Whether the kids are bringing home pictures they colored at school, or they’ve drawn some pictures of the family over the summer months, many parents find themselves overloaded with artwork. Even though there might be lots and lots of pictures you hate to get rid of even one. You don’t have to, though! You can show off your child’s artwork all over the house by making unique decor pieces using their drawings and other creations.
Invest in a laminating machine and you can make lots of things for your house. Even if you don’t have the machine you can use laminating paper. The paper is just clear shelf liner and is very inexpensive. Cover the front and back of the artwork, trim close to the picture, and make place mats and more. Align several of these place mats in a row, gluing them to two parallel strips of wide ribbon, and you’ve created a table runner. Lay the two strips of ribbon down the length of the table. Leave a gap between them but make sure they’re evenly spaced apart from each other. Now position the various laminated pictures across the ribbons, leaving a small space between each drawing. This table runner is unique and easy to keep clean. Kids will love seeing their drawings, coloring book pages, and other creations featured in the kitchen.
Make cute coasters from kids’ artwork by first laminating their small drawings or colorings. Cut them into circles then stick them to paper doilies. You’ll find the doilies at dollar-theme stores or craft stores. They come in a pack of many making it easy for you to make new ones anytime you want. Glue one of the laminated pictures to a doily and set them out on coffee table and end tables. Boys can make car or sports-theme coasters for their own rooms; girls can make doll themes or even flowers. The coasters are perfect for kitchens, living rooms, dens and bedrooms.
There are any number of organizers that can be made from kids’ paintings and other artwork. Laminate four pictures of the same size and glue them to most any cardboard box. Glue one to each side and don’t worry if the picture is smaller than the box side. Simply glue a piece of colored paper on the box side before gluing on the picture. Or, paint the box first then attach the pictures. Turn the box upside-down, then attach the pictures right-side up, to make a stand for a vase or statuette. Turn the box with open side up and make it into a planter, desk organizer or even an art supply holder.
Laminate a coloring book page or other picture then glue it to a piece of cardboard. Trim so that the cardboard is the exact size of the picture. Use sharp scissors to cut the cardboard image into jigsaw puzzle pieces. Place a strip of magnetic sheeting (found at craft stores) to the back of each puzzle piece. Now kids can put the picture together, again and again, on the fridge or other metal surface.
Make birthday party invitations in a similar manner. Let kids draw on pieces of colored paper or cardstock. On the backside of the drawing right the date, time and place of the party. Now cut the picture into jigsaw puzzle pieces and send them out in the mail. Little kids will love putting together the simple puzzle to find out the details of the party or to see the drawn picture – it’s two puzzles in one!
Lay artwork on a piece of cardboard and poke holes in it with a pin or needle. Go around the outline of the picture and other detailed areas. The holes can be a half-inch or so apart. Be sure to go around the perimeter of every dog, flower or other object in the picture. Laminate and use these holey pictures to make unique things for your home. If the pictures are small, make a simple frame for it from popsicle sticks, then hang it on a suction cup in a window. Or, glue four of the framed pictures together to make a box, then set the simplistic box around a tea light or votive. Another decor piece can be made by trapping the picture between two pieces of glass. Glue a wooden piece across the top and bottom to make a base and a covered top. Set a small candle behind the arrangement and watch it shine through the holes in the picture. It’s an elegant creation for a living room or den.
Art doesn’t necessarily have to be pictures that are drawn or colored. Let kids scribble or otherwise enhance large paper pieces with markers, colored pencils, fingerpaint or nothing at all! Cut the paper into triangles which are a couple inches across the bottom, but really tall at the pointed end. Start with the pointed end and roll the paper around a toothpick. Glue the end shut and allow to dry. Remove the toothpicks and you’ve created unique beads from the artwork. The beads can be glued onto picture frames, made into jewelry for the kids or used to spell out names or monograms on doors, mirrors and more.
Your kids can create massive amounts of artwork in a year’s time but you’re happy about it! Now you can make all sorts of things for your own home, stuff for Grandma and Grandpa, and even a thank-you gift for the teacher at the end of the year. Bring on the coloring book pages!