Arts & Crafts Guides

How to Make Your Own House For Your Dolls

How to Make Your Own House For Your Dolls
A dollhouse is a traditional toy perfect for little girls who are old enough to help you with arts and crafts but still young enough to enjoy playing with dolls.
Building a doll house is a fairly complex at home craft that your daughter (or son) can help you with.
Here’s a quick guide for how to make your own house for your dolls.
Select a Scale
Standard doll house scale is 1/12th–that means that the door is 1/12th the size of an actual door, the windows are 1/12th the size of actual windows, etc. But you can make a smaller or larger doll house by increasing or decreasing the scale.
How to Make Your Own House For Your DollsFind a Cutting Plan
The easiest way to get the bulk of your dollhouse finished is to find an online cutting plan for a doll house and bring it to a hardware store to have your wood cut for you. Search for dollhouse cutting plans and pick the one you like.
Put the Dollhouse Together
Using your cutting plan, start assembling the dollhouse with wood glue and other craft supplies. You still aren’t actually designing anything in this step, but your child can help you assemble the dollhouse. Wood glue is a pretty safe craft material for kids of all ages, just make sure they don’t eat it.
Exterior Design
You’re limited only by your creativity and your craft supplies here. I’ve used fake siding for dollhouse exterior–made from cutting thin strips of wood and layering them like actual siding–and I’ve used plain matte paint. You can go exotic and use actual roofing tiles or siding for your dollhouse, but that adds a lot of extra steps in preparation. Let your child pick the design they like, and get painting.
Interior Design
Let your child design the interior including selecting furniture and other additions to the dollhouse. A trip to your local hobby shop or even a craft store should get their juices flowing. Just make sure you and your child decide ahead of time on a budget. Knowing what rooms you want in your dollhouse is a big help too.
Putting a dollhouse together with your kid is most of the fun of the dollhouse. Dollhouses are a beautiful and traditional addition to any kid’s bedroom, and they’re functional too. Use the dollhouse to store your kid’s dolls, and if you built it well, you may be able to pass it on to your grandchildren and great-grandchildren one day.

How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

The ability to make good paper airplanes put you pretty high on the totem pole in junior high school. Making sturdy paper airplanes that could fly all the way across the room and do tricks made you the coolest kid in the room.

There are many varieties of paper airplane to choose from, but by far the simplest and sturdiest paper airplane is a design that paper airplane enthusiasts call “the Deltry.”

How to Fold the Deltry Paper Airplane

How to Make Sturdy Paper Airplanes in Study Hall

1. Start with a standard 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. For a sturdier paper airplane, you could use cardstock, though your folds would require a little extra elbow grease and without a strong tailwind the airplane may have trouble getting lift. Crease your paper along the middle. You’re folding it in half lengthwise. This is what paper airplane experts call a valley fold. Now unfold the paper. Congratulations, you’ve just made a crease.

2. Fold the top two corners of the paper inward to the center crease line. You’re essentially making two right-angle triangles at the top of the paper that touch at the center crease line.

3. Fold your big top triangle (the two smaller triangles you just folded form one big triangle) over and down so that the point is toward the bottom of the paper.

4. Fold the point of the large triangle back up. The tip of the triangle should almost touch all the way to the top, but not quite to the top. You want to leave about half an inch space from the top of the paper. This space is to help the plane’s flaps lock under with a tight fit and keep the airplane held together when you’re finished folding it.

5. Fold and unfold two new top triangles so that their edges line up with the center line of the plane.

6. Now you should fold the two large right angle triangles down again, repeating your first steps.

7. Tuck the two lower triangles underneath so they lock in place.

8. Now its time to tuck all the triangles underneath the flaps so the whole plane holds together.

9. Launch the Deltry gently. This isn’t a fast paper airplane–it’s built for sturdiness. Don’t throw the Deltry, just release it gently with the nose pointed slightly downward.

Paper airplanes were once the domain of the immature kid at the back of study hall. These days, interest in origami and paper-folding has brought paper airplane construction back to the forefront.

Where to Get Fake Money for Your Child

Where to Find Play Money for Your Kid

Knowing where to get fake money for your child can pay off dividends when it comes to teaching them how to count currency, identify the various types of cash notes, and be a responsible consumer. Plus, younger children may be prone to rip or tear bills as their curious hands explore the texture, so using fake currency will save you from losing real money.

Fake Money on the Internet

Thanks to the Internet, fake bills can easily be downloaded or printed directly from the website. Here are some of the best (and safest) sites I’ve come across:

Counterfeit Money from Other Sources

While the Internet is a convenient source for fake currency, you will also find it available from other sources. Here are a few to try:

Now that you know where to get fake money for your child, it’s time to begin the process of teaching them about how the economy works. You may be surprised at how fast they pick up these lessons, and parents with more than one mortgage and steep credit card debt might expect to receive some sound financial advice from their kids.

Make Your Own Tye-Dye T-Shirts – For Kids

Create Tie-Dyed Clothing

While people often associate tie-dye styles with the hippie culture of the ‘60s and ‘70s, it’s been around far longer than most would imagine. In Peru, for example, examples of tie-dyed clothing have been traced back to somewhere between 500 and 800 A.D.

The art of tye-dyeing remains popular to this day, and our article is devoted to showing you how to make your own tye-dye t-shirts. Kids love tie-dye designs, and the vibrant colors and patterns allow them to explore their creative side while making something they can wear around the house and during casual activities. Grown-ups may also want to get in on the act, allowing the whole family to look like they’re going to Woodstock.

Tie-Dye Materials

Before you begin the tie-dyeing process, you’ll first need to gather together the necessary materials. I recommend the following:

Now that you’ve assembled all your materials, it’s time to jump right in and start experimenting with the groovy world of tie-dye.

Congratulations, you now know how to make your own tye-dye t-shirts for kids (and adults). Once you’re outfitted and in the mood, put on some Hendrix, plug in a lava lamp, and get ready to feel those good vibrations washing over you.

Preschool Crafts – Making Paper Penguins

Everyone loves those cute, flightless birds known as penguins, and their distinctive shape and coloring makes them an ideal subject for an art project aimed at younger children. Even if you’ve never tried your hand at preschool crafts before, the simple instructions provided below will have you making paper penguins in no time.

But before we list the easy-to-follow steps, let’s take a look at the various species of penguins. Not only will these give your child a little more creative freedom when it comes to the project, but it can also serve as a springboard to a lesson about these adorable creatures.

Making Penguins Out of Paper

For those who enjoy preschool crafts, this project will allow you to make penguins out of paper and a used yogurt container. The process takes very little time, and it’s an excellent way for younger children to learn about the world around them and explore their creative side. With a little experimentation, any of the penguin species described above can be made.

Before you begin, you’ll need to collect the following items:

Now it’s time to use our supplies and create a penguin!

Congratulations, you’ve just created a penguin using nothing more than construction paper, an old yogurt carton, and your imagination. While more complex versions of the project can be constructed, this basic example of preschool crafts should engage youngsters and have them wanting to learn more about the subject.

What Are RC Toys?

A lot of men, children and even women have started collecting R/C or remote control toys that they can play with or assemble during their pastime. It’s a hobby that provides real satisfaction especially for those who prefer to assemble their own RCs from scratch instead of buying the ready to run or ready to fly varieties. The challenge lies in getting the RC up and running after it has been fully assembled and the tiny machines are properly set-up. It can be a source of pride to show people that the RC you are controlling is something that you have made on your own. Whether you’re looking to play on land, sea or air, you’re bound to find something that you’ll like.

RC Helicopters

RC Helicopters have come a long way since they only used to go up or down, forwards and backwards. From simple 3-channel Remote control helicopters for beginners that can turn, hover and go up and down to those for experts that go all the way up to 6 channels. These allow you to complete almost any maneuver that a real helicopter would be able to do allowing you to make some pretty “death-defying” maneuvers. Replaceable parts means despite the many crashes you have (there will be a lot), you’ll be able to replace every single part, and keep your remote control helicopter for many years to come!

RC Tanks

From scale models modeled after your favorite wartime models and painted in camouflage, to tanks that have infrared sensors that allow you to battle your buddy RC tanks are a ton of fun. Ranging in price from less than $20 to those that are upwards of $100 you’ll have tons of fun with remote control tanks. Many are now what’s called airsoft tanks that can even shoot BB’s and emit both sound AND smoke to give you a more realistic experience. With tanks from the US models like the M1A2 Abrams to German tanks like the Tiger you’ll be able to play out your favorite battles from history!

RC Cars

From scale model race cars, upgradeable piece by piece just like their real life counterparts, to buggies that are the same and can be run or raced off-road there is an almost unlimited number of customization and fun you can have with these. It can get expensive, by upgrading from electric to the super-fast nitro-powered versions, so watch out and start slow!

In these modern times, R/C or remote control toys are becoming more popular than ever before. The forward and backward movement of simple remote toy cars is now part of the past as innovative RC toys are being introduced by the RC industry. It is now common to see people flying their gyro RC helicopters both indoors and outdoors, sail their scale model versions of RC boats and run upgradable cars at blinding speeds. The options for hobbyists and RC enthusiasts come aplenty at This toy and hobby company offers nothing but the best products and services associated with RCs. Anytime you are in need of a new RC to feature in your collection, you can always come to Xenon Project anytime and you will get practically anything you need for your RC hobby.

