October Art Projects

If you read my earlier post on the art projects I wanted to incorporate into this year’s curriculum, you would know we intended to try dying fabric naturally and making Viking-style jewelry this month. While working with the clay last month, we just went ahead and made our jewelry pieces since we were having so much fun with it.

Viking Style Pendants

Vikings used the runic alphabet and carved in wood and in stone. We created our pendants in clay, carved them with a positive word, and painted them to look like stone. I found a runic alphabet worksheet online and we use that to write the symbols we needed for our words. Shi chose ‘focus,’ Ro chose ‘healing,’ and I chose ‘still.’


Rune Pendants: On the left, mine says ‘still’ and on the right, Ro’s says ‘healing’. I decided to turn mine into a Christmas ornament, rather than a pendant. I also added two wavy lines at the bottom that remind me of calmer water, still moving but slowly and calmly.

Shi has misplaced hers in the confusion of rearranging their room so I didn’t get to take a photo of it.

Rune Information Links:

Dying Fabric

We also started our study of using natural plants to dye fabric. It seems like a lengthy process and one which may take a good portion of time. I decided we’d save the practice until we are on holiday. We finished our study of the process and safety rules, as well as the terminology. I found my information at the following links:


Then we jumped to wood-burning. Ro is very interested in this type of art but I was skeptical. She’s almost overly careful and that can be equally as dangerous as not being careful enough. I have some small pieces of scrap wood for them to practice on so they can get familiar with the tool and learn how to hold it carefully. I do suggest using masking tape to hold smaller items down and make them more stable. This way, no fingers get burned.

We used tracing paper to trace a design we liked. Then we laid the tracing paper upside down on top of our wooden ornament. We used the same pencil to trace over our design to transfer the pencil markings to the ornaments. (You could use transfer paper instead.) Then we used the wood-burning tool to burn the design into the wood. My tool is in a box labeled “Walnut Hollow.” (I bought my kit at one of the craft stores but I see you can get it at Amazon, too.) After burning the designs you see in the photo plus one more ornament, it was getting too hot to hold comfortably. So I unplugged the tool to allow it to cool. This works for me because too much detail work really hurts my hands.

I believe this type of project is best done by adults. However, older children, at the very least middle-school-aged children could possibly do this with close adult supervision. Disclaimer! I feel my own children are ready for this type of project. You are the best judge of whether or not your own child is ready. You are the sole responsible party if you choose to do this project or any other project I discuss in my blog posts that involves any element of danger and something bad happens. If there is any doubt in your mind, DO NOT DO THIS PROJECT WITH KIDS.


This is my set of wood-burned Christmas ornaments. The girls are still working on theirs.

After we’re done with the wood-burning, I want to add some watercolor paint touches to mine. I like the way the transparent paint looks for this type of project. If the girls wish to paint theirs, they’ll do so in the paint of their choice. Then we’ll seal them with a clear glaze. I’m using Krylon spray triple-thick crystal clear glaze this year but ModPodge would work well, too. (No companies paid me to say either of those things.)

  • Again, please let me stress the importance of not allowing anyone under the age of 12 or anyone who has trouble with fine motor skills or anyone with the inability to focus for long periods of time to do this project. This project is not so awesome that it’s worth risking the safety of your child. 

I don’t have any helpful links for this project but I will point you in the direction of YouTube for tutorials of all kinds. I’m quite certain there are wood-burning tutorials there, too.

I hope you enjoyed this project and that it inspires you.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.


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