Archive for the ‘Family Craft Projects’ Category

DIY Decoupage Project: Illuminated Vase

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

We often hear from customers that after making all the jewelry pieces in our Collage Jewelry Kit, they still have a few pieces of our solid-colored and fancy-patterned tissue paper.  If you are in the same boat, we have two fun, simple and beautiful DIY projects for you to try out!  Today we will show you how to decoupage a gorgeous vase, and our next post will inspire you to transform a plain clay pot into a work of art.

DIY Decoupage Bottle

Project by Spark blog contributor Anna Lee Steinbuck

Materials: fancy tissue paper, plain tissue paper, recycled papers: (newspaper, magazine cut-outs), recycled glass bottle

Tools: foam brush, scissors, Artterro glaze (or your own decoupage medium)

Optional Materials: battery powered mini string lights

DIY Decoupage Glass Bottle


  1. Gather all materials and tools. Arrange on a covered surface, (I laid down a few layers of newspaper on my table) because this can get messy!
  2. Cut out or rip up pieces of tissue paper and your other recycled materials. *I ripped up little bits of tissue paper by hand to make a “patchwork” kind of layered look, and cut out pieces with scissors for a more refined and polished look.  If you want to paint the lip of your flower pots, do this now and allow paint to dry for about five minutes before going on to step three.
  3. Apply a thin and even layer of Artterro glaze to your containers using your foam brush.
  4. Start laying down pieces of paper on your containers, gently smoothing any bumps or creases with your fingers. *Try layering different sizes of tissue paper, and overlap the paper in order to thoroughly cover the containers
  5. Once you are finished laying down paper pieces, and are satisfied with the look of your piece, apply an even layer of Artterro glaze over the entire piece. Make sure you cover the entire surface with glaze to seal it. Don’t worry, it dries clear!
  6. Allow your pieces to dry overnight before handling them. Keep the surface underneath them protected in case any glue drips. *Make sure there aren’t any stray pieces of paper that accidentally got stuck to the bottom of your piece!
  7. Optional: If you want your vase to be illuminated, you can put a string of battery-powered lights inside your vase.

What other recycled containers have you decoupaged?  We love making votive holders, gift boxes, and pencil holders.  Stay tuned this week for a tutorial on clay pots as well!

Exploring Art & Science: Open-Ended Bug Project

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Wool Felt Bug Habitat

Summer is a wonderful time to help kids learn about the natural world around them, especially small creatures that are easy to observe in our own backyards and parks, like butterflies, worms and bugs!

Here’s an idea to stoke your child’s interest in nature and art at the same time.

DIY Insect Observation Art Project

dragonfly diy craft project

Optional preparation: Go to the library together to check out a book about bugs.  Here’s a list from the Frogs, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails blog to get you started: Children’s Books About Bugs.  Try to find the answers to these questions together: What makes insects different from other animals?  How big is the biggest insect?  What about the smallest?  Which one is your favorite?

summer insect activity DIY

  1. Take a nature walk and do some close observation of bugs, using a magnifying glass if you have one, or just getting close to the ground.  Let them be the scientist, and you can be the assistant!  Ask your child what they notice about the bugs they find (color, shape, body parts etc.).
  2. Write down notes or make quick sketches of your favorites.
  3. Get out your paints, modeling clay, colored pencils or Wool Felt Bug Kit, and make your own creepy-crawly friends!  Your child might be interested in copying the real insects exactly, or maybe they want to invent their own species.  Either way, it will be a lot of fun!
  4. Make a habitat for your bugs.  In the photos above and below, we decorated our packaging with Artterro paper for grass, and glued on some real sticks.  You could also use a jar or a shoebox, or simply draw your own habitat.

Tip: Try to keep this project as open-ended as possible.  Your trip to the library may inspire interest about a different subject altogether.  Go with it!  Or maybe the flowers and trees will interest your child more than the bugs.  Great!  The important thing is for curiosity to lead the activity.

wool felt bugs

Artterro Bugs in the Wild!

