Make Marvelous Marble Marquetry

Marquetry is the art of using thin pieces of veneer to craft beautiful images and patterns. Now you can create your own beautiful marble marquetry!

Age: 5+

Duration: 15-30 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Practice fine motor skills while you cut and fold. Encourage early geometry by talking about different shapes, patterns, and types of symmetry.

You’ll Need:

This craft looks like marquetry, but it actually combines a marquetry effect with a technique we call Shapegami. Start by downloading and printing the Shapegami Folding Instructions. This set of instructions includes step-by-step folding instructions for ten different shapes, basic geometric vocabulary, and design ideas. Start by taking the time to discuss different shapes and their attributes! Each of these shapes can be folded with an 8 1/2 x 11″ sheet of paper AND with the special sized rectangles in the marquetry template.

Once students are familiar with the different shapes, they can practice folding them with white printer paper and start thinking about the design they want to make with their shapes. Students can design their own marquetry designs, or choose from the Shapegami idea list. I decided to create a flower design using folded kite shapes.

Once students feel confident, break out your Marble Paper and download the Marble Paper Marquetry Template. It may take some experimenting to see which way you need to put the craft paper into the printer so the lines print on the white side. I used the orange and blue sheets to create a strong color contrast, but you can choose any sheets you like!

Start by carefully cutting out the variously sized rectangles. To make each size easier to find, I sorted my rectangles by size as I cut them. Once your rectangles are all cut out, it’s time to start folding! I folded all my rectangles into kite shapes, keeping them arranged by size. This makes it easier to compose your marquetry design.

To create your marquetry design, start with a piece of white paper. Beginning with the largest of my kite shapes, I used loops of tape to secure each shape to the paper in the design I wanted.

Simply repeat this process using progressively smaller folded shapes, and you will have created a beautiful piece of geometric marquetry art!

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week!

Origami Dinosaurs

Age: 4+

Duration: 10 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Integrate art and science! Exercise fine motor skills. Create adorable take-home art.

You’ll Need:

We loved dinosaurs as children and since the real things are sadly extinct, these adorable paper versions of brontosauruses are the next best thing!

The taller dinosaur is simple to fold, and can be made by students as young as four. Since origami instructions can be complicated and difficult to follow when they are written, we have created a video to show you how to fold this adorable dinosaur:

The longer dinosaur is more challenging to fold, and is more suited to older students. Here is the video with the folding demonstration:

The brontosaurus, or Thunder Lizard, was a four-legged herbivore that lived in the late Jurassic. The largest brontosaurs weighed up to 15 tons and measured up to 22 m (72 ft) long from head to tail. Historically, the Brontosaurus was believed to be too big to support its own weight on dry land, so paleontologists thought they must have lived partly submerged in water, maybe in swamps. Today, however, brontosaurs are thought to have lived just on land.

Ideas

• Once you have folded your brontosaurus, you can add them to birthday or Father’s day cards.
• Use them with our diorama boxes to add pizzazz to research and reports.
• Want to decorate your classroom? Use a hole punch to create holes in your dinosaurs, and string them on yarn to create dinosaur garlands! The 8 different designs and various color schemes of the dinosaur paper will ensure that your garlands will be bright and beautiful.
• Try using our economy origami paper to fold these dinosaurs. The smaller paper and smaller size of the finished dinosaurs makes them perfect for pop-up cards or necklaces!

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week!

Origami Marble Paper Crown

Crown yourself with a simple origami craft that the Greek statues would be proud to wear!

Age: 5+

Duration: 10 Minutes

Learning Outcomes: Exercise fine motor skills as you fold and construct this crafty crown. Create costume pieces for dramatic play.

You’ll Need:

Start with a single sheet of marble sculpture paper. To complete this crown you will need 3-4 sheets of paper, depending on the size of your head but I want to start by walking you through the basic component. Start by folding the sheet diagonally, and cut off the excess. Unfold the triangle; you should have a square sheet. Fold the square sheet in half, then open it, and place the white side up on the table.

For the rest of the folding instructions, I have created a video for you:

1. Fold the top two corners to meet at the center fold line. Your sheet should have a point at one end.
2. Fold the square bottom up to meet the bottom of the arrows. Crease firmly.
3. Fold the folded rectangle up, and flip the whole sheet over. You should have a triangle with flaps sticking out from behind on either side.
4. Pleat the triangle by folding it down, then folding it up approximately 1/2″ above your first fold. Repeat 1-2 times to create the graduated steps that serve as decorations.
5. Repeat steps 1-4 three more times, until you have four components.
6. Choose one component. Lay it on the table in front of you with the triangle’s point facing away from you. Open the component so you can see the white inside. Slide the squared edge of another component onto the white area, overlapping the two pieces by 1-2″.
7. Fold the rear flap and triangle over top of the second component.
8. Carefully slide a third component into the second component, repeating steps 6-7. Be careful not to pull the second component out of the first component.
9. Add the fourth component into the third component.
10. Now it’s time to finish the loop and make your crown wearable. Using steps 6-7 again, place the free end of the first component inside the free end of the fourth component. Now you should have a “seamless” loop. The components can slide in and out of each other, so you can make small adjustments for individual head sizes. For adults, you may need to add a fifth component. Very young children may only need three components.

