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mosaic wall | small hands big art
hot air balloons | small hands big art
Mixed Media | small hands big art
blue dogs | small hands big art
sculpture | small hands big art

LIFE IS SHORT.  USE MORE GLITTER.

LET'S MAKE SOMETHING!

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CLASSES

Fine Art Mixed Media & Pottery classes for kids 18m-14yrs.  We figure you can do Pinterest crafts at your kitchen table.

CAMPS

Stay cool without those harmful UV rays in our weekly half-day Mixed Media and Pottery Summer Camps.  

PARTIES

We plan an unforgettable party start to finish - you just worry about the guest list & something to stick candles in!

WORKSHOPS

When school is out, art is in! Come to the studio to create with others around a holiday, theme, or fun art technique!  

ART CAMP IS A DIRTY JOB, BUT SOMEONE'S GOTTA DO IT!

NO AMOUNT OF SIDEWALK CHALK CAN KEEP YOUR RESTLESS ARTISTS OCCUPIED ALL SUMMER. LET US DO THAT!

NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

STUFF WE'RE EXCITED ABOUT!

bluedogsummer  | small hands big art

SUMMER IS COMING!

Register Now for Camps!

intern  |  small hands big art

JOIN OUR TEAM!

Now hiring for summer!

2014_BOB_Award  | small hands big art

CHARLOTTE MAGAZINE

Best of the Best Awards

Box Troll  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

BOX TROLLS!

One of our favorite projects ever!

LATEST BLOG POSTS

Fluttery Flower Wall  |  small hands big art

Fluttery Flower Wall

Our toddlers had fun painting this 3D “Fluttery Flower Wall” this morning!

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Land of Nod  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

Land of Nod Visit

The Land of Nod met the Land of Art last Friday!

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happy hippos  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Happy Hippos

We were inspired by the colorful artwork of Melanie Mikecz for these whimsical and happy hippos!

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Mixed Media Stacked Birds |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Stacked Birds

Students created these colorful stacked birds on oblong cardboard with tempera, chalk pastel & collage papers.

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Christmas Elves  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

Elves!

We love to host elf-making workshops every holiday, but trying to invent an even better elf design every year is no easy task!

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wood christmas trees  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Holiday Highlights

A few little gems from our winter holiday festivities…

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Papier Mache Reindeer  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

DIY Upcycled Reindeer

This might have been our favorite reindeer-making workshop yet. And we’ve had some real doozies!

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upcycled dolls  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

Upcycled Dolls

These quirky upcycled dolls were crafted from large plastic bottle pour spouts in our 3-5 year old classes last week!

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wooden acorns |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Wooden Acorns

Every Fall, we ceremoniously dig out our box of wooden acorns and have at it! We paint, glitter, adorn, and stamp…

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mixed media feathers  |   www.smallhandsbigart.com

Mixed Media Feathers

Students made these stunning mixed media feathers in a recent camp with kraft paper, aluminum foil, paint & collage papers.

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starry night sticky mosaic wall |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Sticky Mosaic Wall

We’re no strangers to what we refer to (quite literally) as the “sticky wall”, but for our Fall Festival this year we wanted to take this mosaic to a whole new level inspired by “Starry Night”…

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woodland mural |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Fall Woodland Mural

We are reminiscing about this spectacular Woodland Creature Mural from last year’s Fall Festival featuring hand drawn forest friends by the children and teachers.

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tie-dye aprons  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

Five Minute Apron

We recently made about 500 tie-dyed superhero capes for the Isabella Santos Foundation 5k. With the Sewing Loft, we dreamed up fun ways to repurpose those extra capes or fabric scraps into multi-purpose aprons!

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baby hedgehog halloween costume  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Baby Hedgehog Costume

You can DIY this adorable baby hedgehog costume for Halloween with just a few simple household items!

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Isabella Santos Foundation | small hands big art

Ibby’s Superhero Capes

Wanted! Big dreamers. Risk Takers. Action Seekers. World Changers. Cancer Fighters. We created tie-dye hero capes for the Isabella Santos Foundation 5k to raise funds for pediatric cancer research. Join the fight against childhood cancer.

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Moose  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

We Don’t Moose Around!

Check out this stunning herd of moose our students created in summer camp last week! So in love with each and every one of them!

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The BoxTrolls  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Box Trolls!

Students in summer art camp created these unique boxtrolls inspired by the upcoming 3D stop-motion movie, “The Boxtrolls.”