For more fun bug crafts, check out our newest Pinterest board!

DIY bug art project

Bonus project: How many Artterro creatures can you spot in this photo?

5 (Easy & Eco) Summer Art Projects For Kids

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014
Summer Art Projects

Copyright 2011 Jim Pennucci via Flickr

We’ve reached the middle of summer!  If filling up all the free time between now and September seems like a challenge, check out some of these wonderful art projects for kids and tweens gathered from some of our favorite blogs.  We chose simple projects families can do together, with finished products that make kids want to get outside and play!  We also have some wonderful options in our Artterro Store–always a convenient option for busy families.  Be sure to sign up for our mailing list to hear about upcoming specials and promotions.

1. Make Giant Paper Airplanes

Summer Art Project  giant paper airplanes

From the Fireflies and Mudpies blog

This project from Fireflies and Mudpies is great for summer, because it requires a minimal amount of prep and supplies, and afterwards you have a fun outdoor activity boys and girls alike will love!  We would add one tip: encourage your kids to find a big piece of poster board they’ve already used, and paint right over it!  Durable paper like that can easily be used more than once.

2. DIY Upcycled Bucket

Here’s another great project that leads to even more fun outside!  Who doesn’t have empty yogurt or sour cream containers filling up their recycling bin?  Why not give it one more purpose, and inspire some summer fun at the same time?  Follow the simple directions from Creative With Kids.  All you need are scissors and a hole punch, plus two plastic containers (one is for the handle).  Perfect for a beach day or a trip to the sandbox at the park.  Little ones often enjoy just moving toys and dolls from one place to another, and they’ll be so proud to help make their own container.

3. Paper Plate Frisbees

Summer Art Projects DIY paper plate frisbees

Copyright Amanda Formaro 2014

A great way to reuse paper plates, as long as they didn’t get soggy–maybe right after a summertime picnic!  With these easy instructions from Crafts by Amanda, you might think of even more objects that could be transformed into frisbees.

4. Water Bottle Fountain

Summer Art Project water bottle fountain

Copyright 2011 Christine Gross-Loh

This project from Origami Mommy definitely requires a parent’s help (for the hole-poking part), but it makes for a fun science experiment and a fabulous way to stay cool on a hot day!

5. DIY Bubble Wands

Summer Art Project diy bubble wands


The ultimate summer art project as far as we’re concerned!  Who doesn’t love bubbles?  They’re always a hit with the 10 and under set for sure.  And making your very own homemade bubble wand makes it even more fun!  Check out this post at The Artful Parent for some fabulous DIY options, or just pick up an Artterro Deluxe Bubble Wand Kit to make two sturdy, beautiful wands your kids can play with all summer!  Be sure to also check out Jean’s follow-up post on making perfect homemade bubble solution.

Do you have some more summer art project ideas to share?  Please include links or directions in the comments!  And if you want more ideas, check out our DIY Eco Art Project and Summertime = Craft Time Pinterest boards.

DIY Needle-Felted Fish Project

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014
needle felted fish

A gorgeous rainbow anglerfish, very hard to spot in its natural habitat!

One of the most exciting parts of sending our kits out into the world is seeing all the different directions people take with our kits. One of our production assistants (who also happens to be a wonderful artist) recently took our Wool Felt Bug Kit in a fun new direction–she made an aquarium full of fish!

needle felted fish

This friendly orange-finned minnow doesn’t need a lot of fancy patterns, just some striking fins and fringe.

needle felted jellyfish

And here we have the very rare metallic fringed jelly fish–careful of its tentacles!

Last week’s post included a view of the whole aquarium, and some simple DIY tips for making your own needle-felted fish and an aquatic habitat.

DIY Painted Aquarium with Needle-Felted Fish

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Yesterday we shared the incredible underwater creatures Sierra created.  Today we’ll take a look at the project as a whole.

