Holiday Gift Making I: Treasure Boxes and Paper Roll Printed Cards

For our Holiday Treasure Boxes we used blank paper mache boxes from Discount School Supply along with Biocolor paint. This was the first time using Biocolor in the studio and it’s definitely more colorfast and vivid than the washable tempera. the texture is thinner and silkier too and we used soft watercolor brushes to apply it to the boxes. 3-D surfaces are tricky to cover so I encouraged parents to work with their children to get into all the nooks and crannies and rotate the surface for their child.

Because the decorations make the boxes so flamboyant I started each child with just one color of paint and limited their background palette to two or three colors. In addition the the paint we added small squares of tissue paper to add texture and depth. The tissue paper stuck nicely to the paint with no need for glue.

After paining we added decorations that included glitter snow flakes from the dollar store, sequins, and gems. This week I learned a wonderful new rhyme that matched our practice of glue control, “dot, dot, not a lot”. I taught this to my classes throughout the week.

We talked about the experience of someone opening the box and finding treasures inside and spent as much time decorating the top as the inside.

After making our treasure boxes we made holiday cards by printing paper roll shapes on card stock.

We worked with a variety of shapes:  stars, heart, propeller, flower, and circle. We also used corks to make dots.

Here is a really sweet sample of work by two sisters (10 years on the left, 4 years on the right).

I’m always impressed with children’s innate creativity and in awe of the freshness in their imaginations. One of my students found a panther outside in the water table toys and asked to paint it green, then sat with such beautiful focus and attention to detail.

This week marked the first week in the studio’s history of no wooden easel. Over Thanksgiving weekend I installed a second plexi-glass wall.

This week marked the beginning of our rainy season and full hour lesson plans packed with art, sensory activities, and fun with friends.

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