We love this project, in partnership with the City of Courtenay. 

For 2022, our team has created a tie-dye and claymation challenge kit with bonus Wild Stencils (nature-based art) and easy paper marbling.

We’d love if you shared your creativity with us – @comoxvalleyarts and #cvfamilyday2022 to help us see it on facebook & instagram.

Note: Supplies are limited, don’t delay!

Tie-Dye Tutorial with Sherry

Wild Stencils with April Dawn Brass

Claymation with Beth & Birdie

Using "Stop Motion Studio" app

Shaving Cream Paper Marbling with Beth

A colour wheel for mixing reference


Low on bandwidth or space, or simply can’t cope with yet another download? No problem. Each page of our instruction booklet is recreated below for online reading. 


In the Family Craft Kit Supply Pack

  • modelling clay
  • blue, yellow and red paint
  • white fabric
  • elastics
  • string
  • gloves
  • coloured paper
  • black and white paint

Supplies to find around the house:

  • fork
  • newspaper
  • dropsheet (something to protect your space)
  • old toothbrush
  • firm paintbrush
  • shaving cream
  • food colouring or coloured inks

Here’s a recipe for easy, quick, non-toxic, long lasting playdough:

1 cup flour
1 cup water
1/4 cup salt
1 Tablespoon vegetable Oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Food coloring (4 drops-ish)


  • Dump all ingredients in a pot. Order doesn’t matter.
  • Stir everything together until it’s mostly uniform.
  • Turn stove on to medium heat, and stir the dough til it begins to solidify and form a ball in the middle of the pot.
  • Carefully (it WILL be hot), remove the play dough to cutting board (or just slap it down on your counter top).
  • Knead until smooth and cool enough for little hands to touch.
  • Play away!
  • Store in a ziploc or well-sealed container


Claymation Challenge

Using stop motion animation your family can create a movie to enjoy together. Collect anything you feel would help to build your set and bring your story to life. Get your imagination running!
Using a free app and a smartphone or tablet (or old-school video camera if you have one), you’ll be surprised how simple, and FUN, this process can be!

Clay provided, plus other inspirations. Use your tie-dye and postcard paintings as backdrops!

How to make a Stop Motion Animation.

By Beth & Birdie

Stop motion animation is made by taking a series of pictures and playing them back in sequence quickly, just like a flip book! Simply, download a Stop Motion App onto your phone or tablet.

The app will help you to take the pictures, play them back in sequence, and save them as one continuous video file when you are done. It is soooo easy!
Some apps, like Stop Motion Studio (that’s what we use), will allow you to edit, add a soundtrack and even titles and credits. You can then share your movie with all your family and friends!

You can use anything to make a stop motion animation. You could use toys or figures, a white board or chalk board or clay.

The more photos and the smaller the movements, the smoother the animation will be. It all depends on what style you are aiming for.


Start with a simply storyline.

It’s helpful to plan out at least a little so you know where your movie is going!

Once you have your story idea, start to design your movie.

  • what’s the setting?
  • who are the characters?
  • what are they going to do?
  • and when?

Then, get into production!

Use a tripod if you have one, or simply prop your device up on a stack of books.

Make a scene in a box, or simply let your characters walk around your kitchen.

My family had this little scene set up on our kitchen table for a few days.

We made a backdrop out of blue construction paper for the sky, and green construction for paper for the ground. We used clay to make characters and spent time together building, moving and taking pictures of the characters.

Set your first scene. Then, simply take a picture, adjust your scene slightly, take another picture and repeat until you are happy with your story.

You could finish a short video in a matter of minutes, or you could leave your scene set up and work on it for days. The options are endless. Sit down with the family and try it out today!

If you need a little more help, we taught ourselves how to make movies after watching this excellent Stop Motion Studio video on youtube. (see above) This video is for the free version of the app.


Make miniature clay characters to tell your story! You can even combine other crafts here – add feet with a piece of cardboard, or arms/branches/wings with paper sculpture – or use figurines you may already have!

The clay included in your kit is natural clay. If you want to get really creative, you could plan out your characters and create different variations, and then dry (see below) and paint before you start shooting.

Natural clay will dry slowly in the air, so it’s fairly easy to use it for without it getting too dry before you’re done. You can also wet it again and re-use it.

Try using tools you probably have around the house – poke holes with a pencil, squish a fork in for lines, push it through a strainer for hair, roll it out with a rolling pin or a glass.

Of course, you can also use plasticine, polymer clay (fimo), and playdough!

Tie-dye Flags with Sherry Williams

While decorating for an event Sherry and her creative partner April Dawn Brass devised a safe and economical method to bring tie-dye to the masses.

Sherry believes that tie-dye should be for everyone.
These kits will give you the necessary skills to tie-dye EVERYTHING!!!!!!!

Remember, you need to have patience for the best results!!!!!!!!

In kit: Blue, Yellow, and Red paint, a square of white fabric, elastics, string, and gloves

Supplies to find at home: Fork, Newspaper, drop sheet, and water

Prepare you workspace
Dampen your cloth
Dilute your paint

Lay out your fabric and decide what sort of folds you’re going to make. Spirals, pleats, scrunches, twists… you can get creative, there is no “right” way and you never really know what you’re going to get! 

