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This is a two-part art project; a festive garland to hang in a doorway, across a wall, in front of a window, wherever you need a bit of cheer!  Yummy's garland is intended as a gift, but it would be a wonderful homemade birthday or party decoration as well.

We used beet water to colour our coffee filters, since we have an excess of the vegetables right now (and I enjoy using natural materials for art when possible), but you could definitely use another kind of paint to dye them.  I didn't realize that beet paint would be so very pink -I thought it would be more of a rich autumn red. However, Yummy is quite delighted with the colour result!  

Part One: Dyeing the Coffee Filters

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You will need: 
  • Coffee Filters (we dyed 100, but only used 21 for the garland)
  • A jar of canned beets (or you can boil up some fresh ones and use the cooled red beet water after they are cooked) Alternately: you can use watered down tempera paint in the colour of your choice
  • A stainless bowl or pan big enough to dip the coffee filters into
  • (disregard the scotch tape!)

Dump the red water from your jar of beets into the pan (leave the beets out -chunks are no good).  Dip the coffee filters in, let them drip off a bit and place on a cookie sheet or tray in a stack.  We started off by dipping one filter at a time, but found that it worked fine to do a small stack of 5 or so at a time, and it went a lot quicker too.  100 coffee filters used up the entire quart jar of beet water, the last few just soaked up the dregs so they were a bit lighter.  
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After all the filters were dip-dyed, I carried the wet stack on a cookie sheet, over to the workroom where I had spread out a vinyl tablecloth.  I spread them out in thin stacks to dry and pointed a fan in the general direction.  They were dry by the next morning.  I closed the door while they dried to keep Dooter from exploring.  

Part Two: Assembling the Garland

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You Will Need:
  • Dyed Coffee Filters
  • Thick Thread 
  • Sewing Needle (I used a pretty big one)
  • Child-sized Scissors
  • Scotch Tape


Take a coffee filter, fold it in half.  Fold it in half again, and then one last time.  Total: three folds.  Yummy decided she wanted 21 "flowers" on her garland, so we did this 21 times.  
Smoosh the tip of the flower together and wrap a small piece of scotch tape around the top, leaving about 1/2 inch of paper exposed at the top to stick the needle through later.  Doing this to 21 flowers got to be a little tedious for Yummy (age 4), so I finished up the last half myself.  Picking a smaller number of flowers would help make this a more manageable project for a small child.
Using the scissors, slice about 3 lines up the bottom of the flower.  Then spread the cut pieces out a bit to add some dimension.  
Thread the needle, tying a knot to secure it.  If your child is old enough to manage a needle on her own, they can thread the needle through the top paper part of each flower.  I knotted the thread around the first and last flower to prevent them moving on the garland.  
Yummy loves using a needle and carefully threaded each flower onto the garland.
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After Yummy threaded each flower on, I wrapped a little piece of tape over the top of each, securing it to the thread so they wouldn't slide around on the string.  
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Yummy wants to give this festive garland to her grandparents -tomorrow is their 40th anniversary (the ruby anniversary), and pink is close enough to ruby in our books!  I wrapped the garland around a piece of cardboard, taping each end on, so that it won't get all tangled before they have a chance to hang it up.
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There were lots and lots of pink coffee filters leftover, so I wrapped some around the bulbs on a string of white lights  for our own festive banner!  It lights up these dark mornings with a soft rosy glow.  
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The Elements of Visual Art and Principles of Design in this activity:
1.  Form:  Working in three-dimensions
2.  Rhythm: Using repetition in the many paper flowers to create rhythm

Extra Learning
1.  Fine motor skill practice: folding, using tape scissors, using a needle and thread

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7/7/2014 05:27:22 pm

nice posts

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pav
8/6/2017 03:44:35 am

very nice that child creativity .i really appreciate you..
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