Easy ‘No Carve’ Pumpkin Decorating Ideas for Halloween

Halloween is approaching, and there’s nothing more fun for kids during this season than decorating pumpkins! I have never been a fan of carving pumpkins because of the mess and the hassle. I’ve always preferred easier methods with less clean up. Here are some of my favorite ideas. If you try one or two out, share a picture of your creation so we can see what you’ve come up with!

Materials you will need:

  • Assorted pumpkins and gourds (cleaned & dried)
  • Colored cardstock or foam
  • Scissors
  • Paints (tempera or acrylic) + paint brushes
  • Hot glue or glue dots
  • Bamboo skewers or toothpicks

Cute Witch Pumpkin1

To make this adorable witch, all you need is some creativity! Simply cut out two eyes, a nose, a mouth and a witch’s hat. You can use colored card stock for the pieces, or foam as I have here. This is a great exercise for kids that like to practice using scissors. An adult will have to help with applying the pieces if you choose to use hot glue. If you don’t have a glue gun, you can also use no-mess scrapbooking ‘glue dots’ which are available in all major craft supply stores. Add some green hair, eyelashes, a ‘wort’ for the nose and rosy cheeks with paint. The stem of the pumpkin makes it the perfect place for a witch hat to rest 🙂

no-carve

Pumpkin Tower

I love this idea because it’s super easy and very trendy right now. To make a pumpkin tower, all you need is three small pumpkins in varying sizes. Simply pop off the stem of the large and middle sized pumpkin, then stack them like a snowman. Leave the tower as is, or insert toothpicks in the bottom of the small and medium pumpkins for a sturdy fit.

no-carve-tower

Fairy House

The gourd I’ve chosen for this ‘fairy house’ is the perfect shape for a little home, but you can use any round, ordinary pumpkin as well. Simply have the kids paint a door and windows with black paint. They can use black ‘puff paint’ for a steady line, or a thin tipped paintbrush. Have them add colored polka dots with paint to the roof for a mushroom cap look. Display the fairy house with moss and assorted miniatures to inspire creative play. Fairy gardening is a huge trend right now, and this craft can inspire any child to get excited about imaginary worlds!

no-carve-2-1

 

Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an artist, illustrator and crafts designer. Her adorable characters can be found online via her website and Etsy shop. She loves celebrating all holidays (especially Halloween!) 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!

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!

SPRiNG BREAK :JC Fab KIDS

[SPRiNG BREAK] JC Fab KIDS – Tangram Book-Making – Thurs. Apr. 9 & Fri. Apr. 10

Join us here for another spectacular JCFabKIDS maker opportunity — we’re leading 2 days of storybook creation that will challenge and delight your child. This is no ordinary story making class. Kids will use their storytelling savvy and then take it far beyond. Participants will use Tangrams — an ancient puzzle game with endless solutions and subtleties. There’s nothing like taking basic geometric shapes and creating forms out of them. This is creativity, math, spacial relations, visualization, and puzzle solving all wrapped into one.

AND there’s more… Kids will actually construct a story book from Laser Cut materials.

  • They’ll hit go on the Laser Cutter / Engraver and make their own Tangram puzzle pieces out of durable materials like wood or acrylic, and other materials.
  • They’ll create and assemble a book… they’ll do the handwork and get assistance from our JC Fab Lab Teaching Techs and assemble a proper book using basic book construction and assembly techniques… this will be a family keepsake for certain, and will open a world of handcraft work that will help your kids understand and appreciate how books are made and constructed.
  • They’ll take their design from digital to something they can hold. This is a tremendously valuable thing for kids to understand in today’s world of digital and the prolific trends of big box stores and far-too-disposable consumer goods.

For more information visit: http://jcfablab.com/events/

Get your tickets here: http://bit.ly/1NKe5cQ

JC Fab KIDS Woodshop Class – The Kaleidoscope Camera – Sat. April 11, 2:00PM

JC FAB KIDS latest woodworking craft workshop (ages 8-12… younger and older kids can join as well). NOTE: this is a 3hr workshop that involves woodworking, art/craft, and the science of optics! Participants will create a durable wooden camera toy with a different kind of ‘lens’ — a kaleidoscope. Get away from all things digital for this afternoon project. Your kids will learn basic woodworking skills including sawing, finishing, and hammering / nailing.

PLUS, we’ll explore the basics of kaleidoscopes. Your kids will take home wonderful insights into a world of optics with endless possibilities. And we’ve designed this project so kids can take it home, create more kaleidoscopes, and swap them in and out. Plus participants can decorate their project and make it their own. Please be prepared to get messy: dress appropriately. Please noteNo Drop-offs for this class without prior arrangements w/JC Fab Lab… since this is a woodshop class, we encourage parents/guardians to be here to work with their kids on some aspects of this project. They’ll work independently for nearly all of this workshop.

For more information visit: http://jcfablab.com/events/

Get your tickets here: http://bit.ly/1akAxv5

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
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!

Newspaper Paintings | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

This week’s art idea is something I’ve been wanting to try out for a long time. It’s a really fun project for all ages and skill levels, and I could see a group of young tween girls really enjoying this at a birthday party or sleepover. As always, please don’t hesitate to comment below or reach out with any questions about this art project!
Materials you will need:
  • Newspaper pages and/or magazine pages with text
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • A thin, black marker
Step 1 
Select sheets of newspaper or printed text to paint on. You want to look for pages that have minimal to no images like those shown above. The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal are perfect because of all the small text and areas with no pictures. If you have any old books such as dictionaries or phone directories, those would work great too!
Step 2
Apply acrylic paint to the sheets of newspaper with a brush. This part is where kids can get super creative. For young children, a simple shape like a heart in red would look beautiful. For children a little bit older, 6 years+, check out the ideas I’ve provided. Spotted mushrooms are fun to create, as well as a rabbit or flowers.
Step 3
Allow the paintings to dry fully before adding detail to them. I would say 30 minutes is a safe amount of time.
Step 4
Add details to the paintings with a black marker. I love to use permanent markers, but regular thin tipped Crayola markers would work too. By adding an outline around the painting, it really make it ‘come alive’ and pop off the page. 
Step 5
Display paintings on the wall easily with some pieces of washi tape, or frame them. Another idea is to use them as bookmarks {as I plan to do with my bunny painting above}. The possibilities are endless!

