Monday, September 6, 2010

365 Days With Kiddos - #1 - Your Child's Drawings and Paintings - Repurposing Them Into Cards, Stationary, & Envelopes

Happy Labour Day! It seems like a good day to start my 365 posts. Each post is an idea from our home to yours on ways you and your children can live a more creative life each day. These are all ideas we have used or regularly use in our home. Some are simple and require just a few minutes and some are more complex, requiring an afternoon or weekend. Most do not require purchasing special items but instead focus on activities that are little or no cost, often recycling or repurposing (upcycling) items you already have or can find at thrift stores and yard sales. I don't know which one is the best one to start with so I am just going to dive right in... To enrich each post with ideas and inspiration, please feel free to add your comments, links, and ideas.

Most children produce a plethora of drawings, paintings, and other 2-D visual art pieces. Home, school, and daycare, are just a few of the many places our kids make art, and our homes become filled with these amazing creations. Over the next few days I will give you my ideas on ways to view, store, and repurpose these works of art.

The simplest way to repurpose your child's art work is to make cards, stationary, and envelopes out of them. We keep a stack of Quin's art just for this purpose. When it is time to give a birthday card, to send a thank you card, or to write to my grandmother, we go to the pile and select a drawing or painting. For stationary we cut the painting or drawing down to a managable size and then cut out sheets using our rotary cutter (since I am unable to draw and cut a straight line to save my life!). If you prefer, you can always trace a template piece of stationary or use a straight edge to mark off the larger sheet to the smaller size you want, then cut it all out with a scissor. For cards, we cut out the part of the painting we want to be on the card, then fold. Voila! I often use stray envelopes that I have from old card and stationary sets, but we also make envelopes that match the cards. A great place for envelope templates is Mirkwood Designs. The templates are free to use and there are so many of them that just browsing is sure to inspire you to try other projects. Ruthann, of Mirkwood Designs, also has a blog. Friends and family will be happy to receive a personal card from your child. Have fun!


Kate said...

What a great idea! My daughter (11 years old) has been very into making cards lately. I love to see her creativity and I try to stay out of deciding on layouts and colors other than just giving her general ideas. I love to see what she comes up with!

Tiffany Teske said...

Thanks, Kate! It IS amazing to watch kids create. My favorite thing is to give kids the same materials and to watch them all create completely different things. It is not the materials but their imaginations that determine the outcome.