Saturday, November 5, 2011

Classic Crafts: Sponge Paint a Leafy Tree!

Saturday mornings have officially turned into a crafty-painting time for us; it is the perfect day to make a mess with all our papers and paints.
I recently came across this little project in a magazine and although it is nothing completely new or original, my kids had a blast and they turned out really cute. Hopefully you will get a chance to let your little ones make this colorful painting to decorate your home this Fall!
First, gather a few basic supplies:

  • card stock or heavy paper (2 pieces per child)
  • a sponge
  • paints (fall colors--red, orange, yellow, brown, etc.)

While you are gathering supplies, give your child a whole piece of card stock and tell her to draw the trunk of a tree.  The trunk should take up most of the bottom of the page with branches spreading into the top half.  In the meantime, take another piece of card stock and draw a cartoon tree-top on the top half.  This will be your stencil.  If you are terrified of drawing your own tree trunk or tree foliage on top, here is a template.
Cut your "tree top" from the paper as your stencil.
Once you have cut out the center of your "tree foliage" and your kids have finished drawing the trunk (and anything else they want to add) then you are ready to paint.
Place the template directly over the paper.  I taped ours to the table to keep it from moving around.  Next take an old sponge (or carpet squares) and squeeze the paint onto a plate or large surface so they have plenty of room to dip. Remind them not to mix sponges--use one sponge per color or else everything will mix and be a big mess.

This is the fun part! Watch your kids create original designs inside the stencil.  I enjoyed seeing how different the trees looked even though they had the same template, sponges and colors.

Once they are finished with their work of art, simply remove the stencil, stand back and admire!  I love how these turned out, the kids had a blast and continued doing other sponge projects long after they finished their trees. 


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