Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

Draw your wish list!

Rama Hughes's Illustrated Wish List

If it’s not worth drawing, it’s probably not worth having after all.

Posted by rama on 11/08/13 under IF Kids,Projects,Rama,the art of living
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IF Kids Project :: Quilling

Imagine by Erin Casner

Quilling is a technique involving rolled, shaped and glued strips of paper.  During the Renaissance monks and nuns embellished book covers with quilled images.  Artists today are taking the art form to new levels, such as this delightful piece by Erin Casner.  Casner’s work combines a joy for color and texture with typography.

Babushka by Yulia Brodskaya

Russian artist Yulia Brodskaya‘s is known for her intricate paper-based designs.  Her clients have
included Neiman-Marcus and Starbucks.  When not working on quilled illustrations for clients,
she creates artworks such as the one above titles “Babushka.” This detail of her art shows how
intricate quilling can be
Detail of work by Yulia Brodskaya

Interested in trying quilling yourself?  Here are some resources to get you started:

How to Quill

Inna’s Creations

Kinder Art

Posted by Thomas James on 06/12/13 under IF Kids,Lettering,Lindsay,Projects
1 Comment

IF Kids :: Art Kits for the Road



Summer travels are just around the corner.  Are you ready?  Here are some ideas
to keep little hands occupied during long road trips.

I love this sophisticated journal (featured above) by CherieBee, but of course a basic journal is easy to construct with minimal effort.

You will need:
8.5″ x 11″ paper in assorted colors
8.5″ x 11″ cardstock in assorted colors
envelopes –  assorted sizes, all smaller than the the cardstock
glue stick
3-hole punch
3 clip rings
chipboard covers

Let’s create!
1.     Punch 3 holes into your paper, cardstock and chipboard covers.  Consider adding a few journal pages that
provide space to draw and with lines to make writing easier such as these free printables from
Teachers Pay Teachers.
2.     Glue envelopes onto several sheets of cardstock for collecting paper ephemera – ticket stubs, menus, etc.
3.     Arrange paper and cardstock in an order of your choice.
4.     Add the covers and bind together using the clip rings.

Crayon rolls keep the most basic of art essentials neatly organized.  This tutorial from
Pretty Prudent will have you making one in a snap.  Make two – one for crayons and one
for markers.

Posted by Thomas James on 05/29/13 under IF Kids,Projects
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IF Kids: What Artists Do with Tape


"Sum Times" by Aakash Nihalani

Tape, that sticky stuff we use to seal packages and mend pipes, is a flexible medium for creating art, whether paintings, sculptures or installations.  With the range of colors and patterns now available, the possibilities are endless.  Brooklyn-based artist Aakash Nihalani uses it to draw attention to the mundane, filling the space with wonder and surprise, while Rebecca Ward uses it to make her intricate, large and colorful installations.

Tape Art Work (1)


Want to try making art with tape?  Here are a few blog filled with ideas to get you started!

Use it as a stencil or masking device when painting.
IF Kids Project – April 17, 2013
Laurie Freeman’s Blog

Make a collage.
Mother of All Trips
Art Projects for Kids

Create a sculpture.
Creative Jewish Mom

Posted by Thomas James on 05/01/13 under IF Kids,Projects
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What Artists Do with Paper

Jen Stark Piece of an Infinite Whole

While paper is frequently used in drawings it is a less common material for sculptures.  Jen Stark slices through layers of paper to create her colorful works of art.  The colors explode forward or draw the viewer closer into her galaxy.

Jen Stark Coriolis Effect

Jen Stark Radial Reverie


Jen Stark Sunken Sediment


Interested in trying your own hand at making art with layers of paper?  Check out these blogs for some fabulous ideas for kids (of all ages!).

Small Hands Big Art :: Topographic Paper Sculpture Art

GMG Art :: Paper Lace and Layers

Schutz Art ::  Paper Molas

Show us what you created!   We would love to see them!  Post them on our IF Kids Facebook page .

Posted by Thomas James on 04/24/13 under IF Kids,Projects,reviews
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IF Kids Project :: Masking Watercolors

IFkids_banner  masked watercolors 3


Watercolors are a flexible medium.  One technique to create layers is to mask areas of the paper prior to adding a wash
of color.

You will need:

  • watercolor paper
  • flat watercolor brush (size 2-4)
  • watercolors
  • painter’s or masking tape
  • non-stick scissors

Let’s create!

masking watercolor


For this sample I used painter’s tape which for some reason I have in abundance around my home.  You could also use
masking tape.  I don’t recommend regular tape as it is difficult to remove.  For the star, I cut two triangles and then overlapped them.masking watercolors 2

Add several washes of watercolor.  As I was going for a night sky theme, I chose blues and purples.

Allow your paper to dry thoroughly.  If you are anxious to see the results, use a hair dryer or heat gun to speed up the drying process.  Once dry, remove the tape and proceed with the rest of your painting!

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 04/17/13 under IF Kids,Projects
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IF Kids :: Three Primary Colors



Teach your children about the primary colors with this catchy song by OK Go for Sesame Streetthen make this recipe for finger paint and do a little color experimenting of your own.

Posted by Thomas James on 04/03/13 under IF Kids,Projects,reviews
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IF Kids Project :: Glue Prints


Illustration Friday, Glue Print, IF Kids

Earth Day is in less than a month.  Let’s celebrate by making some glue prints using recycled cardboard.  This project
couldn’t be easier.

You will need:
liquid glue
water soluble printing ink
1-2 brayers
drawing paper or construction paper
plastic tray
brown paper or newspaper

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.
Cut out a piece of cardboard to the size of the image you want. Sketch your design on the cardboard.  The trick is to make the image simplistic.  Details tend to get lost.

3.  Make your printing plate.
Once you have an image you like, trace it with glue.  If young artists are working on this project, remind them not to squeeze the bottle too hard or they will get glue blobs.  Of course, glue blobs could be an interesting effect, but only if desired.  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.

Illustration Friday, Glue Prints, IF Kids Project

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.

You can see from these two samples that the image on the left is darker, more ink has been transferred from the plate to the paper.  A brayer was used to press the paper onto the print plate.  The image on the right illustrates how it will look when you only rub your hands across the surface.

The vertical lines are caused by the under surface of the corrugated cardboard.  If you want less texture, make your plate from old file folders, tagboard or cut up shoe boxes.  Their surfaces are smooth and will provide a more neutral background.

glueprint4    glueprint3

7.   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.

Frame your prints, add them to the refrigerator gallery or use them as the highlight of a handmade card. Hint – this process is also perfect for making Mother’s Day and Father’s Day cards!

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 03/27/13 under Authors,IF Kids,Lindsay,Projects
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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
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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
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