Hands on Crafts For Kids is the resource for kids craft projects and instructions for kids 6-12 and parents, teachers and other group leaders. It includes school and curriculum based projects,  multi cultural projects, and every day, holiday and seasonal ideas.

It is  the online home of the public television program Hands On Crafts for Kids.

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Jenny Barnett-Rohrs creates a mysterious sea creature.

Hosts: Jenny Barnett-Rohrs

Always cover your work surface with a mat or some type of protective covering like wax paper or plastic.

Always use care when using tools or a heat source. Be careful and safe!


Age Range: 7 to 12

Grade Range: 2 to 6

Skill Level: Moderate

Appropriate for These Special Events:
Every Day, Pretend Play and Rainy Days

Supports Subject Areas of:
Social Studies
Language Arts – e.g. step by step instructions
Visual Arts

Time needed for project:
1 to 2 hours plus dry time

Sea Creature
Designed by Lisa Galvin

Activa® Products, Inc.:  Celluclay® instant papier maché in white (1/3 of a one-pound box)
FloraCraft® Styrofoam™:

  • One 15/16” x 5 7/8” disk
  • One 7/8” x 3 13/16” egg
  • One 3” x 2” cone
  • Foam cutting tool (or plastic serrated knife)

Elmer’s® CraftBond® Tacky Glue
Plaid® Enterprises, Inc.:  Apple Barrel® paint colors: Bright red, bright yellow, and white
Three 9” x 12” sheets felt, Royal Blue
6mm x 12” Chenille stems:  purple (2) and red (2)
Wiggle eyes, assorted sizes (used here were 18mm, 23mm, 40mm)
Black marker
Gallon size reclose-able plastic bag
Plastic gloves
Paper plate
Small brush with stiff bristles (or old toothbrush)
Jumbo wooden craft stick
Measuring cup
Small bowl or water container

1.  Head.  Use serrated plastic knife to cut and remove an approximate 1” section from top of cone. Press one side edge of the 1” cone top on a flat surface to flatten.  Beginning at top of narrowest point of egg, use serrated knife to cut straight down approximately 2 ½” (See Fig. 1a).  Next, make an angled cut that goes to the previous cut line (See Fig. 1b).  Remove the foam wedge and cut in half to create base for feet.  Press side edges to round slightly. 
Refer to photo to assemble head.  Attach foam egg to cone with a toothpick, adding a drop of glue to hold secure.  Use a short length of toothpick to attach the 1” cone top to top of head for eye placement.  Let dry.

2.  Body and tail. Use ruler to mark a straight line, then cut foam to create two unequal moon shapes. (Fig. 2a).  Rub cut edges together to smooth.  On smallest moon shape, mark, then cut a wedge for tail (Fig. 2b).  With scrap piece of foam, rub outer edges of wedge and both moon shapes to round slightly.  Do not round bottom edge. 

3.  Over a covered work surface, insert 1/3 block of Celluclay® instant papier mache into plastic reclose-able bag and mix as directed by manufacturer using warm water.  (Tip:  Add drop or two of liquid dish soap to clay to make it less sticky).  Place prepared Styrofoam™ shapes onto individual cardboard pieces that are a few inches larger than the foam.  Begin patting clay over the foam surface, leaving bottom edges only bare.  Add extra clay to top of head, body and tail to form points and curves.  Dampen jumbo wooden craft stick or fingers with water to spread and smooth clay.  Let dry completely before gently removing from cardboard.

4.  Use medium paintbrush to paint head and feet bright yellow.  Paint body, tail section, mouth and pointy ridge at top of head and nose with bright red.  Use wooden tip end of paint brush to dot white paint around inner rim of mouth for teeth.  Let dry.

5.  On a newspaper covered surface, splatter-paint body, tail section, and pointy ridge on head with bright yellow.  Insert stiff bristled brush into a small puddle of bright yellow paint, then run gloved finger across top, slinging small splatters of paint onto the surface of your dragon.  Repeat to apply bright red splatters to head and feet.  Let dry.

6.  Use pencil to poke a small hole in the clay covered foam head to insert chenille stem ends into. Cut eyelashes from felt and glue wiggle eyes at center.  Glue 23mm eye onto head as shown.  Bend ends of two red chenille stems into a circle, then glue to back of eyes.  Cut stems to desired length to dangle above head, then insert opposite stem end into the prepared holes. Bend lengths of purple chenille stem into a swirl, then insert into a hole at center of dragon’s mouth. 
Display dragon on water-like royal blue felt.  Leave felt as whole sheets, or cut splashy edges and place individually under each piece.




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