If you are new to crafting and making art below is a handy GLOSSARY & RESOURCE LIST that my mom put together to help kids & parents.
She has also made a glossary & guide for cooking!
ARTS & CRAFTS: adhesives
Adhesives are things that make things stick. We use different kinds of adhesives, like glue and tape, depending on the weight of the other materials in a craft or the look we want. Below is a list of the adhesives we use the most.
We admit it: We are Washiholics! Washi tape originated in Japan and the best tapes are usually made from natural fibers, such as bamboo or hemp and from the bark of trees that are native to Japan, although now a lot of other companies are making their own version of Washi tape. Washi tape is a one-sided tape that is sticky on one side and decorative (colored/patterned) on the other side. As you will see on our blog, at Wondermint we use this tape to decorate blank notebooks, to make fun gift wrapping, and to decorate lots of other cool objects. Paper Source, Martha Stewart & Target sell washi tape, but some of the best prices and styles we have found have been on Etsy and at this online washi store, Happy Tape.
White paste-like glue that dries clear and comes in a matte or glossy finish or sheer gold glimmer finish. This adhesive is great for paper mache projects or coating projects that get a lot of fingerprints. There are homemade versions which we will be testing on our blog. And, here is a great Modge Podge Guide by blogger Amy Anderson that explains all the different kinds of Modge Podge formulas. Warning: we might go a little crazy with the modge podge!
Some people call this white glue. It is water-based adhesive that dries clear. Elmer’s is a common craft glue.
A solid stick of glue that comes in a push-up tube. This glue can be handy because it is easy for kids to use and does not wrinkle or over-wet paper.
Hot glue comes in a solid stick that is inserted into something called a glue “gun”. When the glue melts, the liquid glue sticks to objects and cools as it dries. Great adhesive for when you need something stronger than craft glue. Warning: It is easy to burn yourself when using a glue gun, so we recommend parents use the glue gun or they carefully supervise older kids. Young kids should never do this alone.
This is an “archival” quality white glue, which means it is great for art projects that you want to last a very long time. It is also water-based, therefore safe for kids. We use this glue when we make special book projects or invitations that we know we will want to frame and keep for a very long time.
Like regular Scotch tape but it is sticky on two sides. Peel off one side and place it on your paper, then remove the other side to get it to stick to another piece of paper or surface. We love using this tape for D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself) gift wrapping projects.
You can find these adhesive dots in rolls or sheets. These dots are also handy for gift wrapping because kids do not have to tear or cut the tape themselves. They can also add a three dimensional effect to art projects like collages or greeting cards when you add punched paper to a glue dot or glitter.
An adhesive used primarily on fabric during ironing, but it can also be used for arts & crafts projects like paper mache and collages. Liquid starch is thinner than most other kinds of adhesive, so the paper absorbs it very quickly. Sometimes we thicken liquid starch with craft glue or modge podge to prevent lighter weight papers from tearing too easily.
ARTS & CRAFTS: cutting & shaping tools
Decorative Paper Punch
This fun tool punches a variety of shapes (think: letters, numbers, stars) in a bunch of different sizes. “Corner” punches shape corners and add decorative patterns to homemade greeting cards and more; “border” or “edge” punches do the same for the edges of paper.
Also known as a Japanese punch or a book binding punch, this tool can make small holes anywhere (a regular hole punch only works near edges of paper or cards) on paper and more, and comes with attachments for making holes in different sizes. You can purchase them at most craft stores or here on Amazon.
A thin sheet of paper, plastic, or metal, with letters or a design cut from it. It is then layed on top of paper, wood or other material so that paint can be applied to the cut-out area to create a design once the stencil is lifted away. The great thing about a stencil is that it can be reused.
You’ll need a pair of all-purpose scissors for cutting paper, ribbon, string, and fabric. It is a good idea to keep one pair of scissors for paper and another for fabric and ribbon. Don’t use your paper scissors to cut fabric or ribbon or they will become dull and you will not get nice straight cuts on fabric. A parent or an adult should supervise kids using scissors. Always pay close attention when using scissors and do not let yourself get distracted.
A compass is a drawing tool that can be used for drawing circles or arcs. Compasses are usually made of metal or plastic, and consist of two parts connected by a hinge which can be adjusted to allow changing the size of the circle you want to draw. Usually, one part has a spike at its end that is placed where the center of your circle would be, and the other part holds a pencil, or sometimes a pen.
