Posts Tagged 'DIY projects'

Patches with a Purpose

The Guerrilla Girls exhibition is in its final week on view at the DMA. For the last few months, the posters, books, and videos in the gallery have prompted a lot of questions, including the often overheard “What’s the deal with the gorilla masks?”

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The Guerrilla Girls are an anonymous collective of women artists who draw attention to sexism and racism in the art world. To borrow their words, without women and people of color represented in the art world “you’re seeing less than half the picture.” Using bold protest art and guerrilla-style marketing techniques (hence their name and use of gorilla masks, as a play on words), they demonstrate how images are a powerful way to send messages to others.

Consider what is important to you. When you think about those things, is there an image or symbol that comes to mind? Taking inspiration from the Guerrilla Girls, here’s a way to broadcast that idea or cause through a DIY iron-on patch.

Materials Needed
Felt or fabric
Embroidery floss
Embroidery hoop
Tapestry needle
Scissors
HeatnBond iron-on adhesive sheet
Iron
Threader (optional)

Using the screw at the top, loosen and separate the two rings of your embroidery hoop. Load the embroidery hoop with the felt or fabric of your choice, placing the fabric on top of the smaller ring and closing the larger ring around it to hold the fabric in place.

Tip: The hoop stretches the fabric tight to create tension. If the fabric sags in the middle, pull the edges before tightening the hoop screw all the way.

Thread your needle with the first color of embroidery floss, tying off one end. Start your design from the back side of the hoop, pulling the needle straight through the fabric. Create the first stitch by pulling the needle straight back down through the fabric. When you’d like to switch colors, simply tie the floss off on the back and repeat the process.

Tip: Keeping the needle straight and avoiding pulling hard keeps the stitches even and fabric wrinkle-free. Knowing how to sew makes embroidery pretty intuitive, but different kinds of stitches create different textures and effects. DMC Embroidery has great resources for those looking to learn new techniques.  

Once you finish your design, make sure all the thread is tied off on the back, and any loose threads are trimmed.

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HeatnBond adhesive sheets will make the design into a patch. HeatnBond is two sided, with a shiny, textured plastic side and a paper side. Cut a piece of HeatnBond large enough to cover the design and place it on the backside of the fabric, with the paper side of the HeatnBond facing up. Pass an iron set on medium heat over the HeatnBond for approximately 30 seconds, ensuring that the iron passes over the edges and corners of the adhesive. Make sure that the HeatnBond is completely adhered to the fabric; no corners or edges should lift.

Once the fabric has cooled, use scissors to trim around the design. The HeatnBond seals the fabric, so no hemming is needed. After the design is cut to size, remove the paper backing from the back of the design. Underneath, the plastic should be smooth and shiny. Now the patch can be ironed onto another piece of fabric, like a jacket or backpack.

Be sure to visit The Guerrilla Girls before it closes on September 30. If you liked this project, join us at our upcoming workshops for families, teens, and adults to get your make on.

Jessica Thompson is the Manager of Teen Programs at the DMA.

DIY Shaving Cream Art

If you asked me what the most popular art supply was in camp this summer, my answer wouldn’t be paint. It wouldn’t be clay, it wouldn’t be paper – it wouldn’t even be hot glue. It would be…

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shaving cream!

You read that correctly. Not just one but SIX of our summer camps had a day when they made masterpieces using shaving cream. Our teachers this year were certainly inspired by this unconventional material! What other material could you use to marble paper, mix your own textured paint, make the freshest smelling foam dough, AND clean everything up afterwards?

As for what the campers thought, let me offer this quote overheard in carpool:

“Mom, we made art out of SHAVING CREAM today!!!” (Extra exclamation marks included.)

What you need:

  • A can of foaming shaving cream. I used Barbasol; shaving cream that comes out as a gel won’t work here!
  • A cookie sheet, which you’ll fill with a layer of shaving cream.
  • Various colors of paint. Nearly anything will do: tempera, acrylic, liquid watercolor, and food coloring are just a few ideas.
  • Craft sticks.
  • A ruler.
  • Heavyweight paper. You need something like watercolor paper or thick cardstock – thinner paper will warp, dissolve, and tear from all the moisture in the shaving cream.

