Chances are parents have started someback-to-schoolshopping. Have you noticed, though, that bookmarks are often not among the supplies found at the store? So here's an easy project: fun, pencil-themed bookmarks. They'll come in handy, and it also gives the kids a chance to prepare for the new school year. For a colorful variation, younger children may want to create crayon bookmarks instead of pencil ones.
(These supplies are sold at craft stores, some department stores and online.)
Jumbo craft sticks
Acrylic craft paint: yellow, pink, peach, silver and black
Emery board or sandpaper, optional
Fine-point black permanent marker
Note: Each craft stick will need to be painted on both sides. Allow one side to dry before painting the other side.
1. Paint each craft stick with yellow paint; let dry.
2. Paint about an inch or so of one end with pink paint for the eraser; let dry.
3. Leaving about 3/4-inch of the pink paint visible, paint a stripe of silver over the bottom of the pink; let dry.
4. Paint about 1 inch of the other end of the craft stick with peach paint; let dry.
5. Use scissors to cut the end into a point, making sure there are no splinters. Sandpaper or an emery board can smooth out edges. (Skip this step if you are concerned about a pointy tip for younger kids, or just round off the tip with scissors.)
6. Paint the end of the tip black for the pencil lead; let dry.
7. Repeat steps 1 to 4 and step 6 for the other side.
8. Label the bookmark with the marker. Some suggestions include the class subject (science, math, etc.), the child's name or her school's name. For a more generic approach, write "No. 2" and give them as back-to-school gifts!
9. Apply a coat of acrylic sealer to both sides of the bookmark.
Amanda Formaro is a professional crafter; find more projects at her website, craftsbyamanda.com.