My Wonderful Walls Blog — Activities & Crafts for Kids
How to Decorate Paper 0
With summer almost upon us, it’s the time for weddings, graduations, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and so many reasons to celebrate. If you’re looking for a unique way to show how much you care, you might want to make your own cards or wrapping paper for your loved one. Stencils are a perfect way to do this and there are a couple of ways to approach your project; painting or embossing. Either technique is a wonderful way to create something personal for anyone on your gift giving list or just to create something for you. Keep reading for some easy ideas on how to decorate paper.
One easy way to add some fun to paper is to emboss it. You can do this with a stencil, an embossing tool and a lighted work surface. For this technique, you’ll want a simple stencil, ideally one piece. Metal or mylar stencils of 7-mil thickness or more do well. Laser cut stencils are best because they will produce clean edges. Don’t have an embossing tool? Try a knitting needle. Don’t have a light table? Use a lamp set under a glass table. You’ll want good quality cardstock or medium weight paper but not too thick or darkly colored so that you can see the stencil through the paper when working.
To emboss your paper, attach the stencil to the paper with low tack tape. Turn the paper over and place it on your lighted surface. The stencil should be backlit through the paper. Using the larger end of your embossing tool or knitting needle, trace the inside edge of the design. Make sure to press hard enough to make an impression but not tear the paper. Now use the smaller end of the tool to trace again, this time press a little harder but again be careful not to tear the paper.
Remove the stencil and turn the paper over to see the finished impression. This is great for the corner of a note card, personal stationary or a border around notepaper. You can also choose to stencil paint your embossed image by stenciling the paint first then embossing.
To create gorgeous cards or wrapping paper, try using a stencil brush and blank tissue paper or cardstock. The lighter the paper, the lighter touch you should use. Fabric paint can be an excellent choice for stenciling paper, as it will go on smoothly and blend well. Oil paint also works great on paper because it contains no water.
To paint your paper, use low tack tape to attach your stencil to the paper. With very flimsy paper, you’ll want to hold your stencil by hand. Any paper can be stencil painted but you’ll want to make sure excess paint is offloaded and a gentle touch is applied. With heavier paper, you don’t need to be as concerned with excess offloading. You can also layer more prints and add in free form stenciling if you wish.
To make a set of cards with less hassle, stencil some free form motifs on loose paper, then cut out and frame them into cards with small cutout windows. This way, you’re not wasting expensive cardstock while you figure out how best to design your card.
For larger motifs you can use a roller brush instead. This will even work for tissue or wrapping paper but with tissue paper, make sure to offload plenty of paint or it may pass through to your work surface.
For heavier paper and a roller, you may want to use spray adhesive to keep your stencil in place. If there is any residue left over, use an art eraser to remove it.
These are some quick and easy ways to decorate paper and cards with stencils. Who wouldn’t like a card made by hand on their special day? If you’ve ever tried stenciling paper, let us know how it worked out in the comments below.
5 Tips to Make Yoga a Family Affair 11
Getting a little time for ourselves as parents can be tricky. And at any age,stress can keep us from eating right, sleeping right and let’s face it acting right. We feel it and so do our children, so instead of trying to carve out a few precious minutes each day to de-stress alone, why not make it a family affair?
By introducing yoga into your family, you and your children can take part in an ancient tradition that seeks to connect mind, body and spirit. Whether they are 3 or 13, they can work with you on building their core muscles, breathing techniques, empowerment, letting go of stress, mindfulness… there is just so much yoga offers!
But where do you begin? We scoped out some great ideas for getting started! Here are a few of our favorites.
Try Partner Yoga
If you’ve been thinking about trying some yoga out with your kids to help you both relax and reconnect, try out these poses from Kids Yoga Stories. Not only might you find bedtime to be less stressful, you might discover you all really like yoga.
