Category Archives: Tutorials

Tea Box Veggie Garden…

DSC_6210 DSC_6118-2 DSC_6129 DSC_5838 DSC_5812 DSC_5865 DSC_5894 DSC_5890 DSC_5908 DSC_5855 DSC_5954 DSC_5888-2 DSC_5950 DSC_5794 DSC_6081 DSC_6103-2 DSC_6143 DSC_6136 DSC_6206 DSC_6146 DSC_6186 DSC_6159 Warning: This might be my longest post yet. This is absolutely one of my favorite art projects I’ve done with my kids. It’s a little involved, but once they get going, they find their rhythm and are well on their way to making this tea box veggie garden. My youngest, who is 5, needed more help with the actual construction of the veggies. My oldest 8 and 7, just needed a little guidance and reassurance that their veggies didn’t have to look like Mom’s. Whenever I set up art projects, I always have an example for them, that I’ve created. I remind them, that it’s only there so they can see what the end product will be. I always insist that their project be their own and it shouldn’t look like mine. However, they are kids and sometimes we have art drama. Luckily, we were able to move past it pretty quickly and they were all very pleased with their own little gardens.

First, gather your supplies:

Muslin fabric
Brown fabric
Paper towels
Acrylic paints
Toothpick or wooden skewer
Tea boxes

To start, you can review the paper towel shapes and fabric shapes chart in the pictures above. I made these to only serve as a guide for my kids. It isn’t set in stone. Please, by all means, encourage creativity. At one point, Jacks ventured off on his own and made a little garlic guy for his garden, without any instruction from me. It might also help to have the actual vegetables there, as visual guides. Especially with younger artists. Anyway, please use the charts I made at your discretion.

After reviewing the charts, start making your paper towel shapes. We made potatoes, leeks, onions, cabbage, beets or radishes, carrots, and Jacks made a garlic. Once you have all your shapes, set them aside and begin cutting the fabric shapes. After cutting all the shapes, you can start assembling the veggies. I’m going to try and be as descriptive as possible, so you can see how we covered the paper towels in our fabric. Let’s break it down by veggie, shall we?

Carrot: Cut 2 – 3 long, thin strips for the base of the carrot. For the carrot top, first, start by cutting a rectangle. Fold the rectangle in half, lengthwise and cut fringe, careful to not cut all the way to the fold. To assemble, add glue to the carrot top, wrap the fringed fabric around, and secure with more glue. Then, begin wrapping your long strips from the bottom of the carrot, all the way to just over the base of the carrot top. Secure with glue.

Potato: Just like the carrot, cut thin long strips. I think I showed three in my chart, but it will all depend on the size of your tater! This guy is pretty easy. You just wrap him up, mummy style, until there is no paper towel showing. Secure the ends with glue.

Leek: Cut a rectangle shape. Down one long side of the rectangle, cut fringe, but not all the way down. This one is a little tricky to assemble. Place your paper towel leek at the edge on one of the short sides and start rolling. When you start rolling, grab the long side (the one without the fringe) and pull up, so the bottom of the leek is covered. As you roll, keep that long side folded in. When you reach the end, take one of the leek fringes and wrap around the neck and secure with glue.

Onion: The onion is pretty much identical to the leek. The only difference is you start with a larger rectangle.

Cabbage: Cut a circle, big enough to cover the head of your cabbage. Then cut two shapes, that loosely resemble a flower. Maybe they look more like an amoeba? Glue those together, then onto the head of cabbage.

Beet/Radish: Cut a pinwheel shape of sorts. While holding fabric, place radish in the center, standing up. Grab the leaves and gather up, to cover radish. Take one of the leaves and wrap around the neck and secure with glue.

I know some of the descriptions might be a little hard to follow. But, really you can do it however you want. I just made these up and it worked. You might discover a better way!

Now comes the fun part…painting! My only instruction for the painting is to try and cover all parts of the fabric. Also, blending colors is always fun! You’ll find that some of your fabric might start to get stringy during the painting phase. Don’t worry, it just looks like roots. If it gets too crazy, just give them a little trim. After painting, you can add eyes using the toothpick or wooden skewer. This was all my son’s idea. My original version did not have eyes. I loved it! So we added eyes and the garden came alive, so to speak.

After all your vegetables are done, you are ready to make the garden bed. Depending on your tea box, you should be able to get 2 garden beds from one box. Start by measuring an inch from the bottom and marking a guide all the way around the tea box. Next, cut off the bottom. Repeat the same steps for the top of the tea box.

