Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Crafting with Students: Christmas Tree Cards

Like last year, I have early childhood literacy with the 1st and 2nd graders.  Thankfully, I only have one period of it a week since the classes are small and were combined for this (as opposed to the 5 literacy classes I had last year - PreK twice, K, 1st, and 2nd).  The last Friday that I had with the kids before Christmas was an easier one to do because I knew it would be a Christmas book.  As you can see, I chose a Berenstain Bears book.  This one is longer than the regular books, and it rhymes.

I had the kids make layered Christmas trees for Christmas cards!  They really enjoyed it, and I was glad because I was very happy to show it to them before we started.  I had cut strips out of my leftover cardstock (a lot of my older cardstock that doesn't cut well in the Cricut so it was the perfect opportunity to use it) and used a Martha Stewart border punch to punch through each strip.  Then I layered it on a white triangle and trimmed off the edges.  The last step was to add the tree stump.

Each kid got the white triangle, and then I allowed them to come up and choose 2 strips of color each so that all the kids would have a better choice of colors while putting their trees together.  They would glue them down and then come up for 2 more colors.  They kept doing this until the tree was filled.  I then gave them the  Oriental Trading foam adhesive squares to pop the tree up from the card.  I used the thickest squares that come in the package, which I don't really use in my own crafting as it makes it difficult to fit in the envelope. I was happy to finally have a use for some of them!  Plus, the kids really liked that it was really popped up from the card.

There was just enough time for most of them to write their messages in the cards.  Here are the 2nd graders with their completed cards (the 1st grade had already gone back to their classroom).

I'm eager to figure out if there are other papercrafting ideas I can use with the students at my school!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Giveaway at Creating from the Heart!

Melissa from Creating from the Heart is having an amazing end of the year/Christmas giveaway!  It includes a $150 gift card to Michaels (all those cartridges and paper!), a Copic air-brushing starter set system (it'd be amazing to find another way to use my Copics), a Copic color swatch book (so difficult to keep track of what colors I have and how they look), and a 36 Copic Ciao marker set (it'd be cool to have more colors so I can actually blend!).  Click here to check it out :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Crafting with Students - Christmas Ornaments

Every year at school, we put up a big Christmas tree in front of the main office.  The students in all the classes make an ornament that will be put on the tree (that's how small our school is; we can fit all the ornaments on one tree!).  Since I'm now officially a papercrafter, I knew I wanted to do something fancier with paper!  Most teachers get those fun foam sets (ex. the ones from Oriental Trading), but I wanted to expose my kids to the fun of paper!

The night before, I cut strips of paper out.  I didn't mind using this because these papers (a DCWV value pack) actually made my Cricut mats really fuzzy.

Then I scored all the strips.  It wasn't difficult, but doing 14 of these gets kinda tiring especially when I was so ready for bed!

I taught the kids how to fold the strips back and forth like an accordian, and then I glued it with Mod Podge.  We let it dry, then we put on a circle of cardstock in the opposite color on top to hold it together.  

I also taped silver ribbon to the backs of those first circles so that it could hang on the tree.  Each kid then got 2 white cardstock circles to design.  One side had their name.  The other side had a Christmas picture (trees, penguins, snowmen, etc.).  It was then glued to both sides.  

I think they turned out really well (the one in the top row isn't finished because the girl needed more time, so I glued it on the next day)!  I didn't realize that paper rosettes were so sturdy.  The kids really liked them, and I was glad to share with them some fun with paper!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

That Extra 20%

I've been watching those Michaels ads for a sale on Recollections paper for a few weeks.  Every Sunday morning, I have checked.  There was a sale for 3 for $10, but I'm in it for the REAL sales!  And alas, this morning there was the 4 for $10 sale WITH the extra 20% coupon to use from 4-9pm today only!  Yay!  I had to make sure I hit the store after church because I am completely out of some colors!  (I apologize for the sideways pictures; I rotated them, but they won't adjust.)

I bought 3 packs of the primary colors.  I never thought I'd need just the primary because I had the Wausau 12x12, but I guess after Cricut-ing for quite some time, I eventually ran out!  I love all the other Recollections colors like Soda Pop and Butterfly, but I guess when it comes to some cuts, the basic colors are a must!

I also use a ton of black with the Cricut as it's often a layer.  It's also awesome for those silhouette cuts!  I have the Wausau 12x12 of that too, but I'm getting close to finishing that pack, and I'd like to save my 12x12s for things that actually need to be that big.  That's why I bought 3 of these as well.

Since it was 4 for $10, I needed to pick 2 more packs.  I have enough of the other colors and the kraft for the moment, so I got a pack of just red since that is the color I ran out of quickly due to it being used rather often AND for Christmas cards.  Then I got a pack of white so I can use it for card bases (I have a 250 stack of Wausau white cardstock that's good for layering and such, but it's rather flimsy for card bases).  I hope it's as durable as the colors.

As I was just strolling up and down the aisles, I stopped by the punches since they were 40% off.  With the extra 20% off, it made it a teensy bit cheaper than just a 50% off.  I have been looking at a lot of paper flower arrangements for parties and weddings, and I was thinking about doing the centerpieces for my wedding.  I don't know if it'll be possible, but I'm always intrigued by the pictures I find!  I saw this when it first came out on, and I was tempted to get it.  Thankfully, I saw the picture of this in the Michaels ad because I had never seen it at my M's beforehand!  Yay for sales + coupons!  It cost $8.15 (regularly $16.99).  I'm excited to try it after I watch some videos and make sure that I want to keep it.

The last thing I purchased was Recollections cling stamps.  I had seen this nativity set way before the Christmas season, but when I went there recently on Black Friday, I couldn't find it!  For some reason, I was able to find it today.  It was on clearance for $4.99 so I couldn't use the extra 20% off, but I bought it because I didn't want to miss out on it.  Personally, I'm not so sure I like the kids dressed up as animals, haha, but I love all the other stamps!

Well, that was my mini haul!  Hope you enjoyed seeing some of my new goodies!