Friday, October 2, 2009

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Creating With Colors: How to Make a Fall Foliage Wreath

Now that it is officially fall, it's time to take down all the warm-weather decorations and put up some reds, yellows, oranges, and browns. This project is easy enough for a child as young as a preschooler to complete (with your help of course).

Today's Project: Fall Foliage Wreath

Ask your child to create a wreath of leaves with fall colors, such as brown, red, orange, yellow, green, and purple.

Supplies Needed:

1. A cardboard ring (in a size that will fill the space you have in mind for hanging your wreath). We cut ours out of the side of a cardboard box.

2. Colorations Brown Tempera Paint

3. A Colorations Chubby Paint Brush

4. A Colorations No-Mess Paint Cup

5. All-Purpose White Glue

6. 24pk Magic Color Scratch Leaves Kit (Comes with 12 wooden styluses and 24 ribbon pieces for hanging)

7. Single Hole Punch

8. Plastic Trash Bag

Step 1: Lay the cardboard ring right-side up on top of the unfolded trash bag. Then paint the top side with brown paint.

Tip #1: A little paint goes a long way. You do not need to pour too much into the cup to start. You can always add more. For better coverage, apply two thin coats.

Step 2: Decide how many leaves in each color you will need to cover the cardboard ring. How much the leaves overlap is up to you.

Step 3: Using a wooden stylus, scratch a pattern, a picture, or words to decorate each leaf. Like with real leaves, no two will turn out exactly alike.

Tip #2: As an alternative to these scratch paper leaves, you could cut leaf shapes out of construction paper and decorate them with markers. I also found these very cool Liquid Watercolor Leaves which are made of diffusing paper. If your child likes to use watercolor or markers, these leaves would make a fine substitute for this project.

Step 4: By the time you and your child are finished decorating all the leaves, the paint on the cardboard ring should be mostly dry. Look at your ring and figure out where you would like the top of your wreath to be and then punch a hole about a half inch away from the edge. Then tie the ends of your ribbon piece together and loop it through the hole in the cardboard creating a knot. (If you are using a substitute for the scratch paper kit, then you can just cut a 6" piece of ribbon from your own stash.)

Step 5: Now it's time to start gluing on your leaves. Try to alternate your colors so that they are evenly spread out around the wreath and have them all pointing either clockwise or counter-clockwise.

Tip #3: Put aside your child's favorite leaves and any that may have writing on them so they can be glued on last. This will prevent them from being obstructed by other leaves.

This is the final result of our project:

Our kindergartner was very pleased with the way our wreath came out. He also said that it was a fun project. This was his first time experiencing scratch paper, so I was happy that he enjoyed using it.

Tip #4: I recommend that this wreath be hung indoors only. Since all the materials are paper, the wreath will start to curl and buckle if exposed to moisture in the air.

Thank you to Discount School Supply for providing the Colorations art supplies for this project.