This Valentine’s Day, make a beautiful Heart Tree Mixed-Media Art Project, inspired by the diverse children’s book “Love is” by Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings.
With Valentine’s Day soon approaching, I wanted to read “Love is” again, since we recently did a book review for it, and my soon to be 5-year-old was happy to pick it up once more. This book brings up so much discussion about love, caring for others, seeing the positive, and so much more.
Today we are going to create a mixed-media, book-inspired project art project, with Love in mind.
We recently shared how we have been storing and managing our recycled materials, and today we are going to use some of those recycled materials!
The book “Love is…” by Deirdre and Erika really captures the generous and constant flow of love that comes from nature with the imagery of picking hearts from a tree and placing them in a basket to share. I have always loved trees, and I love to share this concept of love with my kids, who call this book “the love book.”
Grab a copy of “Love is” for you and your kids today!
So let’s get started creating our Heart Tree Mixed-Media Art Project!
Heart Tree Mixed Media Art Project
This project was inspired by the book Love is and may require multiple days of work to create the final multiple layers of mixed media. This art project can be varied for grades Pre-K up to high school, with the required adult assitance for the younger ages.
- Print out this free TREE coloring page | Mom Junction
- Watercolor Paper
- Burlap Fabric
- Paint, Washable or Acrylic
- Toilet paper rolls, folded into heart shapes to make heart stamps
- Deck of Playing Cards, all the Hearts
- Construction paper, in light and dark blue, and pink
- Watercolors plants
- A paintbrush
- Tacky Glue or white school glue
- glue stick
- markers and or crayons
Method for making a Heart Tree Mixed Media Art Project
Prep this art project by:
- Grabbing a few toilet paper rolls from your recycled materials, and fold them into a heart shape, creating your own recycled art stamp, (if your kids are interested, have them do this step with you!) as well as some burlap ribbon fabric, a deck of cards, construction paper, markers, scissors, glue, and tacky glue.
- Print out this free tree coloring page.
- Find your copy of “Love is” by Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings, you can use this as an inspirational reference while your kids come to the table.
Once the table is set, let the kids find their own way with this project, but guide them to do the following:
Once their coloring is complete, you can then have them use the heart stamps you created from toilet paper rolls.
Add these hearts into the tree, using the cover of the book as inspiration. Stamp as many you want! I left some room for the other hearts I will add later on…
Like these really cute heart strips, that I decided to cut out of the paper rolls!
I wanted to glue them into the tree as well, creating more dimension!
I painted them with red acrylic paint, and let them dry. You could also use red washable paint.
I also wanted to really add in as many different mediums of art as I could, including some college with teared up construction paper. Kids love tearing paper.
Now you have created all of your mixed-media supplies for this!
Cut bits of burlap fabric for your tree trunk. I originally traced the trunk, but burlap fabric falls apart easily, so I decided that gluing them bit my bit worked best.
Next, place your tacky glue onto your tree trunk, in preparation for the burlap bits.
Place on the burlap pieces to your tree trunk, layer by layer to create dimension within the piece.
Tacky glue is great for holding all the bits together. If you do not have tacky glue, regular white Elmer’s glue works too!
At this stage, and depending on the ages of your kids, your project can be complete.
Remember to think about how love is natural and comes from everywhere while you are working on this project with your kids!
“Love is.. a gift for every being. It’s for you and for me.” – Quote from “Love is” by Deirdre Pecchioni Cummings
If your student enjoys more of a challenge or would like to come back to this project over the next few days, continue to work on your Heart Tree in the following ways:
Cut our your tree, that has been colored, stamped and possibly has the burlap fabric trunk, and then glue onto your watercolor paper, in any spot you want!
I placed my tree in the center of the page.
Next, we will be adding the background with watercolor.
You could also have your student start painting this watercolor page separately, while the truck’s burlap is drying, or on another day.
I chose to paint with blues, and a little bit of purple, because the book says that “love is… purple, and it’s deep like the sea.”
Add some salt to your watercolor for more dimension to your Heart Tree!
After painting the whole page with watercolor paint, I sprinkled on some salt, and let it dry. This gives such a nice effect and makes the clouds come to life. Kids love sprinkling salt on! Make sure to only use a small amount. The water on the page will be absorbed by the salt, and then remove the paint in small sections.
As I let it dry, I wanted to speed up the process so I got out my blow dryer!
You can leave it at this stage once more and come back to it the next day.
When you are ready, continue to add more dimension, and detail.
To make it really interesting, I wanted to add in some collage aspects, as well as add in the basket full of hearts, like in the book.
I used the tacky glue to secure the basket. I glued the hearts from the playing cards and made them look like the basket was very full, and overflowing with hearts. I also glued some pink and blue construction paper under the basket to add a bit more dimension, as if more hearts were inside.
I then began to glue on the bits of construction paper to the one section of the painting, where I wanted to make the sky a little darker, and build some more dimension, as if maybe the night was coming upon us, as we are picking hearts off the tree. I also glued on my painted heart shapes from the toilet paper rolls.
“Love is… all around you.”
This was one of my favorite lines in the book and I wanted to think about that, each time we looked at this art project. I am planning on framing it, and putting it up in our homeschool room! The kids are still working on theirs.
This Heart Tree Mixed-Media Art Project was really fun, and I love how children’s books are such great teachers!
To continue this lesson on love further, I created a FREE Writing Prompt Printable for students to think about where they find love in their lives and what makes them happy. I hope your kids enjoy this!
PLUS Enjoy 5 Additional LOVE TREE Learning Resouces:
I love to search for great additional learning resources, and these are my top 5!
- My Family Tree with Hearts Coloring Page | Family Tree Template
- My Family Tree Coloring Page | Skip to my Lou
- Valentine’s Day Love Tree | A Home Made Living
- Family Valentine Love Tree Craft | One Crafty Mama
- The Giving Tree | Shel Silverstein
Till next time,
Continue building your masterpiece with scissors and glue and hearts too!
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