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tooling foil |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Tooling Foil Art

Take a peek at these amazing tooling foil drawings carved by our students in art class

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BOB AWARD 2015 |  SMALL HANDS BIG ART

Best of the Best Awards

We received two Charlotte magazine “Best of the Best” (BOB) Awards! In 2013 for “Best Kids Class”, and in 2014 for “Best Place for Kids to Make Masterpieces” – Thank You!

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tree town  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Tree Towns

We recently discovered the illustrations of Sarah Hennessey, and thought our 9-14 yr. old classes would love her style! We were so right!

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winter hares  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Winter Hares

Students painted these Winter Hares during a recent snow day camp. We figured we better share them before we got much further into spring!

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Isabella Santos Foundation  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Bella’s Birthday Bash

Sunday, March 9th would have been Isabella Santos’ 9th birthday. To celebrate her life and inspire others by her love of art, we held a fundraiser in the studio where kids created colorful canvas paintings inspired by the little girl in the Isabella Santos Foundation logo. Kids showed up with big imaginations and a lot of inspiration, thanks to Isabella.

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pig portrait  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Pig Portraits

After learning all about the history of portraiture, students in our 5-9 year old classes painted a portrait of a pig.

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bandicoots  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Bandicoots

These lovely sculptures, made by students in our 9-14 yr. old pottery class, were inspired by the amazing ceramic artist Elya Yalonetski.

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Mixed Media Owl  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

3D Mixed Media Owls

To say we were giddy when kids were creating these 3D mixed medial owls would be an understatement! They were a lot of work and had many little pieces and parts, but they turned out so fabulous, we didn’t want to let a single one of them leave!

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crayongame

The Crayon Game

Tomorrow’s forecast is calling for several inches of snow in Charlotte. Weeks like the one you’re about to have demand a whole new level of parental coping skills. So we thought we’d share a little indoor game that Miss Katie played extensively while growing up in the frozen tundra of Minnesota.

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Animal Mash-Up  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Animal Mash-Ups

Here’s a fun project for elementary age students! We call this project “Animal Mash-Ups”! The objective is to combine features of two different animals to create an entirely new one! Can you guess what these are?

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Bovine Love  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Bovine Love

Last week spontaneously turned into “Cow Week” at the studio. It all started when we were inspired by a Russian folk tale called The Giant Turnip. We loved the illustrations in the book, and the simplistic shapes of the cow inspired a mixed medial collage project.

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illustrated book page  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Illustrated Book Pages

Last week our 9-14 yr. old classes created these beautifully illustrated mixed media vintage book pages repurposed from an old Louisa May Alcott book titled Eight Cousins. Students searched through the text on a page from the book to select an inspiring word or phrase to serve as the focus of their mixed media artwork.

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Arnold Lobel  art project  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Teapot-ingo and Other Rare Birds

What do you get when a six year old combines a totally random object with an animal? Creatures like these that are WAY too fun!
Arnold Lobel, the children’s illustrator, was the key influencer for these adventurous compositions with his book, “The Ice-Cream Cone Coot, and Other Rare Birds”.

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Toys  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Upcycle Toy Sculptures

What to do with the family’s surplus of broken toys caught underfoot? Before you dismiss them to the trash, consider this creative option for giving them new life!

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wood sculpture  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Wood Sculptures

It’s amazing what kids can create with a little glue & some wood scraps.

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nutcrackers  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Nutcrackers

Check out these festive nutcrackers our 9-14 yr. olds created in class this week!

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tissue paper collage  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Winter Birds

We just wanted to share some of these fabulous masterpieces created in our older 9-14yr. old classes in recent weeks!

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Reindeer  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Dasher & Donner…

Every now & then we come up with a project that literally just makes us giddy! These whimsical reindeer that the kids made yesterday in our reindeer workshops were so spectacular, it literally pained us to let them take them home!

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Up  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Up

Watercolor pencil drawing project in Open Studio last Saturday. The kids all had to think of a fun destination for their colorful, well-traveled suitcases.

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coke can christmas tree  |  wwww.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Coke Can Christmas Tree

What do you do on a super busy Tuesday when there are 150 items on the “to do” list (most of them carried over from the prior week)? Well, if you’re like Katie, you obviously stop the important work that you’re doing and start grabbing random objects from around the studio, trying to fashion them into a Christmas tree!

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foam painting |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

Egg Carton Foam Painting

This was one project I seriously could not get enough pictures of! The kids squeezed a little shaving cream (in pastry bags, of course) onto egg cartons (attached to the wall in two corners with thumb tacs) and then sprayed with liquid watercolor – such a colorful mess!

