Chinese zodiac printable

It’s almost Luna New Year so I’ve made some printables to help you celebrate.  These colouring pages feature the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac along with a little checklist of each zodiac’s character traits.

Download them right here:  Lotta Chinese Zodiac

If you print them on cardboard, you could also turn them into some quick crafts. Use them as a good luck charm. After you clean your room for the new year, hang up your animal to bring you good luck all year. I simply added a red wool loop to the top and a tassel to the bottom.

Or you could add a paddle pop stick to the back and turn them into simple puppets. Perhaps you could re-enact the race that decided their order.

You’ll find more fun for kids in my magazine.
Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids





Australian paper flowers

It’s almost Australia Day, when we Aussies celebrate what’s unique about our country.   So I’ve decided to create a craft project that celebrates our amazing native flora — it’s a 3D collage of Australian flowers.

I got a little carried away with this project, so it’s a family project as some of the cutting will probably require a grown up.  At the end of a crafternoon you will have some frame-worthy art imbued with the memories of making it together.


Coloured paper (browns, greens, pinks, yellows, red), scissors, glue stick, circle paper punch (15mm), serrated scissors, sheet of cardboard


I have created a template for you (download it here: Lotta Aust flowers ).  You don’t have to cut these out perfectly for the project to work, just use the template as a guide.

If your paper is A4 size, you can print our templates directly onto the paper.  Otherwise, tape the white printout onto the coloured paper and cut them out.


We’ve made a banksia flower and a seed pod.

To make the seed pod cut out the template shape from brown paper. Glue a sheet of light brown paper onto a sheet of dark brown paper. Punch lots of circles from it.  Fold the circles in half and glue them onto the base paper.

For the Banksia flower, cut out four of the banksia template.  Stack three of them them on top of each other and fold the pile in half vertically.  Put a staple in the middle, on the fold line, to hold the pile together.  Now fan out the folds and glue the final folded shape on top of the staple to hide it.  You can make a Bottle Brush with the same method, just add some snipped edges.

Cut some stems from brown paper. Cut some leaves from green paper using serrated scissors.  Put it all together and you have a paper Banksia.


Parts of these  flowers are a little trickier to cut, so they may require a grown up.  Use our template to cut out all the pieces and glue them together.  Fold and roll some of the pieces to make them sit up.

The grevillia stamens and both stems aren’t on the template because you just need to cut some rectangles.


The leaves are a little fiddly to cut out, so may need a grown up.  The flowers are simple, just punch some circles from yellow paper and glue them onto the stems.


Make all your flowers then start arranging them on top of your sheet of cardboard. Cut out a vase and add it to your collage.  Once you are happy with everything, glue it in position.

Lotta Magazine | Magazine for kids





Jumping kangaroo

Australia Day is coming and what is more Australian than a kangaroo?  This one jumps almost as well as the real thing with the help of some elastic bands. Quick and easy to make, fun to play with and a great way to celebrate Australia.


Two paper cups, two elastic bands, scissors, glue stick, bamboo skewer, colouring pencils, A4 card, printout of the template (you can download it here: Lotta jumping kangaroo)


  1.  Print out our template. If you can, print it on A4 card so your kangaroo will last a little longer.
  2. Colour in and decorate your kangaroo.  You could  make him even more Australian by adding some Aboriginal art inspired dots.

3.  Cut out the cup wrapper and glue it onto one of the paper cups.

4.  Poke four holes in your wrapped paper cup, at opposite points (like a cross).  An adult can use the pointy end of your scissors to get the holes started, then the kids can open them up with a bamboo skewer.

5.  Cut your rubber bands (so they aren’t circles anymore).  Feed one rubber band through the opposite holes, allowing a little slack, then tie a knot in both ends.  You can use your bamboo skewer to help poke the rubber band through the holes.

6.  Repeat with the other rubber band.

7.  Now your kangaroo is ready to jump. Place the kangaroo cup on top of another paper cup, pull down and launch.  Visit my Instagram profile to see a video of him jumping.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

You’ll find more great art and craft projects for kids in my magazine. Click above to see all the issues.

Christmas brooches

With these brooches, you can add a little Christmas cheer to any outfit.


Felt (browns, red, white, skin colour), scissors, craft glue, pencil, A4 piece of card, pompom, buttons or beads for eyes, brooch fitting


  1. Download the template right here.
  2. Cut the pieces out of felt and glue them together.
  3. Add some details. I sewed some beads on for eyes but you could glue buttons or googly eyes. I also glued a pom pom onto Santa’s hat.
  4. Place your felt creation down on some cardboard and trace around it. Cut out the shape, inside the line, then glue it onto the back of the felt shapes to stiffen them.
  5. Glue a brooch fitting on the cardboard backing and they are ready to wear.

Lotta Magazine | Magazine for kids

Reindeer bags

Today I am sharing a DIY for the perfect Christmas accessory, a Reindeer Bag.  It’s just the thing for carrying their stuff to Christmas parties or as a gift bag for special presents.  It’s super cute, easy to make and the handles are the antlers (I was so happy with myself when I figured that out!)  It’s also a great project for kids to practice basic sewing skills.