If you want to buy any type of RC, whether fully assembled or something that you want to set-up yourself, you can always visit the online RC toy and hobby shop Xenon Project where you’ll find parts and fully assembled versions of all your favorite remote control toys.. Certainly, you will be able to find something from the long list of RC helicopters, RC boats and tanks they have on display.

Middle School Science Fair – How to Make a Fake Volcano

Middle School Science Fair – How to Make a Fake Volcano

The old “fake volcano” is a classic science fair project for middle school students. Understanding how a volcano works is just part of the project–the highlight is the actual explosion of the volcano itself. While this may not be the most original science fair project, it is certainly a popular choice and has a cool visual element that keeps kids excited about the project.

The purpose of the model volcano eruption is to learn about volcanoes but also to learn about the chemical reaction taking place between the ingredients of the eruption itself.

Here’s how to make a fake volcano for your next middle school science fair project.


1 box of modeling clay


Baking pan (disposable)

500ml empty plastic soda bottle

4 tbsp baking soda

1/2 cup vinegar

Red food coloring

Liquid dish detergent

Alka-seltzer tablets


Plain paper

Pens or pencils


Assembling the Volcano

1. Line the baking tray with a few layers of old newspaper. You can find disposable aluminum baking trays at the grocery store if you don’t want to risk ruining the one from your kitchen.

2. Place an empty soda bottle in the middle of the tray. Here’s the tough part–you need to mold the clay material around the bottle to form a basic volcano shape. Volcanos are generally shaped like mountains with a giant open crater at the top.

3. Get creative–draw pictures of buildings and people on the scrap paper. Then cut out the buildings and people with scissors, leaving a small tab at the bottom of each.

4. Bury the tabs on the bottoms of the drawings around the volcano’s base. They should stand straight up. The tabs help hold them in place.

5. It is time to start the eruption–add a few drops of red food coloring to the bottom of the soda bottle.

6. Fill the bottle with warm water using a funnel. Once the water is about three inches from the top of the bottle, stop filling.

7. Place six drops of detergent into the bottle.

8. Pour the pre measured baking soda into the bottle using a funnel.

9. Add the vinegar to the mixture by pouring it through the funnel. You can add an Alka Seltzer table to make the eruption last longer, but you don’t have to. Remove the funnel quickly to allow the chemical reaction between the vinegar and baking soda to occur.

Since the “eruption” will probably ruin the clay of the volcano, you can only really get away with a single eruption. Make sure your middle school student knows how to make the eruption happen, since they probably only get one shot at it.

The point of this project is two-fold–your student should study volcanoes and how they erupt, but they should also understand the chemical reaction going on inside the model volcano. Make sure they understand why baking soda and vinegar react the way they do, otherwise you’ve just made a cool clay model without learning anything about science.

How to Make a Barbie House

How to Make a Barbie House

If you’ve ever shopped around for a house for Barbie, you know the market’s pretty limited. You’d think the people at Mattel would understand that Barbie has a lot of stuff and needs a house that can hold it all. But no–most of the commercially available Barbie houses are too small for Barbie’s extensive wardrobe, not to mention her collection of cars and (let’s face it) boyfriends.

If you want a Barbie house big enough for the average Barbie collector, you’re going to have to take matters into your own hands. Building a Barbie house isn’t a huge project–you should be able to put together a sweet new pad for Barbie in a single afternoon.

Materials You’ll Need

Different sized paint brushes

Cheap plastic “bookcases” or shelving units


One or two yards of indoor carpeting



Scrap wallpaper


Hobby saws or knives

Assembling Barbie’s New House

1. Your first step is to gather your materials. The most important feature of your new Barbie house is the small plastic bookshelves or shelving units that actually constitute the house. Make sure the shelves you buy are tall enough to allow Barbie and her friends to stand up inside. Also, you should decide how big you want the house to be. Determining the number of rooms and floors for Barbie’s new mansion is key to figuring out how many plastic shelves you need.

2. Assemble the plastic shelving units. Be creative–if you want a two-story house for Barbie, you should buy a three shelf unit so you can remove one of the shelves and use it for a front porch or an adjoining pool house. Your imagination is your only limit.

3. Barbie wants fancy carpeting, so pick up a yard or two of nice (but thin) indoor/outdoor carpeting. Just cut the carpet to fit the floors and glue it down. Not every room in Barbie’s house needs carpeting . . . maybe Barbie is a hardwood floor or tile girl. Buy materials to suit the look of the interior of her house.

4. If you want, you can purchase two shelving units and hinge them at the back, so that Barbie’s house can open for more living room. Either way, you’ll need to use cardboard or thin hobby wood to cover up the plastic “walls”. You may not even have to wallpaper the back and side walls if you find good enough wood to cover the walls.

5. If Barbie doesn’t like wood paneled walls, use scrap wallpaper to cover both sides of the interior walls and one side of the back and side walls. This is another time when you should get creative. Wallpaper comes in all styles, and most wallpaper or home improvement stores have deals on scrap or older styles of wallpaper.

6. Now it is time to decorate the exterior of Barbie’s  new house. Plastic outside walls just don’t do–so cover the exterior of her house with shelf paper in an attractive color, or (even better for Barbie’s style) go ahead and paint the exterior an attractive color. Hobby stores also sell imitation wood and brick exteriors. Remember to do whatever Barbie wants.

7. Barbie’s house looks pretty plain without windows and doors–using a hobby saw or sharp knife, cut out an appropriate number of window and door holes. Barbie’s house should have a front door and a back door, and maybe  a side door if Barbie’s house comes with a pool or hot tub. As for windows–get creative. Usually, homes have an even number of windows, or at least a balanced look to the windows themselves. A few windows of different sizes should look just fine. Be sure to decorate the exterior of the windows with shutters or dress up the inside with curtains or drapes made from old fabric.

8. You have the option of attaching cardboard walls to the bookcase using glue if your shelving units are difficult to paint on or glue to. You can attach pretty much anything you want to the cardboard interior walls.

Keep In Mind:

Barbie has a lot of furniture and a lot of friends. Make sure your rooms are big enough for slumber parties, dinner parties, and just hanging out time.

Some rooms in Barbie’s house are smaller than others–bathrooms and closets are generally smaller than bedrooms, and living rooms and kitchens should be the biggest rooms of all.

Every type of room has its own style of wallpaper. You wouldn’t want flowery, girly wallpaper in Barbie’s gym, and you wouldn’t paint a bathroom the same way you’d paint a dining room.

Keep Barbie’s size in mind when it comes time to cut windows and doors. If Barbie can’t fit through the door, she won’t be happy with her house.

The biggest thing of all–make sure that there’s a place in your house where Barbie’s new mansion fits. Otherwise, your favorite Barbie collector won’t be able to play with it.

How to Draw Anime

Anime is a fantasy style of art invented in Japan but loved the world over. Anime and manga are both known for “big eyes and small mouths.” Learning how to draw anime means learning the principles of anime sketching, then starting to sketch your own favorite characters in the Japanimation industry. When you’ve gained a certain amount of competence in the craft of drawing anime and manga characters, you can try your hand at creating your own.

What Is Anime?

Manga is a type of Japanese comic book published in serials by manga studios. These comic books read from right to left. Manga books are more mainstream in Japan than comic books are in the United States, and adults find little social stigma in reading manga titles.

Anime are animated cartoon movies which are often based on popular manga. Book length light novels are also converted into anime and manga, if they’re popular enough. Anime movies have certain conventions that don’t appear in American cartoon animation, such as a lower frame rate and different artistic styles. For people in North America, the terms “anime” and “manga” are synonymous, and when people talk about drawing anime, they mean drawing manga characters.

How to Draw Manga

Get an 18×24 drawing pad or portable sketchbook, a pencil sharpener, several 4H to 6B drawing pencils, a kneaded eraser, a nylon eraser, a blending stump and black ink pens of various weights.

Sketch basic shapes to get used to your drawing instruments. Draw cubes, cones and spheres.

Look at how others draw anime. Study the lines used in these sketched pictures.

Starting an Anime Sketch

Drawing boys and girls in anime style requires getting people’s proportions and shapes right, first. Then you use a slightly different than realistic head to body ratio for smaller children. Draw eyes large and round and set them lower down the face than you would a normal human’s eyes, without eyelashes. This gives them a more innocent appearance.

Use tiny circle for the mouth and nose, while showing ears on a boy’s head. Make the feet larger in relation to his body than normal.

For older boys, make the face more angular in appearance. The eyes should be smaller and almond shaped instead of round. Add no eyelashes for older boys, but make the nose and mouth more defined.

The body of boys in manga or anime tend to be longer and thinner, so elongate the body. Consider a 1-to-8 ratio on the head to body for older boys.

Drawing Manga and Anime Girls

Girls should have round heads with large rounded eyes. Like young boys, a manga girls’ eyes should be further down the head. The bigger the eyes in proportion to the head, the younger the character looks.

For anime females, you want the hair to cover the ears. Use a 2-to-1 ratio for her head. The body should be short and be twice the height of the head, which should give a rounded look to a little girl.

For older girls, draw smaller eyes and add eyelashes. Her mouth should be enlarged, while her face should be more angular. Give her either longer hair or a more stylish look, while lengthening her body. At its maximum, the head to body ratio should be 1-to-8.

Making Anime

How to Draw Anime

How to Draw Anime

For drawing anime, you’ll need a few extra tools. Buy a registration system, which keeps you paper in alignment when sketching and re-sketching. Buy sturdy animation paper, a light table, and non-photo blue or carmine red erasable color pencils.

