Father’s Day Chalkboard Art Project

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 18) and this chalkboard art project is the perfect gift to make for dad! Well suited for any age to create – this cute, framed artwork can be displayed at breakfast on Father’s Day, and then kept on dad’s desk year round.
Materials you will need:
 
black paper (scrapbook quality works best)
white or peach colored pencils
chalkboard markers and/or white gel pens
colorful markers (for the frame)
a basic wooden frame
scissors
Step 1  Cut out a piece of black paper that will fit within the frame you are using. An easy way to do this is to trace the around the cardboard frame back, or the frame’s protective glass to achieve the exact size you will need.

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 2  Lightly trace a cute design on the paper using white or peach colored pencils. Quotes look especially good done in chalkboard style writing, so you could have your kids write something such as, You’re a COOL dad or You’re a BEARY good dad – something fun and sweet. Pinterest always has some good ideas if you need inspiration!
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 3  Using white gel pens or chalkboard markers (mine are from OOLY), trace over the pencil designs to create the finished artwork.
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 4  An easy way to decorate the frame is by dotting a confetti pattern using colorful markers. Sharpie paint pens would work perfectly for this, or multi-surface markers such as the ones I’ve used. You could also easily use regular washable markers, but the colors will bleed a little bit on the frame’s wooden surface unless you paint it first.

Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 5 Add the artwork inside the frame, and have fun displaying your chalkboard masterpiece for dad on Father’s Day!
Father's Day Craft by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She offers private art lessons to children in Jersey City and Hoboken ages 4 – 12 years.

Mother’s Day Coloring Page

Mothers Day Coloring Page by Lady Lucas
This past weekend I offered summer themed coloring pages to the children at the Jersey City Summer Camp Festival, and realized the moms were just as eager to enjoy some coloring. So moms – this is for you! Simply download this adorable coloring page and relax.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Materials you will need:
– Printer
– Paper
– Colored pencils or thin tipped markers
Mothers Day Coloring Page by Lady Lucas
Step 1 Download this Mothers Day Coloring Page from my ‘Tea Time Coloring Book‘. Print it as many times as you wish for personal use.
Mothers Day Coloring Page by Lady Lucas
Step 2 Use colored pencils or thin tipped markers to color all the details. If you’d like a wide array of colors to choose from, OOLY and Crayola both offer great coloring pencil sets, as well as the generic packs of pencils available at Michael’s craft store.
Mothers Day Coloring Page by Lady Lucas
Step 3 Think about having a little ‘coloring party’ with your kids this month. Print a few copies of this page and enjoy a cup of tea together. It’s a great way to get children to unwind after a long day at school or on the weekends. Have a wonderful Mother’s Day – you deserve a little treat! 😉
Mothers Day Coloring Page by Lady Lucas
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She offers private art lessons to children in Jersey City and Hoboken ages 4 – 12 years.

Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft

Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
The kids had such a great time making this craft at the Jersey City Spring Festival with me last week, I wanted to share this ‘how to’ so you can make these puppets at home with your children in preparation for Easter on April 16. If you do make them at home, this week, tag @jcfamilies on social media so we can take a look at your great creations!
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Materials you will need:
 
– Popsicle sticks
– Card stock paper in light colors (I purchase mine from Michael’s craft stores in the city)
– Scissors
– Markers
– Clear Tape
– Stickers
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 1 Cut out bunny shapes (and eggs if you’d like) out of card stock paper. Older kids will enjoy doing this part themselves. Younger children will need an adult’s help or you can even purchase pre-cut shapes at your local craft store or online.
Step 2 Attach a Popsicle stick to the back of each bunny shape with a piece of clear tape.
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 3 Decorate the bunnies using markers. This is the best part for children – as they can really showcase their creativity! Have them add clothing to the bunny, funny facial expressions or even glasses!
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Step 4 Add some festive stickers as a finishing touch. This part is especially fun for toddlers.
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
As you can see from these examples, children add their own wonderful spin on this craft. Aside from being used for imaginary play, these puppets can be added to plants for decoration, or as a centerpiece for Easter breakfast.
Cute Easter Bunny Puppet Craft for Kids by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. She offers private arts & crafts lessons to children in Jersey City and Hoboken. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She loves celebrating all holidays and teaching art to children of all ages. 

