Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Make: Preserving Your Little One's Artwork

By Designing Mom Lori

The little dude created a piece of artwork in pre-school last year that I really loved. It's green and orange which happen to match the colors of our kitchen. The photos don't do it justice. i wanted to preserve this piece of artwork to display it over our eating bar area. I thought i'd share with you how we did it in case you'd like to do the same! please note that this can be done with any artwork and is a great alternative to framing a large piece of art like this one.

Here's the piece of artwork in question. as you can see it was done on really thin paper. Being that it was a watercolor type painting, it was very wrinkly. the one thing to keep in mind is that with thin paper like this, it will most likely get very wrinkly when applied to the canvas. If you're not ok with this, then this might not be the right solution for your piece of art. the nicer or thicker the paper, the less chance of wrinkling.

I started out by buying a canvas that would fit the particular painting. there wasn't a perfect size, but this one came pretty close. we only had to trim a small bit off the top of the artwork. (which was fine by me because his teachers wrote his name on the front of the painting! tsk, tsk!) I also bought mod podge (other glues/sealers will work as well), a small roller and tray. then we were ready to start.

One of the best things about this project is that it’s very simple to do, so it’s something the kids can join in on. it makes it more special when they see their artwork hanging, knowing that they helped.

Here's my son, Finley, rolling on the glue with his mini roller. You want to make sure you have a good thick layer of glue so it sticks well. once you have it covered in glue, lay the artwork down and press firmly. Try to press out any wrinkles or puckers to the best of your ability.

After the artwork was as smooth as possible, we flipped it over (lining the island with parchment paper or waxed paper first so that it wouldn't stick to the island) we loaded it up with magazines to ensure solid pressure. We left it like this overnight to make sure it was really dry.

Once it was thoroughly dry, we removed the magazines. next, we glued the sides and the back and wrapped the artwork around the canvas. (note: you don't have to do this. you could trim the artwork to the exact size of the canvas if you wish. you could also paint the sides a coordinating color.... If you choose this option i would suggest painting the sides before applying the artwork for a nice finished edge.)

When wrapping the paper around the canvas i folded the corners as if I was wrapping a present. We then flipped it over onto the parchment paper again so that the back was now facing down. This ensured that the artwork would not pull away from the back. again, we left it to dry overnight.

Because I felt the artwork was a little too small for the space on it’s own, I painted a large rectangle on the wall with a coordinating color that is found on the other side of our kitchen. When everything was completely dry, we hung it up over the bar. Voila!


jackie said...

looks great. i am also been trying to figure out to do with graham's (my almost 4 year old) collection of artwork from preschool. you could also do a little montage with a few smaller canvases. thanks for the tip!

Melissa said...

this post couldn't come at a better time for me - I just pulled out a huge pile of my daughter's art and I've been trying to figure out what to do with all of it. I was going to photograph most of them and create an art book for her via blurb, but I like the idea of creating a canvas of some of the more colorful pieces to display in her room.

Thanks for the idea!

libbydibby said...

this is great.
i have a fantastic pumpkin painting Mercy did at a museum play area that I have in a frame - it's not doing it justice. and i love modpodge...
great idea. i'm going to get a canvas this week!

Earthy Beginnings said...

Thanks for sharing this is great! I get artwork from school every Friday and some are just stunning in color. Great way to display!... oh and I love the use of recycled Domino mag! Life after fold.

shinmin said...

This is genius! It looks amazing above your bar. And what a great way to encourage little Finley to produce more art. Bravo!

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