Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Garden Gnomes

I loved this garden gnome project posted by Laura at Painted Paper:
I decided to make a simplified version for my class of adults with learning disabilities.
We made a background by sponge painting with different shades of green paint. I emphasised that they should only use a small amount of paint at a time and should still have some white paper showing through. Some of the backgrounds looked so good it was almost a pity to cover them up at all!
We put these aside to dry and started working on the gnomes. I wanted to provide templates which were as easy to draw round and cut out as possible and came up with 3 triangles - different sizes for the body, hat and beard. With the help of their carers, students cut the triangles out of the painted paper they made a few weeks ago. I gave out circles for faces and black paper boots which I had cut out for them earlier and we glued all the bits together to make the gnomes. The next step was to draw a face and add any other details they could think up. Most of my students are unable to draw with any control and so they rely on their carers for this part. Some of the carers really went to town and created some very artistic gnomes as you can see from the photos!
We had time left to make a quick toadstool from half a paper plate. We glued the gnome and the toadstool onto the background and some students added some flowers to complete the garden scene.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Love Bugs

For this Valentine's Day project we started by making pompoms using the 'doughnut' method. I have made pompoms with my group before and it is a nice activity which students find quite absorbing. I pre-cut lengths of wool and also provided plastic needles. The needles are easier for students to hold and their weight makes it easier to pass the wool through the hole. It is important not to make the hole in the doughnut ring too big or else it will take all day to finish. A smaller hole results in quite scruffy looking pompoms but students can give them a haircut at the end to neaten them up if they like. To turn them into lovebugs students used templates to cut heart-shaped feet from felt and made eyes from white felt circles which they drew on with black markers. You could use a glue gun to attach the feet and eyes but I find the best method is double-sided carpet tape (which is VERY sticky). I pre-stuck tape to the back of the felt before they cut out the shapes.

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Painted Paper

Time to make more painted paper!
For some reason, this workshop didn't work as well as the last session we spent making painted paper. The last time round it was a relaxing, therapeutic session and the students were really absorbed in the painting. Today it felt more like a competition to see who could paint the most paper in the shortest time. After only 30 minutes I could see that the students had had enough. On the upside, I now have LOADS of painted paper for future classes!

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Chinese Dragons

In this workshop we celebrated Chinese New Year by making some fierce dragon masks. I began by handing out some photocopies of a dragon mask and some metallic markers. Everyone had to colour in two masks. The students spent lots of time on these. Once they had finished, I asked the carers to cut the eyes and nose out of one of the masks. I showed them how to make little zig-zags from scraps of paper which we glued onto the backs of the eyes and noses. These were then glued onto the other mask to make a goggly 3D effect. The mask was then glued onto a paper plate for strength. I gave out some strips of red and orange tissue so that students could make some flames to come out of the dragon's mouth and finally we made a spiky fringe from scraps of painted paper.

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

My first award!

I'm honoured to have been given the Liebster Blog award by Molly Stewart at