Install Video Editing Software

Add video editing capability by installing Adobe Premiere for PCs or iMovie for your Mac. Consider what you’re going to do for audio taping, and buy sound-mixing software appropriate to what you want.


Get a story idea. For your first anime story, make it small and quick. Don’t get too ambitious to start, or you’ll frustrate yourself. Choose a story with one character with one goal and a few obstacles. You can write your epic with a cast of thousands and dozens of plot twists after you’ve gotten some more experience in the craft.

Write a script. Don’t write 1-hour and 30-minute screenplay, but something you can put on video in a limited amount of time.

Draw a Storyboard

Draw a storyboard. This is a comic book style blueprint of your anime. It’s comparable to a rough manga version of the finished anime.

Scan the Storyboard

Scan the storyboard panels into your video editor. Record a soundtrack to fit with your scanned images, then sync these sounds on the video editor at a pace of 24 frames per second.

That means a lot of pictures, and it’s going to look like a slideshow to begin with. Keep producing new anime pictures, making liberal use of your registration system.

Produce Model Sheets

When producing your animation, you want visual references for each character. These are different poses and facial expressions from a wide variety of angles. This means you’re going to be drawing your characters over and over again, streamlining their look.

Work on Backgrounds and Setting

If you want to get a little more detailed and advanced, consider adding backgrounds and foreground items. Use your image editor to see how different color backgrounds look.

Produce Layouts

Layouts are precise and accurate storyboards. This is getting closer to the finished product. Once you have these, splice these into your animatic device and sync them with your soundtrack.

Once you have the rough layout, finish the job by editing out needless shots and story points. You want as little edited out as possible, since this represents a lot of work. Still, if the final product has slow moments or superfluous material, it’s better to edit it.

Drawing Anime – Suggested Reading

As you can see, drawing anime to be turned into a short movie is a lot of work. Big anime studios go a step further to add “main animation’, along with extra detailed work on color and ink.

If you want further instructions in how to draw anime cartoons and manga characters, consider buying a “How to Draw Manga & Anime” book at the local bookstore, such as Hikaru Hayashi’s How to Draw Manga (this one’s available in multiple volumes) or How to Draw Anime & Game Characters by Todashi Ozawa. Most decent size bookstores these days have a whole assortment of books that help, with step by step instructions.


How to Repair a Denim Comforter

Denim comforters tend to be pretty durable, so learning how to make minor repairs on denim should let you keep the comforter in working shape for a long time. Here’s how to repair a denim comforter with minor sewing tips.

Search for Denim Fabric

Buy light or medium fabric, unless you have a heavy sewing machine. Heavy denim tends to be stiff, so it can gum up many home sewing machines.

Wash the Denim Comforter

Before making repair, consider washing the comforter to remove any residual stains on the fabric. Denim is tough enough to take multiple washes, so you might as well start with a fresh and clean comforter.

Check stains before you dry the denim comforter, though. If you have tough stains, it might pay to take your favorite comforter to the dry cleaners.

Pre-Washing Denim

Pre-wash the denim fabric, before you saw it onto your denim comforter. Treat this denim like it’s any other colored wash item. Dry your replacement denim the same way.

If the first wash doesn’t appear to do the trick, rewash some 2-3 times to soften your fabric, before patching.

Place Heavy Needle on Sewing Machine

How to Repair a Denim ComforterIf you plan on sewing over thick denim seams on your comforter, place a heavy sewing needle onto the machine. This keeps you needle from bending or breaking while you patch the denim.

Cut Your Denim Patch

Cut the fabric with a pair of scissors. For especially heavy or difficult denim fabric, consider cutting one layer of denim at a time. Flip your pattern over to cut the second piece.

Sewing Your Blue Jeans Comforter

Once it comes time to sew, sew flat-felled seams, which are 3 stitch lines, with 2 securing multiple layers of fabric. Here’s how you sew a flat-felled seam.

Stitch a standard 5/8-inch seam with wrong sides together. Trim one side of the seam allowance to one-eighth of an inch. Next, press the seam allowance to one side, keeping the longer side on top.

Next, fold the untreated edge under your trimmed edge, then press it into place. Then saw a stitch line to close this fold.

Routine Repairs on a Denim Comforter

Sometimes, you may not need to make such radical repairs to your denim. Instead you can re-stitch seams that have pulled out with a sewing machine. In fact, you can use a fabric hoop to make small enough stitches to stick your denim comforter by hand.

Another option is to add bright patches you buy at the store, instead of similarly colored denim. If you have multiple holes to repair, this could give your comforter a whole new look. In either case, while you’re making repairs, check for weaknesses in the denim fabric, so you can add a reinforcing patch, to head off repairs at a later time.

Finally, check the edging all the way around your denim comforter. This is a common place for stitches to unravel, because this is the part of the blanket likely to drag across the floor as you carry it, so check and make any preventive maintenance to keep your denim comforter intact.

Repairing Denim Comforters

As you see, learning how to repair a denim comforter requires a little bit of sewing skill, but not too much. Be careful, if you aren’t used to sewing with a machine. Making sure you don’t hurt yourself is much more important than making sure you place a patch on your denim comforter.

How to Cure Wood

When you are using wood on a building project, that wood almost always needs to be cured. Those who buy wood at the lumber store aren’t going to need to dry their wood, since the lumberyard has dried the wood already. But if you are using your own lumber, you’re going to know how to cure wood.

Wood Curing Techniques

First of all, “curing wood” is the process of drying wood out from its living, organic state. A tree is full of moisture in the form of water and sap. This moisture needs to be out of the wood, before it makes suitable building material. There are several wood curing techniques, however, this guide only covers the air drying method.

Air drying wood is the cheapest and easiest way to cure lumber, but this might take you a year (or perhaps even more) to dry out the wood properly. Drying the wood in a kiln is the other option, but this is a lot more involved. A kiln is a furnace used to either burn or dry various materials, such as bricks, porcelain or lumber (different kilns for each).

Collect Stickers

Stickers are pieces of wood cut to put between layers of stacked wood. This lets air flow past each stick of wood, making it dry out faster. Remember that stickers need to be the same wood type as the lumber you are curing.

You use stickers for air drying wood. They are simple 1×1 pieces of wood. Remember that certain species of wood need to dry out, before you turn it into lumber. Check on the Internet for information about your wood species, if there’s any doubt.

Lay Out Lumber to Dry

How to Cure Wood

How to Cure Wood

Place logs on the ground in 8-ft long pattern. Make sure the base logs are same species of wood as the wood you’re curing, with these stacks about 3′ to 4′ apart, so it’s easier to pick them up later. Place freshly cut lumber on these logs, so they are not touching the ground.

Layer the logs as you stick by placing stickers between each layer. In this way, you can stack lumber up to shoulder level or so. Don’t go so high that stacking or unstacking risks strains, tears and pulls, or is otherwise troublesome.

Air Cured Wood

Let the open air dry out the wood by letting the lumber sit for several months. Buy a moisture meter and use this to determine the amount of moisture content in your wood. Check an online moisture chart for your wood species. Each species has a different optimal moisture level for building.

Store the Cured Wood

Once the wood is properly dried, place the logs in a ventilated barn where it can remain dry, until use. You don’t want moisture constantly on or near your wood, because the wood is going to reabsorb a great deal of moisture. Not only does this make it hard to work with, but moist wood is likely to become warped or moldy. Both of those are really bad for construction projects.

Go to the Local Sawmill

If open air wood curing doesn’t sound like it works for you, consider kiln-dried lumber. For this, you’re going to need access to a professionally built kiln.

Find a sawmill in the area and ask the sawmill owner is they have kilns available for drying private lumber. It costs between 40-60 cents per board foot to dry wood this way, but that tends to be the easiest way to cure your wood.

If the sawmill doesn’t offer kilns for individuals, ask them if they know of a local kiln. Sawmill owners tend to know the local scene.

How to Crochet

Learning how to crochet isn’t that hard, at least when you’re talking about basic crochet stitches. Learn basic crotcheting techniques to get started and see whether you want to learn more advanced crochet stitches.

What Is the Difference in Crocheting and Knitting?

Knitting uses two pointed needles to make patterns, while crocheting uses one hooked needle with a hook on the end. Crocheting requires hooking loops and pulling them through stitches, while knitting works several knits or loops across one needle. The debate about which is more useful – knitting or crocheting – is a debate that still rages between the two camps.

Crochet Stitch Patterns

Let’s discuss the four basic crotchet stitch patterns: the chain stitch, the single stitch, the double stitch and the slip stitch. Learning these crocheting methods lets you master the basics of crochet.

Chain Stitch

The chain stitch is the basic crotchet stitch, that you need to know to begin crotcheting. Right-handed crotcheters should hold the knitting hook in their right hand, looping yarn under the left index finger. Hold the knot between your ring finger and thumb of your left hand.

Wrap your yarn back to front around the shaft, using your hook to manipulate it. Once you draw the yarn you’ve wrapped through the loop of the aforementioned hook, you have made a stitch.

Counting Stitches

How to Crochet

How to Crochet

The first stitch you make should not be counted among the knots. Otherwise, count stitches and continue until your pattern tells you to stop. Once you reach this limit, use a slip stitch to connect the ends to form a circle.

