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5 Fabulous Summertime Art Projects

Shelly Summer
Brainerd, MN

Things are heating up outside and colors are exploding all around us as nature blooms. While these are the best days to enjoy activities outside, you may still need some quiet indoors time. Or maybe just a project to create with all the fun nature finds from your last outdoor adventure. Explore these 5 Fabulous Summertime Art Time Projects for ideas for your next stay at home day with the kids.

#1 - Sock Dolls

Making sock dolls is an easy (and cheap) art project to enjoy at any age. You can find most of the supplies you'd need right around the house!

  • Look for old socks or stockings that are no longer used. I like to stock up on patterned knee or thigh high socks around Halloween. Garage sales or a local thrift store are also great places to find unique socks and stockings.
  • Stuff the socks or stocking with any soft materials. Old wash rags or boring socks, pillow stuffing, or even that stained blouse you'll never wear but don't want to throw out. Fill the sock loosely to allow areas to tie for the head and body.
  • Tie off body sections in the sock using ribbons, string, yarn, or rubber bands. There's no right or wrong way to do it! We made 3 different versions, one including a long "tail" to mimic a mermaid 🙂
  • Now, decorate! We used small items from all over the house including buttons, beads, ribbons, fabric remnants, old fake hair clips, and so much more. If using a hot glue to attach items to your doll, use caution and always supervise children using hot glue guns. Elmer's glue or safety pins also work to attach items to the sock doll.

#2 - Princess Cupcakes

Princess cupcakes are a fun and easy (and edible) treat for a relaxing art projects day. The body of the project can be any edible treat that is wide enough to have a doll placed inside of it.

  • Create the "body" for your princess cupcake. Whether you're in the mood to bake from scratch, use a box mix, or pick up cupcakes form the local bakery, the only baseline is finding something large enough to hold a doll or figurine.
  • Lightly frost your cupcake or muffin to create the base for your princess dress.
  • Pushing straight down, insert a small doll or figurine, legs first, into your frosted cupcake or muffin. Make sure your doll is standing straight before moving on to decorating.
  • Top with additional frosting, sprinkles, and fruit or other edible decoration. Look outside for inspiration and create some beautiful leaves or flowers.

#3 - Swirl Crayons

Many old crayons end up lost or broken, or even worse, in a giant bucket in your hall closet! Making swirl crayons is a fun and easy way to re-purpose your old broken crayons.

  • Have an adult cut the crayons into small pieces, or break the crayons into small piece by hand. Either option creates crayons flakes, so spread down and old newspaper first to catch stray crumbs.
  • Have an adult preheat the oven to 150 degrees and start filling your molds! You can use any type of oven safe baking container. We used a cupcake tin with cupcake papers.
  • Place your baking pan int he oven just until the crayons have melted. This should be around 15- 20 minutes.
  • Have an adult remove the baking tin from the oven and place in a safe location until cooled.
  • Shake out and enjoy.

#4 - Nature Waterfall

Nature is a great inspiration for art projects around here and what's more inspiring than anything else int he Brainerd Lakes Area? The Lakes and water! I love this fun easy project that mimics a small pond and waterfall. Hot glue gun is required so only attempt this project with adult supervision.

  • Start by finding a good sturdy base for your waterfall. Round is preferable nut any shape base will work. This base will be painted and glued on so use something old or second hand. The photos in the top are using small log circles purchased at a local craft store. The bottom photos use old cake stand bases we didn't need anymore.
  • Paint the top of your base using blue paint. We used acrylic paint and also washable kids paint.
  • Have an adult use a hot glue gun to attach rocks to the base of your waterfall around the perimeter. Have fun searching for rocks outside or purchase craft rocks from a local craft store. Stack several larger rocks on one side to create your "waterfall". Try to choose rocks with flat surfaces for easier stacking and gluing.
  • Attach a piece of scotch tape from the top of your rock pile to the base of your waterfall. This will be covered in glue to mimic the waterfall.
  • Place small toys, clay objects, beads, or small items found in nature in the center of your waterfall base.
  • Have an adult slowly add hot glue over the scotch tape to create the waterfall affect. Cover the center of your waterfall base, and any items or rocks that you wish to appear underwater, with the hot glue.
  • Let cool down or dry. This project can be quite heavy depending on the size so use caution when picking it up for the first time.

#5 - Dyed Roses or Wild Flowers

Dying roses is a fun and easy art project/experiment for a summer day indoors.

  • The most important step is to find an old vase as this project will stain your vase. Garage sales or your local secondhand store are great places to look.
  • Purchase a white flower from your local grocery store or florist. This project also works with wild flowers, or flowers from your own garden. Choose a flower that is white or light in color to experience the full effect.
  • Fill your vase half way full of fresh water and add a few drops of food coloring to create the desired color in the vase. As the water is absorbed by the flower, it will also absorb the color in the water. Use a bold or dark color for best results.
  • Have an adult cut the flower stems at a vertical angle to the correct height to fit in the vase. Adding several small additional cuts at the bottom of the stems also helps more color become absorbed.
  • Place the flowers in the colored water and check them throughout the day for color changes!
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