Holi Inspired Art Trading Cards

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

The celebration of Holi is right around the corner, and this art activity is the perfect way for children to have fun with color, without making too much of a mess! In some fine art communities, artists exchange small works of art with one another (called artist trading cards) the size of a baseball card. It’s a great way for creatives to begin art collecting on a small scale.

Materials you will need:

– watercolors
– paint brushes
– bowl of water
– watercolor paper / scissors
– permanent black markers

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 1 Cut watercolor paper into small rectangular pieces about the size of a small index card or baseball card. 3.5″ x 5.5″ would work nicely.

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 2 Have your children draw patterns with black permanent markers that are happy and intricate. Some ideas would be: flowers, owls, hearts or geometric patterns.

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 3 Using a good amount of water, dip a paintbrush into a single paint color and begin adding color on top of the hand drawn design. The idea is to add droplets of color to the painting without mixing the hues too much. This technique mimics Holi powder, as it is vibrant and very colorful. I would suggest using yellow, orange, magenta, light green and blue for a nice balance of colors.

Step 4 The artist trading cards will curl a little from all the water, so allow them to dry fully, and then place a large book on top over night to flatten them properly.

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Step 5 If you’re making these with a group of children, have the kids exchange art cards with another. The more the merrier!

Variations: This project could also be done with pastels instead of watercolors. Another idea would be to have the children drop paint on their paper, and then add designs on top after the paint dries like so:

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Holi Art Trading Cards by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies

Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She loves celebrating all holidays and teaching art to children of all ages.

Handmade Valentine Ideas

Hi moms! Here are some of my favorite DIY valentine ideas for children. One of my favorite memories from childhood is the memory of my mom and I making valentines on the dining room table every February. There was usually snow outside – and the house always seemed so bright and happy. Here are some easy ideas to get you started on making some cute love notes with your kids.
Materials you will need:
– Assorted paper (solid or patterned)
– Clip art or stickers
– Glue sticks
– Scissors
– Markers, crayons, colored pencils
*Optional – glitter, googly eyes, lace, etc.
Basic Heart
As an art teacher, I can tell you that kids love cutting out hearts. To make some basic hearts, gather square or rectangle pieces of paper, fold in half, and draw a line as shown – starting and ending on the fold.
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Decorate with crayons or markers and don’t forget to write a cute sentiment like ‘Be Mine‘ or ‘I’m Sweet on You Valentine‘.
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Monster Heart
Every February, I find that the boys in my classes really love making valentines with either a robot or a monster theme. This idea is the perfect design for any little artist. Simply cut a heart shape out of light colored construction paper (white, yellow or light pink). Sketch a monster face or body, and color in with crayons or colored pencils. Googly eyes would be great to use with this one – or sticker eyes (you can find both at any craft store). A cute saying to write on the front or back could be, ‘I Only Have Eyes for You!‘.
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Fancy Heart
Choose a heart shaped doily to decorate. I attached mine to a folded greeting card using a glue stick. You can find heart or round doilies at any dollar store, craft shop or party shop. Carefully cut out clip art or add stickers to the front of the valentine. **Tip: A wonderful place online to find free, clip art for all occasions is The Graphics Fairy website**. You can be as creative as you want with this concept by cutting out phrases, letters or individuals pictures to add to your valentines. Instead of clip art, you could alternatively use images from a magazine or newspaper.
Handmade Valentine Ideas by Lady Lucas for JCFamilies
Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator, author and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She loves celebrating all holidays (making handmade valentines!) and teaching art to children of all ages.

