June 24, 2007

Cenentary Cards

Filed under: Kids Projects,Paper Craft — sarah @ 10:08 am

At our Scout’s Centenary camp I found myself in the craft tent. The ladies next to me had made up some Centenary Cards for the kids to make; these were simple and effective!

They had the cards and envelopes already and then they had cut silver squares that would fit neatly on the card, making a diamond. They had also printed lots of little Scouting Centenary motifs which they got the children to colour in and stick on in the centre of the silver diamond. There were also metallic numbers to make up 100 and other sundres for decorative purposes.

centenary card two

They also had edging and other coloured rectangles of card and foil which created some really nice designs!

Centenary card one

Here’s a picture of their equipment!

card making

I would say you need a proper paper guillotine for this sort of project as you need to cut a lot of nice neat rectangles and squares!

June 17, 2007

Tile Engraving

Filed under: General,Kids Projects,My Drawings/Paintings — sarah @ 9:37 am

Polyp tile


*White ceramic tiles

*Candle and matches



*Masking tape

As it is the Scouting Centenary this year there have been lots of commemorative events, one of which was the Centenary Camp at our District’s camp. I found myself in the craft tent there and I was to do tile engraving, though it was stretching the term engraving slightly I felt!

I had never done this before and had a bag full of equipment and some vague instructions so I arrived two hours before the kids were due, in order to have a go and work out the best way of doing it!

My first issue was that I had tea lights and normal tall candles without any candlesticks, so I ended up using the tea lights as candlesticks for the larger candles after a brief aborted attempt at smoking the tiles on tea lights!

The idea of this craft activity was that you black out the tile over the candle and then use a toothpick to draw a picture or pattern, then you spray it with a sealant – in this case hair lacquer.

I was obviously a little concerned about burnt fingers, which was my main reason for experimenting, but other pitfalls soon became apparent.

You have to get the tile touching the flame so that soot actually gets deposited onto the tile, making it black, but if you go too close, wax is precipitated onto the tile, making drawing hard and giving affected areas a shiny, almost brown, look. I used a cloth to wipe affected areas and put them back over the candle.

I found holding the tile at a 40 degree angle over the candle flame was effective in getting a lot of soot deposited onto the tiles. Also angling the thing towards you so that you can see how things are going helped a lot, but it did mean lowering your line of sight slightly for most people.

My first attempt was very blotchy with lots of wax on it and smeary fingerprints all round the edge but I drew on it anyway to see how well that worked and whether the hairspray would actually seal the picture.

The main issue the children and I had with this was trying not to rest your hand on the tile whilst drawing on it – we all had to re-smoke the resulting white patch were we had wiped the soot off!

Also I found that you had to be ‘light’ handed with the toothpick otherwise it would jump and skid on the tile, ruining the picture or writing you were attempting!

I was only allowed to do this craft with the older children, ie Scouts and Explorer Scouts. Even so, I was concerned about the burnt fingers and after trying to black out a second tile found that though I was no longer making it blotchy or getting wax on it, I just could not make the edges neat, as you have to hold the tile!

I then hit upon the idea of making a border of some sort and because I have been painting lots recently I wondered on the idea of using masking tape around the edge of the tile – this would hopefully create a nice neat border and prevent the children from burning their fingers.

I stole some masking tape from the Junk Art stall and proceed to experiment – my main concern had been that the tape would catch fire or it just wouldn’t work as a neat border. However it worked better than I had expected, though obviously I then had to stress that you needed to move the tile about, otherwise the masking tape would catch fire, which did happen a couple of times resulting in a brown sticky patch on the tile – this took some wiping off!

Blacking out the tile over the candle. Blacking out the candle

Smoked out tile ready to engrave! smoked out tile

the beginning Oh dear

One of the Explorer’s tiles – he decided to have a go without a border.

Tile again

Masking tape as a border. Will it work!

Here are some of the kids’ finished tiles!

Demon with border Flower tile Druming tile Demon with border

Tiles More tiles

My first attempt Oh dear Second attempt Polyp tile

The only thing I found abit iffy about this project is that you had to spray the tiles several times with the hairspray and still it is only just touch safe. Anything touching it will scrape the picture off it! I’m wondering if better quality spray would be a better idea or perhaps actually using proper sealant.

