Now that Clara’s old enough to hold a tiny paint brush, get down with some Mod Podge, and rock out with a nail gun (just kidding about that last one), I thought doing the occasional project with her would be a good time. And I’m not gonna lie, this project is still fun without a kid (and can definitely be done with adult-made art or even some awesome decorative gift wrap or wallpaper), so let’s slap a “no children necessary” label on this baby.
As for the how, first my trusty assistant and I perused some of the art that she made at school (she loves to paint) to choose the one that she liked the best. Her winner was the one closest to the camera below (with yellow and orange and red in it).
Then we grabbed one of those very lightweight wood craft boxes that we picked up at JoAnn (I think they’re also at Michaels). Clara watched intently while I laid the art under the box lid with both the art and the lid facing down and cut the corners of the art like this, so they met up with the corner of the lid:
This allowed me to wrap the painting around the box as if I was gift wrapping it, and I used some decorative washi tape (it was a gift, so I’m afraid I’m not sure where it’s from, although I’ve seen similar stuff at Target) to hold it down on the inside of the lid.
I repeated this process on each side of the box as Clara watched attentively from her chair nearby.
Then I ran some of the tape around the side of the lid, just because I loved how it looked with Clara’s painting so much, but if you like seeing the art wrap around the lid instead of adding a tape border, you can leave it as-is.
Oh and you’ll notice in the background of that picture that Clara and I had gotten down to work and painted the bottom of the box red. She loved helping with that step, and it took a few coats (with drying time in between) so we went off and played with a few other things and got dressed and all that good stuff in between coats.
After all the paint was dry, Clara also enjoyed helping me slap some Mod Podge all over the top of the box, to seal her painting and protect it for the long haul.
So to anyone who loves doing projects with their kid, there are actually three steps that Clara enjoyed. The first one of course was making the art in the first place, the second one was helping me paint the base of the box, and the third one was applying some Mod Podge to the top of the box to seal things – so I just did the harder stuff like cutting the paper and taping it into place on the lid.
I think the finished product is pretty cute, and I love how fun it was to tackle with Clara. What kid crafts have you guys been doing lately? Don’t you love finding ways to incorporate their art into your home so you can enjoy it instead of storing it away in some box that you never open? Clara’s teacher says when they paint in class she stops and steps back and looks at the paper and then steps forward and paints a little more and steps back and looks at it again and then dives back in. Is that cute or what? She’s my little Van Gogh.
I love any tip to put kids’ artwork on display without wallpapering an entire room. The story about Clara stepping back to look at her art before adding more cracked me up. That is no doubt the DIY daughter in her. It sounds like more than once, she’s observed Sherry rearrange object on a shelf or a picture collage on the wall, step back and take a look, then rearrange things. I love it!
Haha, it’s so funny how much they pick up when you don’t even know they’re watching!
hey guys! great idea! I wondered if you ever noticed if clara always uses her left hand more.. in the pictures of painting, colouring on chalk board she seems to always use her left. Interesting to see if she will be left handed!
Oh yes she’s definitely a leftie. She has been switching hands if you give her something in her right hand for the past year or so. So she uses her left to color/eat/etc. She even crawled in a left-dominant way now that we look back at the old videos :)
Autumn Beach says
So cute! Such a clever way to display artwork. And I love what Clara’s teacher said about her painting technique. That’s just adorable.
That’s a great idea for using kid art! And one that probably won’t make her blush when she’s a teenager ;)
Crafting with your kid sounds fun, but I doubt my furry kids would want to do a project (although they like to “help” me knit and sew). I might try to get pawprints if I can find some kind of non-toxic paint… hm…
I’ve been taking pictures of my son’s artwork and I’m compiling a big art book at one of those photo sites (Blurb is my current fave.) They do A LOT of art at daycare so making the book makes me feel less bad about tossing some of his scribbles. :)
Cute! I love the washi tape that surrounds it.
Also, Sherry, I saw this today and thought instantly of you: http://www.pbteen.com/products/capiz-knob/?pkey=caccessories-sale-all&cm_src=accessories-sale-all||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-
Those are so sweet!