You can even make a crown for your best furry friend:

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week!

Spotlight On: Super Simple Kirigami

Immerse your students in the Japanese art of Kirigami!

Kirigami is a variation on the Japanese art of origami. Unlike origami, however, the folding is not the end product for kirigami. Cuts are made in the paper, and then the sheet is unfolded to reveal the cut-paper artwork!

Our kirigami sheets are printed with numbered lines for three different folds. Choose a sheet of kirigami paper. Lay the sheet of paper on a desk or table. First fold the paper in half on line 1. The paper should now be a triangle with the point facing away from you. All the fold styles begin this way. Fold on line 2 from right to left. Fold on line 3 from left to right. This is the final fold for the Triangle style fold. For the other two styles, fold on line 4 from right to left. This is the final fold for the Snowflake style fold. Finally, the final fold of the Lotus style is to fold on line 5 from left to right. Once you have folded your paper, cut out your design. Use our suggestions or experiment with your own!

We created a video to walk you through the folding and cutting process!

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week!

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Craft

This craft perfectly combines early geometry with Thanksgiving cheer!

In order for creativity to flourish, students need a solid understanding of the fundamentals. What underpins the fundamentals is vocabulary. A student has to be able to describe their world and what they see before they can change it and create new things. This activity is a great way to connect the visual aspect of shapes to the vocabulary that students will use for their entire academic careers. Fold a single circle first into 2D then 3D shapes, while getting as detailed as your students are ready for. In the classroom, it might be useful to copy the circle onto an overhead transparency or a sheet of clear Mylar so you can demonstrate for the whole class as you take them through this lesson.

What’s great about this activity is that is can be used for a wide range of ages and developmental levels. Very young students practice their fine motor skills while they fold, and build their vocabularies by identifying the basic shapes they are making. For older and more experienced students, this activity is a great way to practice geometric
vocabulary while learning technical aspects of shapes like faces, vertices and angles. Even better, at every level this is a no-fail activity, so while students are practicing vocabulary, they are succeeding at the basic folds. The small success bolsters confidence, and motivates students to take risks.

Age: 4+

Duration: 15 minutes

Learning Outcomes: Practice and reinforce geometry and vocabulary. Create a cute Thanksgiving craft. Exercise folding skills and following directions.

You’ll Need:

The first step for this adorable holiday craft is to decorate your base. Place a color diffusing circle on an art tray or cookie sheet for each student, and have the pipette liquid watercolors onto the circle. Be sure to cover the entire surface! Students can use a pre-mixed orange, or they can experiment with pipetting yellow and red separately. Leave the circles to dry.

Once the circles are dry, it’s time to fold them up! We have created a special video to demonstrate the process:

Use this opportunity to talk to your students about circles. Circles are a regular shape, with a single face. Challenge students to think of where circles are in the world. They might suggest bicycle or car tires, pizzas or the moon and sun. Older students can talk about the mathematical properties of the circle, like the diameter (the distance between two opposite points), radius (the distance from the center to any single point on the curve) and the circumference (the distance around the outside of the circle). Challenge your students to find the area of their circle, using the formula A = r2. A stands for area. Area is the amount of flat space a shape takes up.

This activity is great for a few different reasons. First, it’s easy to do; as a no-fail activity it’s entertaining to students of all ages and it boosts confidence. Second, it’s an easy-to-scale activity. You can fold a circle with four year olds or fourteen year olds, and the conversations can reinforce basic shape names or basic geometry. Some of the shapes we fold are uncommon, so reinforcing them in this activity is important.

Once students have achieved their 3D Icosahedron, tape the bottom so the shape holds. Now you have the base shape for your slice of pumpkin pie!

To decorate your slice of pie, start by adding a crust! Cut out a triangle of brown construction paper that is approximately 4 1/2″ high (from center base to point) and 5″ wide at the base. Glue the triangle to the base and one edge of your color diffusing icosahedron. Use scissors with wavy blades to trim the base of the triangle so it looks like the crimped edge of a pie crust!

To top off your slice of pie, fluff up a cotton ball and glue it to the top. No pumpkin pie is complete without the whipped cream!

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every week!

Project Spotlight: Paper Globes

Make beautiful paper globes with colorful paper designs, pre-cut and scored for easy assembly! Hang the globes up on a Christmas tree or decorate one of our mobile bases with the globes.

The Paper Globes feature 8 different color schemes. Each of the color schemes includes 1 solid color and 1 patterned circle. The patterns are all coordinated to work with the solid color circles. Mix and match to make your own combinations! See what works for you.

Each circle is pre-cut with slots. Use the slots to easily slide the circles into each other. You can invert the sides to show through the opposite side of the paper circle you use. The best part about the Paper Globes is that they do not require gluing, so you can turn a craft session into a less-mess experience!

Each pack of Paper Globes will make 16 globes in total. When you have created your globes, punch a hole through the top and tie a length of string or ribbon. With the holiday season approaching, it’s a good idea to consider decorating your tree with easy-to-make ornaments like these!

Alternatively, run a ribbon through the paper globes to make a decorative garland. Hang up the garland on a wall or decorate a ledge in your classroom!

Like us on FacebookShare this post with your friends, or Subscribe to this blog today to receive original craft project updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!