HoliDIY Party

This past weekend I hosted my third HoliDIY party, which is when friends come over and create handmade gifts, wrapping paper, gift tags, and more.  This year the DIY gift was tote bags.  I ordered some plain canvas totes from amazon along with some fabric paint, and after a little pinteresting I printed some ideas that used masking tape to create designs.  We added our own geometric tape designs to the bags, then painted, then peeled the tape up after they dried.  Here are a few pictures of the night and I hope they inspire you to make something with your hands this holiday season, or anytime!

adding fabric paint to the tote


tracing cookie cutter for patterned gift tags

stamping paper for gift wrap and making decorative collage gift tags


(being precious)


making a mess!

Gift Guide

Here are some of my favorite art supplies to use with kids (some with links).  They are always a hit and pretty easy to use and clean up at home.  Enjoy!

I love these slick stix and so do kids.  It’s like coloring with lipstick.

Glitter glue is the way to go – no glitter stuck to your face a week later.

  Sculpey’s Bake Shop clay is so rewarding because kids can make beads or sculptures and have something that will last after baking for only 15 or so minutes in the oven.

Maybe I was the last to know, but I finally found the perfect string for beading.  This elastic cord is stiff and does not fray, which makes it easy for little hands to use without needing help.

I love to buy paper scrap packs for collaging.  This is a solid color pack but you can find all different types of beautiful papers in scrap packs at art stores.  I recently discovered this and it was my personal pot of gold.

Dab ‘N Stick school glue is pretty great.  There’s nothing wrong with a regular glue stick, but if your child likes to color with the glue (especially that disappearing purple kind) then this is a good option.

With a lot of art supplies you can get away with a variety of qualities, but I have found that you get what you pay for with watercolor paper.  Paint looks downright ugly on cheaper paper so make sure to buy 140 lb paper!

                Prang watercolors are the brightest and prettiest.   They do get kind of squishy if there is standing water in them, so make sure to help your child press gently when loading the paintbrush so it doesn’t get used up quickly.

And lastly, kids love shape punches.  All of them.

Happy shopping!

Inspired by Joan Miró

cut potatoes, black paint, liquid watercolors and dropper, black india ink

  1. cut potatoes to look like stars and stamp on watercolor paper with black paint
  2. let dry, then paint a section with water
  3. drop liquid watercolors onto wet section
  4. repeat until it is as colorful as desired
  5. when watercolors are dry, connect stars with ink (we used a q-tip) to make constellations


Garden Collage

watercolor paper, watercolor paint, collage paper, buttons

  1. paint background and let dry
  2. draw rectangles and circles on various papers for stems and flowers
  3. make concentric circles for flowers by cutting different sizes
  4. glue stems first and then add flowers and leaves



black glue, chalk pastels

  1. show pumpkin and talk about shape and lines and the vine that it grew on
  2. use pencil to draw pumpkin
  3. add black glue (50%glue, 50%black tempera or acrylic paint) on top of pencil lines
  4. when dry, color with chalk pastels
  5. wipe chalk off of glue and spray with fixative


Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe

My Name is Georgia


acrylic paint, kid-made stencils, canvas paper

  1.  paint a blue background layer of acrylic paint
  2. when that layer dries, add sunset details
  3. draw clouds on a clear plastic sheet (2 – 3 different sizes)
  4. cut out clouds to leave empty stencil for use
  5. tape cloud stencils on painting and use sponge brush to fill in with white paint
  6. remove stencils


oil pastels, watercolor paint, watercolor paper

  1. draw flowers with oil pastel (press down hard)
  2. add watercolor paint

IMG_2330 copy  IMG_2308 copy