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children’s art studio

Ice Cream Truck Sculpture

Warm weather brings childhood memories of an ice cream truck sounding and strolling neighborhood streets.  In our recent workshop ~ BEEP BEEP! SWEET TREATS, artists created ~ Ice Cream Truck Sculptures!  Love that we still have a few days to celebrate and soak up summer!  The workshop week was spectacular and our mini makers were beaming to exhibit their one-of-a-kind creations.  Along with an ice cream truck, each artist also created a mini picnic table and  handmade sweet treats for imaginative + interactive play!  Turn it up and take a peek at our short + sweet clip to an ice cream truck melody, highlighting the wondrous week!

You may have seen our Collaged Ice Cream Cones created with children in our outdoor art studio for a recent downtown event.  My friend Bar Rucci, over at Art Bar Blog was a huge inspiration in creating these paper sprinkled + cherry topped cones.  Take a look at her fantastic process creating Paper Mache Ice Cream Sundaes and Cardboard Ice Cream Cones!  Here’s a little secret, Barbara has a beyond inspiring book coming out this fall which I’ve had the opportunity to preview (cover to cover) and preorder ~ Art Workshop for Children: How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences.  All I can say is reserve your copy today, it’s truly one of the BEST BOOKS for creating with children that’s ever hit the printing press.  Personally promise it will be a studio go-to and gem that you’ll open again and again!

On a side note, Handmade Charlotte just shared the cutest + tiniest + tastiest treat, Gingerbread Ice Cream Trucks!  Maybe you’ve also seen Hello Wonderful’s DIY Pretend Play Ice Cream Cones using plaster?  Just a wee bit in love with both ideas!

Enrollment is currently underway and filling quickly for our 2016/17 School Year {mixed-media + hands-on} Art Workshops.  Follow our artful adventure on Instagram and Facebook, would absolutely love to connect, collaborate, and create community through children + creativity!

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Camping Under the Night Sky

Happy Summertime!  Hope you’re enjoying some much deserved outdoor time with family and friends venturing in the GREAT outdoors!  We’re definitely soaking up and savoring summer and heading into the mountains for camping getaways!  Excited to share with you these outdoor + camping + canvas + landscape paintings created in our recent children’s workshop, SPRING IS IN THE AiRTIST!  This mixed-media painting was inspired by one of our favorite wanderlust painters, Katie Daisy and her beautiful piece, Let’s Sleep Under the Stars!  Take a peek at Katie’s inspiring paintings and our painting process with children!  Thank you @katiedaisy for your painterly inspiration, adore your style, whimsical spirit, and passion for the outdoors!

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Springtime Owlets

Excited to share with you~ SPRINGTIME OWLETS, recently handcrafted in our 6-10-year-old workshop: STITCH + SEW!  Over on our Instagram, we’ll be sharing with Red Ted Art’s @Kidscraft101, as they’re featuring #fabriccrafts for their weekly theme!  Anyone can enter, simply tag your weekly themed photo #kidscrafts101 over on Instagram.  Then the dream team trio- @redtedart + @babbledabbledo + @incredibusy, along with a special surprise guest, will then judge and announce the winners!  This project was definitely a fabric favorite, as each artist designed, constructed, and hand stitched one-of-a-kind soft sculptures.  Take a peek at our creature collection of springtime owlets that just hatched in our studio!

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Art Studio: A Place to Make + Create

Excited to share with you our art studio, the place where we make and create!  Most often we are featuring DIY projects that we’ve created within our School Year + Summer ~hands on + mixed media~ Art Workshops with children.  A few weeks ago, my superstar-art-friend Meri Cherry (yes, that’s her really name…don’t you just love it), over at Meri Cherry Blog mentioned that she was thinking about creating an artful roundup, featuring art studios + creative spaces!  Honored that she invited us to join in!  As some of you know, HANDMAKERY was recently invited to join a group of 20 international bloggers focused on creating art with children, the Rockin’ Art Moms!  It has been amazing and truly inspiring to connect with this fabulous group of women!  We’re so excited that you’ll get a chance to not only peek into our studio, but you’ll also get to say h-e-l-l-o and peek into the studios + creative spaces of some of our favorite Rockin’ Art Moms!  Enjoy the tour!

