Liles created this clever piece of jewelry. Instant entertainment at your fingertips! I wish I had a set of these when my daughter was younger, but then again, I’d love a set just for myself.



Here is a twist on the iconic candy necklace from Kikkerland Design! A necklace of crayon beads!

I’m also rather partial to their set of Space Invader crayons.


Posted by Thomas James on 02/20/13 under IF Kids

Children’s Illustrator :: Amy Adele

Children's Illustrator :: Amy Adele << Illustration Friday

Children's Illustrator :: Amy Adele << Illustration Friday

Children's Illustrator :: Amy Adele << Illustration Friday

Children’s illustrator Amy Adele is inspired by nature, folk tales and a childlike imagination. Her work is built around a love for hand painted details and the richness of natural earthy colors. We love the whimsy!

See more of Amy’s work on and her agent’s site.

Posted by Thomas James on 02/20/13 under children's art,children's illustrators

IF Kids Project :: Image Transfer



Do you have a particular image of your child’s that you love and think would be fabulous as an embroidered pillow or as part of that newly refinished kitchen table?  The process couldn’t be simpler!

To get started you will need:
– your child’s drawing
– a knitting needle or chopstick
– carbon paper
– masking tape (painter’s version as it is less sticky and won’t leave a residue)

Let’s create!
If you are working with cloth, iron out all the wrinkles.  Tape it to a hard surface.  Place the carbon paper, ink side facing the cloth, table or whatever your project surface may be.  Position your child’s drawing on top of the carbon paper and tape it in place.  Trace the lines with a knitting needle or chopstick.  You could use a blunt pencil, but you will end up leaving a mark on your child’s drawing.  Remove drawing and carbon paper.


This project isn’t of course limited to children’s drawings.  It is a great way to transfer your own images too.

Show us what you created!   We would love to see them!  Head over to the IF Kids Facebook page or my Facebook page to share them!

Posted by Thomas James on 02/12/13 under IF Kids,Projects

IF Kids :: Upcycle Your Colored Pencil Stubs



Do you have a pencil jar full of stubs? Don’t throw them out. Upcycle them into colorful jewelry for kids of all ages!

Kate from Mini-eco created this great tutorial for Design Mom.

Posted by Thomas James on 02/06/13 under art supplies,IF Kids,Projects

Watercolor painting with Salt


Want to make beautiful stars in your night sky painting or add a special sparkle to your painting of a dress?  It is so easy with these three materials:

- Water
- Watercolor paints
- Table salt

First make a painting of your choice – using deep dark colors for night skies or vivid colors for other subject matter. This process works for any sort of painting, even abstract.

While the painting is still very wet, add a sprinkle or pinch of salt to the wet paint.


Let the painting dry throughly. Then rub off the salt with your fingers!


The background of this collage is an example of a watercolor/salt painting. The salt pushes the pigment away from the paper and adds a beautiful visual texture. Now go try your own!

Posted by susan on 02/04/13 under children's art,IF Kids,Projects,Uncategorized

Children’s Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Children's Illustrator :: Mikela Prevost

Mikela Prevost is an illustrator that gravitates toward that most interesting subject of all. Us. People. Be careful what you do in front of her, because she is discretely sketching it in her sketchbook where you will later find it translated into her latest illustration.

Mikela received her B.A. in Painting and Drawing from the University of Redlands and later went on to receive her M.F.A. in Illustration from Cal State Fullerton. While working on her degree, Mikela found the time to get married, and together they are raising their three very curious kids.

Find more of Prevost’s work on her website.

Posted by Thomas James on 02/04/13 under artists,children's art,children's illustrators

IF Kids :: Thinking Outside the Crayon Box


carved crayons by peter goldlust

Don’t you love opening a fresh box of crayons! Oh, the many possibilities! For Peter Goldlust they are the base material for his miniature sculptures, each one meticulously hand-carved into abstract forms.

Christian Faur casts his own “pixels of wax” to create the necessary palette for his hauntingly beautiful pointillist images, such as “Mortgage on the Future.” The dashes of color are coded to an alphabet and if you know the key, the image may be read.


Posted by Thomas James on 01/31/13 under IF Kids,reviews

IF Kids Project :: Rubber Stamp Pointillism



Pointillism is a way of creating an image by building up dots of color.  George Seurat is perhaps the most famous of painters to use this technique.  Rather than use oil paint, I like to teach the concept with rubber stamp pads in assorted colors and some brand new pencils.  The eraser tips make beautiful dots and little fingers stay clean!

