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Thursday, September 03, 2009

Kids Art: Caterpillar Compulsion

fabric card greetings caterpillar kids art

It is just over a week since we came back from a long and lovely break in India. Ana seems to comprehend that this unstructured loafing will stop soon to let the joys of schooling be discovered all over again.

Meanwhile, Caterpillar Compulsion has gripped Ana, it looks like. She has been doodling caterpillars, big and small, for the last few days.

While Thumbprint Caterpillar cards were fun, Ana seemed to want more. So, I decided to make up a fabric-card caterpillar project that would take good part of an afternoon to complete, keeping her busy and productive while the wee one is napping.

Items Used: scraps of cotton fabric, card stock paper, craft glue, scissors, googly eyes, dried garden debris, pink fuzz

Caterpillar-Collage-1 fabric card greetings caterpillar kids art

  • Step 1: Cut some scrap fabric to reasonable size/shape

  • Step 2: Apply some glue generously on card stock paper and paste the pieces of fabric willy-nilly covering the entire surface

  • Step 3: Allow it to dry a little

  • Step 4: On the backside of the card stock paper with glued-on fabric, draw little circles with some bottle cap, without much wastage

  • Step 5: Cut out the circles as best as possible

  • Step 6: Fold a card stock paper to required greeting card size; Glue these cut out circles onto it to make the caterpillar form; cut little antennae from the remains of the fabric-card or use twigs from the garden

  • Step 7: Add fuzz, twigs, and other yard debris for texture; glue eyes with googly eyes or beads; glue pink fuzz or a piece of yarn or any other handy thing for a smiley mouth

  • Step 8: Stand back and beam

Ana needed some help cutting out the circles although she managed a few on her own... the card stock with glued on fabric was rather thick making it tough even for me to cut out. Besides, even though she uses blunt-ended kids craft scissors, it is fairly sharp to cut her person if her hand slips or if she is not being careful.

Disclaimer: we were not aiming for anatomically correct reproductions, just something conjured up with some imagination and produced with available items at hand.

A variation: To get extra dimension and effect, we took little strips of card stock paper about 0.5cm wide by 1.5cm long, tri-folded it, glued one per circle on the back, then, glued the other end (flat surface) of the tri-fold strip on to the greeting card, for the standard "raised" effect.

Also glued leaves from the backyard tree for legs/hair, and Ana's touch: glue some green leaves for the caterpillar to eat. Of course, when the leaves dry out they will naturally fall off, so, make this card fresh and hand it over to the lucky recipient right away :)

Ana is saving hers for her Appa - we'll see how they look in 3 weeks!
D, if you are reading this, act surprised when she hands it to you in person.

kids art fabric greeting card caterpillar butterfly

And, when caterpillars are here, can butterflies be far behind?

This butterfly is Ana's imagination: There was enough fabric-glued card leftover from making caterpillars and Ana started cutting them up just like that. And, seeing that there were purple and pink pieces that sort of looked like butterfly wings, she started gluing the various pieces to resemble the butterfly form. There were leftover antennae pieces that she didn't want to throw away so they came in handy as well. I gave her the buttons just for effect.

Now it does look like a mutant butterfly, I admit. Fairly scary. But, who cares?! It is the prettiest I can manage to hold in my hand at this time.

greeting cards with fabric and paper caterpillar butterfly children's project

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At 9:59 PM, Blogger Swati said...

awesome works !

At 1:38 AM, Blogger Poppins said...

Beautiful Sheela, am as always impressed by the amount and quality of the craft work Ana does! Tremendous.

Read your previous post, since Ana seems to be very attached to Appa, I'm sure it is that distance that is troubling her. Rest assured once he's back, she'll be fine sooner or later. it's good for you to sleep next to her I think, maybe even continue it with both of you once he gets back so she feels good.

At 10:55 PM, Blogger ranjani.sathish said...

The caterpillar work is so beautiful and it is amazing that Ana sits through such long sessions so patiently ! How do you get all these creative ideas to engage the kids ?!!!

At 12:48 PM, Blogger Sheela said...

:Swati: Thanks! Nice to hear from you, glad you liked our little caterpillar :)

It is clearly not independent work on her part, I do guide her all the way, and she has an unnatural liking to gluing things... but, she seems to "get it" - get the idea of the project, i mean, and carry on till finish.

:Poppy: Stop! you are making *me* blush - and that is hard to do after trying to pop a baby out in the hospital with everybody and their grandmother checking every few minutes where sun has never managed to shine :)

And, You are right... amazingly, she is so aware of the facts/reality of the situation - even that it is night in India when it is morning in Portland and vice versa... and, after breakfast here, every morning, she wants to wish Goodnight to Appa in India, so it is video chat daily...

Thankfully, for now, Ana chooses her room at bedtime, picks out books she wants me to read to her and seems happy about having her lullaby on and her dollies in her bed next to her... but, when she wakes up sad or frightened, we definitely snuggle up together :)

:Ranjani: Thanks! But honestly, it is Ana's personality that inspires me - she usually gives me some spark of an idea inadvertently and i simply use my experience to device something that might be suitable for her age...

Usually, it is just the prep work that takes time - and when i explain the steps, and prepare her for the next step, when i ask her if she wants to save the rest for later, she usually says "no, let's finish it now", which always gets me to a new high :)

At 8:34 PM, Anonymous sole said...

Amazing Sheela, how you do you manage to find time to do such projects with another little one around? I must be doing somethinng terribly wrong with time! I barely have enough time to manage their regular activity like eating, sleeping and entertaining them aside from the rest of the cleaning and the house work! How do you do it?

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Sheela said...

:sole: I can't take any credit for anything I manage to do... somehow Universe seems to direct most activities and I go along for the ride - sometimes wide-eyed, sometimes kicking-and-screaming :)


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