Beyond the Scrapbook
I've been getting pretty crafty lately, and my right-brain loves it! There have been Self Esteem Through Art summer camps, art classes, art fundraisers, and the creation of birthday gifts. In this leaf, I want to show you how to make one of my latest projects, complete with supply lists.
However, as I always stress in my classes: there is no wrong way to make art, and I would love for you to use my ideas solely as a guideline. From there, you can pour your heart and soul into the project and really make it your own. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery, but in my eyes, originality is totally where it's at.
So let's get started, shall we?
Giving Life to Your Dreams
The concept of a Bucket List has been around for YEARS! There have been books written about it, movies dedicated to it, journals jotted in, and people talk about it all the time. It seems like everyone, at one point in their life or another, has been attempting to check that one elusive item off of their proverbial list.
Why wait until January 1 or until your clock is running out of sand to do a project like this? The timing is perfect RIGHT NOW! Get the kids while they are on summer vacation and make a memory!
I hosted an art class for a small group of elementary school girls in June, and the Bucket List was the central theme. I created a mock-up for them to use as a guide, we talked about the significance of a Bucket List, and then they were free to ponder and create. It's amazing what happens when you give people permission, time, and space to dream! The class was so popular that I recently used it at a Mother/Daughter fundraiser for a local teen.
What You Will Need To Create Your Very Own Bucket
Here is a list of basic supplies you will need on hand to create your own Bucket List in a bucket. Odds are, you might already have some on hand. However, from experience, I will say that if you are missing some items it might be a heck of a lot easier to have them shipped as opposed to looking for them in local stores. Save yourself some time AND some gas money.
In addition to the items listed below, here are some other things you might want to have on hand:
- ribbon or raffia
- sand (either coarse beach sand or craft sand; not "play sand" - it is too fine); I found that I could save myself dozens of dollars by filling up a bucket at the beach.
- a Sharpie (to write on the clothespins with)
- A Xyron Creative Station (don't spend the money if you don't already own one) and a laminating cartridge; I used these to make tags for the handle of the bucket
First and foremost, you need a bucket. Galvanized metal works well, and because it's not too shiny, it helps the glue adhere. If you are going to order anything -- order the buckets. These are a great size and appear to be sturdy. I went to countless stores -- no luck. I even ordered from Oriental Trading, thinking I had hit the jackpot -- but the buckets were waaayyy too small and too flimsy to work with. I wasted over $30 in shipping alone on that catastrophe.
You will need clothespins. Good, sturdy clothespins (especially if kids are planning to do this project). There is nothing worse than a kid getting upset because one of their bucket list items broke before they had a chance to realize their dreams. Each bucket uses anywhere from 5-10 clothespins, depending on how ambitious the creator is.
A good glue is key when creating a project like this. I am extremely fond of Mod Podge. It is easy to work with, has great adhesive properties, and dries clear.
Mod Podge + Foam Brushes = Heaven. You can cover a lot of surface area, you get a smooth application, and these brushes are easy for tiny hands to manipulate. This is a phenomenal price for a pack of brushes in varied sizes!
Decorations. You will need to decorate your bucket. I simply adore these die cuts. These are the ones I used and I was so happy with the choice! They are ocean themed (my favorite), the colors are vivid, and they are thick enough to be sturdy, but thin enough to be pliable (key when trying to mold a decoration to the bucket). Plus, there are 94 pieces -- plenty for multiple crafts!
Here Are the Basics
Once you have your supplies all ready to go, you need a relatively large workspace that you don't mind getting messy. At this time of year, there is nothing wrong with using a picnic table outdoors.
Here are my basic guidelines for creating the bucket:
- The first thing you need to do is decide what you are going to adhere to the bucket. I used a combination of birds, shells, and crabs to create an ocean scene. You might decide to adhere quotes, flowers, or something else that has meaning for you.
- Get your Mod Podge and start gluing. I recommend putting a generous (but thin) layer of the glue on the bucket, laying the decoration over the adhesive and pressing firmly for a few seconds, and then going over the entire decoration with another layer of glue. This is called decoupage and there are dozens of tutorials online if you aren't clear on what I am talking about.
- Let your decorations dry a bit and start writing your bucket list items on the clothespins with a Sharpie. I recommend a Sharpie because it is waterproof, it doesn't bleed, and they come in a variety of colors.
- If you want to add a layer of sand to your bucket, like I did, this is the time to do it (**MAKE SURE THAT ALL OF THE OTHER GLUE IS COMPLETELY DRY FIRST, OR THE SAND WILL STICK TO EVERYTHING - COVERING UP ALL OF YOUR DECORATIONS!). Add another layer of Mod Podge to the outside of the bucket where you would like the sand to appear (typically under shells, around birds, over crabs, etc), and then generously dump the sand over the glue with a spoon, small shovel, or your hands. I do not recommend dipping your project into a bucket of sand (like they sometimes do with an ice cream cone and sprinkles) -- it gets too messy and you might inadvertently scrape off some of your decorations which have not yet fully dried. So, use enough sand to get the effect, but not enough to be cumbersome.
- If you are adding ribbons and tags to the handle, you can pick those embellishments out now. Raffia would be another great thing to tie to the bucket and would fit in very nicely with the ocean theme. The tags I put on the handle of the bucket were laminated and hole-punched first to give them added weight and durability.
- I then clip the clothespins to the rim of the bucket, so the list items are front and center (and top of mind). This gives a really nice visual component to your dreams and helps them come to life a bit more than if they were tucked away in a journal that you rarely visited.
- Once the embellishments are added and the glue is mostly dried on the outside, you can add some sand to the inside of the bucket if you wish. I did this to hold my tag in place, and also as a place to rest the clothespins once I have "checked an item off the list."
- This bucket can be an evolutionary project. I encourage people to take the clothespins off the edge of the bucket once they have completed an item and replace it with another item. Maybe you replace visiting Hawaii with skydiving when the time comes. It's your list...envision it, tackle it, and embrace it!
And Some Next Steps
I hope you have enjoyed reading about this project as much as I enjoyed creating it! There are so many benefits to taking some time to be creative -- I will hope you will let yourself get lost in this and other creative pursuits over the lazier days of summer.
Also, I am growing the Self Esteem Through Art program and it is beginning to take on a life of its own (which makes me very happy). If you would like to get a little S.E.T.A. in your life, you can book me for private events, birthday parties, after school activities, in-school projects, womens' empowerment events, etc. The sky is the limit and I would love to work with you. Contact me directly through www.selfesteemthroughart.com and let's create some artful esteem and memories together!
(A final word: the works of Self Esteem Through Art are the work of Jenn Pipe. As with all other intellectual property, I do not mind if you use the ideas, but please give credit back to the original artist, and do not claim the works as your own.)