Artistic Wrapping Paper

gifts

This project ended up being one my most favorite that I have ever done with Greta – making our own wrapping paper.  I have always kind of hated wrapping gifts and find myself giving sideways glances at those who wrap perfectly gorgeous department store worthy packages.  But that all changed this year – I now have a helper!  My oldest can write names, tear tape, cut, and hold her finger over knots.  VICTORY!

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Both kids are starting to get to the point where they can come with me to my classroom while I do a few small tasks.  Over Thanksgiving break, I had to unload a kiln or two, so I set them to work.  I gave them the backside of used, white roll butcher paper, and set them to work designing and creating recycled wrapping paper.  Here, they are using texture rubbing plates and large crayons.

 

They used foam dot stamper brushes and regular large paintbrushes to create swirls of reds, yellows, golds, and glitter, on the left.  The gold dots, on the right, are my personal favorite.  My youngest was able to easily stamp out the designs, and it was a quick enough project that he was not easily bored.

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Back at home, my oldest wanted to use foam stamps and Jumbo Paint (and Clay) Explorer Rollers to transform the brown paper packaging sheets into wrapping paper.  She loved figuring out how to mix tints – above she has figured out that adding white to her sponge stamper (something similar here: Pattern Paint Foam Rollers), it makes the green lighter.  This is always a fun ah-ha moment for little artists.

After the success of this project and their joy in working on a larger scale, a roll of paper may become a mainstay on their own art table.  I am leaning toward this Melissa & Doug Tabletop Paper Roll Dispenser.

challah

On another note, I woke up at the wee hour of 4:15 AM this morning – nothing says first day of winter break like being awake before the birds.  So, I got up, relished the quiet of my house, and set to work making Challah.  I would say this was a home run batch, making up for last year’s total flop.

Tomorrow is one of my favorite days of the entire year.  Happy almost Christmas Eve!

Tee Shirt Pillows

pillows

Two of my toddler’s favorite shirts were Christmas presents last year from grandparents.  The formerly two polka dot shirts, above, adorned my daughter in numerous photographs.  It was to both of our dismay when they very recently became 3/4 length sleeve shirts due to her rapidly growing limbs.  Seriously, it happened overnight.  Santa brought new shoes thinking they would fit in the spring – nope, she is wearing them already!  So, with the favorite shirts no longer in heavy rotation, I decided to immortalize them into pillows for her dolls or her bed.

shirts

Originally, I was planning on repurposing three of her critter shirts.  The top kitty shirt was spared because my sweet daughter said to me, “Thank you for the pillows, Mommy, but I was going to give the shirts to Dylan.”  Dylan is her youngest cousin.  I just about melted – I should have been smarter and asked her before cutting up these beloved shirts – of course she would want to share them! So, the My Kitty Loves Hugs shirt was pardoned from pillowization.  (Sidenote: Please excuse my youngest’s leg cameo).

pinned

This was an easy sewing project that even children could complete themselves as an introduction to sewing.  Knit fabric is forgiving and can take on interesting shapes.  I was not interested in making perfectly geometric shapes, instead going for a more tilted stylized look.  Next time I cut up old shirts they will be mine or I was ask permission first.  Lesson learned!