How to Make 15-Line Drawings

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Sunday, November 24, 1912:  Didn’t even get to Sunday School this morning because it was raining, then it changed to snow. And today became the first day of the snow fall.

Source: Farm Journal (October, 1912)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

What did Grandma do on rainy Sunday mornings like this one?  Did she ever doodle or draw pictures to while away the time?

Maybe Grandma saw  these directions for making fifteen line pictures in the October, 1912 issue of Farm Journal:

Draw a picture with fifteen straight lines. Just fifteen, and no more. Take any subject, landscape, animal, bird, fruit, flower, a household article, or even a human being. The object is to produce a striking picture in fifteen lines. This is lots of fun and in a short time you will be surprised what you can do.

I’ve become hooked on 15 line drawings.  Ever since I read this suggestion, my doodling has become more purposeful, and I enjoy the mental challenge of trying to make really cool 15-line drawings.

There was a follow-up article about how to do 15 line drawings as a child’ party activity in the November 1912 issue of Farm Journal.

Here’s how to have a picture party: Give each boy and girl a pencil and three sheets of paper. Tell them to draw something in fifteen straight lines; a different picture on each sheet of paper. Let them work for fifteen minutes, then collect the papers and fasten them on the wall. and have the entire party vote for the best drawing. The one whose drawing received the most votes is the prizewinning one.

Hundred-Year-Old Craft: Paper Horse Directions

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, July 5, 1912:  I must excuse myself for this day and pass onto the night.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll share an old pattern for making paper horses.

I made the horse in the picture yesterday. Holidays are a great time to do old-fashioned crafts with friends and family.

If you’d like to make a paper horse, here is the pattern and the directions:

Click here for paper horse directions.

Cut out the pattern pieces. On heavy cardstock trace around the  pieces. (Note: for the cardstock I used a brown file  folder.)  Cut out and decorate as desired.

Dovetail the legs and body together at the slits. The slits for the ears (see small black line between eyes and neck) can be made by an adult using a small sharp knife or very small sharp scissors.

P.S.—Previous posts with old-time paper crafts have been very popular. If you haven’t already seen them you may want to check them out:

Paper Doll Girl and Her Swimming Ducks

Paper Birds

Swimming Frog

School Girl Paper Doll

Paper Cow

Paper Cow Directions

17-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Monday, May 27, 1912:I hope this week won’t be as monotonous as last week was. I have to watch cows more days and then I think I’ll make a dash for liberty.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

This is the third time in two weeks that Grandma mentioned watching the cows. I agree with Grandma that it’s getting monotonous, so decided to have a little fun today and make some paper cows.

(My husband thinks that I’ve gone a bit over the edge–especially when I posed the cows for the photo–but making the cows was relaxing and we all need to play sometimes. :) )

The June, 1913 issue of The School-Arts Magazine had a pattern for a paper cow.

If you’d like to make some cows, here is the pattern and the directions:

Click here for paper cow pattern.

Cut out the pattern pieces. On heavy cardstock trace around the pattern pieces. Cut out and decorate as desired.

Dovetail the legs and body together at the slits. The slits for the ears (see small black line between eyes and neck) can be made by an adult  using a small sharp knife or very small sharp scissors.

Note: I used crayons to put the black spots on the cows. If I did it again, I might cut back spots out of construction paper.

P.S.—Previous posts with old-time paper crafts have been very popular. If you haven’t already seen them you may want to check them out:

Paper Doll Girl and Her Swimming Ducks

Paper Birds

Swimming Frog

School Girl Paper Doll

I’m reprinting this 1912 photo that I posted several days ago. I had fun trying to reproduce the look of cows in a field when I took the picture of the paper cows and thought you might enjoy seeing this photo again. Photo source: Kimball’s Dairy Farmer Magazine (June 1, 1912)

Craft Idea: Make an Old-Fashioned Paper Christmas Tree

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Friday, December 8, 1911: Had such a vexatious time with Jimmie. He fell down in the mud at noon and he was covered from top to toe, but I succeeded in making a slight improvement on him. Then coming home he lost one of his rubbers and I had to go back after it.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

The primary school was on the first floor of the McEwensville School building–and the high school was on the second floor. Grandma’s 6-year-old brother Jimmie was a first grader at the school. I suppose someone came upstairs and got her when Jimmie got muddy.

Little brothers can be a pain sometimes—but Grandma probably also sometimes did fun things with Jimmie. Maybe Grandma helped Jimmie make Christmas crafts.

Here are directions to make a paper Christmas tree.

