Paper+Mixed Media

Hello Whipup Readers! I’m Elizabeth of Nuno Magazine and my sister Rachel and I just completed our 5th issue, Star Gazing. The projects in Star Gazing were inspired by a walk in the woods on an autumn evening. I very happy to be here today, sharing one of those projects with you. This little hooty owl was created using a cereal box, a grocery bag and a little acrylic craft paint.

Paper Bag Owl How-to:

#1: Use the templates [Download the owl templates from here] to cut the owl body and wings from cereal box card. Paint the plain brown paper side of the pieces with black acrylic (or tempera) paint.

#2: Slit a large paper grocery bag up the side and cut off the bottom.

#3: Flatten the resulting rectangular piece. You may need to use a medium heated iron to smooth out folds.

#4: Paint an approximately 6 x 6 inch/15 cm section of the bag with yellow paint. Paint the remainder of the bag with black paint. Let paint dry.

#5: Cut eyes and beak from yellow painted portion of bag. There is no template for the beak.

#6: Cut black portion of bag into 1.5 inch/4 cm strips. Use scissors to fringe each strip. Leave 4 strips unfringed.

#7: Beginning at the base of the owl and the tips of the wings, use stick glue to attach an unfringed strip to each piece (on the printed side). Continue adding fringed strips until you have reached the tips of the ears and the tops of the wings.

#8: Use white liquid glue to attach eyes, beak and wings to the owl’s body.

#9: Use a paint brush with a small amount of yellow paint on it to lightly brush the tops of the wings and tips of the ears to define those areas.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

November (and a little bit into December) is book month at

The Art-Full Tree; ornaments to make.  Jan Gilliam and Christina Westenberger.  The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2011.

If your thoughts are turning to decorating your tree this year, you might like to have a look at The Art-Full Tree, which is inspired by objects in the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum.

The book begins with a quick history of the museum, that was started by Abby Aldrich Rockerfeller who started collecting and exhibiting folk art in the 1920’s, at a time when common crafts and amateur arts were not highly valued.  She left her collection to the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and this collection forms the core of the current Folk Art Museum in Willamsburg, Virginia.

The museum has had a long and treasured tradition of decorating a holiday tree every year with ornaments made by staff, volunteers and guests of the museum.  Some of these ornaments are inspired by items in the collection, and others are based on the skills of each contributor.

The Art-Full Tree presents 33 ornament projects that have been inspired by some of the most popular items in the museum collection.  The book is an interesting combination of museum catalogue, inspiration notebook, project instructions and stitch guide and template sections.

Each project features the original artwork, with a short history of the item and some information on the artist or style of art.  There is a very detailed materials list, and step by step instructions and photographs on making each ornament.

There is a wide range of crafting techniques used in the creation of the ornament projects, including needlepoint, paper craft, punch needle embroidery, foil work, metal punching, painting and collage.  My favourite ornaments are Recycled-Card star (inspired by a compass design quilt), Scherenscnitte Birds (inspired by a cutwork picture), and Aluminium Butterfly (inspired by a metal weathervane).

I really like the process of taking a formal artwork in a formal setting, that is meaningful to the people around it, and appropriating all or part of the work to inspire the creation of anther objet, in this case tree ornaments.  I feel that readers of The Art-Full Tree will be inspired to look around them, in their local museums, public spaces, or around their own treasured and meaningful objects, and to create ornaments for their own family trees that are small and perfect reminders of things that they love.

To win a copy of The Art-Full Tree, please leave a comment on this review.  The comments will be open for 72 hours, and a winner will be selected at random.  Good luck!  Congratulations to Becky!

About the reviewer: Kate is a busy mother of four with many craft projects on the go, including, but not limited to, crochet, knitting, sewing, dyeing, paper making, spinning, felting and bookbinding. Kate has challenges in the areas of finishing things, saying no and craft supplies storage. She also has a very very patient and tolerant husband.




Steph is the founder/managing editor of Modern Parents Messy Kids and mom to a 2 year old son and 1 year old daughter. She started MPMK as a resource for helping parents to engage their kids, organize their life, and add a little style to their home. For more inspiration on things to make and do, check out MPMK’s newest feature – The Make & Play Vault.

Hello there Whip Up readers, thank so much for having me today! I’m excited to be here sharing with you a new technique I recently discovered via (where else) pinterest. Once I discovered this method, I was immediately drawn to it.

It’s a very easy way to produce the type of modern prints you might find in my favorite stores (West Elm, Anthropolgie, Crate and Barrel, etc.). When done on paper and mounted in a frame, these prints make fabulous wall art for a variety of room styles.

Check out the example above here (also seen on the set of the Nate Berkus Show).

Options really start to open up when you apply this method to fabric. I’m considering a table runner, cloth napkins, or some tea towels in fall colors. And the pattern on a large throw pillow would add a great pop of color to a neutral chair or couch.

What I love most about this project is that it can be easily adapted to kids of all ages. To illustrate this, I’ll be sharing with you how I made a print for our play space as well as how I let my 2 year old experiment with the process. Ready to get started? All you need is some yarn, paint and brushes, and a few blocks.

I began by wrapping a small wooden block with yarn. Then I knotted the end and used some tape to secure it in place. If you don’t have a block, not to worry. All you really need is anything “wrappable” in a shape of your choosing. We made Easter prints earlier this year by cutting egg shapes out of cereal box cardboard and wrapping them with yarn.

Once your printing block is ready, take a brush and apply your paint. The yarn can be pretty absorbent at first so you’ll need to experiment with how much paint to apply on a practice sheet of paper. It’s also a good idea to brush on the paint in only one direction so the yarn fibers lay flat.

