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3 Easy Back-to-School Crafts

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Posted by Aubrey Santana
Having traveled to practically every corner of the world, I draw inspiration for my art from the people, foods, and traditions of many different cultures.
3 Easy Back-to-School Crafts

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Get Crafty with 3 Fun Back-to-School Crafts

School is starting soon and it’s time to get our desks and supplies ready for our classes! While you’re getting everything ready, it might be fun to take a quick craft break. These easy crafts are great for artists of all levels and can help you add some personality to your desk or workspace. Plus, they’re helpful school supplies that you can actually use during the year to keep everything organized and help you stay productive! In this post, we’ll be sharing how to make some eye-catching bookmarks, decorate a pencil holder that looks like a pencil and design a fun clipboard full of colorful patterns. Grab your supplies and let’s get crafting!

How to Make a DIY bookmark

The Supplies You’ll Need:

1. Cut out a rectangular sheet of paper and prepare all the materials you’ll need to decorate the bookmark.

2. Draw a globe towards the top of the bookmark and centered in the rectangle. Sketch a circle first, then draw the globe's "holder" and a stand on the right side. Add the continents after that.

3. Use a ruler to draw the lines that will be the edges of the bookmark. You’ll want your lines to be slightly indented from the globe drawing.

4. Cut out the bookmark and erase any visible construction lines.

5. Apply water to the paper beneath the globe using a brush. Next, dip a brush into B24 Powder Blue metallic paint to add random splashes of paint on the wet paper. You can also add dots on different wet parts of the paper yourself. Drops of paint will flow beautifully and look almost like flowers.

6. Use Y5 Metallic Gold from the paint set to paint the globe's holder. 

7. Use A116 Prussian Blue and A215 Saffron Orange to paint the ocean and continents on the globe. We will be using the wet-on-wet technique. Dampen the paper inside the globe and start painting using blue paint. The blue color should be darker at the edges of the globe than in the middle. Mix yellow paint with metallic pink to paint the continents.

8. Mix A163 Noir black watercolor paint with metallic gold to create a shadow on the globe holder and refine the details. Place the shadows on the lower left side of the holder, then refine its edge. Add more shadows to the bottom of the holder for texture and volume.

9. When the continents on the globe are finally dry, it's time to add details. Use yellow, black and gold paint to define the edges of the continents. Add some more details to the water in the ocean.

Helpful Tips: 

  • To prevent the paint from flowing off the bookmark, you can use a clean, dry brush to blot the piece and remove any extra moisture. You can do this by cleaning off your brush in a clean cup of water, then blot it dry on a paper towel. Now you can dab your brush in any area where you need to remove some extra water or paint.
  • When you’re using the wet-on-wet technique, the beauty is in the unpredictable nature. This happens when the paint hits the water on your paper. Thanks to the shimmer of the metallic watercolors, the splashes will look like little magic stars. 

How to Make a DIY ‘Pencil’ Holder

The Supplies You’ll Need:

1. Prep your jar by carefully washing it with detergent and water, then allow it to dry. You can also purchase a plain mason jar for this craft. 

The colors we’ll be using for this craft are these: A201 White, A252 Silver, A213 Yellow Ochre, A221 Yellow and A206 Pearl Canary Yellow.

2. Apply masking tape to the neck of the jar so that it doesn’t get paint on it. Mix A201 with A213 on the palette and start painting the entire jar with sponge stamps. This will create the ‘wood’ part of the pencil and the rest of the colors will be applied on top of this.

3. When the paint is dry, apply more masking tape on the jar to block off the area that will be the yellow part of the pencil. Paint it using Yellow A221. Wait until this dries.

4. After this layer dries, paint small triangles with a brush. This will imitate the look of a sharpened pencil.

5. Separate the bottom section of the jar with more masking tape. Mix A206 with A201 and then add the eraser on your pencil jar.

6. After the eraser part has dried, create another section with masking tape for the metal part of the pencil. Fill in this area using A252.

7. Draw all the edges of the pencil using the black acrylic marker. Add the finishing details, like the vertical lines on the wooden part and the horizontal lines on the metal.

Helpful Tips:

  • Use sponge stamps because they allow you to apply the paint evenly.
  • Wear gloves to prevent getting paint under your nails.
  • You can use a hairdryer to speed up the drying process.
  • You must wait until the acrylic is completely dry. If you don’t, the masking tape will remove portions of your paint and leave portions you’ll need to patch up later.
  • A square, flat brush is best for painting the triangles that imitate the body of a sharpened pencil.
  • It’s best to immediately wash the palette when you’re finished working, because outdoor acrylics dry to a permanent finish and it will be almost impossible to clean off the palette without damaging it.

How to Decorate a Clipboard

The Supplies You’ll Need:

1. Apply masking tape at an angle on your clipboard.

2. Squeeze Persian Green A240 onto a palette. Use a sponge to apply the paint to the area separated by tape. Wait until the paint dries then remove the masking tape.

3. Now apply more masking tape to create another angled section from the other corner of the clipboard.

4. Squeeze Marshmallow White A201 onto your palette and mix it with the green you used before. Apply this paint to the second angled area. Wait until it dries then remove the masking tape.

5. When the paint is completely dry, use an oil marker in Plum Purple A401 to draw some circles, dots, zigzags and other fun shapes on the painted area. 

6. Use the Gold A700 marker and draw more shapes. Add a couple of dots inside and outside the circles of the opposite color. 

Helpful Tip:

  • Make sure the paint is completely dry and don’t remove the masking tape while the paint is wet. If you remove the masking tape too early, you will smear the paint that has not been dried.

We hope you enjoyed those tutorials and decide try out these projects yourself. These decorated supplies are a great way to add some character to your desk, books and more. You can even get creative and add your own personal touch to any of these back-to-school crafts. Feel free to tag us in your finished crafts on social media and leave a comment on this post! 

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