For Younger Kids, Let Them Watch You at First
According to an article on Rhythms of Play, kids 3 and under benefit by just watching you practice at first. While you don’t need to make them sit still and watch you, keeping the electronics off during this special time is key.
Get Kids a Yoga Mat that Fits Them
One size does not fit all when it comes to yoga mats. Per this article on Yoga Journal, kids feel safer when they have a yoga mat that fits them and has boundaries. Not up for buying a kid’s yoga mat right now? Make your own with this tutorial from Sewing Rabbit or this one from The Sassy Life.
Make the Yoga Age Appropriate and Fun!
Your three-year-old and your nine-year-old have different needs and wants when it comes to yoga. Make sure you are making the yoga practice fit each child. And liven it up with music, props and stories. YogiApproved.com has a great article entitled 5 Tips for Doing Yoga with Kids with ideas on how to make yoga fun for every age group.
Consider Taking Your Family to a Yoga Festival
Once you’ve introduced yoga into the home, check out a festival celebrating all the great joys of yoga. Not only might you have a fun family day and further grow your love of yoga, you might meet some like-minded families in the community!
Remember, yoga is more than just physical poses. The word yoga comes from the word yuj meaning “to unite or integrate”. The practice of yoga seeks to bring the mind and body together with the breath by integrating breathing techniques, meditation and yoga postures. So, any way that you can encourage this marriage of mind, body and spirit, will benefit you and your children. Whether it’s taking a few minutes each day to practice breathing exercises or coloring mandalas with your kids, you can make huge strides in creating harmony in your family and helping your children to develop techniques that will help them battle stress and promote health as they get older.
Thanks to Natasha for the use of the top two pics with her and her adorable children. You can follow her on Instagram as @natashaswinter for amazing videos and photos of her daily yoga practice. And thank you to Amy and Aimee for being part of our great photo shoot with our new decals. You can follow them on Instagram as @amyyogamomof3 and @aimeemasch for lots of yoga inspiration.
Forest Friends Themed Teepees Prove Our Stencil Kits Aren’t Just For Walls! 2
Back in March, our friend Connie from kokoandkoko designs in the UK asked us if she could use our stencils on fabric for a teepee art project she was planning to do with young children. Brilliant idea, right?! Connie has created many different lines of teepees and wigwams for children using a variety of designs and materials. This time she wanted to take the teepees to a new level by encouraging the children to create their own designs using our forest friends stencil kit hoping to ignite within them the same passion for arts and crafts she harbors within herself. We couldn’t wait to see how the teepees turned out! Here's what creative Connie had to say about this fun and rewarding experience:
My Wonderful Walls: How did you find out about My Wonderful Walls?
Connie: I stumbled across My Wonderful Walls while searching for reusable stencils using the Google search engine.
MWW: These teepees are amazing! What gave you the idea and inspiration for such a creative project?
Connie: Having made teepees with applique designs, I thought it was going to be interesting for children to take part in decorating and personalizing their own teepees using permanent fabric markers or paint. This project was aimed to help children develop their creativity and art skills by having fun. I also make plain teepees for doodle art where children can have hand prints, sponge art, and any doodles from their great imaginations.
MWW: What are the first names of the people who did the mural on the teepee?
Connie: The names of the children in the picture are Bithiah (girl aged 10yrs) and Shemaiah (boy aged 6yrs).
MWW: Where was your masterpiece created?
Connie: Essex in United Kingdom.
MWW: For whom is this mural intended?
Connie: This was my new design and lines of teepees and wigwams and intended for children.
MWW: What product did you purchase?
Connie: I purchased the Forest Friends Reusable Stencil Kit.
MWW: Tell us a little about why you choose this theme and what made this mural a good fit for your project?
Connie: I love nature and wildlife. The Forest Friends Stencil Kit has all of the classic nature designs that will always be appealing to little ones.
MWW: What was your son's reaction to the mural when he first saw it?
Connie: My son loved it. He was happy when I asked him to show his art skills by painting the teepee.