Also known as a utility knife or Exacto Knife, this is tool that cuts clean, precise edges. Craft knives are especially useful for cutting heavier papers, cardboard, and foam core. They are not recommended for tissue paper or flimsy fabric, which will tear. Younger kids should always let an adult use the craft knife. And, remember to remind parents to keep the blade sharp—it will actually not only make things easier to cut, but prevent accidents caused by the blade catching on paper.
These allow you to trim different size papers down to whatever size you need. There are many different kinds. For kids, you should make sure that your paper cutter has a safety guards and a blade that is not touchable.
A hole punch is a hand-held device that allows you to punch small holes in pieces of paper to prepare the paper to put in a three-ring notebook, make confetti, or create holes for crafting. You can buy hole punches with small holes or standard holes. Kids with smaller hands may have to ask an adult to punch holes for them.
ARTS & CRAFTS: paper
We use lots of different types of papers when we craft. We especially like to use recycled papers. Here are a few of the papers we use most.
Origami is the Japanese art of folding paper into decorative or symbolic forms, such as animals or flowers. The paper used for this art is usually pre-cut into squares and is very colorful or decorative.
This paper usually refers to paper made from parts of the rice plant, like rice straw or rice flour. The term is also used for paper made from or containing other plants, such as hemp, bamboo or paper mulberry. Rice paper (also known as Xuan paper) originated in ancient China and it has been used for centuries in China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam for writing, artwork, and architecture. We especially love to use it for collages (with modge-podge) because they overlap nicely.
Japanese Specialty paper
Beautiful colorful big sheets of paper. Usually hand made. Amazing patterns and colors and textures. They can be quite expensive, so we use them sparingly, but we love-love using them. And, we always save even the littlest scraps to make collages or decorate homemade greeting cards!
A strong paper or cardboard made from wood pulp produced from wood chips or from recycled paper products. Usually light brown or the color of unbleached cardboard. We love using kraft paper as homemade gift wrap. We pair it with a fancy bright ribbon or a strip of leftover Japanese specialty paper because the contrast of those materials makes for a very interesting and beautiful wrapping.
The thinnest-weight paper. Very light and fragile. Used to stuff gift bags, wrap presents or make crafts like pom pom flowers. We also use it to collage and paper mache.
A tissue paper that has been coated and “creped” to create tiny gathers. Crepe paper has an elastic, stretchy feel and can be shaped or handled more than regular tissue paper, which makes it a favorite for party streamers.
A thicker-weight paper than regular writing paper. This paper is great for making homemade d.i.y. greeting cards or crafts that require stiffer paper.
A heavier-weight paper than cardstock. This paper can be used to make book covers or for art projects that require stiffer, sturdier paper.
We love using mini blank notebooks with kraft paper covers. Our faves are Moleskine or the Blank Kraft journals at Office Depot. These are especially fun to decorate with Washi Tape [subscribe/join to make sure you do not miss our how-to video on how to do this] or paints and give them away as party favors. Gray decorates her own kraft notebooks with washi tape and uses them to write her scripts and any ideas she has for Wondermint.
Water Color paper
A paper similar to drawing paper except it is made so that it can absorb water color paints without tearing. It is usually white or off-white in color.
Translucent (see-through) paper that allows you to place it over an image you like and trace the image so that you can use the image elsewhere.
ARTS & CRAFTS: paints & pens
A paint made from synthetic materials (“synthetic” means ‘not made from natural ingredients.’) that is water-based. Acrylic paint is fast drying and easy to clean up while wet, but does become permanent after it dries. We use it to make paintings and we like to use it for crafts with fabrics. It comes in lots of beautiful colors!
Water Color Paint
What you get when a dry gummy pigment (color substance) is mixed with water and creates a type of paint. Watercolor paint is transparent, fun to blend, and the color of the paper underneath is visible in water color projects. It’s a cool effect—kind of like light shining up through your painting. We will use water colors to make homemade greeting cards, ornaments, nature paintings, and much more.
A paint that is made by grounding a color pigment in oil (usually linseed oil). Oil paint has the most exciting, vibrant colors and is great for painting on canvas. However, it’s really messy, easy to stain, and much more toxic (not good for your health) than other kinds of paints, so we will rarely use it on Wondermint Kids, but that doesn’t mean we can’t explore how other great artists (hello Picasso, hello Monet) have used it!
