I'm very eager to get my daughter involved in doing art, but it's a bit difficult to find age-appropriate crafts for a 13-month-old. I came across this window decoration project on another blog, but I don't remember which now! I wish I could, since the lady who wrote it had lots of great ideas. So if it seems familiar, won't you let me know where I stole this idea from?
I adapted the original (butterfly, I think?) to be seasonally appropriate: a gloomy bare tree with some bright autumn leaves hanging in there.
In order to make this window decoration, you'll need:
solid-colored paper (I used brown to make a tree)
solid or patterned paper (in this case, various autumn colors for leaves)
Contac paper (cut to the same size, or slightly larger, than your sheet of solid-colored paper)
First, take your sheet of solid-colored paper and draw a tree on it. Be sure to draw a frame and draw your branches so that several run into the frame, to give the whole thing stability. (Don't worry too much about the drawing looking too amazing--cutting it out with the craft knife in the next step will cover all manner of sins.)
Cut out the negative space of your drawing with a craft knife, being sure not to cut through the frame.
Finish cutting out your tree. Admire your handiwork. Then gently erase any pencil marks that show.
Grab the paper you're using for leaves, and draw some leaves on there. I made these a little outsized so they'd be easier for little fingers to grab. I used two sheets of double-sided paper, and drew the leaves on only one sheet..
I stapled the two pages together and cut out the leaves with the craft knife, thus avoiding having to draw leaves on both sheets. Once the leaves are cut out, erase any pencil marks. (Something else minimized by cutting out both sheets at once. Time saving, yes!)
Grab your contac paper and, if you haven't already, cut it to the same size as your tree. Then begin, very carefully, to stick the contac paper to your lovely tree. I don't have any pictures of this step because I don't have three hands, but I found it easiest to peel the backing paper from one corner of the contac paper, work my way over to the next corner, and then slowly work up to the top. I was nervous about this step, but it was surprisingly easy, so just jump right in.
Have a cup of tea and admire your handiwork while you wait for your little darling to awake (or to finish playing with your medals, in my case). Then once he or she does, the fun begins.
I just plopped the tree (sticky side up, of course) and leaves down in front of Kate and stuck one leaf on to get her started. To be frank, she didn't totally get the concept. Most of her leaves ended up on the paper by accident, but she had fun trying to pick them off again.
She also enjoyed waving it around in the air. It was a great activity to work on fine motor skills, and on no-we-don't-eat-paper skills.
Kate had fun for a good 15-20 minutes, and then it went straight up on the kitchen window to brighten up our gloomy fall weather.
As I did this, it wasn't exactly a quick craft; it took a little more than one nap to set up, so at least an hour and 15 minutes, to prepare. If I had chosen a simpler shape to cut out, like maybe a pumpkin with dots in different shades of orange instead of leaves, it would have been much, much more quick.
I love this craft because it can be adapted for any season or holiday.
I'm planning to do a Christmas tree in December, and maybe a heart in February.
It'll be fun to do this every few months and see how Kate progresses