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tthankful mobile | www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

thankful mobiles

Last week in our pre-Thanksgiving camp we created “Thankful Mobiles” that were adorned with beautiful drawings of everything & everyone the kids were thankful for (and then some!). From a 4 yr. old’s clever little drawing of a stalk of broccoli (!) to “Mrs. Katie” with her scissors in her apron pocket, we were reminded to never underestimate a child’s colorful imagination & creativity!

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upcycled icicles | www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

upcycled icicles

We love to decorate our studio windows for the holiday season! This year, Katie came up with a fabulous idea that made good use of a stack of leftover summer schedule postcards that were headed to the recycle bin!

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oobleck fun  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

sensory play with oobleck

Cornstarch + water = crazy gooey, crumbly oobleck-y fun! Part art, part science, oobleck is both a liquid and a solid, oozing between your fingers or crumbling like a saltine cracker!

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fall leaf batik  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

fall leaf batik

Our 9-14 year old classes created these stunning cotton batiks this week! They are a great DIY art project that kids can make at home, using recycled cotton fabric, washable school glue, & acrylic paint.

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Fall Festival  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

owl masks

These DIY owl masks are a simple and easy fall craft for kids of all ages! Creative kids busted out about 200 of these at our Fall Festival last weekend and we wanted to share the “recipe” to inspire creativity at home!

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Fall Festival  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

fall craft-a-palooza

Enjoy these images from our Annual Fall Festival on Sat., Oct. 26th! Thanks to all the creative people, big and small, who stopped by to paint & bedazzle pumpkins, glitter wooden acorn necklaces, craft colorful owl masks & clever talking bats! Such a fun day!

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talking bat  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

one-eyed talking bat

Here’s another quick and easy DIY Halloween project! This one-eyed flying bat likes to hear himself talk! He can’t see where he’s going but he sure does have a lot to say!

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Box Bats  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

pet bat

Who hasn’t dreamed of owning a cuddly little bat as a pet? Thanks to this easy DIY craft made out of a recycled box, kids can create a whole colony without needing a rabies shot or worrying about neighbors calling the Health Department.

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preschool color mixing  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

mixin’ it up with pre-schoolers

We have a delightful little group of 3-5 year old artists in our classes this Fall – some of whom are new to exploring with art materials and some who, even at their short stature, try to teach us a thing or two. Regardless of age, any lesson that involves color mixing is always a hit!

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diorama  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

old school dioramas

Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned diorama? When I was little I loved to create elaborate 3D shoe box diorama book reports re-creating scenes from the book. I particularly loved Amelia Bedelia books because her quirky antics provided endless opportunities to create things such as play dough chickens dressed up in tiny little outfits.

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barbara kobylinksa inspired sculptures  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

barbara kobylinksa inspired sculptures

One of our favorite projects from summer camp!! Upcycled water bottle bird sculptures inspired by artist Barbara Kobylinksa.

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Citrus Fruit Tint + Tone  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

summer, thus far…

Summer around here is CUH-RAAAA-ZY! We’re sweaty & glittery and our feet hurt, but we LOVE this time of year because we get to spend so much time with with kids in our weekly camps, seeing them every day & having a blast, making new friends and generally just getting super creative together!

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wooden dowel sculpture  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

sculpture gardens

Last week in art camp, the students created these other-worldly sculpture gardens using small pieces of wooden dowels, oil pastel & liquid watercolor. The end result was amazing!

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Decoupage Mother's Day Portrait  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

happy mother’s day!

This decoupage collage portrait of Mom is the perfect handmade Mother’s Day Gift! It’s an easy art project for kids of all ages, and she’ll cherish it forever!

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giant marble painting  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

giant marble painting

Here’s a super fun, active, & collaborative art project for toddler & preschool age kids: giant marble painting! It’s a great way for kids to improve their fine and gross motor skills as well as their coordination!

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mini me hats  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

talk to the hat

We had fun making these “mini me” hats in one of our Spring Break camps last week!

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Colin Thompson inspired art project  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

fantasy bookshelves

Fantasy bookshelves inspired by author + illustrator, Colin Thompson, in our 9 – 14yr. old classes.

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bunnyanimate

papier mache puppets

Everything is better on a stick.

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salt painting |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

salt painting

Salt painting is a fun art art project for kids of all ages! We usually structure a salt painting lesson around a famous artist or a specific drawing technique such as a continuous line contour drawing. It’s also a great way for younger children to learn about primary and secondary colors, and to experiment with color mixing.

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Georgia O'Keefe inspired chalk pastels  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

georgia o’keeffe chalk pastels

We kicked off Spring with these bright and beautiful Georgia O’Keeffe inspired chalk pastels in our 9-14 yr. old classes!