June 10, 2007

Beaver Welly Pet

Filed under: Kids Projects,Paper Craft — sarah @ 8:18 am

Welly pet

Equipment used:

*Picture sheets

*Clothes pegs

*Double sided sticky tape

*Safety scissors

*Coloured pens etc… for decorating

As some people may know it is Scouting’s centenary this year and we have just had our District’s Centenary Camp celebration – I ended up in the craft tent!

These welly pets were very popular, even with the older children, some of whom were the higher end of the teenage spectrum!

The one in the photo is a beaver welly pet but we had wolf cubs as well. The Scouts and Explorer Scouts kept asking where their version was but we hadn’t anticipated interest from the older age ranges so we had none. What we did do was to get them to design their own ones instead.

What you do is put two pictures (in this case the beaver) next to each other on the computer, make sure that the images are mirror images of each other – most graphics and drawing programmes have an easily accessable function for this, along with rotate and flip!

You then print them.

At the camp, the lady running this stall initially had been given folders of lots of sheets with beavers or wolves on – we gave them to the children who coloured them in with felt-tip pens, wax crayons and colouring pencils. Then because there were a lot of kids, the adults cut the shapes out. However, when I did this in an actual beaver meeting, it was possible to supervise the children with safety scissors.

We also put strips of double sided sticky tape on the clothes pegs, on both sides of the peg, and then we attatched the cut-out beavers to it.

The kids absolutely adored this project – the specified use for these beaver pegs is to keep your wellington boots together but some of the children opted to only stick one picture onto the peg so they could use it as a clip!

June 3, 2007

A Garden Dragon for Fathers’ Day

Filed under: Art and Drawings,Fathers Day,General — sarah @ 10:53 pm


My fathers’ day present to my dad was a garden dragon ornament, depicting a dragon emerging from an egg, and it’s made out of a cement/concrete type material, created to look like stone. My dad appeared to be chuffed with this dragon and proceeded to paint it in fantastic detail, bringing it to life!

He loves painting toy solders and little scale models and when my brother and I were young, made us a whole fantastic range of toys! I asked him if he would write up what he did to the dragon – here is his account. 🙂

MY FATHERS’ DAY PRESENT It was a dragon, as mentioned above, given to me by my daughter. As the finish was a rather dull grey I decided to paint it to resemble a real dragon. Of course as I have never seen a real one I was forced to guess at the colouring. I was very happy to find that the eyes are made of glass and look really authentic.

THE METHOD I used an artist’s brush, with bristles that come to a point, for the fine details. I believe it is called a rigger, and I used a larger one of the same type for the bigger areas. However, I think that an artist’s flat brush might have been better for covering these parts. The paint was Humbrol enamel, which I purchased in a model shop. It is also available in hobby shops. As it is a garden ornament, I finished the whole thing in yacht varnish to protect the paint from the elements.

The egg is the largest part of the ornament that I wanted as a single colour, so I painted it first – grey. Well, yes it is only a shade lighter than the cement but it is somehow better if the whole thing is covered in paint. As there are some pieces of shell that are inside out, I highlighted them with grey paint mixed with yellow.

The next part is, of course, the dragon. I chose a dark green with which I painted the whole dragon, then I mixed a little yellow and/or white into the green to create a lighter green for highlighting the creature’s throat and chest. I also highlighted around the eyes.

The dragon’s claws were painted yellow and the ridge behind the claws a dark grey. I added some black to the light grey.

The nostrils are black and the cracks in the shell are a very dark grey; I added a lot of black this time.

The base the egg stands on is either a representation of earth or rock, so I used light, medium and dark brown paint. I used actual dark brown paint for the dark brown areas and simply added yellow in medium and large amounts for the other two shades.

Finally, the dragon’s mouth. This is pink and the tongue is red. I just added white to the red to obtain the pink.

I should have already mentioned that it is a really good idea to make sure that the paint is dry before adding another colour. With model enamel I usually leave two hours drying time between coats. If it is going to stand in the garden I would leave it overnight to dry completely, before adding a coat of yacht varnish to protect the paint from weather damage.