Sunday, September 18, 2011

Art and Coffee for the Changing Seasons

Autumn certainly inspires many a craft or art project.  From leaf rubbings, to thumbprint trees, to apple prints.  The possibilities are cheap, accessible, relevant, and fun for fingers of many different sizes and levels. 

My own personal favorite craft at my library was creating strings of autumn-hued paper and tissue paper leaves that we hung in doorways, and later used for toddler and preschool story time (letting the children hold the strings and swish, sway, and dance them to a falling leaves rhyme).  This craft was time-consuming to say the least, and largely made possible by two very patient high school volunteers.  Try as I might to muster the energy to recreate this craft at home...It will not happen. 

Instead, we made a tree.

Certainly one thing that absolutely, positively never happens at home are any crafts requiring tissue paper.  I simply never have more than one crumpled white sheet from a shoe box or something laying around here.  It is lovely stuff, but it is too delicate to store, expensive, and troublesome for awkward little hands.

I do however, always seem to have a stash of round, white coffee filters...and they are art activity magic.  Much more durable than tissue paper, they hold up to watercolors and tempura, pastels, markers, and crayons.  But they still have that lovely flexibility that begs for crumpling, balling, folding, and bunching.  And it has some of that transparency and luminosity that we are all attracted to in tissue paper.   Grab a mega pack at the grocery store for the long cold months ahead.  You can start by making yourself a big pot of coffee, and then an autumn tree (just paint filters, allow to dry, then cut/tear/paste). 

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