Craft Foam Art Frame

This is another craft that we did after my son watched an episode of Artzooka!.  The episode showed how you can change the look of the same picture by adding different backgrounds and different frames.  My son just picked up the idea of making a frame for his picture, so we didn’t photocopy his drawing to make multiple frames/backgrounds.  The instructions for this particular craft can be found here, but it doesn’t give instructions on how to make a frame, it just gives suggestions on what to use and how to decorate.

Here’s what we did:

  1. Draw a  picture.
  2. Add a background (Danny chose to do those with purple marker).
  3. Tape your picture to cardboard.  I used a cheerios box that I cut out a little bigger than the drawing.
  4. Cut out pieces of craft foam to cover the cardboard border.  This is what made our frame.
  5. Glue the craft foam to the cardboard using a good tacky glue.  I have found that Aleene’s Super Thick Tacky Glue works really well for hard to hold items (craft foam, pipe cleaners, pom-pom’s etc.)
  6. Cut off the excess card board.
  7. Next came the part where this project went off the rails.  But, hey, that’s the fun when you do crafts with preschoolers.  We were now supposed to decorate the frame.  Danny asked for paints, so I got out the paints, and he proceeded to paint over his drawing…Then he asked to decorate the frame with foam flowers.  I pieced together the flower using three thin strips of craft foam and a lot of scotch tape.  I would put the tutorial up, but lets just say my way of making that flower wasn’t exactly an elegant solution.

I thought it was a shame that Danny painted over his cute self portrait, but my husband still gave it a place of honour on the office wall.  It was a fun project although I ended up doing more if it than I would have liked.  If Danny is still into crafts, we’ll try it again in a few years when he can help with the design and cutting.

Splatter Paintings

My 4 year old son loves the show Artzooka! on kids CBC, so we often try to do the crafts featured on the show.  Some of them require specialized materials or are geared for older kids, but we have had a lot of fun with many of the Arzooka! crafts.  One that we saw a few weeks ago was particularly suited to my son, as he had always raved about similar activities that he did at preschool.  I don’t find the Arzooka! website easy to navigate, so I haven’t linked to their instruction page for this.  I did a quick look and couldn’t find it, so it may not even be there.  Here’s how we did our splatter paintings:

Equipment:

  • small bottles of paint (we used of acrylic paint that we had left over from a previous small bottles of paintproject)
  • paper (we used 8-1/2 X 14 printer paper)
  • markers
  1. If you’re doing this with small children I would recommend folding your paper first.  That way the crease is already down the centre and your kids can “fold it” on their own after they’ve done their splattering.  I hadn’t pre-folded the first one, so once Danny had finished adding the paint he folded it on his own, but it wasn’t anywhere near the middle, so his painting didn’t really turn out.

2. Let your kid go wild with the paint bottles.  Simply squeeze paint out in crazy designs all over the paper.  It’s definitely more fun if you have more colours.  I was really surprised how many paintings we were able to do with just a few small bottles of paint.

3. Fold your paper in half and press down to smoosh the paint into a neat design.

4.  Unfold and admire your beautiful artwork!  Have fun deciding what each one looks like.

5.  Let your artwork dry. (We left them overnight)

6.  Get our your markers and add details like facial features or additional scenery to turn your abstract splatterings into actual pictures.  Here’s one that Danny turned into a bunny.  It’s really fun to see their imaginations go wild 🙂

I’ve only shown a few pieces here, but we’ve done this activity 4 times now and have produced over 20 pictures, all with 5 leftover bottles of acrylic paint.  One caution:  acrylic paint is NOT washable, so make sure that you have your painting bibs on!