30cm of brown felt sold by the metre (it needs to be at least 80cm wide, if not you will need 80cm), scrap of lighter brown felt (for the ears), download our pattern, sticky tape, scissors, pins, big sewing needle, brown embroidery thread, two black buttons, pompoms, craft glue


  1.  Download our pattern, print it out and tape the two pages together.
  2.  Fold the felt in half. Pin your pattern on top, with the dotted line at the top of the antlers on the fold.
  3. Cut out the reindeer shape. DO NOT cut the top of the antlers!  Older kids can do this themselves, but younger ones will need an adult because cutting through two layers of felt needs sharp scissors.  The antlers are a little tricky for kids to cut — it’s easier to use a small pair of scissors and you can always trim them after you remove the pattern if you aren’t happy with the shape.

4.  Remove your paper pattern. Make sure the edges line up and pin the two layers together.

5.  Thread your needle with brown embroidery thread and sew the two layers together — a simple straight stitch from ear to ear, about 1cm in from the edge.  If you want to be tricky, you can hide the knot inside the bag by starting with your needle through just the top layer.

6.  Now it’s time to decorate your bag. Glue some felt onto the ears.  Glue or sew on two buttons for the eyes.  Add a pompom for the nose and if you’d like, one on the back for the tail.

If you make one, I’d love to see the Christmas cuteness!  You can post it on our Facebook Page or share your pic on Instagram with the hashtag #lottamagazine.

Lotta magazine | Magazine for kids

Stained glass butterflies

These stained glass butterflies, made with tissue paper and Mod Podge,  are based  on
 something you have a constant supply of… toilet rolls.  Toilet rolls never looked so pretty!  Make a kaleidoscope of butterflies (isn’t that a brilliant collective noun) and you can turn them into a mobile, a wall hanging or a garland.


Toilet rolls, paint, paint brush and tray, ruler, pencil, scissors, PVA or craft glue, pegs, tissue paper (different colours), Glad Go-Between (or similar), Mod Podge, clean paintbrush to Mod Podge with.


  1.  Paint the inside and outside of your toilet roll.
  2. Measure and mark even segments on your toilet roll — mine were 2cm wide.  Squash your toilet roll so you can cut it more easily. Try to cut the segments as straight as possible.
  3. Shape the toilet roll segments into butterfly wings.
  4. Glue the segments together to make a butterfly shape.  Lay them flat on the table so they line up to create a flat surface for the stained glass to attach to. Hold them together with pegs until the glue dries.
  5. If you want to make a mobile out of your butterflies, put a piece of string in the middle when you are gluing the wings together.

6.  Cut a square of Glad Go-Between (or similar), slightly larger than your butterfly.

7.  Cut your tissue paper into little pieces and make piles of the different colours.

8.  Paint some Mod Podge onto the square of Go-Between. Now place the pieces of tissue paper on top, adding more Mod Podge over them as you go. Try not to touch the Mod Podge too much or you will end up decorated as well.  With little kids, it might be easier to use plastic tweezers or mini plastic tongs (from the dollar store party section).

9.  Paint another layer of Mod Podge over the whole thing then press a toilet roll butterfly on top (flat side down). Turn the whole thing over and make sure that the wing edges are attached to the stained glass sheet and that it is taut inside the wing shapes. Set it aside to dry. Resist the urge to touch it again until it’s completely dry. No really… it’s tempting but don’t touch!

10. Once they are completely dry, you can carefully peel off the Go-Between.

11.  Now you can trim off the overhanging ‘stained glass’

12.  Cut another piece of toilet roll for the antenna and glue it into position.

     Lotta Magazine | Magazine for kidsYou’ll find more great art and craft projects for kids in my magazine. 

Paper plate reindeer

Hello cutie! I call him ‘Dolla’ because I made him with things I bought from the dollar store.  I think he would look great hanging on the kids bedroom door to give it a little Christmas cheer.


Small and large paper plate, brown paint, paint brush and tray, paper cup, scissors, glue, tape, wide christmas ribbon, pompom, glittered cardboard, googly eyes, pink craft foam or cardboard, green cardboard, bag of red buttons.

You don’t need a template, but I made one for myself and you can download it here. 


  1.  Paint one large and one small paper plate brown (you only need to paint the back of the plates).
  2. Cut a curve, about 1/3 up the large plate. This becomes your reindeers body. The leftover piece of paper plate is used to make the ears.
  3. Attach the head to the body with some tape on the back and a dot of glue between the layers.
  4. Cut some antlers from the glittered cardboard.
  5. Cut the bottom off a paper cup for the nose.
  6. Glue or tape everything in position.
  7. Wrap the ribbon around your reindeer’s neck as a scarf and glue the ends to the plate to hold them down.