MWW: How long did it take to complete the project?
Connie: It took [the kids] a few days as an after school project and a weekend. My son asked if I could create another teepee to paint.
MWW: Obviously you have lots of artistic skill, but describe your artistic comfort level. Have you always had a love for arts and crafts?
Connie: I live for art, crafts, and any other creative activities. Having worked as a children's clothing and accessory designer for many years, designing is my life. I enjoy experimenting, but often I don’t have enough time to try all my designs.
MWW: What did you enjoy most about the teepee mural creation experience?
Connie: I enjoyed using the stencils to create a small indoor wildlife scene.
MWW: Was it what you had expected?
Connie: It is definitely what I expected and I would like to try different media or paint if time permits.
MWW: What did the kids think about the process/experience?
Connie: They would like to do another one. I would like them to colour a lampshade, cushion, or a canvas bag.
MWW: Did you add any personal touches to the teepee other than what came with the kit?
Connie: I added the brown and green felt at the bottom to create landscapes.
MWW: Do you have any helpful tips for people who use our products?
Connie: My advice to people is: do not hesitate to invest in one of the My Wonderful Walls mural kits and grow your creativity. You definitely will not be disappointed but will be amazed with the "WOW " results.
MWW: Did you utilize any or all of the resources on our main website (how-to videos, virtual mural maker, or customer photos)?
Connie: I did not use any videos or virtual mural maker because I had my ideas flowing before purchasing the kit. All I needed was to interpret it onto the fabric.
MWW: Would you recommend our products to others? why, or why not.
Connie: I cannot recommend your product enough. Your products are impeccably awesome, and easy to use. With your products there are guaranteed beautiful wall murals for those special people in your life.
Connie, we can’t thank you enough for sharing your experience using our forest friends stencil kit! If you’re feeling as inspired as we are, see for yourself how easy it is to have fun, and get creative with our unique stencils, stencil kits, and wall stickers. If you have a creative way you’ve used our stickers, or stencils, share your awesome idea with us in the comments! Or, let us know by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Your project could be our next blog post!
‘Tis the Season to Be Giving! Top 5 Reasons Why ColorMe Decals Make the Perfect Gift for Everyone on Your Holiday List: 4As part of the growing adult coloring trend as well as a great coloring activity for kids, ColorMe Decals make a great gift for people of all ages! As you well know, it’s that time of year again, and if you’re anything like me, you realize, “OMG! It’s already November and I haven’t done ANY Christmas shopping!” But, have no fear, ColorMe Decals are here! Here are the top 5 reasons why ColorMe Decals make the perfect gift for everyone on your list:
1). Coloring is just plain fun! Whatever your age, whatever your gender, coloring is just plain fun for everyone! Whether you’re looking for some alone time to relax and meditate, or know someone who does, ColorMe Decals are a perfect way to spend some enjoyable creative time solo. They also make a great party activity for adults and kids alike and are fun way to socialize with friends. So, whether you’re young in years or young at heart, ColorMe Decals make a great gift for everyone, bringing peace and happiness to any occasion.
2). ColorMe Decals are unique! Whatever you do, don’t buy another last-minute scarf, or matching hat and gloves to gift this Christmas! I don’t know about you, but I’ve got enough of these to last a thousand winters! Give a gift that’s distinct and unique. Unlike coloring books or designs printed on paper, ColorMe Decals are high quality, durable decals you can color and use for stunning home decor, like this nature inspired branching out mandala, that will last for years to come. And, because of the variety of materials you can use with ColorMe Decals, each design will be a unique, one-of-a-kind gift every time.