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.com. She loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies!

Giant Easter Eggs | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

This week’s craft is a great way to get ready for the upcoming Easter holiday. I made these with my cute and crafty niece this week, and they were a hit! She loved decorating each one differently, and I hope you and children will enjoy this idea too.
Materials you will need:
  • Construction paper in spring colors {light blue, pink, yellow, etc.}
  • Scissors
  • Markers and crayons
  • Stickers and/or ribbon
  • Clear tape
  • Fancy patterned paper or magazine images
  • *Tape or wall putty for hanging

Step 1
Have the kids draw a giant egg shape on a piece of light colored construction paper. This step can be hard for very young children, so I’ve created a PDF that you can download and print directly onto colored paper from your printer. Download the Easter Egg Template Here.
Step 2
Cut out the giant egg shape, (either following your own pattern or the one I have provided).
Step 3
Decorate your giant egg. A fun and cute idea is to cut a circle in the middle of the egg. Tape a picture to the back of the egg so that the image shows through the front (as in the picture shown above). This decorating idea is great for kids 7 years and older.
Step 4
Another idea is to draw a face on the egg with markers and add either stickers, or a long piece of ribbon to the middle as shown above. This example was completed by my niece who is 3, so it’s a great idea for children 3 – 5 years old!
Step 5 
Attach your Giant Easter Eggs to the wall with wall putty, or to your front door using rings of clear tape. They would also look great hanging in the window!

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.com. She loves hearing from moms with questions so feel free to reach out with any particular comments about her crafts for JCFamilies!

Birdhouse Bunting | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

Moms, I’m sure you cannot wait for Spring! I hope this Birdhouse Bunting is a fun project for you and your children while you wait for the weather to get a little nicer outside 😉 Party buntings are still very popular, usually shown as upside down triangles on a string, this bunting is even more fun for kids because it showcases their actual drawings. Enjoy this craft and leave a comment below if you end up trying it out!

Materials you will need:

  • Construction paper or card stock in 3 colors
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue dots, hot glue or clear tape
  • String
  • *Optional – bird stickers or chenille chicks

Step 1

Choose three colors of paper that are colorful and compliment each other.

Step 2

Have the kids draw birdhouses on each sheet of paper. A birdhouse shape is very easy. All you need to do is draw a rectangle or square with a triangle on top. A circle or heart becomes the ‘entrance for the bird entering the house’.

Step 3

Decorate each house with markers. Dots and lines are very simple for young children and they look great!

Step 4

Carefully cut out each birdhouse with scissors.

Step 5

Turn the birdhouses over and place them equal distance apart. Tape or glue a string along the top of each house like the image shown above. I used dots of hot glue, but glue dots from the scrap booking isle at a craft store will work, as well as clear tape.

Step 6

Add some bird stickers to the middle your birdhouses, or hot glue a chenille chick as I did in the picture shown. This is the part I guarantee most kids will love the most!

Hang your Birdhouse Bunting on the wall using clear tape and enjoy!

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!

Make a Beautiful One Hour Collage | Time to Create with Lady Lucas

Moms, no doubt you are getting ready for Valentine’s Day with your families. If you still need some ideas for tomorrow, be sure to check out my blog post from last week, 4 Easy Ways to Decorate for Valentine’s Day!

Today’s craft is a really beautiful wall art idea featuring a lovely collage. I promise you, it only takes an hour to make from start to finish, and is polished looking enough to hang on the living room wall! It’s a great weekend project to make with your children and I hope you enjoy it!

Materials you will need:

  • A canvas from the art store
  • Yellow acrylic paint
  • Paintbrushes
  • Clear, wet glue
  • Scissors
  • Scraps of wrapping paper, newspaper or pages from a magazine *The gift shop ‘Chelsea Market Baskets’ at Chelsea Market in Manhattan has a lovely collection of loose wrapping paper that would be perfect for this craft! I’m sure WORD bookstore on Newark Ave. would also have some great options.

Step 1

Choose a few pieces of decorative paper that you wish to use for your piece of art. I had a sheet of lovely bird wrapping paper from a friend, as well as some Christmas wrap that I bought at IKEA. You could also use pages from a magazine or even the newspaper.

Step 2

Using your scissors, cut out some shapes that you would like to use for your piece of art. I thought this bird was adorable, so I chose him as the subject of my artwork. I also cut a tree branch out of newspaper, and some leaves and flowers from wrapping paper.

Step 3

Paint your canvas with yellow acrylic paint, covering the front and sides completely. This is a great project for a small child because all they have to do is cover the canvas in one color. There is no stress to paint anything more!

Step 4

Using a paintbrush, apply glue to all the paper collage pieces. Arrange them on your canvas one at a time. My picture is very traditional, but young children can have fun with this craft and make a more modern or abstract art piece. The more glue you use to attach your paper pieces, the better! Just try to use clear glue instead of white, as it will will look nicer when it dries.

Step 5

Allow your canvas to dry, and then hang it up in your favorite room! This collage would make a wonderful gift for family and friends!

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!