Making Slip Stitches

Connect the ends of your crotcheting together, which should form the crochet circle. Put your hook through the first chain stitch you made, while holding the yarn firmly and drawing the hook all the way through the two stitches made to form a circle.

Practicing Slip Stitches

Practice the slip stitch before you try to crochet a finished piece. Do this by stitching a foundation chain of roughly fifteen stitches. Insert your hook into the next stitch, then yarn over. Draw yarn through the stitch and loop, which should make one slip stitch, but still leave a loop on your hook.

Single Crochet Stitches

You’ll also want to make a single crochet stitch, inserting the hook from the front to the back in the center of the second chain away from the hook. This should place two loops on your hook.

The yarn over technique is when you wrap yard from the back to the front around your hook, then bringing the yarn through the pair of loops you have on the hook. Continue with this move until you have the full crocheting row finished.

Double Crochet Stitches

Now that you know the single crochet stitch, it’s time to learn the double-stitch in crochet. Place the yarn on your hook once. Then place your hook into the center of the chain by inserting it from back to front. Draw the yarn over, then through the 2 loops on your hook.

That’s all there is to the double crochet.

Learning How to Crochet

Learning how to crochet is learning how to perform the basic crochet knits. Once you master the basic loops and knits, then learn how to finish a series of knits, you’ll have mastered the basics of crocheting. Master what I’ve discussed above, then move on to the more advanced crochet techniques.

How to Draw Animals Step by Step

Drawing animals can be frustrating for beginning artists, because animals represent a huge variety of shapes, forms and features. Learning how to draw animals step by step requires learning a few basic concepts of animal anatomy. Eliminating these typical mistakes will improve your animal sketching skills rapidly.

Animal Studies

Before you get good at drawing animal sketches from memory, study pictures of the animals you want to draw. Study live animals any chance you get, too. You want to see how their anatomy works. Try to imagine them as broad shapes, which helps you when you start drawing animals from scratch.

How to Sketch Animals – Basic Shapes

When learning how to draw animals, first look at a photograph of the animal that you are going to draw. Start by sketching the basic outline of this animal, then draw the inner shapes of the creature. Don’t worry about details in the beginning.

Visualize the animal photo in an abstract way. Instead of visualizing an animal in the photo, imagine the animal to be simple geometric shapes like squares, circles and rectangles.

Connect the Shapes

How to Draw Animals Step by Step

How to Draw Animals Step by Step

Connect the basic animal shapes with lines, so the beast’s forms start to become noticeable. The lines you use here should be darker than the basic sketch lines, and they should start to dominate the picture. After you finish this step, the drawn animal should start to take shape.

Add Contrasts in Light and Darkness

Next, look at your photograph and notice the relative areas of darkness and light as they play on the animal’s form. Try to add these contracts to the sketch, getting the right amount of lightness, darkness and medium tones to the drawing.

Shade in the animal, not worrying about mimicking the animal’s features themselves. Once the shading is correct, you are closer to capturing a real image of this animal.

Drawing Details

Finally, once you have finished with the basic animal shape, connecting the animal’s outer lines and the basic shading of the animal, that’s when you should add details and animal features. Most beginning artists want to leap ahead to this stage of the depiction too early.

Instead, build the foundation of your animal drawing first, then getting more detailed as you go. When you draw an animal using this art method, you’re transferring the visual essence of the animal to the page or canvas, then filling in the details later.

Practice Drawing Animals

Remember to focus on the early steps of your animal drawings most. Once you start mastering this drawing technique, put a lot of time into sketching animals. Like any other skill, the more you practice the skill with the proper technique, the better of an artist you become. Mastering how to draw animals step by step, like everything else in this world, requires dedication and practice.


How to Draw Cartoons Step by Step

Drawing cartoons lets us poke fun at the people and things in life that need to be taken down a peg or two, or simply lets a cartoonist express his or her own unique perspective on life. Learning how to draw cartoons step by step lets you become a cartoonist, which allows you to express yourself in a way you never have before.

Cartoonish drawings are about humorous exaggerations of life, highlighting a person’s features and proportions to point out something otherwise notable, but not always noticeable, about them. Cartoons can be used to lampoon people or produce satire of the events in our lives. Here’s a beginners guide to drawing cartoon characters.

Draw the Basic Shapes

Drawing cartoon characters is about simplification. Draw simple shapes or outlines of the person you want to draw. A man’s head needs to be an oval. A woman’s head is an oval, but with a “v” shape at the bottom of the oval (for a chin).

Drawing the Torso

The chest of a man and woman also need to be ovals, but larger than the head. Leave enough space for a stick figure neci, but make this a tiny gap. Draw the waist as an upside-down triangle, which represents the hips and crotch of the cartoon people. Make a female’s hips a little wider.

Drawing Human Limbs

Start human limbs with a simple line. Draw all four. In human anatomy, human legs are 2.5 times taller than a human head, while legs are 3.5 times tallen than a human head. These might be exaggerated in a cartoon, though, so if you want to exaggerate a person’s feature (legs perhaps), make the proportions larger.

Filling Out the Body

How to Draw Cartoons Step by Step

How to Draw Cartoons Step by Step

Thicken the arms, legs and body by drawing parallel lines alongside the lines already on the paper. This takes the limbs from stick figure drawings to 2-dimensional figures.

Bisect the Face

When drawing human features, you might want to bisect the face up and down and side to side with cross shapes. This should look something like a plus symbol on the face, which lets you gauge where the eyes, nose and mouth should be. Adjust the cross shape to account for perspective.

If you want to depict something looking up, adjust the cross shape to really look like a “t” or a cross, by place the horizontal line higher on the face.

Cartoon Facial Features

Facial features should be simple in a cartoon. For eyes, draw a curved line with a circle underneath the line. Draw eyebrows as two curved lines just above the eyes.

The nose should have a larger cone shape for a man, while having a smaller cone shape for a woman. These should be directly along the vertical line on the face.

Lips and/or mouth depictions for a woman should include a flat “m” for the upper lip and a curved line for a lower lip. Add the man’s mouth by drawing a curved line under the nose.

Adding Clothing to Cartoons

Clothes should be depicted in as simple of a fashion as possible, with lines to show the bottom of a dress or a few geometric shapes to draw a man’s suit, with a belt simply being a couple of parallel lines across the waist.

Drawing Cartoons Characters – Practice Like Mad

You’ll need repetition to master how to draw cartoons step by step. You want the cartoon sketching process to become second nature. Like drawing in a realistic fashion, you still want to pay attention to the concepts of human anatomy, and you want to pay attention to distinctive features.

All of this comes with practice, though. Once you learn the basics of how to draw cartoons step by step, it’s going to come easier and you can start to play around with the medium. Soon enough, you’ll be able to add funny pictures to your humorous insight into the world around you.

How to Draw a Cat

Learning how to draw a cat can because of their awkward poses and striped and spotty markings. Here’s five simple steps to making a beautiful picture of a grumpy old cat.

As with any drawing, the figure of a cat is easy to form if you break it up into smaller steps. One great way to prepare to draw a cat is to study a live one. Watch how a cat walks, sits, sleeps, stalks, or does anything at all. Think of your cat as a series of shapes, mostly circles and ovals, rather than a complex living being with a “cat shape”.

  1. This is the easy part — just draw a circle. This first circle will become your cat’s head, so make sure and draw it the proper size for a cat’s head.
  2. Add two almond-shaped “eyes”. Recognize that at this point in your drawing, your cat’s basic head shape looks like the classic “alien” figure. You don’t have to use almond-shaped eyes, but most cats’ eyes do take this shape. Remember to place the eyes somewhere in the middle of your circle.
  3. Between the eyes, add a simple lower-case “V” for the beginning of the cat’s nose. Now add a mouth — draw a straight line under the cat’s “nose”, with two lines moving diagonally downward on each side. Yes, this cat you’re drawing is a bit grumpy and is frowning. Cats frown. Get used to it. Once your mouth is in place, draw leaf-shaped “ears” on either side of the head. Your cat is starting to come together.
  4. How to Draw a Cat

    How to Draw a Cat

    Now is the time for more detail — you need to add things like whiskers (sticking out from the sides of the face), stripes, and maybe some shading around the cat’s head. Your original nose “V” should become a sort of triangle turned a bit to the right or the left — this gives the nose some dimension, although you can have the nose pointing straight if you want.

  5. Now for the hardest part — your cat’s body. A trick to drawing a cat is that a cat’s neck is usually not visible, so you can place the head right on top of the body. Your cat’s front legs should start as three simple straight lines. Indicate the presence of a cat’s paws with three U-shaped lines at the bottom of the legs. Your cat needs unique markings and features, otherwise it will look a little too cartoonish. Remember that some cats have spots of white or black around the neck, and that tabby cats have stripes.
  6. What would a cat be without its tail? Form your body lines in a curved shape using an eraser and your pencil — this will “thin out” the shape of your cat and make it appear to be in motion. For the tail, simply draw a thick and varied “S” shape figure to suggest a tail in motion.

Now that you’ve got the basics of drawing a cat, you can add your own flourishes and embellishments. Remember that all drawings are just a series of shapes and you can draw anything you can think of.

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Growing up, knowing how to make a paper airplane was the difference between being cool and being totally lame. Though there are many different paper airplane designs to choose from, I find this simple glider fool-proof and easy to “pilot” to a soft landing.