To get started you will need:
-   rubber stamp pads (Many companies are making them with three colors to a pad.)
–   brand new pencils, one for each color to be used
–   a sharpened pencil for sketching
–   white paper (Computer paper is fine.)

Let’s create!
Sketch out your idea.
With a sharpened pencil, sketch out your idea.  Do you want to make a picture of your house or your garden?  You decide.  Draw lightly.  You don’t want your pencil marks to be obvious in your finished illustration.

2.  Fill in you first layer of colors.
Press your eraser into the stamp pad and make a mark on your paper.  To achieve a clear, perfect dot press firmly while holding the pencil perpendicular to the paper.  If you hold the pencil at an angle  you are likely to make a half moon shape.  You will notice that you will need to reink your eraser often if you want darker dots.  If you want lighter dots, keep stamping until the ink runs out before reinking your eraser.


3.  Add your second and third layers of color.
Your image may be too faint, so you need to add another layer.  Experiment.  What happens when you add dark blue dots on top of green dots?  Keep adding dots and switching colors until you achieve an image you like.  Remember to not mix your colors!  Use a separate pencil eraser for each color.  Allow your image to dry.


Show us what you created!   We would love to see them!  Head over to the IF Kids Facebook page or my Facebook page to share them!

Posted by Thomas James on 01/22/13 under IF Kids,Projects

Children’s Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing

Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday Children's Illustrator :: Constanze von Kitzing << Illustration Friday

Constanze is an award-winning, German illustrator and author. She has a wide variety of clients in the illustration industry including publishing houses, magazines, newspapers and design companies.

I love her sweet scenes, bright colors and attention to detail!

View more of Constanze von Kitzing’s work on her website. (She has great editorial work there too.) And view more kids work on her Children’s Illustrators Portfolio.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/09/13 under children's art,children's illustrators

IF Kids Project :: Collagraphy with File Folders


if kids collagraphy2

Collagraphy is a printmaking process.  There are a variety of ways to do it, but I love using the simple material of an old file folder for the print plate.  The image is from a art class I taught this summer and was made by a 9 year old. The results can be spectacular.

To get started you will need:
–   an old file folder
–   liquid glue (such as Elmer’s)
–   scissors
–   water-soluble printing ink
–   printing brayer
–   old plastic tray
–   paper for printing (Black construction paper was used in the example.)
–   paper for sketching
–   pencil
–   paper (brown paper, newspaper) to cover work table
–   apron


Let’s create!

1.   Prepare your work surface.
Cover your table with newspaper or brown paper to protect it. This process is slightly messy, so it’s always better to err on the side of caution.  Don’t forget to put on your apron!

2.  Sketch out your idea.
Sketch out your idea on a sheet of paper the size of your file folder.  Do you want to create a clown? A landscape?  The trick to a great collagraph is to make the image with plenty of negative space.  To make this clown, each distinct feature of the face and costume were drawn, but not the base of the head.  There is space between the lips and the bow tie, the nose and the lips etc.  The second trick is to make your image big, bold and simplistic.  A tiny clown face with lots of details just won’t print as well.

3.  Make your printing plate.
Cut the file folder in half along the fold line.  Use one side as print base and the other to cut out your shapes.  Draw your shapes, cut them out and arrange them on the print base.  Once you have an image you like, glue the pieces into place. Make sure you get the edges of each piece!  You don’t want any to curl up when the glue has dried.  Allow the glue to thoroughly dry before proceeding.

4.   Ink your tray.
Squeeze a small amount of ink onto the center of the plastic tray.  Smooth out the ink with a brayer.  Don’t have too much fun squishing it around!  The ink dries quickly.

5.   Ink your printing plate.
Roll the ink across the surface of your printing plate.  Move your brayer in different directions to get the best coverage possible.

6.   Make the print.
Center your paper over the printing plate and press into place.  Run your hands across the surface of the paper adding pressure.  If you have another brayer you can roll it over the surface or use the back of an old wooden spoon. Once you’ve pressed the paper all across the printing plate, peel it back to see your print.

if kids collagraphy

7.  Make several prints.
Use a paper towel to wipe off any globs of ink that remains on your print plate. You will be able to make 4-5 prints before the plate is worn out.  Let your prints dry and arrange them in a collage like this example or use them to make cards, posters or covers for your journal.

8.   Clean up.
Place your art aside to dry.  Use warm, sudsy water to wash your tray and brayer. Allow to air dry.  Recycle the newsprint.


This project is suitable for ages 5 – 99.

Posted by Thomas James on 01/04/13 under Projects


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