Mono Print

Metallic Glue Relief

Tissue Paper Painting

Crayon Etching

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summery Tube Sculptures

This week I taught a series of art lessons to a small group of Lower Elementary students. Our focus was on cardboard tube sculptures, and we also made colorful sun catchers and collages to welcome summer. The directions for making cardboard tube sculptures are below, and you can see how to make sun catchers in my May 15, 2011 post.



Recycled cardboard tubes from paper towels or toilet tissue
Recycled corrugated cardboard for base
White glue
Masking tape
Acrylic gesso & an old paintbrush
Acrylic paints
Paint brushes
Water container
Assorted decorative craft items (felt, buttons, googly eyes, etc.)


1. Think of an invented creature, an animal, a person or a thing you'd like to make using tubes. Decide what is the biggest or main part of what you're making, and begin construction with that part. Decide if your sculpture will need a cardboard base in order to stand on its own. If your sculpture has 4 legs, it will probably stand by itself, and won't need a base.

2. Cut 1/2" long slits about 1/2" apart all around the bottom circumference of a cardboard tube. Bend the slits out to make tabs for gluing. Slits may also be cut in the ends of tubes to fit one inside the other.

3. Apply a dot of glue to each tab and press into place either on the outside of another tube or onto the base. Apply strips of masking tape over all glued tabs; long strips of tape should extend from tubes onto other tubes or onto the base. (All tape needs to stay in place and will not be removed.)

4. The next day, when the glue has set, paint a thin, even coat of white gesso over your entire sculpture, including the base, and allow to dry overnight.

5. On the following day, paint your sculpture with realistic or fantasy colors, and allow to dry again.

6. Glue on any decorative collage or craft items, such as fabric, buttons, feathers or googly eyes to make your sculpture special.

Adam made a fiery, smiley sun.

Abbey made a fantasy flower with a hovering butterfly.

Elli made a sculpture of herself playing soccer.


by Adam
by Abbey
by Elli

Monday, June 13, 2011

Recycled Beverage Caps: Real Wheels

Here's a fun way to recycle the small plastic lids (washed and dried) from milk or juice containers.


Assorted scrap mat board pieces
Watercolor paintbrush
Water container
Small clean plastic lids from milk or juice containers
Awl or sharp punch tool (to be used only by adults)
Brass fasteners, 1'' long

1. Using a Black Sharpie (permanent) pen, do a line drawing of a scene showing a vehicle that has wheels (car, truck, bus, bicycle, etc.). Don't draw the wheels, but do add other details to make your drawing interesting.

2. Paint your scene with watercolors, using realistic or fantasy colors. Try letting the wet colors run into each other and mix on their own. Your black lines will show through the watercolor paints. Allow to dry.

3. To make each wheel in your picture, use the awl to punch a hole in the middle of a plastic lid. Punch a hole through the mat board where the wheel will be attached. Push a brass fastener through the lid and through the hole in the board. On the back of the board, open the prongs of the fastener and flatten them against the board. Each wheel will be able to turn!

You can use other lids for anything round in your painting, such as the sun, or a clock. You can also use your Sharpie to draw details on the lids themselves. Another possibility is to make an abstract painting of any colors and designs you choose, and add turning wheels anywhere you'd like.