First, gather your materials — one sheet of notebook or stationary paper will work fine. Make sure you have a clean and flat work surface to make your airplane on. If you want to be really fancy, you need a pair of scissors or paper shears. If you’re under the age of 10, make sure you have your parent’s permission to use a sharp pair of scissors.

Making Paper Airplanes

Now that you’ve got all your materials, it is time to start making paper airplanes. Start by folding the paper in half lengthwise. Make a nice hard crease on this fold, then reverse it and crease it again. This is the “backbone” of your plane, and is the most important step. Also make sure that the edges of your paper are lined up so they are “flush” with each other before you crease the fold.

How to Make a Paper Airplane

How to Make a Paper Airplane

Next, fold down the top left corner until the top line of the left half of your paper is lined up with your first fold. Do the same thing with the top right corner.

The next step is to fold the point down. You will notice a “point” at the top of your page after you complete the first few steps — this is the “point” that needs to be folded down (toward your body) so that the flaps you made in the first few steps sit inside the fold. Make this fold as high up on the page as you can without ruining the flaps inside it. To complete this step, just fold the paper in half lengthwise towards the back of the paper so that your point is now on the outside of the paper.

If you’re using scissors, get them out now. Tear or cut a small notch in the upper corners of the paper. You’ll be cutting out a square notch about a half inch from the outer corners of the paper. Don’t cut the notch along the center fold or you’ll ruin the plane.

Folding a Paper Airplane

Rotate the page clockwise so that the angled part of the plane sits on the right and your square edge is on the left hand side. Now fold down your wings. Flip the page over, and ensure that the fold you built earlier is down against your table or other surface and the angled edge sits at the top of the page. Fold down the left wing as well.

Your paper airplane is now finished and ready to pilot all over your house or yard.

You can build a whole army of paper airplanes and race them with your friends, or launch a sneak air attack on your little sister. Whatever you do, make sure not to throw the airplane directly at someone, as you could injure them. Have fun.

How to Make a Pinata

Pinatas have been used for thousands of years to mark celebrations, birthdays, and other special events. There are different theories about the origin of pinatas — some claim they were invented by the Chinese (Marco Polo witnessed the Chinese hitting pinatas with sticks and burning them to scatter their ashes) while still others say their origin lies with the Aztecs or Mayans. Both the Mexican culture and some parts of China still celebrate with pinatas to this day, and any culture where Mexicans exist are familiar with the pinata — a brightly colored paper shape decorated with streamers and filled with candy or other goodies.

Understanding how to make a pinata is not as difficult as it may seem. The basic pinata is just a six-pointed star figure made of paper and filled with candy, cookies, or other goodies.

If you want to add a special element to your next birthday party or are interested in Mexican culture, try learning how to make a pinata on your own. Use the following steps for a fail-proof pinata.

You will need to gather the following “ingredients”:

Making a Pinata

  1. How to Make a Pinata

    How to Make a Pinata

    Blow up a large balloon. Depending on the shape you want to make, you may use a round balloon, a cylindrical balloon, or any other shape.

  2. Mix together the flour and water until it makes a smooth paste. This is the beginning of the “paper mache” step.
  3. Continuing with the paper mache recipe, tear your newspaper into long strips at least 1 inch thick and dip them into the flour / water mixture. It is important to tear and not to simply cut the paper, as the tearing helps the paper soak up the flour / water mixture.
  4. Carefully lay the paper mache strips over your balloon until it is almost completely covered — be sure to leave a small hole at the top to remove the balloon and insert candy.
  5. Set the wet balloon aside to allow it to dry. While you’re waiting for it to dry, prepare another layer of paper mache newspaper. When the balloon is dry, drape your final layer over the balloon and let it dry.
  6. Repeat with one more layer, making sure you leave the hole at the top
  7. When the balloon is finally dry, pop and remove the balloon from the inside.
  8. Now the fun part — paint and decorate your pinata with designs and colors, streamers, glitter, or whatever you want.
  9. Traditionally, colored crepe paper hangs from the sides and bottom of the pinata. Attach these if you want.
  10. Punch 2 small holes in the top of the pinata near the open hole and run your long piece of string through the two holes.
  11. Fill the pinata (remember the hole you left at the top?) with candy, toys, or any other fun surprises you want. Consider adding newspaper “filler” so the candy and other goodies are not all in one spot.
  12. Tie your pinata over a branch or other support with string and have fun breaking it open.

You can be as creative with this pinata as you want. Try designing an animal or flower shape with the balloon and paper mache. Kids and adults will have fun breaking these open and enjoying the treats inside.

How to Draw

Learning how to draw is a matter of learning four different elements. If you learn and practice the concepts of line, shape, perspective, and light, you will find the ability to draw comes naturally.

Learn Drawing

When you decide to learn drawing techniques it’s best to start with the basics. The following are some basic drawing steps.


The line is the most basic unit and element of any drawing. The basic definition of a line is this — a line is what separates one area of the drawing surface from any other. When you draw a single line, you divide up your drawing surface into two different areas. Once you begin to add more lines, your drawing becomes more complex and intricate — multiple lines means separating light areas from dark ones, positive space from negative space, foreground from background, etc. A single line can be one width and shape from beginning to end, or (to add complexity) you can give the viewer more information with varying widths and flourishes.


A shape is best defined as the area marked out by lines. You create a shape as soon as you draw your first line. A plain white piece of paper even has shape — whatever shape the paper is in. Shape, far from just “round” or “square”, means information that is presented between your drawing lines, or the area that is enclosed by a line. What does shape do? It defines an object that you are drawing. Shape is the element of drawing that is most important for creating a realistic figure or drawing.


How to Draw

How to Draw

This element can also be called “proportion”. Perspective and proportion refer to the size of one part of your picture in relation to the size of any other part. To put it a different way, perspective is what tells us that your legs are longer than your arms, some fingers are longer than others, and the shape and size of elements of the face. When you get proportion correct in a drawing, your drawing “looks right”.

Perspective is an illusion — in reality, your lines are all made of the same stuff, but adding perspective means that thing that are farther away look smaller. When you want to make an element of your drawing appear “farther away” than the rest of your drawing, just draw it smaller than the other objects.


Light, along with its opposite “shadow”, work together to add depth and mood (or “atmosphere”) to a drawing. When you want to make a drawing “realistic” (or life-like) you need to add shadow and elements of light because light and shadow exist in the real world. When you see a drawing made with only one width and forget to add shadow, your drawing looks flat and two dimensional — most of all, the absence of light and shadow make your drawing appear unrealistic. When you add shadow to a drawing, it automatically lends perspective to the paper because a shadow or a pool of light means that something is either in front of or behind another object. In this way, light and shadow are some of the most important elements of drawing in that they affect all the other elements.

Learning to Draw

Learning how to draw doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility, crumbling paper into tight wads and growing frustrated with your inability to make a shape. Simply understand the four elements of drawing, and you’re well on your way to a fun and relaxing hobby.

How to Make Soap at Home

Learning how to make soap at home is a simple way to save a little money on an essential household item. Once you perfect your own soap recipe, you can make a cleansing agent that’s exactly to your family’s specific needs. You’ll smell exactly the way you want to smell, and be able to avoid allergies that many commercial soaps cause.

Below is a recipe to make soap at home. Once you make soap once or twice, try adding or subtracting your own ingredients, to create the smells you want and the hypo-allergenic soaps you want. Let’s start with a list of items you’ll need to make soap at the house.

Making Soap at Home

Making soap at home requires a number of ingredients, to do the job right. You not only want an effective cleaning agent, but you want a cleaning agent that looks right and, more important to most people, smells right. Here are ingredients you’ll need for this soap recipe.

Soap Making Tools

To make soap at the house, you’ll also need a number of soap-making tools. Here’s the minimum allotment of tools you’ll need for this job. These should make your soap production quicker, easier, cleaner and safer.

Dissolve Lye in Water

Add 32 ounces of softened water into a bowl, preferably glass or plastic. Next, dissolve 12 ounces of lye into the softened water. It’s probably better to do this in the open air, or under an exhaust fan, because of the lye.

Remember to add lye to the water and not water to the lye, meanwhile stirring with a plastic spoon. Let the mixture cool.

Add Coconut Oil – Add Vegetable Shortening

Melt 24 ounces of coconut oil along with 38 ounces of vegetable shortening in a stainless steel pot. Next, add 24 ounces of non-virgin olive oil to this mixture, then allow the oils to cool.

Preparing the Soap Molds

Prepare the soap molds by greasing them with Crisco.

Mix the Oils with the Lye

Once the lye mixture and the oil mixture are room temperature, it’s okay to mix the two of them. Add the lye to the oils, while stirring slowly. Be prepared to stir constantly and don’t stir so briskly that you cause the concoction to bubble.

Test the Soap

How to Make Soap at Home

How to Make Soap at Home

Occasionally dip your stirring utensil into the soap mixture, then let it drop pack into the pan. When this substance starts to keep its shape for an instant, before reverting to the mixture, you’re almost ready to proceed to the next step.

Dip a cup into the soap.

Adding Extras to the Soap

You’ll next want to add coloring and fragrances into the soap, but taking whatever coloring, grains and botanical fragrances you’ve chosen and mixing them into the cup of soap you just collected.

When this is mixed into the soap, combine the contents of the cup into the full pan of soap. Stir to mix.

Soap in the Mold

Add the soap mixture into the soap molds. Wrap the soap mold in a thick towel, then leave it covered for 18 hours. You expect the mixture to heat up, then cool down.