3). Gets the kids away from electronics! We’re all guilty of allowing our kids too much screen time. Whether it’s the computer, their ipad, video games, or good ole fashioned television, kids nowadays spend more time indoors gazing at screens than they do outdoors gazing at stars. So what form of entertainment can we offer them that trumps all that? ColorMe Decals! Because ColorMe Decals are high quality stickers you can color or paint, your kids will get swept up in the process of creating their own decor for their bedroom, locker at school, or laptop. They’ll get so absorbed in the creative flow of choosing their own colors and materials, they won’t even miss their electronics, at least until their done. So don’t reiterate the use of electronics this Christmas by getting your kids a bunch of new video games, a new ipad, or a television for their room. Do yourself, and your kids a favor by getting them a quiet, meditative activity that inspires their imaginations and ignites their creativity.
4). ColorMe Decals make a wonderful keepsake! Every holiday season, we search high and low for the perfect gift, a gift that will remind our loved ones how much we cherish them. ColorMe Decals make the ideal keepsake because they are so unique and engaging. When you think about it, what is more appealing than your loved one coloring or painting a design hand picked by you. Or better yet, a loved one receiving a ColorMe decal colored by you or your child. I couldn’t imagine grandma getting anything better. And once they’ve finished coloring, your loved one can display their one-of-a-kind masterpiece virtually anywhere: in their home, office, on their locker at school, and even on their laptop. Wherever they choose to put it on display, it will remind them of you and the awesome memories they made while coloring. It’s a gift they will treasure for a lifetime.
5). It’s a high quality gift at an unbeatable price! While Adult Coloring Books and free downloadable coloring images are all the craze, there really aren’t a whole lot of ways for folks to display their beautiful masterpieces when finished coloring. Their ambitious efforts just hide in a coloring book, or get easily torn while displayed around the house. Bummer. But how about a coloring page that also works as a decal? Now we’re talkin’! Because ColorMe Decals come in a variety of sizes and designs, like this beautiful butterfly mandala, there’s something for everyone, no matter your budget. Each design is handmade to order and printed on an eco-friendly, high quality canvas-like material that can stick to virtually any flat surface, so they’re never lost! They’re also repositionable, which means you have the option of moving them from room to room. And since they work with a wide range of artistic media, such as; crayons, colored pencils, markers, and paints, you’re free to focus on coloring or painting inside the lines while thinking outside the box! So, don’t spend your hard earned moola on an expensive gift that might get lost, forgotten, or hide away in a book. Give a unique, high quality gift that inspires togetherness, relaxation, individuality and creativity. Gift a ColorMe Decal. Your friends, loved ones, and wallet will thank you for it!
Now that you know the top 5 reasons why ColorMe Decals make the perfect gift for everyone on your Christmas list, don’t put yourself through fighting the holiday traffic, bah humbug shoppers, and waiting until the last minute! Order easily and quickly online today a treasured gift that will last a lifetime!
ColorMe Zen! Top 5 Reasons Adult Coloring Is Good For The Soul 0
When we color, we color for lots of reasons. It's fun, it gives us a sense of creative accomplishment, it’s relaxing, and it’s meditative. But, how can such a simple, age-old activity bring our body and mind to a much needed state of zen? Check out these top 5 reasons why coloring is good for the soul:
1). Coloring is Meditative: Because coloring is a repetitive activity, it brings your mind to a peaceful, trance-like state while also allowing you to focus on what you’re coloring and easily shut out other internal and external distractions, just as you would do in meditation. Serenity mandalas and geometric patterns are the perfect designs for anti-stress. The idea is not to think too much about the colors you choose, just let yourself be free and enjoy the moment. You will be amazed at the beautiful color combinations when you’re done!
2). Coloring Gives Us a Chance to Slow. Down: In our hectic, fast paced lives, we need a chance to escape our electronics, and take our eyes off the television. Stop and color the roses every once in a while, such as this Calming Calla Lilly ColorMe Decal, and give yourself some time to indulge in your inner artist. It’s important to take breaks and spend time with family and friends, or just some quiet time to yourself and delve into the nostalgic world of coloring to help you de-stress and decompress.
