Monday, May 13, 2013

Recycled T-shirt Baskets

Looking inside of the basket from top to bottom
side view of finished basket

Lets make some woven baskets!


1 hula hoop (check the dollar store, I bought the small one)
1-2 old adult size t-shirts (laundered)
good scissors
Adult helper

First have your adult helper cut the t-shirts into 1/2" strips.  You can measure and mark so they will all be the same or just try to eye the size.  I cut starting at the bottom of the shirt and work all the way up to just under the sleeves.  You want to cut through so you have circles of cloth.  After you reach the arms, set them aside and cut strips from the sleeves.  Make sure you have good scissors for this step or you will have difficulty cutting through the cloth.

You will need about about 5 circles of cloth to warp  your loom.  Stretch the circles across the hula hoop, spacing them evenly around the diameter of the hoop.  You will need an odd number of spines to the warp so on one side, line two of the warps up as one.  Check out the pictures if  you are not sure what I mean.

 Now, take a circle and thread it around the center section of your loom, divide you warp spines evenly and pass the end of the circle through itself.  Again look at the photo for clarification.  Pull this tightly and begin to weave.  You will go in and out of the warps, over - under, over -under.

 When you run out of fabric circle, slide a new one on by passing the loop through one another and continue to weave.  Don't pull excessively tight but you do want your weave to be snug.  The more circles of cloth that are added into your weaving, the larger your basket will become.  The above finished basket only has about 8 pieces of cloth and measures about 4" tall with a diameter of about 4

1/2".  To finish off the basket, cut the warp at the hula hoop so that it can be split into two pieces of fabric.  Tie the two pieces with a square knot tightly and close to the top of your weave.  Do this with all of the warps.  If you work from opposite sides of the basket, it will retain its shape better.  When all of the knots have been tied off, trim the excess warp fabric to about 1/4".  Your T-shirt basket is ready to hold all of your treasures!

Completed basket with tied warp fringe

Saturday, May 4, 2013

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Melted Crayon Art

Melted Crayon 

A canvas with melted crayon hangs in one of my classrooms and has been a source of curious conversation all year.  Many of you have ask to create this in the classroom and I have declined to do so.  My explanation is that I could not manage it with 24 students in a classroom.  BUT, you can easily do this at home.  Here are the supplies you will need:
4-6 boxes of 24 count crayons (dependent upon size of the canvas)
1 canvas board
1 package of packaging tape
1 low-temp glue gun with glue sticks
Newspaper to protect your surface area
1 hair dryer
Adult supervision

Lay out your colors, 2-3 boxes, in any order you would like on a piece of tape with sticky side facing up.  I cut the tape the width of the canvas board.  Make sure to group like colors together, the order of the rainbow or color wheel works best.  Take a second piece of packaging tape that is about 4" longer than the first and tape across the crayons, sticky side down this time leaving 2" exposed on each end of the crayons.  Wrap the extra exposed tape around to the back of the canvas to secure the crayons at the top of the canvas.
Now, lay lots of paper down to protect the surface area where you will be doing your melting.   I even taped paper to the wall surface and I did do this outside.  The crayon will splatter so protect the floor and wall way beyond the area of the canvas, maybe 3 times as much!  To begin, set your hair dryer on high and hold it near the top area of the taped down crayons to begin the melting.  Pay attention to which colors melt first.  Wonder why that happens.  Any thoughts?  That is a bit of science in action.  Identify whether they are warm or cool colors that melt first.  Hummmm?
As the colors begin to soften they will drip, splatter and run.  Don't let them splash on you, they will be hot.  Move the hair dryer around to control the melting.  The end result will be controlled by where you apply the most heat.  You are finished when all the crayon has melted down or when  you have achieved the result that is most pleasing to you.  Your adult supervision can help  you with this.
Next remove the messy crayon wrappers and packaging tape and discard.  Take new crayons from the remaining 2 - 3 boxes and replace the original ones.  These will be glued into place with the glue gun.  Get help for this part, even the low-temp guns are pretty hot.  
Admire you work and sign your name at the bottom.  Hang this on the wall and be proud!  Most of all, I hope you had fun creating your own piece of melted crayon art.  If you really enjoyed this, check out art web sites on line where artist have become very created with melted crayon. Here is an interesting site.
Make sure to clean up everything well, all good artist clean up when they have finished their project.


This new blog originated out of a request from one of my students.   He recently approached me, after having viewed my blog Art on my hands and ask me to add more detailed lesson plans to my blog.   That is not really the approach I wanted to use for my blog but the request did start me thinking.   I have decided to create a second blog with easy to do project lessons that students can use at home with everyday supplies that most households already have on hand.  This post launches that new blog.  My goal will be to add 1 -2 lessons that are student friendly each week, primarily focusing on summer vacation and break time.  Some of these lessons may become more crafy in nature.
 So, my wonderful student, this is what you ask me for and I am happy to be able to bring you "My Students have Art on Their Hands, Too!"  Thanks for the suggestion!
poster found on pinterest