100 Yen Shop Craft: Snowflake Paintings
Even the savviest and most resourceful parents can struggle to find ways of entertaining kids over the school holidays. Here's a foolproof winter craft idea that is easy, fun for children of all ages, and produces professional looking results. And the best part is, almost all of the supplies can be bought at the 100 yen shop.
For this project, you will need blank white canvases (one per child), paintbrushes, water-based acrylic paints in a variety of shades of blue, masking or painter’s tape, and a fine-tip permanent marker. Plastic paint palettes are optional (you can also use disposable plastic plates). I bought all of these things except the tape and marker at the 100 yen shop (I already had those on hand), but I’m pretty sure you could get everything you need there.
First, create a snowflake pattern on each canvas using the masking tape. We stuck with a very simple design, but if you have a larger canvas you could go for something more elaborate. I did this step the night before, but older kids would be able to do it themselves. Be sure the tape is securely stuck to the canvas, with no bubbles or folds.
Cover your work space with newspaper or paper grocery bags. Next, squeeze a bit of paint from each tube onto a different section of the palette. Have the kids cover the entire canvas, including the sides, in different shades of blue paint. Prepare cups of water and paper towels to clean the brushes between different colors, to avoid too much mixing of the colors. Just be careful not to leave the brushes too wet, as this will cause the paint to bleed under the tape, making the final pattern less crisp and clear.
The 100 yen shop on Takeshita-dori in Harajuku had several different types of acrylic paint, including ones with glitter or pearl finishes, which added some great texture and sparkle to the paintings.
Once they have been completely covered in paint, set the canvases aside to dry for several hours or overnight. Then, carefully peel away the masking tape to reveal the white snowflake pattern beneath. The kids loved doing this part themselves, and watching as the design became more and more apparent. Finally, use the marker to write each child’s name and the date on each painting. You can also give the kids the option of outlining the snowflake with the marker, although this is in no way necessary.
Voilà, some beautiful, inexpensive winter art!