27 May 2011

Photo Challenge- The Shine Project

 Ashley's Instructions:

Take a picture of something that SHINES... it can be a person, place, event, thing....literally anything that has some sort of meaning to you because it SHINES, or inspires you to.

I decided that I would post what inspires me to SHINE everyday at work

Each year, millions of dollars get cut from school budgets across the country. This has really "pushed" me to have to think outside the box when it comes to making art projects over the last few years.

Over the last 2 years, I have become heavily involved with incorporating recycled art projects with each grade level I instruct. This has been quite a challenge! Teaching children that every day things can be used to make beautiful works of art is so eye opening for them! I get tons of "I never thought to use it that way Miss "X"!

Deep down I think, neither did I!!! :) ha!
The biggest challenge for me was how to create beautiful pieces of art, without them looking junky since they are just being made out of everyday "stuff". Deep down, it's never truly the outcome of an art piece. Art is always about the PROCESS of making it. 

So, over the years, this is what I have come up with to help teach my kiddos that everything serves a purpose in the world, especially in the world of ART. You always have to think outside the box!

Soda Cans turned Flowers. Students were asked to bring in uncrushed soda cans for this project. 
I bought craft paint from walmart (those little acrylic bottles for like 89 cents) I supplied the hot glue and wire stems. 

These were soda cans turned into Rocket ships. Aluminum foil was used for all the silver sky/background space effect. Metal brads were used to hinge on the metal pieces of cans. 

The tree was a few really old National Geographic magazines that I dog eared in all the way to the binding of the book. Spray painted green, decorated with sequins. I remembered creating a similar tree long ago when I was in girl scouts!

I used Puzzle pieces had had kiddos paint them to represent leaves. Torn paper was used from the scrap box as grass, and An old box, rather than thrown out, was used to represent the bark of a tree. 

This entire deer was made out of OLD X Mas cards donated to me or ones that I have saved over the years. Ever save cards and ask yourself "why am I hanging on to these?" Well now they can have a purpose! 

Bugs. Or insects. I had some fun bendy straws the kids used as legs and arms. 

Robots. Completely made out of cereal or any type of card board box that food comes in! Collected soda caps for eyes. 


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If y'all have seen a great recycle idea and wanna share, please do! :) I'm always trying to come up with new 'creations' to inspire my students!



  1. This is absolutely a great post! What creativity!

  2. love this post! someday i will have a classroom, and we will do these things!

  3. Those are great! I adore the reindeer- it's gorgeous! Another great way to recycle cards (though not as beautiful) is to donate them. There is a hospital around here, either St. Jude's or Children's Memorial that collects old greeting cards, and the kids somehow use the covers to make new, blank cards that they sell to raise money for the hospital.

  4. that is an awesome idea! You seem like such a great art teacher :)

  5. very creative -- these are some great projects!

  6. These are great! Your kids are blessed to have you as their teacher!

  7. You do the best art projects! We never did anything half this cool when I was in school.

  8. love these! I work at the central office for our school district as the communications person - but I also over-see the Fine Arts program - do you mind if I share these ideas with my visual art teachers?

  9. You are so creative - these are all great ideas!

  10. Stopping by from The Shine Project! Loving the awesome projects! VERY creative!!!

  11. These ideas are amazing! And so creative. They make me want to break out the coke cans and acrylic paints :)

  12. Awww what a cute fabulous thing to do! love the idea! go girl :)


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