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Masks In the Making

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DIY Woodland Valentine Box

LOVE IS IN THE AIRtist!  Happy Valentine’s Day!  We hope you have a love-ly day planned with your little lovelies!  We are SO excited to give you a peek into our latest workshop HANDMADE WITH LOVE: making + creating for Valentine’s Day!  All winterLONG we’ve been dreaming of creating our original + one-of-a-kind “Woodland  Valentine’s Box” and now it is here!  Oh la la, all the endless possibilities!  Enjoy our little + festive + Valentine DIY!

woodland valentine box |

Materials + Supplies + Our Process:

Each artist collected their own woodland + natural treasures in a sweet basket based on a list we had sent home which included:

• stones/river rock • snail shells • acorns • small twigs/driftwood • smaller wood forms • pinecones • dried pods • dried leaves • feathers • moss • more!  We encouraged each artist be an observant treasure hunter out on exploration!

• a box + lid with a cut opening on top + paper mache + dictionary pages

• a sheet of moss for the box top + additional moss in varied shades of green

• paint for box top edges

• hot glue + glue gun

• scissors + glue stick + white glue

• repurposed cardboard tubes + paint + brushes + corks

• air dry clay for mushrooms + paint

• empty thread spools + washi tapes for feet

• woodland trees to paint

• tapes + stickers + twine + shiny stars for garland

• decorative paper straws + wire + eye screws + star wire

• miniature vellum envelopes + card for personalized letter

woodland valentine box |

We used repurposed dictionary pages to symbolize “vintage love letters” and to provide one of our favorite  elements, text.  Both the inside + outside of each box needed to be paper mached.  The children loved the paper mache process, working with their hands + getting messy + creating as a community of little owls!

woodland valentine box |

We used repurposed cardboard tubes to create fallen forrest logs and to create little mushroom bases.  Tubes were easy to cut, shape, paint and lightweight to glue!

woodland valentine box |

The children loved our collection of sparkly + shiny stars, metallic stars on wire, plus festive Valentine paper straws to create their base for their decorative garland.  We found some lovely bottle brush trees to painted pink and used air dry clay to create sweet + little + hand-sculpted mushrooms!

woodland valentine box |

Several low-temp glue guns were brought out so the children could arrange their  collected + woodland box top treasures to glue down.

woodland valentine box |

A peek through the woods as this little one heads to detail, just after getting her woodland treasures arranged and glued down.

woodland valentine box |

A few weeks before our workshop began, we had over 100 thread spools donated to our studio.  These quickly became the feet on our boxes, with the fabulous addition of washi tapes!  Each artist enjoyed creating their own distinct + personalized patterns on all four feet!  We were SO excited about this detail, that was just meant to be!  We had just the right amount of spool sets for our artists and of course a never ending collection of washi tape.  Winding tape on spools provided just the perfect amount of creative coordination for our 6 – 9 year olds as they teamed up to assist one another!  The feet were then glued on all fur corners.

woodland valentine box |

A four feet closeup, demonstrating just how this addition gave our Woodland Valentine’s Boxes a raised + pedestal like feel!  Definitely a favorite + personalized addition to set this project off!

woodland valentine box |

Minutes before “painting white polkadots began” on the mushroom tops!

woodland valentine box |

Extra long + wooden handled cotton swabs worked as a fabulous + fun tool for the polkadot detail!

woodland valentine box |

Each artist crafted a sweet + handmade garland using white stickers + polkadot stickers + washi tapes + red and white twine + marker, along with a personalized tag with their name for our mini-art exhibit!  The variety and individualized designs were so fun!

