Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tissue Leaf Rubbing

It's fall and every season I try to find a craft for the kids to do. Once completed, I like to boost their self-esteem and tell them that it looks good and that they are artists!

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to be the Art teacher for an afternoon at my son Joshua's classroom. The teacher planned a lesson that I taught and I instructed the students creating crafts and paintings for “Evening at the Gallery” at the school. The projects came out so well that I was inspired to have my kids create something that would be gallery worthy.

It just so happened that I got a newsletter from TeacherVision – Family Education Network that I subscribe to. They have crafts and lessons for kids too. In the Newsletter I found a project that read, “Autumn Leaves Activity Book for Kids.” I thought it would be the perfect boredom buster for my kids. In the booklet it had a very simple art project, a tissue leaf rubbing on page 14 of the activity book.
  • Cut 5" tissue paper squares (use colorful tissue paper)
  • Fresh leaves with prominent veins
  • Brown crayon (I prefer the fat brown crayons)
  • Paper half sheets (I used 9" x 12" watercolor half sheets, white printer paper half sheets for layout)
  • Liquid corn starch (I used Mod Podge) 
Being the artist that I am, I made a few small modifications to the project. I used some water color paper, Mod Podge and added a half inch border by masking if off with drafting tape. This craft costs me $0, I used items I had in the house. Here's another idea, if you're not handy with drafting tape and an X-Acto knife, you can buy some small frames and frame the pictures.

I thought this would be the easiest project ever. I taped the leaves down on a hard surface then I taped the tissue paper over the leaves. My 5 year old daughter kept ripping the tissue paper as she rubbed. I thought in my mind, wow, how could you mess this up? My son who is 8 made so many leaf rubbings because he was not satisfied with any of his rubbings. My daughter was so upset she went to her room crying. My son kept complaining that the project was stupid and it wouldn’t look right. Surprisingly, I kept calm throughout the chaotic ordeal. I encouraged my son that the project would look great. I went to Alyssa’s room and encouraged her to finish and that she was doing a great job. For Alyssa to finish her project I just used the extra rubbings Josh had made. I took a plain half sheet of paper and let them lay it out so when I added Mod Podge to the water color paper they would know how to lay it out. They glued it down without any problems.

The next day while Joshua and Alyssa were at school I prepared the artwork by scoring off the edges of tissue paper, using a slim X-Acto knife, that overlapped the drafting tape then I pulled the drafting tape up. When I finished all 3 works of art I hung them up in the dining room. They were BEAUTIFUL! When the kids came home and saw them and were amazed!

Left to right, by Alyssa, Joshua, and Momma

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