Yayoi inspired crafts

Get yourself a packet of dot stickers and get ready for some Yayoi Kusama inspired fun.  I created some Yayoi colouring pages for DIY Mag Issue One but after visiting the ‘Life is the heart of a rainbow’ exhibition at Brisbane’s Gallery of Modern Art I was totally inspired to create more Yayoi inspired fun for kids.

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who has been called the ‘Princess of Polka Dots’. All her art, including paintings, installations, sculptures and fashion are absolutely covered with polka dots. Patterns, bold colours and fun interactive installations make Yayoi a great artist for kids to explore.


Inspired by Yayoi’s sculptures ‘Flowers that bloom at midnight’, I have turned a plastic soft drink bottle into a fantastical, polka-dotted, science-fiction inspired midnight bloom that kids can make.



Plastic bottle (I used a Coke bottle), spot stickers, craft foam, scissors, paint, paintbrush and tray, pipe cleaner, air drying clay, paper cup, colourful drinking straws (optional), craft glue.


  1. GROWN UPS ONLY: Cut the bottom off the Coke bottle. This will be come the flower.  Then cut off the sides of the bottle — these will become the leaves.
  2. Shape the bottle base into a flower shape with scissors.  Cut out two leaf shapes from the sides of the bottle.
  3. It’s time to paint your flower and leaves. Painting plastic can be tricky.  If an adult spray paints an undercoat of plastic primer it will be much easier. Otherwise it will take a couple of coats.
  4. Add dot stickers all over your midnight plant.
  5. Cut the eye shape from craft foam and glue it into the centre of the flower.
  6. Paint the paper cup which will be the pot for your plant.
  7. Roll a ball of air drying clay and put it inside your cup. The clay will create weight in your pot to make sure it doesn’t fall over.  Push the leaves into the clay. Fold a pipe cleaner in half and twist it around itself — this makes it stronger. Push the end of the pipe cleaner into the clay. Leave it to dry.
  8. If you want to cover the pipe cleaner and make it more colourful, you can slide some small cut lengths of drinking straws over the top. Leave the top of the pipe cleaner exposed.
  9. Glue the flower onto the top of the pipe cleaner.



I created a few Yayoi colouring pages for Issue One of the Colour DIY Mag. Here’s one I have resized to A4 that you can download as a free printable. Colour or paint the page, then use some small dot stickers to add Yayoi’s trademark dots.


The Obliteration Room is an installation where visitors cover a white room with colourful dot stickers. It is heaps of fun, but unless you visit on the first day you don’t get the satisfaction of starting with a blank slate. So I thought it would be fun to create a mini obliteration room with a shoe box and some dollhouse furniture.


Shoebox, white paint, dot stickers, dollhouse furniture


This one is easy. Paint your shoebox white (inside and out). Add some dollhouse furniture — if you a taking this seriously, you should paint it white too.  Now start ‘obliterating’ your room with dot stickers.

If you want to take this idea further, you could find a dollhouse at the Op Shop and paint it and the furniture white.

For more famous artist fun, featuring Van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Klimt, Frida Kahlo and more, click here.

Famous artist fun

Printable christmas lollipops

Here’s a quick Christmas printable for you — Santa and Rudolph lollipop covers. They are a great option to hand out to the kid’s class  or you can use them as cute (and delicious) place cards at your Christmas table.

Download our template here.  Print them onto A4 card and cut them out, including the hole in the centre. We have two versions — one ready to print and one you can colour in. Cover your lollipop with red crepe paper, securing it around the stick with some sticky tape. Write a message to your friends on the back of the card and put the covered lollipop through the hole.

You can also embellish them. I added a real pompom to Santa’s hat. You could add some cotton wool to his hat and beard. I also added glitter to Rudolph’s antlers to give him a little extra sparkle.

Light-up Christmas trees

With this easy craft, every kid can have their very own christmas tree.  Best of all, it really lights up with the help of battery-operated LED fairy lights. As you can see below, it’s amazing! They would make great Christmas night lights for little ones and are fun for everyone.


Green craft foam, plastic cup, battery operated LED lights, craft foam stars, scissors, masking tape, template, skewer, decorations for your tree (jewels, sequins, buttons etc).


1. Download and print out the pattern and tape it onto your sheet of green craft foam.  Use it as a template to cut out the cone shape.

2.  Poke holes through the cone with a strong skewer — one for each of your lights.


3.  Turn the cone over and poke each of the bulbs through a hole.

4.  We decorated one of our trees with a bead garland. To make this easy, poke a hole and thread it though the top of your tree because it is difficult once the tree is assembled.

5.  Now add some craft glue along one edge and join the two sides together to form a cone. Hold it until the glue sets or use a little masking tape to hold it together until it dries.

6.  Place your battery pack and any extra cord inside the plastic cup and sit your cone over the top.

7. Add your stars to the top (one on each side with the sticky sides together).

8. You can decorate it however you wish — keep it plain or go crazy with the decorations like jewels or sequins, shapes cut from craft foam.