Sunday, May 24, 2009

Paper Bag Crafts - Pumpkins

Paper bags are such an easy and inexpensive tool when it comes to crafts. You know the ones I'm talking about. We used to take our lunches to school in them if we weren't cool enough to have the latest super hero or princess lunchbox. The ideas are endless when it comes to using these for crafts. It is, however, best to use brand new ones instead of recycling the ones used for lunch.

For now we are going to talk paper bag pumpkins. These are really great and easy decorations for the fall (I know, it is no where near fall yet, but I just write as they come to my mind). You can line the driveway or the porch with some of these or hang them from the ceiling for a party. Either way, they are really easy and kid-friendly!!

Paper Bags (lunch sized)
black construction paper
green tissue paper
orange paint (tempera or washable paint is best with small kids)
glue stick or white glue
paint brushes
newspaper (just a few sheets per bag)
rubber bands

To start simply have your child paint the paper bag with orange paint leaving about 1 inch brown at the top. Remember to open the bag so they paint the whole thing. The bottom can be painted or left as is. Remember this is kid-art, it is ok if there are streaks or missed spots. Let them do it!!!

While the paint is drying, use the scissors and cut out a few triangles and crooked mouth from the construction paper. Smaller children will need help with this. It might be easier to use basic shapes instead of trying to cut out a "jack-o-lantern" mouth.

When the paint is all dry, it is time to glue the face on. Using the glue stick (or white glue) have the children place the eyes, nose and mouth onto the pumpkin. Remember, again, this is kid-art. The face doesn't have to be perfect and unless your child is a perfectionist at the age of 2, it will NOT be perfect. It is OK!!!! Let them do it!!!

After the glue has dried, wad up the newspaper and fill the paper bag pumpkin leaving some room to close it at the top. Close the bag and secure with rubber band leaving a "stem" at the top.

Take the green tissue paper and create a "leaf" out of it. You can do this by cutting the tissue paper into the shape of a leaf with a long stem or go abstract and just have some green tissue paper sticking out of the top of the bag. Insert the leaf into the bag so that it is hanging out of the "stem".

For large pumpkins, use brown paper grocery bags, most grocery stores have them. These are great decorations to add to any yard or porch and are a great family fun project!!!

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