Liz Train wears a headband and holds two pins made from common household items. Train teaches kids to make objects of art from items they might otherwise throw away.

Born again

The Contemporary Museum
teaches children to give worn-out
scraps new life as art

Wonderful craft projects can start from a simple outdoor hike. Or, better yet, by clearing out the clutter from overstuffed closets and drawers. Recycling results in less garbage in the landfills and it's good for our environment.

For parents still trying to keep young ones entertained in the waning days of summer, Liz Train, of the Contemporary Museum's education department, shared some ideas for craft projects using ordinary household throwaways.

"It's fun to find new ways to use things," she said. "I can't throw anything away. I'm a horrible pack rat."

Train said that as a youngster, she and her family would make large lawn sculptures together. "We made some great forts," she said. "We would weave the sticks together and throw some long pine needles up on top for the roof. It definitely required some adult supervision but was lots of fun."

Art projects created by kids at The Contemporary Museum include a sculpture made of a toilet paper roll and puzzle pieces.

For those who prefer to restrict their creative efforts to a smaller scale, paper towel and toilet paper rolls or milk cartons can be transformed into free-standing sculptures. Puzzle pieces, shells, fabric scraps, feathers, paint and any old materials can be used to embellish projects.

Shoe boxes or soda boxes can be filled with objects such as small toys or shoes to create a collage.

RECYCLED ART projects are among the activities set up for schoolchildren visiting the Contemporary Museum. For instance, miniature horses were created in conjunction with the museum's current showing of Deborah Butterfield's horses, sculpted from found metal, mud, sticks, chicken wire and other materials. Some are cast in bronze.

The miniatures created by students were made of branches attached by wire and other materials. Others opted to bend wire hangers to form the shape of a horse.

Train said young children can also make animals out of rolled newspaper and covered them with raffia, paper or fabric.

Art projects created by kids at The Contemporary Museum include a diorama, made of shoes and various odd bits rescued from the trash bin.

Projects should be varied to suit the child's age and ability. Make a headband by rolling a sheet of newspaper diagonally. Add more sections if it needs to be longer to circle the child's head. Secure the paper with tape. Wrap fabric scraps around the paper to create a headdress fit for a prince or princess. Use faux or fresh flowers, ribbons and other trimmings to embellish the creation.

Another creative way to recycle, one that may appeal to teens, is to turn used items into wearable pins. The only expense would be pin backs that cost about $1 for a package of three at local craft stores. Attach them to postcard cutouts, or create assemblages of paper, wire, old computer parts, buttons, shells, bells, magazine images, sequins and beads, to name a few possibilities.

"Old CDs can be used as a backing," said Train. Attach your found objects with Tacky or Elmer's glue, or use a hot glue gun. One unique pin Train showed at the museum comprised empty tea-light candleholders that had been crushed and shaped into a flower.

Eight-year-old Heenalu Kaaihue holds a horse made of recycled wire. Looming above him is another wire horse, this one made of wire wrapped around a wooden frame. It was created by artist Deborah Butterfield and is part of a show at the Contempory Art Museum.

Decoupage boxes are another option for those willing to spend some money on materials. Lightweight boxes come in a variety of sizes and prices start at 99 cents at various craft stores. The modge podge, or sealer, costs about $5 for an 8-ounce bottle that be enough for about 12 small boxes.

Recycle old magazine clippings and other materials to decorate the outside and inside of the box. Layer beads, sequins and other materials if you wish. Once all the decorations are in place on the box, paint over all of it with the sealer.

It doesn't matter if the finished works don't exactly look like they're fit for a museum. The main objective of crafting is to allow children to use their imagination.

According to Train, when children are allowed to creative, the world becomes full of possibilities and opportunities.

Keiki Club

Ben Franklin Crafts Keiki Club also gets children involved in crafting and expressive arts. Different projects are completed each week, and sessions are free.

Each project includes all the materials in a "make-it and take-it" kit. Children are given one free kit; additional kits nay be purchased for $1 each. Project sheets are also available so the crafts can be re-created at home.

Ben Franklin Crafts stores offer Keiki Club sessions from 10 a.m. to noon every Saturday (noon to 2 p.m. at Enchanted Lakes). Call the individual stores for additional information.

Adult classes

"Scramp" Party: An evening of scrapbooking and stamping, 3 to 8 p.m. Aug. 14 at Flora Dec. Make favor boxes, miniscrapbooks, holiday-themed pages and more. Cost of $50 includes all materials, bento dinner and dessert bar. Pre-registration required. Call 537-6194.

Adult Community Schools: Beading, patchwork quilting, ribbon lei making, knitting, painting, ceramics and fabric art are among courses offered at various schools. Most have nominal fees. Visit for a detailed list of classes.

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