Once you’ve gathered up your fabric and secured it with string or elastic bands, start applying your watered down paint. You can adjust the intensity of the colours by adding more water… more water = lighter colours. You may want to divide up the paint in the kit to get more variety. 

Apply healthy amounts of paint to cover the fabric. You can leave white space too if you wish. 

Once you’ve decided you’ve added enough paint, leave it to dry. DON’T UNWRAP IT TIL IT’S DRY! 

When dry, unwrap and enjoy! (And post your results for us to see! #cvfamilyday2022)


Wild Stencils with April Dawn Brass

Take a walk with the family to some of your favourite spots in nature and collect things small rocks, shells and leaves to create postcard size paintings.

In kit: coloured paper, black and white paint

Supplies to find at home: Drop cloth (eg. old sheet or table cloth), 1 toothbrush or firm paint brush, 1 fork, 2 lids to hold paint, 2 containers to hold water for cleaning fork (1 for white, 1 for black) and 2 painting rags

This project is very messy, prep yourself and your workspace:  use an apron or wear your messy clothes, lay out a drop cloth, and have your clean-up supplies on hand.

What to do

  • Go for a walk in nature and collect interesting shapes, sizes and textures.
  • Place three sheets of coloured paper on your newspaper/drop cloth, place a selection of your wild stencils on each sheet of paper
  • Try different patterns and arrangements to create different effects. *hint: using your heavier wild stencils on the corners will help with keep paper anchored
  • Dilute black and white paint with approximately a tablespoon of water, the more water you add the lighter the splatter will be
  • You can practice your splatter technique on news print or cardboard – load up your toothbrush and flick the bristles. Try different angles, and heights, and speeds.
  • For the first application use either black or white then allow to dry, doing three sheets at a time will help you keep up momentum
  • Clean your brush and fork, put that container aside
  • Once the first application is fairly dry, take off your wild stencils and rearrange your pattern
  • If you used black first, switch to white and if you used white first switch to black and repeat
  • Don’t forget to use the other container of water to clean the toothbrush and fork

And worry not… there is no wrong way to do this! Let your creativity fly!

bonus craft - shaving cream marbling with Beth

Shaving cream marbling is always a hit with the kids! This tactile activity can be a bit messy, but the result is worth it! Best of all, because of the alcohol in the shaving cream, there is no drying time, the marbling effect will dry instantly!

All you need is some food dye, (alcohol ink or vegetable ink works as well), shaving cream (foam not gel), and some cardstock (thick paper, not printer paper). Popsicle sticks are handy, but you can use a chunk of cardboard too, just something that you can use as a scraper.

The dye can stain your hands, so if you are worried about that; either wear gloves, or a bit of coconut oil will make cleaning up a lot easier. Cut your paper into fun shapes before you marble, or marble full sheets and use them as stand alone pieces or collage material.

You could do this activity in a cookie sheet or in a glass baking pan to contain the mess, or you could just put down some newspaper or a plastic tablecloth. Use what you have! Experiment! Have fun!


  • Food colouring
  • Shaving cream (foam not gel)
  • Pieces of thick paper (cardstock works nicely)
  • Popsicle stick (or cardboard for scraping)


  • Squirt a dollop of shaving cream onto your work surface
  • Add a few drops of colouring to the top of the shaving cream (you don’t need much!)
  • Move the colour around a bit with the tip of the popsicle stick
  • Experiment with making different designs and patterns/ colour combos
  • Gently lay your cardstock/paper face down on top of your shaving cream.
  • Gently push it into the surface to saturate the paper.
  • Peel your paper up off of the shaving cream, and then placing the paper down on your work surface with the shaving cream side up, gently scrape off the excess cream from the paper.
  • A beautiful marbled design will be revealed! And the best part is that it dries instantly.
  • Once your shaving cream stops giving you designs that you enjoy, if the colours have become muddy, simply wipe away the shaving cream and start over again with a fresh blob.

About the team

April Dawn Brass is Swampy Cree from Opaskwayak Cree Nation, has resided in the Comox Valley BC for over 15 years and now calls Royston BC home. April is an inter-disciplinary artist, arts administrator, curator and performing artist (just a few relevant items in her skillset). She has been honing her various skills in the arts for over 35 years and believes in leading with intentions of the future. She has dedicated her life to the arts and the development of the arts. She has allowed the path to organically present itself while educating herself and sharing her knowledge when applicable. Art for April is all-encompassing and she strives to make art accessible to everyone young and old. April is now confident to launch and present her professional practice.

Sherry Williams started doing tie-dye in 1989 when she was first introduced to the band the Grateful Dead .She would make a batch of shirts, sell them  on the sidewalks  in  Vancouver on Granville and Robson. She would travel to Victoria and Salt Spring, doing the markets there, waiting for another show to be announced down south. By traveling  down and selling her tie dyes at the shows,  she would pay her way, allowing her a life of travel and security. She wants to inspire young people to realize that they can create a career or lifestyle doing something that they love!