woodland valentine box |

Detailing + dotting the mushrooms…

woodland valentine box |

woodland valentine box |

woodland valentine box |

woodland valentine box |

A closeup of a woodland forest!  Here you can see the opening for letters of love!

woodland valentine box |

woodland valentine box |

We had each of our HANDMAKERY families bring an extra special + handmade + one-of-a-kind card + envelope to our mini-art exhibit + recognition ceremony to gift their artist!  It was so special to see each family deliver their handmade Valentine to their little one and watch all the reactions of joy + love + surprise + excitement!  Many of the children were surprised their parents were also artists and knew how to make handmade cards from scratch.  Most of the families greatly enjoyed the opportunity to create something handmade for their child and this gave them the perfect opportunity!

woodland valentine box |

Another beautiful + handmade card from the heart!  This little one was overjoyed by this special Valentine created by her Mom + Dad!

woodland valentine box |

woodland valentine box |

We had discovered teeny tiny vellum envelopes and had the idea of each artist writing a “VALENtiny” to hide in their woodland forrest, to be discovered by their family!  This VALENtiny (above) was for a special + much loved Daddy!  It was a fabulous night celebrating with all our HANDMAKERY families at our traditional mini-art exhibit + recognition ceremony with the lovely addition of festive cupcakes and punch!  A night filled with love + laughter, memories + connection, definitely a day to remember!  Follow us on Instagram to see more adventures in our art studio!


From The Heart Art Kits: box + tape + art supplies

FROM THE HEART ART KITS were created in HANDMAKERY FROM THE HEART: making + creating to give with 6 – 9 year olds as a project to learn about making to give.  They were then gifted  to local children in need, through our local Angel Tree Program over the holiday season!  Each artist designed a box and shopped for a collection of art supplies with their families, to create their very own + personalized, FROM THE HEART ART KIT!  You could create your kit to gift a loved-one this Valentine’s Day to show your love + appreciation.  It’s a gift from the heart that inspires daily + yearlong C-R-E-A-T-I-V-I-T-Y and M-A-K-I-N-G!

from the heart art kits |

Supplies to create a FROM THE HEART ART KIT {BOX}:

  • Duct tape or Duck Brand Tape in various colors + patterns.  Learn more here about duct vs duck tape!
  • Chromebook or laptop boxes with built-in handles
  • Sharp scissors
  • Measuring system (simple handmade paper guide  or ruler or yard stick)
  • Partner or an extra set of hands

Our Process:

First decide on your color scheme and overall design plan.  Move into cutting duct tape strips using a lot of muscle power to stretch the tape.  Cut using the inner part of the scissors, as this surface is the sharpest.  Remember to hold your tape tight before cutting and be sure it doesn’t twist.  We used a simple handmade paper guide to measure our length for strips, as there were two lengths and this method was much easier for this age group than measuring with a ruler.  Each artist teamed with a partner for the entire duct tape process, which made the cutting + lining up + taping manageable and much more fun!

There was lots of excitement over tape selection as we discovered lots of solid + patterned duct tapes in our duct tape quest!  Creating their own color schemes + patterns was such an expressive piece to this process!  A each artist became a product designer and loved every minute of it!  I definitely got the feeling there would be much more experimentation with duct tape in the future with these individuals- they LOVED working with duct tape, especially because it’s so vibrant and beautiful!

General Materials + Supplies to Include {INSIDE}:

  •  a pair of child scissors (round tip)
  •  a glue stick + bottle of white glue
  •  a simple set of watercolors + brush
  •  a simple set of markers + crayons + colored pencils
  •  a simple sketchbook + pencil
  •  any additional art supply you and your child might want to add!

Additional Materials + Supplies You Might Consider Adding:

  • glitter glue + glitter + sequins
  • yarn + fabric
  • pom poms
  • stickers
  • pipe cleaners + wooden sticks
  • clay
  • pencil sharpener
  • pencil pouch
  • washi + assorted tapes
  • art books + more!