Fold two sheets of green construction paper together and cut out 2 Christmas trees.

Unfold the trees and staple together on the fold. (A hundred years ago, they may have sewed the trees together on the fold.)

Cut “decorations” out of the old Christmas cards and glue on the tree. Glue the small buttons on the tree to make ornaments (Don’t use too many or the tree might get top-heavy and not stand properly.)

Stand the tree up, and use a small piece of decorative cord or other bric-a-brac to make a garland.

(An aside–One thing that I really like about the old days is how people routinely re-purposed items that were around the house to make decorations.)

One Hundred Year Old December School Bulletin Board Ideas

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, November 29, 1911: Had sort of a little entertainment this afternoon. We got out of school early. Jake was going away so that was the whole reason. I can not give my myself up to a vacation of two days.

 

Bulletin Board Directions

Going Home. This takes three rolls of white crepe paper, one roll each of yellow, lavender and green, with ten sheets of gray matboard for the trees and fence, which are touched up with black tinting fluid. Orange tissue paper will furnish the hospitable glow seen through the windows. Pink tissue paper over yellow crepe paper is used to produce the flesh tint for the lad’s face. (Ladies Home Journal, December, 1911)

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

In 1911, Thanksgiving was on November 30, and apparently the high school students were let out of school early on the day before the holiday.

I wonder if primary students on the first floor of the school building were also left out early.  Grandma’s friend Rachel Oakes was the primary teacher.  Might Rachel have stayed after school to prepare for the following week? Maybe she took down a Thanksgiving-themed bulletin board picture and put a winter one up.

The December, 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal had an article titled “Christmas Scenes to be Made of Paper: A Suggestion for the Schoolroom Bulletin Board” that had some great examples.

Bulletin Board Directions

The Sleighride. This requires two rolls of gray crepe paper, three of white, and a roll each of red and green, together with four sheets of gray matboard, two bolts of narrow red ribbon for the sun’s rays, black tinting fluid and a little white cotton. The horse is cut from the matboard and tinted with color obtained by wetting a sheet of brown tissue paper.

Bulletin Board Directions

Christmas Carolers. Black and gray matboard, crepe paper, yellow, and orange tissue.

1911 Thanksgiving Vegetable Centerpieces

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Saturday, November 18, 1911: Didn’t so much of anything today, except to be exceedingly lazy.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Maybe Grandma spent a quiet Saturday reading magazines. The November 1911 issue of Ladies Home Journal had some great pictures of Thanksgiving vegetable centerpieces.

Centerpiece made with squash, carrots, celery with leaves, tomatoes, parsley, cranberries, and evergreen cuttings

Centerpiece made with carrots, cranberries, potatoes, onions with brown skin partially removed, and candles

Centerpiece made with onions with brown skin removed, popcorn, parsley, and candles

Centerpiece made with pumpkin, carrots, tomatoes, evergreen cuttings, and candles

Hundred-Year-Old Paper Doll Pattern for a School Girl

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Tuesday, October 3, 1911: Nothing really of any importance. Therefore, nothing worth writing about.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much today, I’m going to tell you how to make a paper doll school girl using a  hundred-year-old pattern that I found in the February 1911 issue of Good Housekeeping.*

You (or a child you know) could make several dolls and pretend that the dolls were Grandma and her friends at school.

Supplies Needed to Make this Craft

Heavy stiff white paper

Colored paper

Pencil

Scissors

Paste or glue

Water colors, colored pencils or crayons

Directions

1. Click here for doll pattern, and then print. Cut the patterns out.

2. On the heavy paper draw a line around the edge of the pattern for the front and back of the doll. Color or paint the doll’s face and other features.

3. Cut the two parts of the doll out. (Be sure to make her feet as large as the feet in the pattern. It’s okay if her feet end up being even a little larger than the ones in the pattern. She will not stand if her feet are too small.) Glue the two parts together above the knees. (Do not paste the feet together.)

4. After the glue is dry, gently bend the doll’s feet apart and she will stand.

6. Fold colored paper in half. Put neckline of dress on fold. Trace around the dress, and cut out using care not the cut the front and back apart at the neckline. Cut a slit up the back of the dress, so that it is easy to dress the doll.

7. Make several dresses, so that the doll can wear different outfits to school on different days.

If you enjoyed this craft, you may also want to make other hundred-year-old paper crafts described in previous postings.

Paper swimming frog

Paper birds

Paper doll girl and her swimming ducks

* I’ve abridged and adapted the directions and the dress pattern.

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