Ah, the lazy days of summer. A time to relax, rejuvenate and unwind before the craziness of another school year descends upon us. Unfortunately, the peace and quiet that summer offers is often short-lived, soon to be replaced with the all-too-familiar, “I’m boooorreeed.I don’t have ANYTHING to dooooo” What’s a mom to do in order to keep that battle cry to a minimum? The answer comes in two simple words that offer a multitude of options – canvas art. With a quick trip to your local craft store you will have everything you need to keep busy minds occupied.
All large craft stores – and some of the discount department stores – sell pre-stretched canvas in a variety of sizes and shapes. The easiest one for little hands to manage is a square piece, usually 12 x 12″. Pick up a few of those, and some of the individual supplies listed below, and you are well on your way to a plethora of projects.
Scrapbook on Your Wall
Before you head to the craft store, allow your child to look through some of your old photographs and choose a few to turn into a scrapbook wall hanging (a possible theme could be a family vacation or special holiday). Paint the canvas in a favorite color of acrylic craft paint and allow it to dry for a few hours. From there you can make it as simple or ornate as you (and your budding artist) wish, adding scrapbook embellishments to their hearts desire. You can even try stenciling, stamping, or hand lettering a title. Glue all the pieces in place with craft clue and viola A scrapbook page your child can hang on his or her bedroom wall
If you are the lucky parent of a “tween age” girl you are most likely very familiar with the fan magazines filled with pictures and articles of her favorite stars. When the piles of magazines begin to take over the house, this project offers a great way to eliminate the clutter while allowing your daughter to save pictures of her “faves”. Again, paint the canvas with acrylic paint and allow it to dry. In the mean time, have your daughter cut out pictures of her favorite stars. Use decorative-edged scissors if you have them; if not, a twist of the wrist does nicely The pictures are then glued onto the canvas, overlapping each other as the artist chooses. Embellish with glitter, jewels, stickers – the possibilities are endless Finish with decoupage glue in order to seal the project. Your daughter can create a collage of all her “faves”, or individual tributes for each one. They will last a lot longer than individually cut out pictures, and will look much nicer on her wall
Bas Relief Painting
Ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians were just a few societies to experiment with this “low relief” form of 3-D painting, and now your budding artist may too Simply paint the canvas in a favorite color, and then glue lightweight 3-Dimensional objects on the canvas. One option that lends itself easily to this project is a bas relief solar system. Using a sponge, “stamp” paint on the canvas in different shades of blue, and allow it to dry. Cut foam balls of various sizes in half, and paint them to look like planets and moons. When they dry, glue them to your canvas. Your child will have the universe on his wall. Other objects work well with this type of project, including letters (for a monogram piece of art) and small wooden cut outs. Allow your child to create a bas relief masterpiece that is a reflection of him
Just Paint It
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with just grabbing a canvas and some craft paint (or even finger paint) and going for it With this option your child can be as abstract as Picasso or as deliberate as Seurat For the smaller artists in your family, finger paints also work well. Add some sponge shapes for extra, easy, fun. The resulting masterpieces from this option can be a wonderful memory for you to hang on your own wall
The options mentioned here are just the beginnings of all the possibilities that bloom from a simple, stretched canvas. Try these or create your own, and you’re sure to keep the “nothing to do” battle cry at a minimum this summer