After 18 hours, uncover the mold and let it set, uncovered, for another 12 hours.

Removing Soap from the Mold

Once this 30-hour process is finished, wiggle the mold to loosen the soap from the sides of the mold. Turn the mold over on a clean counter and remove to a clean cutting board.

Next, cut the soap into bars of soap with a knife or mitre box. A mitre box lets you square the corners, so it produces more professional looking soap.

Curing the Soap

Finally, soap needs to cure for up to 3-4 weeks. The larger the bar, the longer it’s going to take to cure. Once you have cured the soap bars, it’s ready to use. The process is time consuming, but the soap you make at home is going to be made to order.

Soap Additives – Soap Colorings

Add one of the soap colorings below to add color to your soap bars. Play around with the amounts (roughly 1 tablespoon) to produce the colors you want.

More Soap Additives – Nice Smelling Soap

Soap Additives for Problem Skin

For those who want to add ingredients to help their skin complexion or problem skin conditions, there are several options. Oatmeal helps your complexion. Tea tree oil is good for problem skin and allergies. Geranium oil works to combat dry skin, while cornmeal adds grittiness to a soap, for those who like gritty soaps.

Making Soap at Home

Know that when you learn how to make soap at home, you won’t get the mixture perfect the first time. This is going to require some trial and error, to get it just the way you want it. For that reason, I recommend making small amounts of home-made soap at first.

Don’t get discouraged, if your soap is perfect the first time out. Play around with it a bit and learn which scents, colorings and additives work best for you and your family. Get feedback from everyone in the household and improve your soap-making as you continue to practice.

How to Draw a Rose Step by Step

The rose is the most popular flower to draw, but it’s also one of the most difficult. The swirls and contours of a red rose evoke feelings of romance and intimacy, but it’s not always easy to draw those swirls and contours. But when you learn how to draw a rose step by step, you’ll be able to reproduce rose petal designs with little trouble.

How to Draw Roses

The following are instructions for how to draw roses.

Start with a Swirl

Decide where you want the center of your rose to be, then sketch a swirl in that spot. This is going to be the center of your rosebud. Remember to allow space in every direction around this swirl, because you’ll want to fit the entire rose on your page or canvas.

If you have multiple roses, add multiple swirls. Remember to keep these far enough away from one another that your rose bouquet looks realistically spaced.

If the rose swirl is difficult at first, practice sketching them on a scratch pad, until you can reproduce one faithfully. Look at a photograph of a rose or someone else’s rose sketches, to get an idea what the swirl looks like.

Add Large Petals – Drawing the Rose Bud

Make the rose bud by drawing three petals to surround the swirl, roughly to the right and left, and on top of the rose. You want these petals a little offset, to give the sense that gravity is drawing one side of the rose towards the ground. After you draw the petals, add curved lines around the inner swirl, to show petals wrapped around the rosebud itself.

Draw Sepals and Stem

Sepals are the green leaves directly underneath the bud part of a flower. They grow just below the bud and lead into the stem of the rose. Draw the stem and sepals next.

Draw leaves around the stem to give the rosebud its leafy highlights. Take a look at a number of pictures of roses, to make sure you have the anatomy of the rose complete.

Drawing Rose Vines

How to Draw a Rose Step by Step

How to Draw a Rose Step by Step

You can also add rose vines, if you wish, by drawing curved stems with occasional twin buds jutting from the stem. Once again, draw from photos of a rose to get this part right.

Erasing Directions

Erasing on a sketch is a little different than it is in normal writing. If you have smudges, it’s best to press a kneaded eraser on the sketch, instead of rubbing like you would on a standard piece of lead pencil writing. That’s because rubbing tends to strip paper off your canvas, giving it a rough quality. Trying pressing, instead of rubbing, before you use are forced to use the extreme method of erasing.

Use charcoal, instead of conte sticks, if you need to erase a lot. Charcoal is a little easier to pick up with a kneaded eraser. Remember to keep washing your hands as you continue, because lead on your hands and fingers is going to lead to excess smudging.

Draw in Black and White

If you want to learn how to draw colored roses, start with black and write rose drawings first, to get the shape down. Once you have mastered the art of drawing roses, move to the next step of drawing with colored tools.

Spray with Krylon

Once you have the sketch exactly was you wish, set the drawing by spraying with Krylon workable mat fixative. This sets what you already have on the page down, so get rid of smudges and other imperfections before moving to this step. You’ll be able to add more to the drawing, but what’s on there already is going to stay on there.

Practice Drawing a Rose Step by Step

You’re not going to get this perfect the first time. Mastering how to draw a rose step by step requires repetition and practice. Draw variations of the original sketch time and again, until you start to improve. Take a look at rose photos in magazines and other books, then practice copying those pictures in sketch form. Eventually, you’ll master the technique.

How to Paint

When you want to learn how to paint, the best thing to do is buy some paint materials and start painting. Painting is a hobby that you only get better at by practicing. With a few instructions in painter techniques and time spent putting colors on a canvas, you’ll start to figure out how to paint.

How to Paint with Watercolors

Watercolors are a good way to learn to paint, because you don’t get bogged down in mixing paints too much. Watercolor pictures tend to have a dreamlike quality to them, because the water paints naturally fit with impressions, not details. Start painting watercolor landscapes, then move on to more detailed subjects.

Here are the materials you’ll need to do watercolor art.

Set up the Canvas

Tape your watercolor paper onto the piece of cardboard to make your painting canvas. Make sure the cardboard is at least slightly larger than whatever piece of watercolor paper you use.

Sketch Your Landscape

Using a soft lead pencil, sketch a rough outline of the landscape you’re wanting to paint. This doesn’t have to be precise or intricate, but a rough sketch. Draw from a photograph, if you have trouble envisioning the landscape you want to depict.

A lynchpin of a landscape painting is getting your horizon line set. A horizon line is where the sky and the earth meet. Place the horizon line low on the painting, if you want to paint the sky mainly. Place the horizon line higher on the painting, if you want to depict the beauty of earth’s nature.

Sketching Objects in the Landscape

Sketch the background landscape features, as well. To maintain the sense of perspective, objects in the background are going to be smaller and less detailed than objects in the foreground. This gives the painting a more realistic 3D quality.

After you have the background mapped out, sketch the objects in your foreground. These are going to be the objects (trees, ponds, etc) that are going to be featured in your painting, and therefore have the most detail.

Paint the Sky, Baby

Using water (only) and a flat brush, dampen the sky portions of your canvas. This is called a “wash technique”.

To paint a sky on sunny day, simply paint with blue watercolor over the sky portions of the canvas, while it’s still wet. To create cloud cover, blot the canvas with crumpled tissue paper as your paints are still wet.

Paint the Background

Use the wash technique to paint in the colors of the background. Remember to use appropriate colors to paint in the hills, mountains and lakes you’re likely to be painting.

Dry Brush Techniques

How to Paint

How to Paint

Now that you have the background of your painting set, it’s time to get to the main focus of your painting. Using a small round brush, paint in the foreground sections. For this part of the painting, you’ll use a “dry brush” technique.

Dry brush is painting watercolors when the canvas is almost dry, and the paintbrush itself is also almost dry. You’ll notice this technique gives you more control over the paint.

In watercolors, more water with the paint dilutes the paint, giving you lighter and softer tones. When you want darker colors and harder edges, use less water. If you believe there’s too much water on a canvas for what you want to do, let it dry.

Finished Watercolor Paintings

Once you finish painting, set the watercolor canvas aside and let it dry completely. When it’s completely dry, peel off the masking tape around the picture, leaving a precise white border around your painting.

How to Paint with Oils

Oil paints require more mixing and can be intimidating to new painters. Oil paints also take a long time to dry, which can be frustrating to young artists. At the same time, because oil paint takes so long to dry, you can keep applying paints to the painting, until you get the picture you want.

Here’s what you need for oil painting.

Sketch Your Picture

Sketch an outline of the picture you want to depict. Beginners should use a pencil, though experienced painters sometimes use a thin brush and brown paint thinned with turpentine.

When sketching an oil painting, make sure to get your perspective precise with all objects in the scene from the very start. Like in the watercolor painting, get your horizon line figured out, if you’re painting a landscape.

Choose Background Colors

Select the main background color for your painting, then paint the background. Squeeze about a quarter-sized piece of paint onto your palette. Use strokes to paint the background. Rock should be light brown or perhaps gray, while the sky should be a light blue.

Choose Subject Color

Squeeze out the paint you’re going to use to paint the subject of your oil painting. Dipping the brush into the paint and staying precise, stroke paint onto your subject carefully. Continue adding colors, until the entire canvas is covered. Try to have a plan for the color scheme, to make certain the scene you depict is pleasant.

Once you have your colors finished, you can proceed to more detailed work on the overall painting. Just like with watercolors, you start in the background, then move to the foreground and add details.

Use of Oil Paints

When painting an oil painting, use paints sparingly at first, then add more if the painting warrants it. This not only saves on supplies, but lets you continually add, instead of putting a bunch of color on the painting, then subtracting.

Remember that you can use a painter’s rag to wipe away oil paint from specific areas of the painting. While this is something you don’t want to do all the time (wasting paint), this is an option with oil paintings. If you want to keep the oil painting from drying, so you can make changes in the next session, consider placing the oil paint in your freezer.