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When coming up with the plan for my print, I looked to a piece of art that’s inspired cookie decorating (twice!) and marshmallow peep art made by DMA staffers: Odalisque (Hey, Hey Frankenthaler) by Lynda Benglis. The twisty poured latex shapes were fun to recreate by swirling paint through the shaving cream.

You can see how I made my print in the slideshow below:

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Once you’ve scraped the foam off your print, lay it flat so it can dry. Your paper may start to curl up at the corners, but that’s not anything a little time under a heavy book can’t fix. You can continue to make prints using the remaining shaving cream in your cookie sheet with the paint already there or by adding more paint and swirling with a craft stick again.

When you’re all done, admire your finished prints as they are or turn them into thank you cards, backgrounds for imaginative drawings, or anything else you can think of!

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The neat part about this technique is that it can be used on more than just paper. Try using acrylic or fabric paint to print cool rainbow bandanas. Even food coloring can be used to dye Easter eggs! For more fun, check out these other shaving cream ideas:

What crazy craft can you come up with?

Jennifer Sheppard
Teaching Specialist

 

Friday Photos: A-B-C-D-Edie!

On Tuesday, we celebrated Amanda with a book-themed baby shower for her upcoming addition, Edie. Being the artistic bunch we are, the creativity abounded with children’s book inspired bites (green eggs and ham quiche, anyone?), Westie George bookplates (great work Emily!), and other book-centric decor. Our very talented Jennifer even created a DIY alphabet book for attendees to illustrate! Check out our pics and this post to find inspiration for your own artful book-themed gathering!

Sarah Coffey
Education Coordinator

Beyond the Coloring Book

Coloring Book 1

Adult coloring books are all the rage right now, and the perfect relaxing activity to take a break from your spreadsheets at work, the laundry piling up at home, or that never-ending to do list. If you don’t really want to share your coloring books with the kids, here are some creative, easy ideas that go beyond the coloring book.

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Graph Paper Drawing
A couple years ago, one of the few things on my nephew’s Christmas wish list was graph paper. He was genuinely thrilled to open up a gridded white board, and got to work right away creating all kinds of designs. If a blank piece of paper is too overwhelming for your child, graph paper drawing is a great alternative. The preprinted lines and shapes provide just enough structure while still allowing for open-ended expression. You can download and print your own graph paper in all kinds of designs, from regular squares to triangles, circles, hexagons, and more, here.

Coloring Book 4

Scribble Drawings
Scribble drawings are still one of my very favorite ways to doodle. Simply scribble a line (or two or MANY) on your paper and then fill in the spaces with color for a fun abstract design. Or, step back, take a closer look at your doodle and see if any images materialize. Can you see a face? A tail? Fill in the appropriate spaces to finish out what your imagination sees in the lines.

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Back and Forth Drawings
Turn coloring time into together time by playing simple drawing games together. Tangle Art & Drawing Games for Kids has tons of creative ideas. We tried “Horizon Drawings” here in the office. I drew a wacky horizon line on a piece of paper, then handed it off to Jennifer, who turned it into these delightfully kooky characters. Can’t you just imagine the story that is happening here?

Surreal Drawings
Surreal drawings are another imagination-builder. Start off with an everyday object—clip pictures from recycled magazines or print images from the internet. Challenge your child to transform that object into something new by drawing. Characters are an easy place to begin—a carrot turns into a basketball player, an egg beater becomes a charming friend.

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Pokemon Go Unplugged
When it’s time to unplug and disconnect, your kids can still burn off their Pokemon Go steam with a little old-fashioned drawing. Have everyone in the family invent and draw their own Pokemon Go character and hide it somewhere in the house or yard. Call “ready, set, go” and race to see who can collect the most characters.

For more great drawing ideas, check out these links:

Fun drawing games at The Artful Parent

All kinds of drawing prompts from TinkerLab

Drawing game using household objects from Craftwhack

And ten more drawing games from Craftwhack

Happy coloring!

Leah Hanson
Manager of Family and Early Learning Programs


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