Tag Archives | Kids Crafts

Project | Using Project Life With Kids

We finish out Kids Crafts Week with the hottest thing to hit scrapbooking for grown-ups in the last few years…Project Life!

My 10 year old daughter, Bridget, recently decided that she wanted to “make a scrapbook too”. Due to her limitations (she has arthritis and autism), I decided to try her out with Project Life as a “shortcut” to enabling her to scrapbook.

I let her browse the new Project Life releases online, and she went straight for the “Blush” kit, full of pink and doodle-y flowers. (A “Honey” kit just “accidentally” fell into Mommy’s cart while the kid was picking out her kit….you’ll hear more about that later!)


We picked a topic for her first Project Life pages, the day we spent at Disney’s Animal Kingdom for her 10th birthday last month. Then we sat down at my computer and I opened up my Adobe Lightroom library. Bridget pointed to the pictures that she wanted and I took care of printing them the appropriate sizes. Continue Reading →

Project | Sticky Sticks

You know a craft product is good when it sparks a whole new hobby for your child.

And the odd thing is that this product – Sticky Sticks (25 sticks for $3.50)- is probably one of the most basic craft items out there: the popsicle/tongue depressor stick. The genius thing about Sticky Sticks is that they added a square of adhesive to one end, and by doing that (and eliminating the liquid glue and drying time associated) they opened up a world of possibilities.


I showed the Sticky Sticks to my daughter, Gracie, one evening before bed. I showed her how to use them by sticking them to a photo she had on her art desk – simply peel off the little square of wax paper covering the adhesive square on the end of the stick and adhere to whatever you like. She tucked the photo into her cup of pens and I immediately realized these would make a great tool to display small photos and works of art all over the house. Continue Reading →

Review | Sticky Sticks

Sticky Sticks

Sticky Sticks, which debuted at CHA Winter 2013, are a product invented by a mother that needed this exact item when she was creating visual aids for teaching children.  I was excited to try them because I love doing craft projects with my young daughter (she is almost two and a half).  When this package of 25 Sticky Sticks arrived I was a little stumped about which project to start with.  So I checked the Sticky Sticks project ideas page and followed the very simple instructions – peel the paper adhesive backing and stick. Continue Reading →

Vendor Spotlight – Letraset AquaMarkers

Reported by Maria Del Pinto

The Letraset AquaMarkers are markers with a water-based, acid-free pigment ink.  

The list price for one marker is $2.75 which is a lower price point than a Tombow Marker.   They are also sold in a set of twelve colors for around $29.95.  A google search found several great deals on these markers, so the price can vary according to the retailer.

This AquaMarker Set includes 12 markers with the added bonus of a “Blender” pen.  These water-based pigment inks are very vibrant.  The colors in this kit are:
  • Flame Red
  • Sepia
  • Gold Ochre
  • Straw Yellow
  • Bamboo
  • Celery
  • Fern Green
  • Aquamarine
  • Twilight Blue
  • Royal Purple
  • Rose Carmine
  • Lamp Black
The kit also includes a handy guide that gives hints on how to:
  • blend with water
  • achieve colour graduations
  • a handy color chart
  • how to use the blender marker
  • what types of paper work best with the markers
  • brief description of the nibs
The AquaMarkers have double nib tips like the other line of markers that Letraset carries.  However, these come with a fine tip nib on one end and 

medium brush like nib on the other end. 

These two nibs can be used to create a variety of effects with the inks.  The fine nib is used for drawing and small areas.

The medium brush like nib, is for filling in larger areas.

Because the inks blend easily, you can achieve similar effects to watercolor paints with color tone and washes as you would traditional water colors.  You can also soften the bright pigmented colors by adding water with a paint brush or  

Sable Paintbrush
using the ProMarker Blender pen.  There is more information on how to use the “Blender” pen on the Letraset website.    
AquaMarker Blender Pen
You can blend the pigment ink colors by using either the ProMarker Blender pen or a water brush pen filled with water.

This can be done without leaving a hard edge which can be a problem with some of the water color pens on the market today.  The colors can even be blended after they have dried.  

The manufacturer recommends using a hot-pressed watercolor paper.  More information on the types of papers to use are available on their website, along with some quick tutorials.  

I decided to test the markers on cold-pressed watercolor papers to see what type of results I would get.

Here are the results I got from testing five different types of cold press watercolor paper:

1.  The first paper I tried was “Canson” cold press 140lb fine grain paper (XL Series).

The inks worked well with that paper and spread without any problems.  Here is what the project looked like.

