Stay in touch with your inner artist

Diana Williams, Staff Writer

Summer is just around the corner which means that school is coming to the end.School may be boring but there are some fun you look forward to everyday and that is the arts. So why not keep in touch with that inner artist.Here are some fun  and easy summer DIY projects.

1.Tin Lantern  

Tin lanterns are not only extremely easy and kid friendly, but you can make them under $5. Better yet, you can make them with items from around the house! Lanterns work great as garden decor, centerpieces and gifts! Take a look at this quick tutorial to see how you can add a little light to your life:                                 Step 1:Gather your supplies! These tin lanterns can easily be made with items around the house.

  • Hammer
  • Towl
  • Marker
  • Nail or screw
  • Tin can or tin bucket
  • Candle or LED light
  • Water

Fill tin can or tin bucket with water and freeze. Freezing is essential! The ice helps  tremendously when trying to poke your holes later.                           

Step 2:After the water has frozen, lay the tin on a towel and wipe clean. The tin may create a thin layer of frost on the outside, which you want to dry as much as possible.                                                                                                                       

Step 3:Using a marker, draw your design on the tin.Make sure you outline your design with dots, like a dotted line. I would avoid a permanent marker, in case you make a mistake – a dry erase marker works great!                                                  

Step 4:Grab your nail and line up with dots. With the tin laying on its side, hammer nail into tin. I found that 3 good taps made a small hole, and 5 good taps made a larger hole – depending on what look you’re going for. We did a mix of both!                                                                                                                              

Step 5:Wipe clean again to erase any remaining marker residue. Repeat steps 3 thru 5 with other side of the tin!You’ll probably have some ice chipping off and flying around throughout the process, but I promise it is well worth it!              Step 6:Place a candle or LED light in the base of the tin and light it up!Voila! You now have a super cool, inexpensive DIY lantern

  1. Mini Charcoal Grill Trio” Centerpiece

YOU’LL NEED:– 3 Melamine Bowls (mine were 5″, 6″, and 6″)

– Charcoal Briquettes (the kind without lighter fluid), partially crushed

– Orange sprinkles for “embers”

– Shot glasses or small candle holders for “stands” in 3 different heights (*see note)

– Brilliant Metallic Silver Spray Paint

– Black Spray Paint

– Bamboo Skewers (approximately 5 sticks per grill)

– Hot Glue Gun

– Strong scissors or wire cutters



Partially crush a few charcoal briquettes for each bowl and set aside. Paint the bamboo skewers black and let dry. Paint your bases silver and let dry.

Lay the painted skewers on top of each bowl to figure out size & placement, then trim them down to size using strong scissors or a wire cutter, but don’t glue them on yet. (My bowls were 5”, 6” and 6” and I used 5 skewers per “grill”.)                                                Fill bowls about half way with crushed charcoal, then hot glue the trimmed black skewers to the top of the bowls to create the “grills”. Add orange sprinkles to charcoal for “embers” .                           Flip your painted silver “stands” upside down and use hot glue to attach them to each grill.Arrange in a trio for your table centerpiece. They look cute as they are, or you can top them with signs and decorative “food” – like the mini wooden “hot dogs” pictured here! (The hot dogs are actually just wooden dowels painted red & cut down to size)

3.Giant Marble Balloon Flowers

12” multicolor marble balloons

– yellow water balloon (or 5” balloon) for flower center

Balloon Time Helium Tank

– string

3D glue dots, tape, scissors


  1. Using your Balloon Time tank, fill up 4 marble balloons to approximately 9-10” size and tie short strings to each one. (Don’t overfill them or the flower “petals” can get a little too crowded.)Tip: Tape the balloon strings to your work surface to keep the balloons from floating away.                                                                                                                                             2. Take 2 of the helium-filled balloons and tie them together at the tails using the strings. Repeat with the other set of balloons so you end up with two pairs of 2 balloons. 3. Place one pair of tied balloons on top of the other so they form an X, then grab one balloon from each pair and switch their positions by looping them around each other once. This will secure the 2 pairs of balloons together and form the main shape of your “flower”.                                                                                                                                     4. Use the balloon strings to tie a knot and further secure the balloons together at their tails (which is also the center of the “flower”). Don’t stress if it looks messy in the center… this area will be covered up by the yellow balloon soon!                                          Tip: Place something lightweight on top of your balloon flower to keep it from floating away while you create the center balloon, like I did here with my roll of balloon string:   5. Use the tank to lightly fill the small yellow water balloon (or 5” balloon) and tie it off. Use another balloon string or glue dots to secure it to the center of the flower balloonTip: If your balloon “petals” aren’t sitting exactly how you want, you can use glue dots in between the petals to help hold them in place. (Make sure to use the glue dots sparingly though, as they do add a little weight.)                                                                                                                           6. Trim off any excess balloon strings that are showing. You can also tie or tape a new, longer string onto the back if you need to add more height for your display.Done! Attach your flower balloon to a bud vase (or your container of choice).You can also create a trio or a whole “garden” of flowers if you like! And the printable leaves can also be turned into a coordinating party garland if you’re feeling extra crafty.