Once you have your technique perfected, start stamping. I made my pattern by stamping, turning my block 90 degrees and stamping, returning it to the original position and stamping, back to 90 degrees and so on and so forth. The process is a surprisingly cathartic way to spend nap time.

To add interest, I layered on some orange paint for a few of the squares. It’s a little difficult to see the effect here but it gives the print some nice depth in real life.

Here’s the finished product. I like the look of the pattern running off the borders so I made my print larger then the matte of my frame. A grouping with an odd number of prints made in the same way but in different colors would be a nice solution for a large empty wall.

This project is a great introduction to printmaking for school aged children because it’s simple enough for them to have success. You can also do a more free-form version with toddlers. One of my mantras over at Modern Parents Messy Kids is that beginning art is all about the process, not the product. With that in mind, I wrapped a circular block in yarn for my son and let him loose with a large sheet of craft paper.

At first he used so much paint that the yarn acted more as a relief. Eventually he refined his technique applying the paint and was able to make his own version of a block print.

That’s it, thanks again to Kathreen for having me! I hope you enjoyed this project and that you’ll try it soon. Please also stop by Modern Parents Messy Kids and say hi!


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

LiEr is a wife to Dave and mom to three little girls Emily (7), Jenna (almost 5) and Kate (3). She used to be a high-school physics teacher and sometime school counselor and now gratefully stays home and sleeps in. She likes making things and divides her crafting time between sewing (too much) and cardboard (nowhere near enough). She blogs at ikatbag where she writes tutorials because she hasn’t quite managed to beat the teacher part of her into retirement. She also has a small nutella problem.

Cardboard Easel With Chalkboard On One Side And Dry-Erase Board On The Other Made Out Of A Pizza Box And That Folds Shut And Has A Bonus Homemade Eraser

Hello everyone! My oldest daughter Emily is having a birthday party in September and one of the crafts are these cardboard easels made from pizza boxes. Long ago, I made largish tabletop easels, inspired by Maya’s easels. My girls loved them – we taped paper to them and they went wild with their paint brushes. For the party, I thought mini-easels would be the perfect size for the guests to make and decorate.

This being a school-themed party, we’re making them two-in-one: chalkboard on one side, and dry-erase board on the other. We’re also throwing in a homemade eraser and some dry-erase markers and chalk that store inside the easel when it’s closed.

Because I couldn’t find 14 small pizza boxes, I had to cut and assemble my own boxes. Obviously, you don’t have to make yours from scratch – it should be easy enough to save one pizza box from a meal!

You will need:

  • One small pizza box (ours was a 10″)
  • Extra piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box
  • One milk (or juice) jug cap
  • One small piece of foam (we used high-density)
  • Chalkboard contact paper
  • Dry-erase contact paper
  • The usual suspects: craft knife, scissors, hot glue gun

Note: You can buy chalkboard contact paper and dry-erase contact paper online (try amazon) and at some craft stores. An alternative is to use chalkboard paint and regular clear contact paper over white card stock.

Step 1: Glue down the center flaps of the pizza box so the four shallow walls of the board are upright.

Step 2: Cut a piece of corrugated cardboard the same size as the top of the pizza box. Hot-glue this to the front flap (the one that tucks into the front of the box). This is the finished bare easel, with its flap tucked into the base.

Step 3: Cut a piece of dry-erase contact paper to size, peel and stick it onto one side of the open easel. Repeat for the chalkboard contact paper, sticking that to the opposite side of the open easel. The easel is completed!

Step 4: Cut a piece of foam so that it is bigger than the milk jug cap. This piece will fit nicely inside the cap, but it will be too tall. You can trim yours to the right height, and to a more aesthetically pleasing shape if you like.

Step 5: Hot glue the foam piece to the inside of the cap, squeezing it in so that it expands and fits snugly inside the cap. This works really well with the dry-erase side of the easel but we found that we had to dampen it a little to get the chalkboard absolutely clean. Add chalk, dry-erase markers and play school! Or write silly messages to no one in particular.

When you’re done playing, store everything inside the easel, fold and shut the lid, and put it away for another day.


For more kids craft, creative ideas and activities go to the Action Pack website

Patricia Zapata is a graphic designer and paper crafter. She is the author of Home, Paper, Scissors: Decorative Paper Accessories for the Home and the owner of A Little Hut

Starburst flower

With just paper and simple materials make this flower that would make a wonderful addition to any gift wrap idea or place it in a frame box for a simple (and economic!) wall art décor piece.


  • 1 sheet of letter-sized card stock
  • Scissors
  • Black colored pencil
  • Cotton ball or soft rag
  • Glue
  • Wooden clips
  • ½” (13mm) circle punch
  • Small piece of yellow cardstock
  • Stickles or glitter
  • Template – download here as a PDF


  • 1. Cut out the petals and circle base in the handout.
  • 2. Using a black colored pencil, lightly color (holding the pencil on its side) three-quarters of each petal.
  • 3. Rub each petal to smooth out the black color.
  • 4. Crease and fold all the petals a two-thirds point, keeping the colored side on the inside of the fold. Fold each crease in half and glue (use only a dot of glue) the edges together. Using a wooden clip, hold all the petals closed, at the crease, until they are dry.
  • 5. Remove the clips and glue four petals to each other very close to the base. Hold them together with a wooden clip until they are dry. Do the same to the other four petals.
  • 6. Fan out the petals and glue them to the circular base. Make sure to add glue between each set of the two sets of four petals. You may have to place a heavy object on top of the center of the flower while it dries completely.
  • 7. Using the circular punch, cut out of a small circle out the yellow cardstock. Add stickles to the circle and glue it to the top of the flower.
  • 8. The center of the flower can be replaced by quilling techniques, a button, brads or any other circular item you have handy. The color of paper and contrasting colored pencil is another easy way to customize the flower. Have fun and experiment!