3). Coloring is Cheaper Than a Therapist: Let’s face it, we all feel frazzled from time to time. But, it’s understandable considering the loooong “to-do” lists ahead of us each day. From the early morning rush to work, getting the kids off to school with backpacks and lunches in hand, after school activities, dinner, and homework, it’s no wonder we all need a therapist! We just didn’t expect to find one in a box of crayola. The truth is, you don’t need expensive yoga classes or a big time commitment to relax and meditate, you just need to grab yourself a ColorMe Decal and a box of your favorite markers or paints. Your kids, your spouse, and your pocket book will thank you for it.
4). Coloring is FUN: These days, coloring isn’t just for kids. As a matter of fact, adults of all ages are getting in on the ever growing and popular adult coloring trend. Because coloring allows you to be social and creative at the same time, it’s a great activity for social gatherings and family get togethers. Coloring can also help you focus your mind when alone, travel inward into deep state of consciousness that allows you to relax, reflect, and meditate. So, whether you’re in a party mood and looking for an enjoyable group activity, or you just want some quiet, reflective time to yourself, look no further than your ColorMe Decal and a box of markers or your favorite paints.
5). Coloring is a Form of Artistic Self Expression: You don’t have to be an artist or have a fancy schmancy art degree to express yourself in a creative way. You just need simple, elementary coloring skills! When you’re able to solely focus on providing the colors for a picture or design, it takes away the dilemma and intimidating prospect of creating something from scratch. While it might pay off to be Betty Crocker in the kitchen, it’s not necessary to be Van Gogh when it comes to creating your very own decorative masterpiece. With coloring, the design is already there for you, you just have to provide the color. So go ahead and express yourself by staying inside the lines, while thinking outside the box!
So, now that you know the top 5 reasons why coloring is good for the soul, whatcha waitin for?! Grab your markers and paints and get your zen on!
Parenting With Plants 5
At My Wonderful Walls, we have many parents that search our site looking for wall art that depicts scenes of nature or fabulous floral designs to decorate their children’s rooms. Children are fascinated with plants and nature and we love to encourage parents to find ways to incorporate gardening into their parenting plans. Here are a few creative paths we’ve thought of to help parents connect with their children by growing something beautiful together!
Kids love to admire beautiful flowers, but learning how a flower gets to be so dazzling can be just as exciting! Create a project with your children that teaches them the fundamentals of not only planting flowers, but documenting how they grow over time. Set aside a space either inside your home or in your backyard and dedicate it to the flowers you want to grow. Take pictures of your children planting the seeds, then have them photograph the ground daily to track their flower’s progress.
Not only is this a great lesson in how nature works, but once the flower is fully matured, you’ll have a sequence of pictures that can be framed and used as educational wall art in your child’s room. We think a framed, flower sequence mural would look great as an addition to the Flower Garden Wall Murals we offer at My Wonderful Walls!
A beautiful flower can be grown anywhere, but how much more special would it be if that flower grew in a pot that your child decorated by hand! A few tubes of bright, acrylic paint and a little spare time is all it takes to give home-potted flowerpots a personalized touch—all completed with the help of your child’s imagination! Set a painted flowerpot next to our flower wall stickers and watch your walls come to life.
If it’s important that your plants stay outside, give your kids creative freedom by having them decorate the markers that differentiate the flowers by name. A piece of foam board attached to a popsicle stick is all you need to turn an ordinary plant marker into a special piece of art that your child will feel proud of. Give your kids ownership over their very own flower garden by letting them make up unique names for the plants they care for. Encouraging your children to be creative with gardening will inspire them to continue on learning about how nature delivers its most spectacular creations right in our own backyards for years to come.
Once those same flowers are out of season, consider framing the markers and hanging the wall art up in your child’s room as an artistic reminder of just how great they did in the yard! Not only is this a colorful addition to any room in your home, but it’s an important and personalized memento that will get your children excited about planting flowers alongside mom or dad next summer as well! Watch a single plant grow into an entire family tradition right before your eyes.