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sticky faces  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

toddler sticky wall

For our toddlers this week, we set up a giant “Sticky Face” wall using ordinary household contact paper and a smorgasbord of colorful do-dads that they could stick on the face. Endless possibilities for good clean, sticky fun!

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George Rodrigue inspired blue dog  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

why is blue dog blue?

Student artwork inspired by George Rodrigue.

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DIY Raccoon Pendant  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

furry forest friends

Soon it will be spring, that joyful time of rebirth and renewal < insert sound of birds chirping >. Sadly, for beloved woodland animals like foxes, raccoons & hedgehogs, springtime means they will soon be abruptly cast to the wayside in favor of fuzzy little farm animals like bunnies, chicks, & piglets.

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Valentine's Day Workshop  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

love is the beginning

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tophographic paper sculpture  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

topographic paper sculpture

These paper sculptures in our 9 – 14 yr. old class were inspired by topographic maps. The final pieces looked so amazing!

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handmade holidays  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

handmade holidays

Wishing everyone much Peace & Love this holiday season! Happy New Year!

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block print houses  | www.smallhandsbigart.com/blog

block printing

We did this block print project in our 3-5 yr. old class this week. We didn’t want to let the kids take them home!

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Reindeer  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

trick out my reindeer

This easy DIY red-nosed reindeer spreads holiday cheer with his festive tricked out antlers wherever he goes! We hope he inspires you to spread as little cheer as well!

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holiday tree  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

decking the halls!

Hanging our stockings with care and trimming a really cool tree printed on fabric…

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owl suncatcher  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

owl suncatcher

Students in our Open Studio class last Saturday made these whimsical owl suncatchers with oil pastel and contact paper!

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boxtrucks6

box dump trucks

Try this quick and easy two box dump truck design for your little ones!

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2012 Fall Open House  |  www.smallhandsbigart.com

fall festival

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Fall Open House this year! Just fyi, that glitter will eventually wash out of their hair.

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Karla Gerard Inspired Suncatcher |  small hands big art

fall suncatchers

Inspired by the long shadows and different angle of light that streams through the studio windows this time of year, we dreamt up these whimsical Karla Gerard suncatchers for our 5-9 year old classes this week.

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fabric cuff bracelet  |  small hands big art

two minute fabric cuff

Sure you could spend all afternoon trolling Pinterest for a super cute DIY cuff bracelet to whip up to impress your crafty fashion-forward friends, only to be left feeling like the world’s most over-scheduled & creatively stunted human being on the planet. Or you could just spend two minutes making this!

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Bubble Prints

bubble prints

Cooler Fall weather signals the reminder that soon kids will be spending most of their time indoors, shuffling around the house on Saturday mornings in their footie PJs and inventing sneakier, more permanent ways to stain the carpet. While the weather is still nice, this classic bubble print project is perfect to set up outside on the patio!

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isabellacow

what remains

One afternoon in late summer 2010 a pretty, vibrant mother with long dark hair will come breezing in to the studio to buy the largest quantity of art classes available. She will tell you how much her daughter just loooves art and will mention almost as an oh-by-the-way that her daughter has cancer.

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creature11

kookie creatures

With this creative project, kids dream up a kookie creature, write a biography about it, design it on paper, construct it out of papier mache, and build a little home for it!

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Mix & Match Dolls  |  small hands big art

mix & match dolls

Inspired by the classic mix and match books that we all loved so much as a kid, we dreamt up this three dimensional project and I’m not sure who had more fun with it – us or the kids. In our humble opinion this project totally rocked – it has all the elements of a super fun summer DIY project for bored kids and frustrated moms!

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Lazy Susan Painting  |  small hands big art

snudda spirals

In the studio, we often set up a really simple low-budget spiral art station with our toddlers and pre-schoolers, using a $7.99 Ikea Lazy Susan. Snudda, for those of you who speak Svenska. It’s a great activity for kids to practice their hand-eye coordination while improving fine and gross motor skills and making a really cool piece of art!

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Decoupage Dad  |  small hands big art

decou-dad!

The younger kids created decoupage collage portraits of their Dads in Open Studio today! It was amusing to listen to them banter back & forth about their Dads as they deliberated one eyebrow or two…

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pixel4

from fridge to forever

I suspect my parents are among the seven people who regularly read this blog, so I’ll just say up front that I don’t mean to hurt your feelings Mom & Dad, or make you feel guilty in any way for the mysterious circumstances in which the only surviving original artwork from my childhood, a small green clay frog that I “sculpted” in first grade, has vanished.

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videothumb

watch our video!

