Monthly Archives: December 2020

Putz House


I used to do after school art classes. We charged a nominal fee to cover costs and students made some amazing art along. My favorite year was the year we did holiday gifts. I had come across Putz houses at a Vintage Boutique shop in our area. I just knew my students would love them. There are loads of patterns out there on the internet and I tried to find the easiest ones I could knowing I would be doing most of the heavy lifting. These were done by 2-5 grade students.

I brought in the pre-cut patterns, tissue, and battery operated candles. Students added color, details and a bit of glitter. We used cereal cardboard and only 90 minutes. More time would have been ideal.

One student took theirs home and embellished with loads of extras. I love that this student enjoyed the project so much that she made another one with her family and friends. I think they are simply stunning.

Winter or Ice Castles


I love this project. It is a fun one to teach tint, shade, and tone during the winter months. Students drew castles in Sharpie marker on a separate paper from the background. For the background, they painted cool winter backgrounds using tints, shades and tones of cool colors. They then cut out and glued the castle onto the background. I typically do shorter lessons so this was done in about 45 minutes. With the paint still wet, we used white glue to adhere the castles to the background and it worked out great.

I generally show my students pictures of ice castles from around the world to inspire them. They are encouraged to create their own type of castle and use tints, shades, and tones to make the image more interesting.

Boat Collage


This lesson came about because of an abundance of construction paper. Students tore the paper into long strips and used glue to collage them along the bottom of a larger paper. They added sailboats as they chose to and colored the sky with oil pastels.

I tied it in to artists who painted ships like Winslow Homer, Thomas Birch, and Claude-Joseph Vernet. We live near the ocean so many of the students had been on a sailboat but I also showed them pictures of sailboats for reference.