El Esqueleto

el esqueleto

Celebrate Día de Muertos with this jolly paper clip skeleton ornament! All it takes is 15 paperclips, paper, and a little glue!

You’ll need:

  • 15 paperclips
  • 1 rectangle of black poster board (approximately 4.75″ x 7.75″)
  • A number of yellow and gold tissue paper squares (approximately 3″ x 3″)
  • 1 snippet of ribbon (ours was 8″ long)
  • Scissors and squeeze glue for construction
  • Hole punch

The most important thing about this project is to use squeeze (i.e. liquid) glue. Glue sticks, alas, do not work! You’ll really have to glop the glue on to anchor the paper clips, but the good news is that everything dries clear and muy bueno!

First, punch a hole in the top of the black poster board rectangle. Next, glue crumbled yellow and gold tissue paper squares around the rectangle, making sure NOT to cover the hole you just punched.

Glop glue inside the rectangle, then arrange 14 paper clips to create your skeleton. The 15th paper clip gets unfolded and rounded to form the skeleton’s skull. Use hole punch remnants to make eyes, and a little snippet of paper to make the mouth.

Allow the frame to dry completely, then thread the ribbon through the hole. Done!

Bling Bin

bling binIf you craft with kids, you need a BLING BIN!

My bling bin is a 18″ x 11″ x 7″ plastic tub filled with all sorts of odds and ends. Glittery stickers, sparkle stems, shiny paper, mylar squares, pom-poms, tissue paper, metallic poster board pieces, gold curling ribbon, the works! When I have a project that requires free-form creative decoration, I bring out the bling bin so kids can pick and choose what they would like to use.

In fact, to break out my Educational Psychologist hat for a moment, I always try to build choice into all my projects, so kids will exercise those decisive brain muscles and feel a sense of ownership. This technique can be quite simple. If the project calls for a pipe cleaner, let them pick the color they want from a pile. If you’re making a box dog, give them a few “dog” colors to choose from (and always have pink on hand because someone always asks!).

And before you ask, yes, my Educational Psychologist hat looks exactly like Dumbledore’s hat, complete with gold tassel.

The bling bin is also a nifty recycling bin. If I have something shiny left over from a program, I toss it in the bin for a later date. I love seeing the metallic stars we used for a tooth fairy project show up on a robot marionette a few weeks later.