DIY Aquarium and needle-felted fish

Isn’t this a fabulous, happy, no-maintenance aquarium?  What a perfect project to do after your family take a trip to a real aquarium.  You’ll probably take a few photos of the creatures you see there.  When you get home, use the photos as inspiration for your needle-felted art!  Of course you can also model your work on fish from children’s books, movies and songs.  Not to mention fish you see in real streams, lakes and oceans!  Isn’t summer great?  It’s so full of art inspiration.


  • Sew on beautiful sequins and beads, and use the thread itself to add patterns to your fish bodies.
  • Add ribbons or fabric for fins and tentacles.
  • Use Artterro’s new packaging as your aquarium structure.  Sierra used the inner tray.
  • If you’re using cardboard, it can be helpful to paint it white first (with gesso or acrylic paint).  After that dries, paint it whatever color you want!
  • Glue on some fun green ribbons in curvy lines–easy seaweed!
  • Starting underneath each fish, sew a long piece of thread through the body of the fish, then poke the needle right through the top of your aquarium.
  • Attach the string with glue, and also make a big knot for extra hold.

DIY Painted Aquarium

You can use the tab at the top of the tray to hang it anywhere.  What other creatures can you imagine making with these wool felt shapes?

DIY Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: Paper Art Cards and Flowers

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Happy Friday, and an early Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there!  If you’re looking for a little Mother’s Day inspiration, the Pinterest boards below have you covered!

Spoonful’s Mother’s Day Pinterest Board

The Crafty Crow’s Mother’s Day Crafts for Kids

NRDC’s BioGems Green & Happy Mother’s Day

Inhabitots Mother’s Day Celebration

And we’d also like to offer a little of our own Artterro inspiration.

Paper flowers with felt balls

Paper flowers with felt balls

It’s so fun and easy to make cards and flowers our of paper.  No directions necessary, just creativity and love.

A simple handmade card

A simple handmade card

Happy Mother’s Day!

Eco Easter Projects

Friday, April 11th, 2014

easter flower egg

Easter is coming up, along with spring break and all the free time that comes with it!  We’ve been feeling inspired by warmer weather and sunshine lately, so we set aside some time for spring craft projects at the office.

wool felt easter eggs 4

Our production assistant Sierra made the intricate wool felt eggs, some of which are ornaments to hang, and Forrest put together some eco paper nests as a cozy home for the eggs.

paper nest

She also crafted an amazing paper flower bouquet, one of our favorite ways to display (aka show off!) our beautiful handmade recycled paper at events.

bouquet eggs and ornaments

We hope these ideas give you some inspiration for your own spring crafts and art projects!  Let us know what you’re planning to create in the comments.  Happy Spring!

Getting Excited About Earth Day: Eco Craft Ideas!

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

We are all about Earth Day here at Artterro.  It’s so much fun to celebrate the Earth and talk about how we can take better care of it everyday.  Of course we are especially excited to come up with creative artistic ways to be green and express our love for this beautiful planet.  We have some fun crafting posts planned for later in the month, but today I thought I’d share a couple of fun projects from our production manager and crafter-extraordinaire Shari!  She combined Artterro materials with other items to make some really neat eco art.

First, she decoupaged our wooden bangle and pendants with old maps.  What a fun way to remember a place you love.

Decoupage frame

She also used our beautiful decoupage paper to cover an old frame that needed refreshing. What’s your favorite project using recycled and upcycled materials?

First Day of Spring!

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Yesterday was the first day of spring!  This calls for a celebration, which, at Artterro, means spring-themed crafts.  We hope you’re celebrating spring wherever you are!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Monday, March 17th, 2014

handmade four-leaf clover craft

We love any excuse to craft with our beautiful handmade paper!  For St. Patrick’s Day, we picked out all the shades of green from our paper collection and made four-leaf clovers.

four-leaf clover paper

Perfect for decorating the table when you sit down to corned beef and cabbage!

four-leaf clover garden ornament

We attached some to wire to decorate a potted plant and made others into hanging ornaments.

Irish or not, we wish you a happy, safe and creative day!