Using your tea box as a guide for width, cut 3 strips of batting approximately 7 inches long. Roll each strip and secure the end with glue. Next, cut 3 rectangles from your brown fabric. Don’t cut them too small, we cut ours at 7 in L x 4 in H. Place your batting roll at the center of one of the long edges. Roll, until it’s covered and secure the end with glue. Grab one end of the brown fabric and fold in and glue. Repeat with the remaining brown fabric end. Add glue to the tea box and place brown fabric roll, seam side down, and secure to box. Repeat for remaining 2 fabric rolls.

Whew…I hope you got all that. Remember, if you didn’t, just improvise! After all the paint and glue has dried, it’s time to plant your veggies!! They can be planted over and over again. Annie, invited her T-rex’s and other meat eating dinosaurs to her garden. Turns out, they like their veggies, too!!

Snail Pin Valentines…

DSC_4596-Edit DSC_4466-Edit DSC_4478 DSC_4487 DSC_4503 DSC_4353-Edit DSC_4341 DSC_4540-Edit DSC_4566-Edit DSC_4567-Edit DSC_4593-Edit DSC_4721 There’s just something about a snail that makes them so endearing to my kids. Perhaps it’s because they carry their home on their backs. Or maybe it’s their never in a rush disposition, that appeals to them. Whatever it is, they sure do love them, especially Savannah and Annie. Those two bring them home, stuffed ever so carefully into their pockets. They keep them as pets for a few days. They make them snail homes, complete with a damp straw bed, rock pillow, and leaf coverlet. We have actually lost a few within our home, never to be found again. Yes they are slow, but give them 8 hours while you sleep and buddy, they can go the distance! When the snails are gone and the only thing left is their home, they collect those, too. We have a jarful and we really don’t need more, but they are fascinated with each new one, as if it were the first. “This one is so shiny!”, “This one is swirly brown”, “Oh, this is the tiniest snail shell ever!” are just a few of the reasons I hear to keep bringing them home. Since they are so loved, I thought what a great Valentine they would make.

For this project you’ll need:

Snail shells
Floral wire
Pipe cleaners
Hot glue
Pins (The kind you wear)
Masking tape (optional)

First, take your pipe cleaner and fold it in half, then in half again. Twist it together and form a smile shape. Cut thin (1/2 inch). 12 inch length strips of batting and begin wrapping around pipe cleaner. Determine which end will be the head and stop wrapping just before the tail. Secure the end piece of the batting with glue.

Cut a small square of fabric and wrap it over the head of the snail and secure it in place with a 5 inch cut of floral wire. Wrap it around a few times, so it won’t fall off. Curl the wire down, by gripping the ends with your scissors and turning. Next, begin wrapping a strip of fabric (same length and width as the batting) around the wire, moving back towards the tail. Before wrapping the tail, take another small square of fabric and cover the tail. Add a small piece of tape to hold in place, if needed, otherwise just pinch it in place, while wrapping. As you wrap, pull tightly as you go and finally, secure the end piece of fabric with glue. If you find you have some bare spots, just cut small pieces of your fabric and glue accordingly. Attach the shell and the pin with hot glue. 

Cut out heart shapes from cardstock and decorate as you please. Cut two small, vertical slits in the middle of the card and attach snail pin. And there you have a snail pin valentine! As a precaution, I wouldn’t recommend giving this to young children, because of the small parts and the sharp pin. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yarn Wrapped Lollipop Valentines…

DSC_6726 cardboard valentine yummy earth organic lollipops kid valentine kid made valentine cardboard valentine class valentine treats kid made valentine If this baby to be has made me anything, it’s lazy!! Oh.My.Word. I can plan for weeks for what I’m going to do and when it comes to actually getting it done, I simply don’t get it done. No excuses, except for, I don’t wanna! For someone that typically has about 20 projects going on at once, this is foreign territory for me.

So, this is a tad last minute, but I was determined to get it up on the blog. We made these yarn wrapped lollipops in about 20 minutes. Yes, they are that easy!

Fortunately for lazy me, I had all my supplies on hand. But if you don’t, you’ll need to gather up yarn, cardboard, scissors, a pen, and some lollipops.

First, cut some heart shapes from the cardboard. Then, have your kids write, “from: (insert name)” on each heart. Next, place the lollipop on back (the side with no name) of heart and start wrapping in yarn until lollipop is secured. When finished, thread loose end through yarn.

Happy Valentine’s Day!