2.  The second paper I tried was Strathmore Watercolor cold press 140lb paper from the 300 Series.

I got a fairly decent watercolor effect with these, but I did have to wet the paper a lot.  

Here is what the project looked like with this paper.

3.  The third paper I tested these inks on was Biefang Watercolor 140lb paper by Speedball.
The color soaked into the paper.  The best way to work with this paper was to wet it well first, 

and then add the inks (working quickly before it had a chance to soak in again).

 I would not recommend using these inks on this paper.

4.  The fourth paper that I tested the inks on was Arches Watercolor cold press 140lb fine grain paper. 

The inks spread well using just the brush (wet with water).
It was an easy paper to work with and the inks were easy to control just by controlling the amount of water I used to create the watercolor wash effect.

5.  The fifth and final paper that I tested the inks on was Strathmore watercolor cold press 140lb paper (400) series.

  Once again, I encountered no issues.  The watercolor wash looked great and was easy to do on this paper.

I should point out that getting the stamped image to come out dark was a bit of a challenge. The Staz-on ink virtually sunk into the paper and faded out a bit.  I had to go over the stamped images with the Aquacolors to get in dark enough to photograph.

My first project which was a tag worked well for testing out the inks on cold press paper.  You cannot see it in this picture, but I added some Jacquard Pearl Ex powdered pigment to the water I used, to give the watercolor inks some shimmer.  They shimmer beautifully in person.
First Project – Tag
For the second project, I decided to demonstrate how to do a “Watercolor Wash” with these inks.
The project came out looking like this.

For my third project, I wanted to decorate a gift box.  Since the AquaMarkers are a pigment ink, they can be directly applied to rubber stamps.

Just remember to work fast.  I was given a hint by an avid stamper to blow on the inked stamp to keep the ink moist.  It may sound odd but for some reason the moisture from one’s breath keeps the ink moist. 

The ink will not stain the stamp, if you clean the stamp immediately after using it.  I used the stamp above and applied the ink directly to the stamp to stamp the image onto the box.  The AquaMarker pigment inks showed up great on this cardstock.  The box came out great. I glued some buttons and rhinestones to the box.  Then used some of my favorite ribbon to finish wrapping up the gift box.

The Letraset AquaMarkers are very versatile and fun to work with.  These markers are perfect for using on quick and easy craft projects.  They are easy to pack and do not take up much space, so taking the with you to do outdoor watercolor craft projects is convenient.  Additionally, the Letraset website states that the Aqua Markers ink is acid free, so they are considered to be safe to use in your scrapbooking.  I even think they would be fun to use to introduce watercolor wash techniques to older kids as a fun kids craft or art project.

  • Work fast, these pigment inks do dry up quickly.
  • Use a paint brush if you want to control the amount of water you get on your project.
  • There are some great YouTube videos on how to watercolor using the AquaMarkers and other similar markers. You can compare results with other brands while watching these great videos.
  • You can take the small circle stickers they sell at the office supply stores and place them on the nib covers and color them in with the corresponding nibs to make spotting the right color easier.
  • These colors are completely portable, which is a plus when you want to work outdoors or to take traveling for those last minute inspirations.
  • Easy to use.
  • Can be purchased as individual markers or in sets of 5 or twelve on the Letraset website.

  • They are addictive and you will want to play with them a lot.
  • They are not easy to find.
  • You have to be mindful of the type of paper you use these on.

What types of markers do you like to work with in your stamping and scrapbooking?  Please share any tips you may have for our readers.

CHA Summer 2011 | Great Kids Projects from Grant Studios

While at CHA, I was on the lookout for great kids projects, and I came across them at the adorably cute Grant Studios booth. The first product that caught my eye was the My Studio Girl line of craft projects for ‘tween girls.  IMG_0043Everything you need to create your own little doll is included in one kit.  Fabric, needle, thread, embellishments.  Even a little pet for her pocket!IMG_0049The Dress-Up Doll kits contain a finished doll, but she needs clothes!  Everything you need to create her costume is in the kit – I know a little girl who wants Mommy to get her the princess kit!  SmileIMG_0048The My Studio Girl line also includes a “Make Your Own Sew Cute” pet.  IMG_0046Can’t you just see these being made at a Slumber Party and then sitting on a bed in your ‘tweenies room?IMG_0047Finally, Grant Studios debuted their new line of puffy, reusable stickers called Taggles Dress Up Stickers.  Taggles are like paper dolls, but in sticker form.  IMG_0044You can dress the girls with all kinds of trendy clothes stickers, reposition them and decorate with them.IMG_0045There is even an impossibly cute website the girls can play with too!IMG_0091
We loved these new lines for the tween girl.  What would your girl love to make?