One of our goals with “Make it Your Own”  is that people will take the ideas featured and modify them based on their needs- whether that be their child’s abilities, the materials that they have available or translating the steps to work with a large group.  We have been excited that two studios have done just that and would love to share these examples in hopes of showing people how they can take a project idea as a starting point and transform it into something else! Purple Twig is a studio located in Los Angeles, California which offers weekly art classes, workshops, open studio times and camps for both children and families.  Owned by Samara Caughney, its teachers come from a variety of art backgrounds/ specialities.  Their work with children includes a distinct emphasis on play.  From following the Purple Twig on Instagram, it is evident the thought that goes into the projects- the pieces are beautiful and reflect the uniqueness of each creator and my favourite part of the photographs of the children is the joy that they have engaging with their creations!  Samara took the idea of making flowers from painted paper towels and used fabric in the process instead.  She also increased the size, making the blooms extra large which would generate all sorts of imaginary play.  We just love it!

From this:

Beautiful Blooms with (Crafts & activities for kids!)



to this:

 Fabric flowers with The Purple Fig

CutOuts Studio is owned by Julia Linsteadt whose own art practise is rooted in paper cuts, where she creates an image using a single piece of paper.  Julia teaches in the San Francisco Bay area at a few locations (see her website link for details.)  What impresses me most about her work is that it is often with very young children.  The classes focus on various creation methods with practical (and clever) modifications to make the process accessible and successful for children in that age group.  Being organized and anticipating possible complications is one of the ways in which art projects can go more smoothly with a large group (and at home too!).   Julia took the nest activity that our kids did and then made these changes (which I think you will find helpful too!).


1) As you can see, each child has a piece of cardboard that they are working on.  This allows for easy transportation (what heart break occurs when a child accidentally drops her or his work while moving it!) whether it be on a side board for drying or to take it home from a studio.

Nest building with CutOuts Studio

2) The kids chose their yarn and materials and pre-mixed it with the glue in a shared bin.  This bin was then placed in between the group of children so that each child could access the yarn to create the nest.

Nest building with CutOuts Studio

3) Julia found that for small children, painting the balloon first with a bit of glue allowed there to be greater adhesion of the yarn.  She used foam brushes that are both easy for young children to use and gentle on balloons!  I like how each child’s glue container has a large mouth, making it easy to brush, but she also stretched an elastic across a container so that children could wipe off their excess glue!

4) Julia then extended the idea, having the kids paint their very own eggs for the nests out of rocks.

Nest Building with CutOuts Studio

Photo Credit:  Candice Gliatto of

As you can tell from the beaming faces in her photos, the children are proud of their individual pieces.  One of my favourite stories on her Instagram account is that a family travelled across the U.S. to attend her class after connecting online- how magnificent is that?!

Both these studios feature ideas that are open-ended, reflecting the maker’s own creativity.  We hope that you take a peek at them and if you find yourself inspired by something we have done on Make it Your Own, please tag us as we would love to see it and say thank you in our own special way!

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