Tag Archive | Projects

While Their Kids Sleep…Dinovember

Thanks to **Kim** for sharing this on Facebook! Another creative idea for a project while your kids are sleeping. I did a little research and found the parents are Refe and Susan Tuma from Kansas City. Read more about this project here.

Enjoy, Mari

While Their Kids Sleep

Palmar Tourism Map!

Palmar Tourism Map

As you may know, we have been teaching our design students and interns at the Art & Design Center how to create projects to benefit the community thanks to a grant from Starbucks and the International Youth Foundation. Although we’re not quite done with the map that will be printed in a trifold brochure soon, here is the latest draft (click on image to enlarge). This image will also appear on the new Palmar tourism website that we are currently developing. More details coming soon…

Have a creative day!


Felt Animal Fun!

Felt Animals

Here are examples of more projects we have made with felt. Our students created their own animals out of paper, fomix, and then felt. Later, they used these animals with original backgrounds they created to photograph and place in comic book layouts as well as in animations that we are going to edit and put music to during the next class. Below, I’ve included each of the templates I created for the animals – some of which are based on inspirations I found on Pinterest. Click on the template to open in a new window and save.

Happy crafting! Mari

felt_animal_templates-Giraffe felt_animal_templates-Dog felt_animal_templates-Elephant felt_animal_templates-Lion felt_animal_templates-Monkey felt_animal_templates-Bird felt_animal_templates-Cat felt_animal_templates-Owl felt_animal_templates-Zebra

Inspirational Organizing Projects

What a month it has been! I have been remiss at posting lately because of a very exciting new project that we are going to launch in October/November. Though I can’t officially announce the new project yet (waiting for the funder to say it’s okay) I can share with you some of the inspirational ideas I have been researching that will help with said project. What I can say is that there will be art supplies and shiny new toys to play with (think toys with lenses and hard drives) and that it involves the kids from the youth group and will help tourism in our town.

This first batch of ideas is helping us to design the work space where I will be teaching/mentoring/creating. We want to organize the books and supplies in ways that are inexpensive (free is best), inspirational, and innovative. Here are a few ideas that I’ve found from around the DIY universe. Click on the titles of each item to visit the website where I found it. For even more ideas, make sure to check out the following sites:




Happy DIY-ing! Mari


Rope Shelves


Tin Can Organizer


Paint Brush Hooks


Ribbon Storage


Plastic Bottle Pencil Cases


War Bowl


Book Bookshelf

How To Open a Pizza Parlor: Part III


Use Recycled & Reused Materials

1. Chess/Checkerboard Table

One of the things I recall fondly from my pizza-eating youth was playing games at Papa Gino´s pizza while waiting to eat. Papa Gino´s was where we went after soccer games and for birthday parties and the checkerboard tables were perfect for playing games with quarters. Well, in that same spirit Palmar Pizza is a place to eat and play.

It all started when we were taking an inventory on what furniture was available for us to use in the new venture, we found an old wooden table in storage. And by storage I mean on the open side porch of our counterpart´s building buried in weeds. Later, we learned that it is one of the last tables left from a former nursery school that operated out of the church across the street. It was donated to our counterpart´s organization years ago and was destined for the garbage truck.  Now, it has been transformed to one of the most popular destinations this side of town center.


When Paul and I found the table (see above) we knew that with a little TLC it could become something special. That something special turned out to be a family style table with three chess/checkerboards painted on it. See below for images of each of the steps we took to transform this trash into treasure. After that, keep scrolling for images of the bottle chandelier project that was inspired by writing this post.



We painted the entire tabletop since it was looking a little worn and uneven. Before we started we also re-nailed all of the legs on and sanded all surfaces. Then, I measured out three checkerboard surfaces – I guessed that about 4 cm was a good size for each of the boxes making the entire board 32 cm wide and tall. Then, with the help of a piece of cardboard I cut out to be a perfect 4 cm square, I taped off the first boxes for the board. It helped me to mark the boxes I was going to paint so I wouldn´t get confused.



I painted the first part of black boxes and waited for them to dry. It didn´t take long and then I was ready for some of the teens at the youth center to help me pull off the painter´s tape. Then, I re-taped the boxes I couldn´t paint before and painted those black.



Make sure that the paint is completely dry before you peel off the tape. Also, when peeling try to peel at a 45 degree angle – the lines seem to come out cleaner that way.



It is inevitable that you will need to touch up the squares even if you peel the tape at a 45 degree angle. Do this with a very small brush and make sure you have both colors on hand – black and white – just in case! Finally, you´re ready to varnish the table. We had a nice sunny day, which helped to dry the table very quickly.



2. Plastic Bottle Chandeliers



Cut bottles in half and cut out petal shapes from each side. Then, fold each of the petals down to form flower shape. We used a hammer and nail to make a small hole in the bottle half of the bottle since it didn´t have a hole.



We used red and yellow spray paint.



Paul created a circle shape out of wire and then we used small pieces of wire threaded through the bottle openings (and the nail holes we made) to twist the wire through and affix each flower to the wire circle.


DIY Projects: Holiday Wrapping

Melted Wax Paper

Country Living has this gorgeous project on their website. All you need are crayon shavings, tissue paper, and an iron. I’m definitely going to try this one!


Vintage Games Wrapping

Another one from the folks at Country Living. I love the look of vintage games and I’m all for re-purposing items to serve as gift wrap. I’ve been known to use NYC Subway Maps, magazines, newspaper, and other maps to wrap my gifts.


Shirt Off Your Back Wrapping

Country Living has another great idea up its sleeve with this innovative idea. Not only does this make adorable wrapping, it also serves as a gift in and of itself. Brilliant!


Cookie Gift Tags

This inspiration comes from Martha Stewart. I love that these gift tags are cute and also edible! You could even make a special treat for your pet or to ensure freshness of the cookies for human consumption, add a translucent bag over the cookie and then tie it to the ribbon.


Monogram Gift Tags

Leave it to Martha Stewart to create a simple yet elegant solution for gift tags. Not only are they adorable but they are easy to make, too. Consider using one initial on one side of the package for the TO and another on the reverse for the FROM.


Button Wrapping & Gift Tags

Thanks again Martha! All you need for this wrapping paper is a piece of cork (a great excuse to open a bottle of wine), buttons, and a stamp pad or other ink. Affix the button to the cork and it becomes a stamp. Then, when you’re done stamping, you can wash your original buttons and use them to decorate gift tags.

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