What a fantastic gift idea for a certain holiday next month !!
I have a silly question…where at in the store did you find this? I swear I have been looking for this box for a very loooong time and I have only found cardboard ones. Would it be by the other wood stuff (like the crates…even though I’m pretty sure I looked there :()? And do you know how much it was? I even looked at JO Ann’s website and can’t find it :(
It was with the wood stuff (like the paintable crafty bird houses and the alphabet letters). There were a few different sizes (some small like a jewelry box) and some with hinges that were more expensive (I just went for one with a lift off lid).
No John cut! Love it I need that for my roommate!!!
I love it! Clara is quite the artiste! :-)
This is such a great idea! We have four kiddos and although we’re picky with what we keep from their artwork, with four there is still a decent pile. Sometimes they beg us to put their older stuff away. This is a great way to personalize a box for each of them and tuck away memories that my husband and I don’t want to part with. My husband is a family doc and gets drawings and letters from some of the kids he cares for as well, so this solves two “What do I do with this” problems. Just love this idea…keep ’em coming!
I love using mod podge, but whenever I use it to adhere fabric or paper (wall paper or even scrapbook paper) it always wrinkles up. I’ve tried using the thinnest layer I can possibly spread and have even used a scraping tool as a finishing step but I’ve had no luck! Any suggestions? The box you covered with Clara looks so smoothly finished!
I generally like to use a thin coat under it and on top of it and let it dry (things shrink up when they dry so there aren’t bubbles or wrinkling). Also, I like the matte mod podge better than glossy (seems easier to work with). Hope it helps!
I love this! I would totally even enjoy making the art myself sans kids. :)
I know this is dorky, but you should have her sign the inside of the lid and (you) date it. My dad was fanatical about making me do this for everything, but you know what? As an adult, I totally appreciate it so you can remember when you did things.
Love that idea!
Did you mod podge under the paper as well?
In this case I just used the tape to hold it down and then Mod Podged over it (seems to cut down on bumps and wrinkles) but if you go under it just do thin thin thin coats and let it dry and shrink up and then do the top :)
I love your description of what she does when painting. If you can keep her painting to encourage this activity, then when she’s a bit older and ready for some more Big Life Lessons you can use it as a metaphor for life; how sometimes you get caught up in the details of each individual brush stroke, but that you need to regularly step back and look at the picture as a whole to figure out where to go next.
Love that :)
LOVE THIS! Super cute! Now you have me wondering… does the box that we made for you guys have a cute home? :)
Yes! It’s in the office cabinet to the left of my desk chair. We pull it out a lot to get fun things to do. It was a huge hit with Clara :)
Wow. From the looks of this Clara is churning out the most amazingly sophisticated color field paintings I’ve ever seen a kid her age create, and totally by choice. Big departure from the usual ‘blob, blob, and another blob = this is a face!’ or ‘this is an animal!’ thing that most kids are doing at this age. And it does go SUPER well with the patterned washi tape–if I saw that exact box in a store I would buy it pronto!
<3 you guys. And yes, craft boxes are the best. I've never done it with wood, though, don't know why; it does look much sturdier! Thanks for the lovely inspo. :)
PS. Has anyone ever commented on how adorable it is that you think “U smell like a fart” = teen angst? (As opposed to, say, plain old dude/ette being obnoxious for a day. Or trolling.) You guys are so going to be the most understanding and forgiving parents in the universe as Clara grows up. :)
Haha, thanks Magpie :)
So beautiful! I’ve been collecting kid art for years (nieces, etc.) and am so happy to finally have my own kid to start a kid art collection : ] Okay, that might have sounded weird but basically I love kid art!
[email protected] pillows says
I really love this post. My little one is almost 2 years and I was racking my head with ideas as to how I can do more creative things with her. This post was a real inspiration to me. Something so simple as a post like this …is going to have such a huge impact on my child.
The fact that Clara steps back and evaluates her work is such a great sign that she will be a true-blooded artist with a great eye.
The little one is a future artist.
Gabbi @ Retro Ranch Reno says
This is adorable…love the pop of color it adds!