Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Tissue Paper Luminary Drawings (and book list!)

How did you celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day?  This is the first year that I’ve talked to my preschooler about this holiday.  We read a bunch of picture books celebrating diversity and service (links below) and talked about what it means to dream and treat all people kindly, no matter what they look like.  Being a craft lover, we also sat down and made these Tissue Paper Luuminary Drawings.  I love the discussion that we had while making them and I love how they beautiful they turned out too!

Martin Luther King Tissue Paper Luminary Drawings 

tissue paper luminary drawings- beautiful art and craft idea for celebrating martin luther king jr day
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Before we start, Iwant to note that I cannot take credit for this idea.  I originally saw the idea for doodled tissue luminaries from Jean from The Artful Parent.  She has such great ideas for making these into really nice gifts, so definitely check her post out!

I knew that this would be such a beautiful project to do for Martin Luther King Jr day.  I love the image of each person shining their own light to bring hope and fight the darkness around them.

Let's Design our own Tissue Paper Luminaries


To make these tissue luminaries, I first collected all the jars and plastic cups that I could.  (As you can see, I was only able to rummage up one jar.  But my disposable plastic cup worked out perfectly too.  If you’re doing this craft with a bunch of kids, plastic cups are probably a better deal because they’re cheaper and easier and less-breakable!)

Then I set out to make template luminary covers from scrap computer paper.  The jar was fairly easy to cover.  I just needed a long rectangular sheet of paper.  The plastic cup was definitely a bit tougher, but still doable!  I placed my cup on a sheet of paper and traced the bottom and top path that the cup made as I pushed it across the page.  I ended up with a pattern that closely fit our cup.  (Test it out to make sure! It’s pretty amazing!)

how to cut out a sheet of paper to perfectly match a cup


Then, I cut out that paper luminary cover.  (This can be your template in case you're making a ton of these.)  Now I traced the pattern onto single sheets of tissue paper.   

Ok... here's the thing that I learned about working with tissue paper for this project- tissue paper is super duper thin.   Little kids may have problems holding it down.  Plus, Sharpie tends to soak through.  So, I 
  • Left a bit of extra tissue paper around the outside of my pattern.  This way I could tape down my tissue paper so my son wouldn't have a tough time drawing on it.
  • Taped my tissue paper onto another sheet of paper so the Sharpie marker wouldn't leak through.   


cut out tissue paper luminary drawings

Why is my picture upside down?  

Well, I took this photo at a later time to show you how we taped everything down… and realized that I drew the image upside down.  So just make sure you figure out which way is up an and down before drawing!

How does this relate to Martin Luther King Jr?

Before drawing we talked again about who Martin Luther King Jr was and what it means to be kind to each other and love each other.  Then, I told him to draw what kindness and love looked like to him. 

Here’s my image of two hands hugging the earth

Tissue Paper Luminary Drawings


And here’s his image.  (It’s a picture of him kissing me and me hugging him.  He also drew pictures of Christmas trees on the other side.)

Tissue Paper Luminary Drawing- Great activity for MLK day


Once you’re done, cut out your thin sheet of tissue paper and use clear tape to tape it onto your jar or plastic cup.  Then, grab your flameless LED candles and light them up!

Tissue Paper Luminary Drawings


Funny story- Like usual, I wasn’t quite sure how much he actually understood of our conversation. But then later that night when I was away, he told my husband to bring the “Martin Luther King Jr Candle” into his room so he could fall asleep to the light.   I also heard him talking about "having a dream" the other day to his stuffed animals.

:)  This made my mom heart happy. 

And in case you were wondering, here are some of the books that we read!

10+ Books that Teach Children to Appreciate Diversity


I hope that you have a wonderful time remembering, talking about, and celebrating this holiday with your kiddos too.  Happy making, friends!

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