When finished with watercolor paintings or oil paintings, clean out your brush fully. Watercolors need to be washed out, while oil paint needs to be washed with turpentine. If you don’t wash out your brushes, they won’t be usable the next time you paint.

Painting 101

Those are the basics of how to paint. Read books for intermediate instruction on painting technique. You’ll want to read about light sources and shadows, along with more detailed discussions of perspective. Finally, study brush strokes, to make your painting look better and to gain more control over your painting technique. But for now, learn how to paint by playing around on the canvas.

How to Make Hair Bows

It may seem complicated, but it’s not difficult to learn how to make hair bows for young girls all by yourself. Making your own hair bows is a matter of knowing what materials to use and how to use them.

Instructions for Making Hair Bows

The most basic hair bows are made of grosgrain — a “ribbed” ribbon material that is attractive and easy to work with. You can use almost any material to make a hair bow, but working with grosgrain for your first bow will make your job even easier. In the next few passages we’ll give you instructions for making hair bows.

These are materials you’ll need for making hair bows:

How to Make Hair Bows

How to Make Hair Bows

1. Plug in your hot glue gun — it needs to warm up.

2. Cut about 4 inches of the floral wire.

3. Cut your ribbon to approximately 30 inches. Remember that the length of the ribbon will determine
the size of your bow. For a neat appearance, make a diagonal cut at each ribbon end.

4. Use Fray check on each end. This will ensure the ribbon won’t fray. The ends of the ribbon will dry quickly

5. Hold your ribbon vertically about five inches down the length of it. With your thumb on the front and pointer finger on the back, loop the ribbon by pulling the remaining 25 inches over to the top of where your thumb is. This should leave a tail of ribbon two inches long at the end.

6. Now fold the remaining ribbon up and under the starting point, leaving enough length to make the size of the loops match.

7. Now it is time to make the third loop. Pull the remaining ribbon up and over the center to form the third loop. Continue to hold the center
tightly while you are working. The tighter you hold your ribbon in place at the center, the better your bow will look.

8. While continuing to hold your bow firmly in the center, carefully put a small amount of glue between each place where the ribbon meets, for a total of four glue points.

9. Now you’ll attach your bow to a clip so that it can be worn in hair. The simplest way to make sure your alligator
clips stays on is to clip it open, and carefully insert the bottom of the clip under the ribbon on the back.

10. Close the clip where the bottom is beneath the ribbon. Now carefully put a small amount of glue on the bottom of the end of the alligator clip

Making a bow on your own is hard, and your first attempt may not look quite right. After a few tries, you will have mastered the skill, and probably have your own secrets to making bows the way you like them.

How to Draw a Dog

When kids are too young to draw very well but old enough to WANT to draw, making even the simples shapes can be frustrating. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Understanding how to draw a dog can best be accomplished by seeing it as a series of small sketches rather than an attempt to capture an entire picture at once. Children have trouble drawing things like dogs, because they have complicated facial features — for some reason, a dog’s mouth is particularly hard to draw for kids.

Drawing Dogs & Puppies

Drawing dogs & puppies doesn’t have to be a hassle — here is a simple method for drawing a cartoon dog in just eight steps.

  1. Start your drawing of a dog by drawing a small stick figure (with small legs and no arms) in the center of your paper. This “stick figure” will become the nose and mouth after a few details are added. Teaching a child to draw a dog using simpler examples is the best way to go about it, as they don’t get overwhelmed or too caught up in drawing an “accurate” dog.
  2. Next draw three dots on each side of the stick figure. These dots will eventually represent the dog’s whiskers. In general, the three dots form a triangle shape on each side of the dog’s nose, though you can be creative and put as many whiskers in as many places as you want.
  3. Now it is time to draw the dog’s muzzle. This is a large circle that will become the dog’s entire “face”. Draw a big circle around the stick figure and dots, making sure that none of the stick’s body parts or dots touch the bigger circle.
  4. How to Draw a Dog

    How to Draw a Dog

    To draw your dog’s eyes, draw two half circles attached to the top of the main circle. For a clearer explanation — these half circles will represent “eyes”, and should be almost touching each other but not quite. They will look something like headstones sticking out of the top of the dog’s circular “head”.

  5. The dog’s head needs a top, so draw a semi-circle around the “eyes” you’ve just drawn. This will be the top of the head and the rest of the dog’s face.
  6. You can’t see without pupils, so it is time to add pupils to your dog’s face. Make two small dots in the center of the dog’s eyes for pupils. You can make them any color or size you want.
  7. What else is missing? The dog’s ears! Dog’s ears are the msot fun part — you can put any kind of ears you want on your dog — point, floppy, big, little, anything you want. Dog’s ears come in all shapes and sizes, so be creative.
  8. You can add a few special touches to your dog if you want — a waggly tongue, spots, extra whiskers, maybe even a collar and a leash or a bone to play with. Use your imagination.

Now that you’ve learned to draw a dog, practice other animals using the same principles. Soon you’ll have an entire barnyard of animal friends.

How to Make a Toga

Despite popular opinion, Toga parties are not limited to fraternity halls. Togas also make great Halloween costume. The thing is — they can be really damn hard to make. Its because of this that we’ve created this guide for how to make a toga.

Making a Toga Instructions

Here are some instructions for making a toga. Want to have the coolest Toga in town? Listen up.

Toga Fabricc

First and foremost — DON’T USE A BED SHEET. People use bedsheets because they are what they have hanging around the house. Bedsheets are the wrong shape and are far more expensive than regular cloth found at a fabric store. Unless you’re making your toga at the last minute, don’t use a bed sheet.

Your first step is to head to the fabric store and buy a few yards of the cheapest material you can find. Be creative — pick a funny color, pattern, or something tacky and cheap. Your cloth will look much better than the other bed sheet Togas at the party, trust me.

While you’re at the fabric store, you may consider accessorizing — cheap fabric “rope” comes in all kinds of colors and works perfectly as a belt or an over-the-shoulder adornment. Be creative.

Make sure you buy between four and six yards of material for your Toga.

Wrapping the Toga

How to Make a Toga

How to Make a Toga

When wrapping your toga around yourself, you’ll notice that it takes three feet of fabric to wrap around your waist, and you need to wrap it at least twice around the waist before you move on to the rest of the Toga. After you’ve wrapped it around your waist, toss the remaining fabric in a bundle over your shoulder. Make sure you have enough fabric to bring it back to your waist, and then either tie it up or wrap it around some more. Simple enough, right? Slap on a pair of sandals, a cheesy sword or shield and you’re Toga party-ready.

For women — be sure you tie the fabric carefully at the shoulder to preserve some sense of modesty.

Basic Toga Instructions

Here’s a simple step by step instructions for a basic Toga.

  1. Take a long and narrow cloth
  2. Pin one end of the cloth to your gym shorts or underwear
  3. Wrap it around your waist at least once
  4. Make sure the Toga now hangs to your knees
  5. Pin the Toga at the waist again, on the opposite side of the other pin
  6. Throw the rest of the Toga over one shoulder
  7. Wrap the Toga around your back and pin it at the waist again
  8. For God’s sake, wear gym shorts underneath
  9. Accessorize — wear sandals at least, and some kind of jewelry, a crown of laurels, or anything.

The whole point of the Toga party is to look and act silly. You didn’t get dressed up in this fabric to show off your fashion sense — you did it to act like an idiot.

If you’ve bought the right fabric, pinned the Toga at the right places, and worn the proper accessories, you’ll be the hit of your next Toga party. Just don’t forget the gym shorts.

How to Draw Naruto

Naruto is a cartoon character beloved by kids because of his story — he’s a teenage ninja who’s trying to become the greatest ninja warrior in history. The Naruto series is long and complex — if you’re under the age of 12, you probably need no refreshers. If curious about how to draw Naruto, here’s how.

Drawing Naruto Cartoon Character

We’ve put together 5 steps for drawing the Naruto cartoon character.

Step 1

To draw Naruto, you should start by drawing out the basic guidelines and shapes of the Naruto character. The first step is to draw a basic circle for the head (more of an oval shape at the bottom for the jaw) and then add the facial guide lines. These lines will tell you where the nose, eyes, mouth, ears, and other features belong.

Step 2

Now we need to line out Naruto’s torso and arms. Naruto’s torso is sort of boxy and his forearm should be drawn in an oblong shape, including the right shoulder. Continue sketching by including the shape of his legs and feet. Naruto is known for his spiky hair, and you can go ahead and draw that in now — don’t forget the line for his bandana. Using the facial guide lines you drew earlier, add the eye lines and jaw lines. Once the face is prepared, sketch in his basic jacket lining shape to start forming his clothes. Jacket first, then pants.

Step 3

How to Draw Naruto

How to Draw Naruto

We’re starting to have a basic outline for Naruto — now it is time to draw more details on his eyes and his famous bandanna some more. Draw Naruto a smallish mouth line as well as his characteristic eyes. Now you can start adding detail to his clothes begin to sketch the complex shapes of his hands. Don’t forget his sandals — draw them in at first like socks.

Step 4

This is the step where we draw Naruto’s bandana in detail — find the Naruto emblem and draw it on the front of the bandana. Now draw in the lining for his ears and then add some of the lines on his face. By adding more detail to the mouth and drawing in the collar of his famous orange jacket, your character will begin to look like Naruto. Take it a step further and add detail to his sleeves such as creases and wrinkle lines — he’s an active guy, his clothes aren’t going to be too neat. Don’t forget the creases on his pants.

