Leprechaun puppet

This amazing little leprechaun is made from a paper cup! He talks, he walks, he dances. Sure he doesn’t have arms… but he’s an Irish dancer so that doesn’t stop him having some mighty craic. Make your own leprechaun puppet for some St Patrick’s Day fun.

THINGS YOU NEED

Paper cup, A4 coloured paper (green, pink, orange, black), scrap of gold cardboard, scissors, glue stick, two plastic bottle tops, pair of googly eyes, cord (I used rainbow paracord from the dollar store), sticky tape, Lotta leprechaun template

HOW TO MAKE

1.  Cut your paper cup down evenly down the sides and fold the bottom in half.

2.  Now it’s time to turn this base into a leprechaun by decorating him with coloured paper.  Paper cups come in different sizes so we can’t give you a complete template.  Instead, use this template (Lotta leprechaun template) to help you get your paper to wrap nicely around the cup. Measure your cup and either add or subtract from the template so it fits your cup.  To start with, he needs a pink face, a green hat and clothes.

3.  Cut strips from the orange paper.  Glue one end onto the cup to create hair and a beard. Once the glue is dry, curl the ends with a pencil so they sit up nicely.

4.  Add the finishing touches — googly eyes with orange eyebrows, a golden buckled belt and a four leaf clover on his hat.

5.  Poke a hole in the middle of your bottle caps. Thread a piece of cord through the holes, tying a knot in each end to secure it.  Find the middle of your cord and tape it onto the back of your puppet.

Now your puppet is ready. To operate him, just place your hand on the ‘mouth’ at the back of the cup.

Love this guy and want to make more puppets? Check out my ebook Lotta Fun With Puppets for heaps of puppet projects (with complete templates and photo instructions).

Lotta fun with puppets ebook

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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.

THINGS YOU NEED

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.

HOW TO MAKE

  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.

THINGS YOU NEED

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. 

HOW TO MAKE

  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.

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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.

FLOWERS THAT BLOOM AT MIDNIGHT

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.

     

THINGS YOU NEED

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.

HOW TO MAKE

  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.

  

COLOURING

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.

MINI OBLITERATION ROOM

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.

THINGS YOU NEED

Shoebox, white paint, dot stickers, dollhouse furniture

HOW TO MAKE

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

Pop-up Santa Puppet

This cute Santa puppet, who pops up and down the chimney, is mostly made from recycled bottles.

THINGS YOU NEED

A square bottle (I used a Charlie’s Juice bottle), a santa shaped bottle (I used a Solo bottle), stanley knife, electric drill, chimney bricks printable, white felt, scissors, glue, masking tape, red and skin coloured paint, paint brush and tray, pompom (little one for nose, white wool and a scrap of cardboard (to make the hat pompom), googly eyes, piece of dowel, styrofoam ball (that fits inside your santa bottle) and a tape measure.

HOW TO MAKE

Watch this video to see how to make your own Pop-up Santa Puppet.

  1.  The first steps are just for grown ups. First cut the top off the square bottle and the bottom off the santa bottle. You need to put a hole in the bottom of the square bottle. The plastic at the base can be very tough, so the easiest way is to drill a hole in the base with an electric drill. The hole needs to be just bigger than the dowel rod.
  2. Peel off the stickers and remove any glue residue. I’ve found that eye makeup remover is great for this.
  3. Time to paint the Santa bottle. Use masking tape to cover a band for the face then paint the top and the bottom of the bottle red.  You probably need to paint two coats to cover the plastic evenly.  Peel of the masking tape and paint the middle section skin coloured. Set Santa aside for the paint to dry.
  4. Download and print out the chimney bricks PDF. You probably need two pages to cover your bottle. Trim the pages down to size and glue them onto the outside of the square bottle.
  5. Measure around the top of your chimney bottle. Cut some white felt to add snow around the top of your chimney and glue it on.
  6. Once Santa’s paint is dry it’s time to decorate him. Measure and cut a rectangle of white felt for the hair, fringing it. Glue onto the bottle around the edge of the skin section.
  7. Measure around the bottom of the hat section. Cut another felt rectangle and glue it around the rim of hat.
  8. Cut Santa’s beard from white felt and glue it on. Add the googly eyes and pompom nose.
  9. Make a large, wool pompom for the top of his hat. I needs to be big enough to cover the mouth of the bottle. Glue it in position.
  10. Insert the dowel into the styrofoam ball. Add some glue to the ball and attach it to the inside of the Santa bottle. Allow it to dry.
  11. Feed the stick through the hole in the bottom of the chimney and it’s ready to go.

If you make one I’d love to see. Take a pic and post it on Instagram with #lottamagazine or post it on our Facebook Page.