~ Look It Up ~ Bookmarks

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

This simple and easy project came about when my son and daughter became obsessed with this fiction book series called Warriors by Erin Hunter. They follow the adventures of four clans of wild cats, with characters being a mix of good vs. bad. The clans have a hierarchy and the different cats have different positions within the clan. They have their own words for certain things; for instance a human is called a “twoleg”. I could go on and on about these books, but basically they are so interesting to my 9 and 11 year old that they can’t  put them down. They come across lots of descriptive words of which they don’t know the meaning, so these bookmarks are here to help!

When they come across a word that they don’t know, they can write it down on the bookmark and look it up later. (Because how dare they put the book down and look it up at the most interesting part!) I love that they are learning so many new adjectives!

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

The great thing about these is that they are two-sided so when they run out of room on the one side, they can flip it over and use the other.

Look It Up Bookmarks :: Zim on a Whim

I will tell you what I used and you can use what you have on hand. This is a no-fuss project and it doesn’t need to look perfect. It’s purely for function! 🙂

Look It Up Bookmark :: Zim on a Whim

I used the following:

~ Ruled/Lined paper

~ White Card Stock found at craft stores or Target/Walmart (but you can use anything that is stiffer than the ruled paper to go in between; you can even use postcards from your junk mail pile!)

~ Glue Stick or some other type of glue for paper that won’t be too wet

~ Paper Trimmer – or – Ruler and X-acto knife or scissors

~ Hole Puncher

~ Thin ribbon, yarn, or string

~ Small pencil (like the ones from mini golf), mini marker, or crayon

~ Clear Adhesive Glue Dots or hot glue gun

Here’s how I made the bookmarks:

For each bookmark, I cut two pieces or ruled paper and one piece of white card stock to 2-1/4″ wide by 8″ long. (You can make yours any size, but just remember their writing is sometimes larger than ours.)

Then I took the glue stick and evenly glued one piece of the ruled paper to one side of the card stock. (Make sure to put the glue up to all the edges.) I smoothed it out so there were no air bubbles. I flipped it over and did the same to the other side with the second piece of ruled paper.

I punched a hole in the top, about 1/4″ down or to the first blue line.

I cut a piece of ribbon about 18″ long. Then I threaded one end of the ribbon through the hole and tied a knot.

For the other end, I took a mini marker and added a few glue dots (Zots) around it toward the bottom. Then I wrapped the other end of the ribbon around the glue, leaving some ribbon to tie another knot. (If you don’t have the adhesive glue dots, a dab of hot glue with a glue gun will work just fine.) I found that just tying the ribbon around the writing instrument didn’t hold it and kept slipping off.

Now my little readers were ready to start writing down words and looking them up!

By the way, if you have children about 9-12 that love animals and adventure, I recommend the Warriors books. When mine have finished reading all those, they plan on moving on to the Survivors series about dogs!

Have a good weekend!

Woven Paper Art

Woven Paper Art by Zim on a Whim

Over a year ago, I made this woven paper art and have gotten many compliments on it. I think it’s a great project, especially if you need certain colors in your decor and can’t find exactly what you like in the stores. The texture makes it so much more interesting. You don’t need to have any skills at all for this project! Even the kids can do it. My two got in on the action and did their own last year, too. Because you are weaving damp paper, I suggest that you do this project with kids who are a little older, say 10 and up. It can get a little frustrating for the little ones, but they can certainly help with the “painting”.

I did another one today so I could show you how to do one yourself. I got the idea and instructions from Gail over at Can’t Stop Making Things for my original projects. I used the food coloring like she shows you, but today I tried it with watercolors. The food coloring can get very messy and I wanted more control. The watercolors will be more muted, and the food coloring will be more vibrant. It depends on the look for which you are going, and how messy you want to get. Try both ways if you want! My instructions are for using the watercolors. If you want to use food coloring, refer to Gail’s post on how to get your paper “painted”. You will need a paper shredder, but if you don’t have one you can make strips using an X-acto knife and ruler. The shredder gives the paper a ragged edge which gives it more texture, but either way will be fine!

What you will need:
8.5 x 11″ white cardstock (You can find this at craft stores and in stores like Target where they have craft sections.)
Watercolors (Crayola is fine!)
Paint brush (or fingers!)
Paper Shredder
Photo frame with mat

*Note: Your finished artwork will be about half the size of the paper your start with. If you need it larger, just make 2 or more paintings.

1. Start by painting a design on your cardstock with your watercolors. Use more water for a more muted look, or less water for deeper colors.

2. Put your artwork through an empty paper shredder. Make sure it goes in straight or some of your strips will be unusable.
3. Remove strips from shredder, using caution. They will still be a little damp and can tear.
4. Count the strips that made it through the shredder okay, and divide them in half. Don’t worry about keeping them in the same order.
5. Get another piece of paper (any white paper will do), lay half of the strips down vertically next to each other, and tape the strips to the top of the paper to hold in place. Keep them close together, but not overlapping. (I had some casualties, so I was only able to get 10 strips across and 10 strips down.)

woven paper art - taping
6. Starting a little bit down from the top, start weaving the strips in horizontally. Under, over, under, over, etc. Make sure to alternate each strip – if you started with the first one over then under, then the next strip will start under then over. Capiche?

woven paper art - weaving
7. Try to keep them close together, with no space in between. If you start the second row a little further down, you can weave more easily and then scrunch it up carefully under the first row. Handle with care, as the strips can tear easily. Repeat until you use up all the strips.

woven paper art - complete
8. Let the paper dry completely.
9. You can leave it all taped to the other paper if you want, and cut to fit your selected frame.
10. Frame and enjoy your work of art!

Tip: I prefer to use a larger frame with a big mat that has a small opening, or a frame that has a shadow-box type of look.

I did this one last year and the frame and mat have a shadowbox effect:

woven paper art - orange-red

These are two that my kids did and we used a large mat with a small opening:

woven paper art - black frame      woven paper art - white frame

Give it a try and see what wonderful artwork you can make yourself!

President’s Day Cookies

presidents day cookies

Maybe you have seen these already, but I just saw them last night and I had to share them with you! How cute are they? If you have kids that will be home tomorrow for President’s Day, this would be an easy, fun, and yummy project for them to do. Teachers, if you are feeling overly ambitious, I think your students would love these!

For Abe Lincoln, you need Nilla wafers, mini chocolate chips, a chocolate bar, and a black edible marker.
For George Washington, you need Nilla wafers, JetPuffed Mallow Bits in vanilla, and a black edible marker.
To adhere the sweets, simply use frosting.

Check out www.partypinching.com for lots of other adorable ideas for the rest of the year!