Step 5

Your drawing of Naruto is nearly done. You are on the last step, and it is time to finish the Naruto details. Simply sketch in a few specific details and add some definition to his body, shading for muscles, maybe even action lines for his legs. Don’t forget to finish details on Naruto’s collar. Finish the drawing of Naruto by adding cuffs at the bottom of his pants and of course the poor guy needs some toe nails. Don’t forget to erase all of the guide lines and guide shapes you drew to get you started.

How to Make Paper Mache

Papier mache (usually called by the simpler “paper mache”) is an easy and fun craft to make. You can use paper mache to make ornaments, pieces of art, sculpture, and any other shape you can imagine. It is cheap to make and (surprisingly) eco-friendly. Why is that? Paper mache uses waste paper like old newspapers and stationary and recycles them into a new artform.

Once you figure out how to make paper mache you can prepare it any time, and use it to form all kinds of shapes for drying and decorating.

Paper Mache Recipe

The first and easiest paper mache recipe requires flour, water and a good supply of recyclable paper — that’s it.

Making Paper Mache

Start making paper mache by stirring three parts water into one part flour until it comes out as a smooth and creamy mixture like cake batter. A tip — add a few drops of wintergreen oil. This will make the paste last longer on display. You can get wintergreen oil at drugstores and health food stores. Once you’ve stirred all these ingredients together, the paper mache paste is ready for whatever use you have for it.

Using Paper

The vital ingredient in paper mache is of course paper — I use old newspaper, but you can use any scrap paper or stationary you have lying around. This is the fun part, so if you’re making paper mache with kids, gather them around for this step. You dip each piece of paper in the liquid mixture, making sure it all gets soaked, then apply each paste-covered piece of paper to the mold or shape. You’re using. A note on molds — balloons work best for round shapes, but you can use old paint cans or anything hard that will help mold the wet paper into the shape you want.

Wallpaper Paste

How to Make Paper Mache

How to Make Paper Mache

There’s another popular paper mache recipe that uses wallpaper paste. It is a bit more complex because it involves wallpaper paste, but all you really need to do to get that is buy some at a hardware store. Start by mixing one part wallpaper paste with three parts water, then stir it up. This is an easy way to make ready-to-go paper mache paste. The process now is the same as before — soak individual pieces of paper in the paste, and apply them to the mold you’re using.

Paper Mache Recipe Precautions

Regardless which paper mache recipe you use, it is vital that you follow a series of precautions to get the best paper mache you can. It is important to tear your recycled paper into strips and not just cut it — tearing it allows the paper to absorb the paste, while cutting makes too clean of a line and your paper won’t soak properly. Also, be sure that each piece of paper you’re using is completely saturated with your paper mache paste, otherwise your paper mache will drip apart. Finally, let each layer of paper mache dry before you add another layer. This will make sure the mold holds together and has a smooth consistency.

Because paper mache paste has a strong smell, you might consider adding cinnamon or vanilla to your mix to make it a bit more pleasant.

How to Knit

Learning how to knit involves learning about all kinds of different knitting techniques. It’s going to take different skills to knit a scarf than it does to knit a blanket, for example. Once you start to learn a couple of different stitches, though, you’ll be able to knit sweaters, socks, hats and bags just the same.

Knitting Instructions

Below are some basic knitting instructions. This should point you in the right direction, while giving you pointers and ideas for learning the next level of stitching.

Basic Stitching

Knitting comes down to the ability to twist yard around itself in particular patterns to create a fabric. Knitting requires the use of two knitting needles, which are sticks with a crooked point on one end, to loop and pull yarn in the necessary fashion.

The basic stitch is taking a piece of yarn on one knitting needle, then poking the second needle into the stitches of the first knitting needle. The knitter loops the yard over a certain point, pulls it tight and finally eases the needle under and out of the new stitch they’ve created. When done right, you create a nice, tight stitch.

Basis Knitting Skills

There are two basic stitches you need to learn to begin mastering how to knit. These stitches are the knit and the purl. Once you know these you combine knits and purls to create stitches, mixing in complexity with color choices, the numbers of stitches and the types of needle used.

Casting On – Slip Knots

The “cast on” is the first step in knitting, used in getting stitches onto your needle. You’ll need to make a slip knot, where you hold yarn on the tail of the yarn ball that hangs in front of your hand. To do this, wrap the yarn behind your two big fingers on your left hand, so that it loops around your fingers in a clockwise fashion.

Next, take the yarn attached to the yarn ball and slip this under the loop that is hanging behind your fingers. You’ll slide this off your fingers, pull ever so slightly to tighten it, then slip the stitch over the needle.

Types of Stitches

Complex stitches are used to make a number of different knitting patterns. Commonly used stitches including the double knit, the basket weave and the stockingnet.

Casting Off – Binding Off

Getting the stitches off the needle is called “casting off” or “binding off”. You’ll need to knit or purl as you have throughout the process, where you slip the stitches off each other. This continues until you only have one stitch left, then close it with the tail end of the yarn.

Learn to Knit

If you’re determined to learn to knit we recommend that you practice the above methods. You’ll eventually study all kinds of patterns and stitching secrets, but get down the basics of knitting before you move on to the intermediate and advanced knitting techniques.

Related Reading on Knitting stitches

How to Draw Flames Step by Step

There are a number of general rules to drawing any basic shape in order to make the process easier, and these can also be applied when learning how to draw flames. Although there are many different types of flames, by following the steps below you can create any type of flame you want.

How to Draw Flames

The following tips will help you understand how to draw flames step by step.

Outer Shape

Like when drawing anything, from a tree to a hair dryer, you must first have a mental image of how you want the final outcome to appear. Therefore, when attempting to draw flames you need to decide what kind of shape you want them to be. Do you want them to be tall of short? Thin or fat? Once this is decided, you have the outer shell of your flame.


With the outer shell decided you can now concentrate on the detail of your picture. This can either be smaller flames surrounding the main flame or detail within the outer shell. Many people copy the outer shell, just smaller within the main frame. This can be done two or three times and colours can alter in each band.


How to Draw Flames Step by Step

How to Draw Flames Step by Step

This choice is entirely up to you. You can either take the traditional route and stick with the generic red, orange and yellow, or you can opt for a more original flame, like a variety of greens or blues.

Finishing Touches

In order to make each colour band stand out you can go over the edges to darken them slightly. Not only will this make the flame more eye-catching, but will also add an extra element of detail to your picture.

Different Styles

Although these basic steps are applicable to any style of flame that you are attempting to draw, there are a few subtle differences that you can make. When adopting a tribal style, black lines need to be far more prominent than usual. Heavy black lines and more angular lines will best suit this style. A more realistic style will need far less definition between colours and even the outer shell should not be too precise.

Using Different Mediums

When attempting to draw different styles of flames, e.g. a gas fire, it could produce better effects and a more realistic fire by using different mediums such as pastels on black paper. By dragging brightly coloured pastels like red, orange and white across dark paper, you can create an amazing smoky effect.

You can also use a simple white pastel to create a really cool effect. On black paper, choose a central point that you want to be the source of the light. From this central point drag the pastel out applying less pressure the further out you go.

You can also adapt these tricks to create whatever effect you want by applying different colours or by using paint, oil pastels or coloured and patterned paper.

How to Draw People Step by Step

Mastering how to draw people step by step is a matter of learning a drawing technique, then following that technique with the appropriate deviations for the person you’re sketching. If you want to be an expert at drawing human bodies, you need to study the proportions of human anatomy. You’ll also need to practice a lot.

The basics of drawing people is a pretty simple and straightforward process, though. Some people are going to be better than others, but every person improves with practice, repetition and a few easy-to-follow steps.

Drawing a Human Head

A human head is roughly egg-shaped with the top of the head slightly more rounded, and the bottom of the head (the chin) needing to be more pointed and narrower.

Drawing a Human Torso

The main body of a person is called the torso. The body is the shape of a quadrilateral, roughly the shape of a rectangle, but slightly smaller at the bottom of the torso (the waist) than the top (the shoulders).

By the laws of proportion, the torso of the body is 2.5 times taller than the head. So if you draw a head 2″ tall, then you should draw the torso 5″ tall.

Drawing a Human Neck

How to Draw People Step by Step

How to Draw People Step by Step

The head and torso should be drawn relatively close to one another, but unconnected. Connect the two by drawing two diagonal lines, with a steep slope at almost 90 degrees.

How to Draw Human Arms

Draw the arms of your subject by adding two lines coming off each shoulder. Arms are slightly longer than the human torso, so makes these arms a little bit long than the torso you drew.

How to Draw Human Legs

Drawing legs requires you to draw vertical lines extending from the torso. Human legs tend to be 3.5 times as tall as the human head, so if you draw a head 2″ tall, you should draw that person’s legs at 7″ tall.

Adding feet to the legs often trip up people, because of the front-on perspective. Draw the feet as knobs at the bottom of your legs.

Drawing People Step by Step

Follow these steps for people you draw, though keep in mind that children have different proportions than adults. You’ll want to add specific details like hair, facial features and clothing that brings out the style and personality of the person in question. These features take more practice than the rough sketch of a person.

There’s the rub: learning how to draw people step by step is simple, but getting go at it takes patience and practice. Beyond the rough lessons you got here, learn more about proportions and anatomy, especially about draw human facial features. But not everyone is a natural artist, and some people who aren’t natural have become pretty darned good, just from dedication, study and lots of practice

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