Each artist in our workshop had our general art supply list and went shopping with their families to fill their box to create a very personalized FROM THE HEART ART KIT!

Two+Two bags are always a lovely + local addition!  two+two designs chic reusable bags and bowl covers that are food-safe + eco-friendly.  Based outside of Aspen, Colorado this young company is run by two creative Moms with a passion for style, sewing, Mother Earth, and doing what’s best (and cutest) for their little ones. two+two products keep goods + food fresh and uncontaminated with a proprietary lining that is free of lead, BPA and phthalates. The various sizes of eco-friendly reusable bags accommodate any and all packing, organizing and traveling needs.  We love having the two+two families “two children” part of HANDMAKERY!

A proud + beaming artist just after she had filled her FROM THE HEART ART KIT and it was ready to travel to a child wishing for new art supplies!  Each box was taken to our local Angel Tree Program, where boxes were added into gift bags and gifted!  Thank you to the seventeen HANDMAKERY Families that donated art supplies to gift and a BIG thank you to each artist that gave from the heart, something special that they had created on their own!  Also a huge thank you to Cresta Stewart and the Carbondale Rotary Club for heading-up + organizing + dedicating tons of time and energy to this fabulous project, that benefited so many local children!

If you are looking for another fabulous idea and an all hands-on art making blog!  My art friend, Meri Cherry, has a fabulous post on Art Gift Baskets and What to Put In Them for another take on gifting art supplies which I absolutely LOVE!  Let us know if you decide to create one of your very own for a special Valentine!  xo

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Winter Vintage Cottage


Our Winter Vintage Cottages were created in our workshop HANDMAKERY FROM THE HEART: making + creating to give with 6 – 9 year olds!  The Winter Vintage Cottage was our third project in a six-week session!  The children absolutely LOVED working on these!  Most children created their cottage as special gifts for a loved one!  We were excited that the cottage could light up with a flameless tea light and be used for a nightlight!  With all the windows it has fabulous ambiance!    Our biggest challenge was finding enough of these fabulous little houses, but with friends and family searching across two states, we had just enough for our seventeen HANDMAKERY artists!  Thank goodness for family and friends that searched high and low, making room in their travels for these delightful pieces to inspire!  Here is a little gift to welcome your NEW YEAR focused on making + creating + crafting + exploring creativity + being hands-on + celebrating mixed-media!  Enjoy our DIY to guide and inspire you in making your own Winter Vintage Cottage!

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Handmade little Entrepreneur: pop-up shop + mini-market

Our 2014/2015 SCHOOL YEAR {HANDS-ON + MIXED-MEDIA) ART WORKSHOPS are up and running!  Session I led the way with our workshop: HANDMADE little ENTREPRENEUR designed for artists 6 – 9 years of age!  Shown above, are logos dreamed + designed + created by each artist in our workshop for their individual art + small business, in which they sold their handmade goods in a pop-up shop + mini-market!

In this six-week workshop we focused on small business upstart and crafting handmade goods!  Our last day included friends + family joining in for a pop-up shop + mini-market, shown above!  Website home pages + logos + product packaging were displayed, business cards were given out, and one-of-a-kind handmade goods were sold!  It was truly an amazing experience for everyone involved!  Thinking back to my childhood, I will never forget being involved in our school mini-market and spending summer days creating little businesses with my sister and selling various handmade goods!  Growing up we were lucky to have an arts and craft store at biking distance.  Most of our money was spent at the arts and crafts shop, probably more than we earned.  My childhood is filled with memories of crafting lots of handmade goods, anywhere homemade worry dolls, to leather + concho belts, to elastic + fabric hair ties, to sewn bags and more!

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Mural in the Making


Excited to share a peek into our mural making process, creating with 118 youth, start to finish!

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