There are different kinds of tempera paint. The original kind dates back to ancient times and was actually a type of color pigment used with egg yolk and was much more of a permanent paint. We like using tempera paint designed for kids, which is already mixed and completely washable. It is less sticky than most acrylic paints and is great for painting posters. We use it to paint on easel paper on our easel when we are in a creative mood and use it to make or Lemonade Stand signs. We buy big jugs of Tempera Paint at Lakeshore Learning because we love the easy to use mess-free pumps that come with them.
Paint specifically made to use on fabrics and clothing or cloth bags. We will make some fun tees, tote bags and a lot more with fabric paint. One brand that seems to work well is Setacolor opaque fabric paint.
Ceramic Paint & Ceramic Paint Pens
We will be using these ceramic paints & ceramic pens and paint to decorate ceramic tea cups, dishes and vases for some really fun & giftable arts & crafts projects. In the meantime, check out the fun Ceramic Paint Pen Projects by blogger Going Home To Roost.
Dot Markers are like any other marker except that the tip of the marker is more like a flat circle and allows you to make the cutest polka dots on paper, material, or other objects. We love using these pens to make greeting cards, decorate plain terracotta pots to give away as gifts, and make adorable quick & easy homemade wrapping paper. We even keep our markers once they’ve dried out—we just use them like stampers by dipping them into paint or onto an ink pad then stamp away! We have gotten these dot markers at Discount School Supply & Lakeshore Learning.
ARTS & CRAFTS: clip art & templates & coloring sheets
We will be adding some really fun free clip art, printable stencils, templates and coloring sheets by kids very soon. Make sure to join/subscribe (with your parent’s permission, of course) so that you don’t miss out. For now, we like downloading the free coloring sheets at MADE BY JOEL. While you’re at MADE BY JOEL you should probably check out his imaginative PAPER CITY CUTOUTS, too. We love them.
ARTS & CRAFTS: stores
We will add to this list as we go along. If you have any suggestions we would love to hear them. For now, here are some stores we frequented (“frequented” means we go there a lot!) to help us launch Wondermint kids .
Paper Source is a store and website that sells a great selection of the special papers we described above. They also sell great gifts, gift wrapping paper, greeting cards, custom stamps, custom collections of envelopes and cards, and fun craft kits for kids & adults.
Have we told you lately that we love Etsy? Well, we love-love Etsy. We love to just peruse (‘peruse’ is another word for ‘browse’ or ‘casually look around’) the site, which has thousands of handmade items made by all different kinds of artists. We bought Gray’s birthday invitations from an Etsy artist and had a Jane Austen costume made by another Etsy artist. We also find super original party favor bags and washi tape on the site, too, which can often be less expensive than most stores. Warning: it is very easy to accidentally spend hours on the site without even knowing it.
Lakeshore Learning creates great arts & crafts materials for infants & toddlers through the 6th grade. The focus is usually on educational crafts, which we love. And, if you buy from them you know that the quality is going to be very good.
This site is great for inexpensive craft kits for personal use or for parties or classrooms. They also have low priced stamps, stamp pads, markers and other basic items. It is designed for teachers, but we get a lot of use out of this site, it has some of the lowest prices, and they ship quickly.
Target has most of the basics and their prices can be better than the specialty art stores with materials such as glue, tissue paper, etc. They also have a new Target craft kit line, which we have not tried but looks promising.
We buy Japanese papers, paint, painting tools, Creativity for Kids Kits, and canvases from Pearl. You can also purchase from their online store.
We love that at the Blick website you can download lesson plans and learn a lot about the arts & crafts products that you are interested in buying. Sometimes we end up using the site like we would a dictionary or encyclopedia. They sell lots of materials for people really interested or serious about art.
Okay, Martha has the best selection of Decorative Paper punches which we discussed earlier. She also has some pretty beautiful easy craft kits, but they can cost a lot. We love to go to her site and read her magazines to get inspired, then make the items ourselves for a lot less.
That’s it for now! This resource page is an on-going labor of love. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact us at Hello[at]WondermintKids.com. And, don’t forget to check out our COOKING RESOURCES, too!
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