I have some problems:
- I have 3 kids who love to paint. (“Love to paint” = they do it for more than 6 minutes at a time.)
- This leads to our kitchen “gallery walls” being completely filled year round and stacks and stacks of paintings littering my home that I just don’t have the heart to throw out. (Confession: I’m a little relieved sometimes when they tear them because then it’s guilt free tossing. Of course they always tear the really cool ones.)
- I don’t have enough real art adorning the other walls in my home. Which sucks, because I love art.
- I have no cookies. But I don’t think that’s what we’re here to discuss.
So the other day I came up with a genius plan to use some of the prettier pieces my kids have created, give it a grown up twist, and make it into an honest to goodness real piece of art that you could maybe pass off as something you paid big bucks for.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A painting done by your little Picasso
Step 1: First, find a painting that doesn’t make your eyes hurt too badly. Right now my kids are still into the SMEAR ALL THE PAINT EVERYWHERE phase, so a lot of their works are visions of muddy looking goodness. The good news is that I don’t mind throwing those ones away. The bad news is that they won’t really work too well for this project.
If you want to have your kids create one specifically for this project, try limiting them to one or two coordinating colors. In my example, we stuck to red and white, which made some lovely tones. And it was left over from an abandoned Valentine’s day craft. Reduce, reuse, recycle, people!
Try to stay away from colors that will get muddy, like mixing together red, blue, and yellow. Yuck. Think red/yellow, blue/purple, or anything close together on the color wheel. Colors opposite each other are just going to make some kind of brown.
Step 2: Let that sucker dry! If you’re impatient like me, this is the hardest step. So, fun story while you’re waiting: I had a professor in college who created his paintings by squeezing out tubes of oil paint in layer after layer of lines and patterns. They weighed about a million pounds and the under layers were probably still wet, like 20 years later. Hopefully yours won’t take that long to dry.
Step 3: Find a cool looking graphic stamp. Nothing too complicated. Your local craft store should have a good selection. I also found these adorable birds on Amazon that are actually clear stamps — no ink pad needed! I chose a stamp with some delicate but graphic dandelions.
Step 4: Take a good look at the painting and use your keen artist’s eye to decide where you want to place your stamp. Look for interesting swirls or shifts of color and work around those. I placed mine so that it accentuated, but didn’t completely cover the interesting parts of the painting.
This is also the part where I kicked my kids out, because I have control issues, and seriously — too many little hands. But kids may also have fun helping you with the stamping part if you don’t get severe craft related anxiety attacks like I do.
I went with black ink, but different colors would be fun. Just make sure that they make a punch and don’t blend into the painting.
Step 5: Now let that sucker dry. I know, I know. No one told you there would be so much waiting! The ink dries fairly fast, though.
Step 6: Dig a random, unused frame from the deep. dark depths of your garage. Yeah… you may want to dust it off and, like, get all the spider eggs out of the crevices. Just sayin.
Step 7: Use your killer artists’ eye again to position the piece just right in the frame. Try to avoid placing your image right in the middle of the frame. ‘Cause that is bo-ring!
I like to use frames that are a little smaller than the piece so I can move it around and find a good composition. Tip for newbies: Just off center is always a good spot.
Step 8: Step back and admire your handiwork again. It looks awesome! If I didn’t know better, I’d say you had paid a pretty penny for that work of art!
Now look at that. What was once just another painting in the stack is now a real piece of art, thanks to a little stamping and imagination. And it looks like a million bucks, but cost me nothing, since I had everything on hand.
I think this would actually look really cool using the same stamp on several different paintings, and all placed in a frame cluster on a large wall. So I’m off to get my kids to start slinging some paint around! How do you put your kids’ artwork to good use?
Sadly, I was not compensated to share this amazing and genius craft with you. But Amazon links are affiliate links, meaning that a small portion of sales made through those links will go to running this website.