Teen Librarian Toolbox
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DIY A Universe of Space Art

Regular TLT readers may recall that I have a space obsessed Tween so we are loving this year’s summer reading theme. It’s like the perfect present was handed to me on a platter in terms of arts and crafts. I do a lot of my program and craft trial runs at home and with this year’s theme I got the perfect assistant. Today I’m going to share with you five projects that fit right into this year’s A Universe of Stories theme, all of which can be modified in various ways to be done as a tween/teen program or in a makerspace.

Project 1: DIY Galaxy Painting

Thing 2 actually did this painting entirely by herself. She saw a YouTube video and knew that she wanted to do this. She found a canvas in the garage and asked if she could have it. She then watched a YouTube video, busted out the paints and turned the canvas into her own galaxy painting. Again, I think it is important to understand that this 10-year-old did this entirely on her own, that’s how easy this is. She proudly hangs it in her space themed room.

You can find a step by step tutorial here:

Project 2: Vinyl on Canvas

I have a Silhouette Cameo at home (and had one in my previous Teen MakerSpace), which I use primarily for making t-shirts. However, you can also use vinyl on canvas to make canvas art. Here we spray painted a canvas a solid cover and let it dry. I then made my image on my Cameo and used transfer tape to place it on the canvas. It’s a pretty simple design, but it’s exactly what she wanted.

Here’s a short YouTube tutorial on applying vinyl to a canvas:

Project 3: Stencil Painting on Canvas

The Mr. is an artist so he hand drew a stencil using painters tape to make the canvas you see below. You can also use a Silhouette Cameo to make a stencil. Your first step is to paint the background color of your canvas. You then lay your stencil on the dry canvas and add an additional layer of paint. Let it dry a bit and then remove your stencil.

To make the picture below, he painted the canvas gold. He then applied the stencil and painted the black parts. With the stencil still in place, he then splattered white paint over the black to make it look like stars. You can do this either as a stencil or a reverse stencil, either way works. There are some good DIY instructions here.

Remember, although a vinyl cutter helps, you can make your own stencils using just a computer and a printer (see the YouTube video below) or free hand drawing on contact paper.

Project 4: Digital Media 1

Last week, I shared with you some tools that you can use to make out of this world digital media photos. This photo comes from that post. I am in the process of transferring this photo onto canvas using this method.

Project 5: Digital Media 2, Framed Collage

Using the same digital media hacks mentioned directly above, I made Thing 2 a series of space themed photos with inspirational quotes. I then used my Instax Square printer to print four of the pictures off, which I framed. I used galaxy themed scrapbook paper in the background to bring all the photos together. Please note, you can print photos using most printers, you don’t need an Instax Square printer, I just happen to currently be obsessed with instant photography.

We have loved each and every one of these projects and I highly recommend them. Although I did these at home, I have done versions of them in library programs or in my Teen MakerSpace. The ones with paint take a little bit more time as you need to allow layers to dry a bit, but every project was done within an hour or two and then allowed to dry over night.

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