We’ve always wanted to figure out a way to bottle up the fun, excitement & pure joy that kids experience when they are creating in the studio with us! This video may be as close as we’ll ever come! Enjoy!

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Paintbrush Peeps  |  small hands big art

upcycled paintbrush peeps

We can’t take an ounce of credit for having dreamt up these adorable little paintbrush people, but when we saw them we knew just where to get all the supplies we needed!

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Papier Mache Fox  |  small hands big art

mr. fox’s wild ride

We admit that we have a love/hate relationship with papier mache. It’s so bad. But so good. It starts out so easy. But then we have to wad up paper.

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Papier Mache Carrot Pencils  |  small hands big art

papier mache carrot pencils

Motivated to whip up a less predictable spring craft involving something other than pastel colored eggs for a change (!), these papier mache carrot pencils seemed the obvious answer!

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piggyw13

this little piggy had roast beef

We were giddy about these little piggies our 3-5 yr. old class painted this afternoon! We were sad to see them go to market, and now our walls are bare! Until tomorrow.

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heartmosaicthumb

mosaic love

A bell’s not a bell ’til you ring it. A song’s not a song ’til you sing it. Love in your heart wasn’t put there to stay. Love isn’t love ’til you give it away. ~ Oscar Hammerstein

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hearts1w

heart art

Valentine’s Day collages on canvas in our toddler classes this week. Drizzled & swizzled & sprinkled with love.

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flub2w

a little flubber. a lot of love.

This Valentine’s Day, nothing says love quite like a giant tub of flubber!

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heart8w

semi-secret valentine

When it comes to matters of the heart, it’s challenging to find the best way to express our heartfelt sentiments to the objects of our affection. We want to tell them. But we don’t. Yikes! This Valentine’s Day craft takes all the pressure off of you, and puts it squarely on the shoulders of your beloved!

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hellothumbw

one man’s trash…

They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure…

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www.smallhandsbigart.com  |  holiday 2011 workshops

2011 holiday hoopla

Thanks to everyone who helped make our holidays merry & bright this year! Happy New Year!

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wavethumbw

qu’est-ce que c’est?

We started these plaster sculptures the other day, and as they were drying they looked so interesting against the backdrop of paintings from an earlier class. We’ll let you use your imagination to try to figure out what they’ll be when they’re finished. (No, not penguins. But good guess!)

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snowball4w

no melt snowballs

Make a beautiful wintery holiday display with these quick and easy glistening opalescent snowballs made out of paper and plastic wrap!

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cardboard2w

upcycled cardboard beads

Feeling a little guilty because you ordered more stuff for yourself on Cyber Monday than gifts for others? (“one for you, three for me….”) When the boxes start piling up on your porch, we have a cool project that can help ease both your environmental and gift-giving consciences!

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owlpendantthumbw

baby barn owl pendant

Looking for the perfect accessory for your new fall outfit? Look no further!

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spiderwebthumbw

sticky spider web

Spider webs are sticky and so is this quick and easy Halloween-inspired craft for toddlers!

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junkpumpkinthw

junk-o-lantern

“Junk-o-Lanterns”, or “Stuff-on-a-Pumpkin” as we affectionately like to refer to this craft, is one of the few projects where the name, in and of itself, tells you pretty much everything you need to know in order to make one! But let’s walk through it anyway:

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robotthumbw

tin can bot

Part art, part science, & part saving the environment, this project has something for everyone! With a little imagination, a soup can, and a pile of do-dads, you can create a creature with special powers and clean out the kitchen junk drawer at the same time!

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HANNAH  | SMALL HANDS BIG ART

me or miss hannah?

We make up a lot of games around here – mostly for our own entertainment & sanity. If the kids like them too, well then even better! One of our favorites is called “Me or Miss Hannah”, and it goes something like this:

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paristhumbw

je t’aime paris

Springtime in Paris with my {then} seven year old niece. Begging to try escargot (“Aunt Jer, it tastes like dirt!”). Climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. The Eiffel Tower on a blustery rainy day, gulping hot chocolate & cafe au lait.

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paperbeadsFW

rolled paper beads

This project was inspired by a trip to Asheville last week, where we bought some really beautiful paper beads made in Africa at this cool shop Garage34. Make beautiful bracelets, necklaces, and ankle bracelets from your piles of junk mail and catalogs!

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iphone_photo-1

shaving cream paper marbling

This is guaranteed to be the cleanest, best smelling art project you’ll ever do – shaving cream paper marbling!

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pigW

flying pigs

For centuries, pigs have had to walk to the market to get their roast beef. But today’s busy “on-the-go” piggies have found a more efficient mode of travel. Flying!

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