Ever feel like you are storing enough children’s art to wallpaper your entire house?
Between school, pre-school and home art activities, that pile can grow so quickly.
It can be tricky to work out what to do with it all. Sure, you can throw it in the bin. But that doesn’t honour the effort that went into creating it. And it’s a huge waste of resources – including paper.
So what can you do with all that beautiful artwork?
Here are some fun and useful ways to transform it.
CLEVER AND CREATIVE WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART
Before you start any transformation, I strongly advise you to take advantage of the ease of taking photos with your phone and snap a picture of each art piece. This is a great way to keep the memory alive and you will be able to see how wonderfully your child is improving with their artistic efforts over time.
If you’re feeling dedicated, you could create a book featuring your favourite artwork photos, using a different page for each year. That would make an awesome gift for grandparents.
Once you’ve made a photographic record of the artwork, there are many ways you can avoid the bin and use creative recycling to transform it.
WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART – THE ENVELOPE
I love these big, beautiful envelopes. They’re fun and colourful and with a little added effort, you can make them large enough to hold an A4 sheet of paper. This makes them perfect for sending The Wacky Challenge certificate and gift to winners.
I grabbed three painted A4 sheets for each envelope. One sheet was used for the front and one for the back. The other I cut so that I could add length to the envelope as well as a triangular flap. This ensured it was large enough to hold The Wacky Challenge certificates.
Just cut a couple of rectangular strips from the short end of the third piece of paper and attach them to the short end of the front and back sheets of the envelope with glue or doubled sided tape.
Cut a triangular flap from the rest of the artwork, leaving a few extra centimetres at the flat edge so you can attach that to the front of the envelope and then fold it over to the back of the envelope.
WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART – THE MOBILE
- Draw simple shapes on cardboard (I did birds) and cut them out.
- Use those shapes as a template to trace around the most interesting and colourful parts of an artwork.
- Fold the artwork in half and cut out the shapes so you have two identical shapes for each tracing.
- Glue these to either side of the cardboard shape.
- Poke a hole at the top of the shape and thread fishing line through it and tie.
- Tie the other end of the fishing line to a bamboo skewer.
- Repeat the process until you have shapes attached to both ends of at least two bamboo skewers.
- Add fishing line to each end of one of the skewers and bring the pieces together, pulling the line until the skewer hangs evenly. Next, attach the fishing line to an end of another skewer (this will be the top part of the mobile). Repeat the process until all the skewers are attached to the main, top skewer. NOTE: you may need to move the shapes around a bit a find the right balance. Once you have the balance right, add a spot of glue to the fishing line knots as they tend to slip on the skewers which can ruin the balance of the mobile.
- Add fishing line to the top skewer to hang.
WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART – THE GIFT DECORATION
It’s fun to use the artwork as wrapping paper but sometimes it’s not practical as it isn’t big enough or it rips.
However, you can use the art to decorate your gifts. Just cut shapes from the artwork and then use box cutters to make cuts near each side of the shape.
Weave ribbon through the shapes to add them to your gift.
You can use the same shapes to create beautiful greeting cards.
WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART – JEWELLERY
Who doesn’t love a bit of bling? And these jewels are full of sentimental meaning.
- Cut long triangular strips from the artwork.
- Start wrapping the edge opposite the point around a pencil or straw (you can also use skewers for small bead holes).
- When you get close to the point, add some glue to the paper strip and finish wrapping it.
- When dry, remove the bead from the pencil or skewer to make a beautiful paper bead.
- Spray with clear varnish or paint with clear drying glue to protect it. Make a whole bunch of them and then string them into bracelets and necklaces.
- Experiment with your strip shapes to create different kinds of beads.
What an amazing gift for grandparents – or yourself!
WAYS TO USE CHILDREN’S ART – DECORATIONS
Make the most of cookie cutters to create celebration garlands. Are you celebrating Easter? Cut out a bunch of bunnies (or egg shapes) from the art and string them up. Hearts are great for Valentine’s Day and the possibilities for Christmas are endless. I love the stars.
Make a 3D Christmas tree for your table.
Cut out several large trees from the artwork. The more the better as the trees will look fuller. I used six for this one.
Fold them in half and then glue one half of one tree to one half of another. Continue until all the trees are glued on top of each other.
Add glue to the top Christmas tree half and then open the trees and glue the two open ends together.
Check out these fun ways to display kids art .
Follow me on Pinterest for more fun ideas.
Happy crafting and have a gleeful week, Tamuria.