How to Make Nautical Sea Friends | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

There is a lovely store below our apartment that sells awesome seasonal decor. Now that Easter is over, they have lots of nautical items for the home, and my favorite objects are the wooden fish and sailboats that are perched on top of pieces of driftwood. They have inspired me to come up with today’s craft; which I think is a really great activity for young boys and girls. 
Materials you will need:
  • Thick Styrofoam {from leftover IKEA packaging or purchase it directly from the craft store or dollar store}
  • Wooden skewers
  • Thick, white paper
  • Scissors
  • A pencil
  • Markers, watercolors, crayons or colored pencils
  • Craft glue or hot glue
Step 1
Break a piece of thick Styrofoam into sections that are approximately 5″ x 4′ in size. I used a kitchen knife to break my pieces apart, so this step definitely needs the supervision of an adult if the Styrofoam pieces are not already pre-sized.
Step 2
Have the kids draw nautical sea animals on a piece of sturdy paper such as watercolor paper. Some ideas would be a whale, shark, fish, crab or starfish. Each creature should be about three to four inches wide. 
Step 3
Color in all the sea creatures using whatever art supplies you have readily available at home. Watercolors or watercolor colored pencils work nicely for this craft.
Step 4
Allow all the drawings to dry completely, then cut them out with scissors.
Step 5
Using strong glue, attach the sea creature to the flat end of a wooden skewer. (You might need to cut the skewer in half first if it is too long). 
Step 6
Once they are completely dry, hold the creatures upright and put them into pieces of Styrofoam as shown in the picture above. 
Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is a picture book writer and illustrator, crafting expert and kids arts educator. More info about her arts and crafts business can be found by visiting www.ladylucas.com or @LadyLucasArt. She would love to talk to you if you have any questions about this post, so feel free to comment below!

Clever Ways to Display Kids Art | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

I have a feeling this is a problem for all moms out there. Your children produce hundreds of drawings and paintings each year, and you have no idea what to do with all of them! Here’s a fun display idea I hope you will enjoy and try at home, as well as a list of other creative ideas to try.

Materials you will need:
  • Your child’s artwork {art on sturdy construction paper works best}
  • Clothespins
  • String
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors

Step 1
Gather about a dozen drawings and paintings by your child that are approximately the same size. Rectangular artworks work best. Using a ruler, draw two lines from the bottom of each sheet of paper like shown above.
Step 2
Cut out the triangle shape as shown. Be careful not to cut away any important aspects of the art.
Step 3
Attach a long piece of decorative string to the wall. I used washi tape, but thumbtacks or small nails would also be fine.
Step 4
Using two clothespins per artwork, string the artwork up; leaving a few inches between each picture.
Step 5
Adjust all the artworks to your liking on the string, and switch certain pictures out as the weeks go by!
Other Display Ideas
  • Attach artwork to your refrigerator using patterned washi tape. It looks more modern and chic than regular magnets 😉
  • Cut around the subject of your children’s picture {ex. a stick figure person, flower, rainbow} leaving a half inch of solid color all the way around the image. Using a glue stick, attach the image to a solid color of paper and frame.
  • Fold pictures that your children draw on construction paper in half and write in the inside for an instant greeting card {perfect for teachers and grandparents}!

Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is the ‘Queen of Cute Characters’. She is an avid crafter, children’s book illustrator and owner of her own arts business. She loves all holidays; especially Halloween! You can find her online at ladylucas.com. She loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies! Don’t forget to Like or Comment on this post if you enjoyed it!

Ice Cream Art | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

Moms, hope you all had a great Easter with your families. Did you end up making any of the crafts you found here on the blog? I hope so! This week’s idea is a sweet introduction into warmer weather. ‘Ice Cream Art’ is fun for kids of all ages. Let’s get started!
Materials you will need:
  • Watercolor paper
  • Colored paper
  • Paints
  • Paintbrushes
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Step 1 Draw 6 or 8 ‘scoop’ shapes on a piece of watercolor paper. The shape you want to create is basically a half circle. This should be quite easy for kids over 6 years old, but younger children will need some help. 
Step 2 Paint each scoop a different color. This part can be pretty straightforward for toddlers by using solid colors, but older children will have fun adding lots of different shades of colors and patterns. Brainstorming different ‘flavors’ is really the best part about this project! 
Step 3 Allow the painted ‘ice cream’ to dry completely, and then cut out all the shapes carefully. Little ones might also need help with this part.
Step 4 Cut out a skinny triangle for the ice cream cone out of colored paper, and a circle for a cherry on top.
Step 5 Glue all the pieces in place on a sheet of brightly colored paper. I have been using construction paper from IKEA for these projects, and I find it to be the best. It’s colorful, affordable and sturdy enough for an art project that you want to keep for a long time.

Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is the ‘Queen of Cute Characters’. She is an avid crafter, children’s book illustrator and owner of her own arts business. She loves all holidays; especially Halloween! You can find her online at ladylucas.com. She loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies! Don’t forget to Like or Comment on this post if you enjoyed it!

 

Egg Carton Creatures | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

I’ve noticed a trend in crafting this spring, which is to use regular egg cartons in a variety of ways to make really cool things! The most popular shape I’ve seen is a flower, but I thought I’d try some other ideas for you to make with your children this week. 
Just a reminder that Easter is only a few more days away! Don’t forget to check out these other Lady Lucas crafting posts: Easter Gift Wrapping 101 Giant Easter Eggs {this one has a FREE printable!} and Make a Birdhouse Bunting
Materials you will need
  • An empty egg carton {cardboard not Styrofoam} 
  • Acrylic or tempera paints
  • Scissors
  • Markers
*Tip* Cardboard egg cartons can be hard to find, but organic eggs are often offered in them since they are more earth friendly.
Step 1 Moms, the first step of this project you will need to help your children with, especially if they are very small. Cut out various shapes for your egg carton creatures using sharp scissors. You can cut out the cone shapes found in the middle row of the carton for mountains or trees, or get creative and make something unique like a swan or rabbit. For the rabbit shape pictured, I hot glued a few different shapes together. This is definitely more advanced, but if you’re an avid crafter, you can get really creative with this part!
Step 2 Have the kids paint each creature with acrylic or tempera paint. You will need a good amount of paint because cardboard really soaks it up quickly. Light colors such as white and pink look nice and are easier for kids to draw on top off.
Step 3  After the creatures are completely dry, add details with markers. You could also glue on googly eyes or stickers. You could even add glitter… the possibilities are endless for decorating!
Step 4  Display the creatures on the table this Easter, or use them for play time. 

Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is the ‘Queen of Cute Characters’. She is an avid crafter, children’s book illustrator and owner of her own arts business. She loves all holidays; especially Halloween! You can find her online at ladylucas.com. She loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies! Don’t forget to Like or Comment on this post if you enjoyed it!

Easter Gift Wrapping 101 | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

Moms, if your family celebrates Easter, no doubt you are rushing around for some last minute gifts and ideas this week. This post is for you and all about wrapping those awesome gifts you plan to give your children, family members and friends. Let’s get started!
 
Suggested Materials
  • Assorted baskets
  • Gift bags
  • Easter themed wrapping paper
  • Ribbon and/or baking twine
  • Small Easter decorations
  • Watercolor paper
  • Newspaper
  • Stickers
  • Glue
  • Tape
  • Scissors
Tip #1 (See Image Above)
If you’re traveling far this Easter and need something a little easier and smaller than an actual basket, consider patterned gift wrap instead. Add a small gift on top like this small rabbit for interest. Pink and white ‘bakers twine’ adds interest instead of typical ribbon. All of these materials can be found at a store such as A.C. Moore or Target.
Tip #2
If you don’t have any Easter grass to use in your baskets, have the kids help you, and have them cut old newspaper into strips. Younger kids love practicing with scissors and will feel helpful!
Tip #3
Add tags to your Easter gifts and baskets such as these cute colored eggs. I added color to watercolor paper and then cut out egg shapes. This is another part of your gift wrapping session that children can help with. Especially if the gift is for their dad or grandparents.
Tip #4
Consider using gift bags instead of baskets. I bought a purple colored one for my niece and hot glued some decorations to the front of it. There are also a huge selection at the store already decorated for Easter!
Tip #5
Here’s some fun ideas for items to add into Easter baskets that you might not have thought of. The best part is, there is no sugar involved!
For teens or adults
  • nail polish
  • pretty packaged tea or coffee
  • soaps
  • spices for cooking
  • cookbooks
  • fancy magazines
  • tiny dishes
For kids 
  • stickers
  • crayons
  • small books
  • stuffed animals

Ashley Lucas {aka Lady Lucas} is the ‘Queen of Cute Characters’. She is an artist, crafting expert,children’s book illustrator and owner of her own arts business. She loves all holidays; especially Halloween! You can find her online at ladylucas.comShe loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies!