There are so many things to love about today's
guest post by Merrilee of Mer Mag! Degas! Ballerinas!
Paperdolls! It all begins with her favorite book choice,
Chasing Degas :)
I'm a big fan of both Edgar Degas and Eva Montanari so
naturally Chasing Degas, by Eva Montanari, comes to
mind as an immediate favorite children's book. This
picture book follows the journey of a young ballerina,
whom Degas was painting, through the streets of Paris as
she tries to find Master Degas to return his paints in
exchange for her ballet bag. The illustrations are
gorgeous and give a nod to Degas' impressionistic
pastels. It was these such impressionistic ballerinas (and
an inkling to do something for little girls for a change)
that inspired the craft that I will be sharing with you.
and some ballerina fun. We started out with some fine art
watercolor paper that I had on hand (cut down to roughly
13x22 - but you can use any number of fine art papers,
such as watercolor or Canson pastel paper), two
coordinating colors of crepe paper, pastels, a charcoal
pencil and this ballerina template.
Trace the ballerina template once on one end of the
paper. Then accordian fold the rest of the paper, being
careful to match up the paper at the elbows. Cut around
the figure, going through all layers of the paper, while
leaving a portion of paper attached at the elbows (one of
our last ballerina's lost a bit of her elbow but we kept her
in the bunch just the same). As the paper is so thick, I
would suggest doing this part yourself as it could prove
to be too difficult for little hands).
using the charcoal pencil, you or you little one can add
faces, cheeks and hair to the dolls.
From there you can move on to outfitting the dancers.
I would suggest limiting your color palette by choosing
just a handful of coordinating colored pastels.
From there you can let your little one color and create
the leotards and ballet slippers.
I did a simple demo to show how to use the pastel on it's
side for a broad stroke to cover a large area (such as the
leotard) and then demonstrated how to use the tip of the
pastel to create the straps and laces, etc. I then let our
little friend take it from there.
After the dolls are complete, you can move on to the
crepe paper tutus. Simply run the crepe paper through
the sewing machine (or hand stitch if you don't have a
machine) and it will naturally bunch up into a ruffle.
From there you can cut up the paper to the desired
tutu sizes. You can then adjust the ruffle to how you
want it by pulling the threads at either end.
Finally, adhere the tutus with adhesive or Elmer's glue
(so that the child can do it) or use hot glue (as I did,
as that was all I had on hand at the moment).
little one's room and adore them for days to come.
Thank you, Mer! To see the rest of the books and
crafts in this series click the button below!