Years ago I bought a huge bag of unused cookie cutters from a friend. She said they were just sitting around, unused, in her pantry. So I volunteered to let them sit around, unused, in my pantry. I’m a giver, what can I say. But I had PLANS for them. I was going to use them. Just like I’m going to use the 60 toilet paper rolls and the big bag of mismatched fabric scraps. I will use them. Surely I would decide that rolling out dough, cutting out cookies, and then decorating intricately shaped airplane cookies was fun.
But art happened.
Let me back up to explain the origins of the creations. My homeschool group runs a fun and crazy co-op where each family offers one class or field trip within a 3 month period and, in return, gets to participate in all the classes and field trips others organize. Most people offer more than one. Times that by the 17-20 families that participate and we have lots to do all the time. I always organize a class or three. And they are usually hands on and, lately, super crafty. This class was entitled “Cookie Cutter Stamped Canvas.” Kids ages 6 through, um, however old Daniél is participated.
This project is so easy that any child can do it and still produce something that is worth hanging on the wall.
Yes, I have a pre-step. Why is it not just step 1? Well, because it’s optional and step 1 should always be mandatory. Really. In fact, I believe rule 1 of tutorials is that step 1 must be mandatory. The pre-step is to paint your canvas a solid color, if desired. That’s it. Feel free to do it or not. I don’t really care.
I’d point out that this step is mandatory but that would be redundant. Decide how to proceed. Sure, this tutorial will give you some ideas but the creation is yours. A photocopy of what I did would be lame-o. There are a few ways to go about this project. You can pick a single cookie cutter shape and use it over and over again with different colors. Or you can pick several cookie cutter shapes but do them all the same color. Or you can pick a single shape and single color. Or you can pick different cookie cutters and different colors and just do something random and weird. Wait. Rephrase. You can pick different cookie cutters and different colors and just do something carefree and whimsical. Better?
To get consistent and positive results with crafting, it usually works well to go in with a basic plan and then roll with it as it happens. Practice on paper first. Make sure the picture in your head and the tools you have on hand can come together in stamped canvas heaven.
To start, pick a color. Pick a cookie cutter. Marry the two.
A word on paint. With the kids, I used generic poster paint for cleanupability (note: don’t try that word on Words With Friends). Poster paint doesn’t have huge amounts of pigment in it so remind your kids (or yourself) to make sure your brush is as dry as possible when switching colors. If mess and staining of paint is not an issue or if you like googling laundry stain remedies, I recommend using acrylic paint.
A word on the cookie cutter. I recommended to the kids to use the thick side of the cookie cutter and not the actual cutting side for a more solid stamp. One of the girls in the class discovered during our try-it-on-paper-first portion that she liked alternating the side she used for more variation. Definitely practice on paper but when in doubt, use the thicker side.
Another word on paint. I had the kids brush it on. It was for logistical reasons. Daniél’s son continued his painting at home and dipped his cookie cutters into a plate of paint. When using a brush, you have to make sure you get enough paint on or you end up with incomplete shapes. With dipping, you have to make sure you don’t get too much paint on or you get globs and pucker marks. But both ways work well.
Stamp like your life depended on it. Stamp every which way. Overlap the stamps. Go off the edge with the stamps. Make that canvas your bitch. Alternate colors! Alternate stamps! Alternate patterns! Go crazy. In fact, go Mardi Gras crazy!
With my Mardi Gras themed, boob-free painting, I thought the purple and green would drown it out the yellow so I went heavy handed with the yellow. Turns out, the yellow was brighter and over powered the rest. So I went back and added more green to balance it out. To get the look you want, you may have to keep going back and forth. This can be a little frustrating for the kids (especially if all their friends are done and playing LEGOs upstairs) but it’s a good lesson in work ethic. Or it builds character. Or something.
I like to refer to this step as “I ain’t no maid.” Even our youngest participants helped clean up. I highly discourage… no, I FORBID you all from cleaning up after your kids.
Now go and make it your own.
PS Here’s a picture of Daniél’s finished painting