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Art teachers were STEAM-ing before STEAM was cool!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gifts From the Art 2012: Watercolor Pin

I just finished a two session mini course called "Gifts From the Art" where children can make three projects a session (a total of six gifts) for their families and friends. I did this course last year as well and it was a big hit. The class was comprised of 2nd-4th graders and I had 2-3 fabulous helpers each session. Doing this many projects a week is a bit crazy, so having good helpers is key. I try to keep things fun and moving along, but I definitely prefer my normal teaching routine where we focus on one project a week!

Here is one of the projects we did:

Aren't these just beautiful! I want to make these by the dozen!

Watercolor Heart Pin

When planning this course I try to think of gifts that can be gifted to a variety of people. A pin is a nice gift for a variety of ladies: mom, stepmom, grandma, aunt, cousin, babysitter. Here's my version that uses watercolors with a neat technique along with a few findings to create a lovely one-of-a-kind pin that is sure to be a hit!

Supplies Needed:

  • Two little pieces of watercolor paper (ours were about 2 1/2" x 3")
  • Pencils
  • Watercolors and brushes
  • Plastic wrap (maybe two 6" lengths)
  • Wooden heart shape (ours were 1 3/4" wide)
  • Scissors
  • Tacky glue
  • About a 14" piece of contrasting embroidery floss, optional
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue sticks
  • 5" strand of copper wire
  • Various glass beads and/or word beads (I bought both at Michael's--the word beads are plastic, the other beads are glass).
  • Pin backing (ours were adhesive-backed so they were just peeled and stick-EASY!)
Directions:

1. Write your name on both pieces of watercolor paper. Wet most of the center of your paper and apply watercolor paint to the paper in nice, saturated color. Use a couple colors of paint and allow the water to blend the colors (wet on wet technique). Choose colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (analogous) so that the colors look nice when they mix. I suggested having the children create a reddish or purplish color combo on one of their papers and a greenish/bluish color combo on the other. Make sure the colors you are using are nice and saturated and while the paint is still wet, crumple up the plastic wrap and press it into the paint. Leave it there and let it dry overnight.

2. When the watercolor pieces are nice and dry, remove the plastic wrap and discard. Trace the heart shape onto the front of the watercolor paper in an area of the watercolor that you like. Cut the heart shape out. Use tacky glue to glue the watercolor paper heart to the wood form. Press for a couple of minutes until the paper no longer curls (you can also place the piece under a book or something to help it adhere better.

3. Wrap a strand of contrasting color embroidery floss around the heart, securing the ends with hot glue.

4. Attach one end of the copper wire to the back of the heart pin. Wrap it around to the front and add a couple of beads. If you are using the word bead, use it now. Keep wrapping the copper wire around, adding a couple more beads if you'd like. Make sure you only add beads to the part of the copper wire that is on the front of the pin--no beads on the back of the pin (a couple of my students tried that--but no one would ever see them that way!). Secure the end of the copper wire with hot glue.

5. Attach the pin finding to the back of the Watercolor Heart Pin and press nice and hard to make sure it sticks on there. 

What a beautiful pin--so artsy! Any mother would love to receive this! It was neat to see how different the pins came out. The children had lots of fun choosing their favorite watercolor swatch, floss color, glass beads and word bead. They took such care with each detail.




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