Thursday, June 29, 2006

Soft Turtle

This soft turtle is by Isobel, age 7.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Decoupage boxes

We scanned our masking tape and watercolor patterns (see previous post). Then we made patterns with our patterns. Hannah layered transparent versions of the patterns on top of each other. Lucy preferred to keep the pattern samples opaque. Then we printed out the pattern pages and made decoupage boxes.

Paint pieces of paper with white glue, library paste, or decoupage medium. Attach to box. Apply additional designs (clip art, drawings) as desired. Coat entire box with thin layer of medium. Use a squeegee or the edge of a popsicle stick to remove air bubbles, spread glue evenly, and remove excess glue.

You can line your box with felt for a jewelry box feel.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Patterns with masking tape

Lay out a grid of masking tape onto paper. Use water color to fill in the squares. Let colors mix and blend for nice effects. You can also sprinkle salt into the wet paint. When the paint dries, remove the masking tape. These areas will be white, but with interesting borders. You can scan the finished pattern to make wrapping paper, cards, and other products.

Design by Ronnie, age 9.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Our Own Stuffies

We made our own stuffies using Jen Bennett's project concept. Here are some cute little birdies by Jay and Ruby.

Fun with Flik

We scanned Flik and then dumped her into PhotoShop, where we made her Sharpie-drawn planes even flatter and brighter using the eyedropper and paint bucket tools. Then we made patterns -- now we have Flik wrapping paper! Here's one that uses the "Hi" pattern that Hannah made a few weeks ago:

We also made more zine boxes for storage of Flik sketches and other paper productions.

Zine boxes by Hannah and Ronnie, age 9. "Hi" pattern by Hannah; photoshopped with help from Julia, age 42.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Flik's World

Flik was born last Wednesday. She is Orr's creation, but she has spread quickly through Orr's circle of friends, sometimes as a chant, sometimes as a fit of laughter, and someimes as a simple line drawing. Flik's real name is Frederick. She is an Asian super-model. Her boyfriend's name is Jennifer.

I confess to understanding little of this, but I like the simplicity of Flik's graphic presentation.

Designs by Orr, Ronnie, and Hannah, age 9.

Father's Day Card

Card with cut out heart, triple pop up feature, and a fresh flower.

Design by Hannah, age 9, for Ken, age 48.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Trader Joe promotes design (along with the brand)

Our local TJs is running a summer art contest: kids choose their favorite product and illustrate it. For the winning selections, a staff artist will add TJ's signature hand-drawn type, and the completed posters will be displayed near the product.

Design submissions by Hannah (salsa) and Ronnie (cookies). Age 9.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Rock and Roll

The rock and roll theme inspired my crew, but it was the scene more than the logo.

Drawing by Ronnie Hecht, age 9.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Band Logos

Do you have a band, or do you just want to you have one? Real or not, every band needs a cool name, and a cool way to write it.

1. Think of interesting words or phrases. The ones we came up all sound a little bit dangerous or weird.

2. Choose a phrase you like and try writing it in an interesting way.

3. Put your logo on gear for your band: CD’s, t-shirts, and stickers. Write it on your notebook, your shoes, your hoodie, or your denim jacket.

Logo graphics designed by Jay and Hannah

download pdf of book spread

See funny Band Logo "tutorial" on

Monday, June 12, 2006

No Mess Sand Art

Eliot wanted to do sand paintings. We found this great website. Hours of fun. No sand.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Zine files

Store your zines in these handy zine files. Cover magazine files with collage or wrapping paper. Decorate with black and white clip art -- it stands out nicely from the patterned background. You can label the spines with fancy initials (more clip art).

We found cheap white cardboard files at IKEA (5 pack for under $3). We're thinking of doing the same project with cereal boxes.

Zine boxes by Eliot, Izzy and Lucy, age 6.

Pencil Dragon

Pencil, pipe cleaner, and play-dough.

Dragon with designer, Eliot, age 6.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Place cards

Make place cards for your next party, whether it's tea for your stuffed animals or a grown-up family dinner. A place card goes at everyone's plate, letting each guest know where to sit. People and stuffies alike enjoy knowing that the hostess has a plan, and it saves a lot of chaos at the last minute if everyone goes right to his or her spot when it's time to serve. Ruby made these place cards by rubber-stamping the initials of each guest, and then drawing a surprise picture to go with each one.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Make Your Own Stuffie

This adorable puppy is sewn from circles of fleece. You can come up with countless designs based on the same circle template. Use triangle ears to make a kitty, a beak for a birdy, or eight furry legs for an octopus. Get wild and make chubby monsters and aliens. The concept is designed by Jen Bennett, a graphic designer for children's products, who also carries her own line of stuffed animals on This one is especially for kids to make. For full instructions, visit