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Garden Lamp-scapes

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Your kids will really dig transforming a plain lampshade into a spring gardening scene like this one. The best part is turning on the light to reveal the colorful veggies growing "underground." Although the following directions are for a medium-size lampshade, you can use this decoupage technique to decorate one that's almost any size or shape.

Prep Time: About 2 to 3 hours
What you need:
 Large sheet of plain paper, 36 by 25 inches, and tape
Plain white lampshade, 7 inches tall and 10 1/2 inches wide at the bottom
Brown tissue paper
Lightweight colored paper
Permanent markers
All-surface sealer glue and finish (we used Plaid brand Mod Podge, which is sold in most craft or artist supply stores)
Seasons: Year round
Materials: lampshade
1.step 1Make templates for the tissue paper dirt hills by first taping the large sheet of plain paper to your work surface. Set the shade, seam up, on top of the paper and roll it one full revolution, tracing along the lower edge as you go. Then draw a straight line connecting the beginning (A) and ending points (B) of the traced line. Cut out the template and mark several points about 3 inches up from the rounded edge. Draw a curvy line connecting the points to create the dips and the peaks of the dirt hills, then cut along the line. Wrap the strip of paper around the bottom of the shade, curvy side up, and use your pencil to lightly trace along the top edge of the strip on the shade. Finally, cut this strip into 6-inch-long pieces and use them as templates to cut identical pieces from the tissue paper for hills. Set aside the hills.
2.step 2Next, your child can cut basic animal and vegetable shapes from the colored paper. Use permanent marker to add details to your paper shapes, such as eyes, whiskers, or bumblebee stripes. Once you have all the shapes ready, brush a layer of clear sealer onto the shade and press on the paper shapes, using the pencil line as a guide for placement. For instance, a carrot root should be below it, whereas a bird would be placed above it. Gently smooth out the shapes with your finger to remove any air bubbles trapped underneath. Apply another layer of sealer over the shapes and allow the shade to dry completely (about 1 hour).
3.step 3To finish the scene, attach the dirt hills by applying an even coat of sealer along the bottom half of the shade and carefully pressing each tissue paper panel in place over the shapes, lining them up with the pencil line and flattening them with your fingertips as you go. Allow for the dirt panel ends to slightly overlap and trim where needed. Dab sealer along the seams where the tissue papers meet but do not brush a layer of sealer over the brown tissue, as the color may run.

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