Monday, April 1, 2013

Creating Order from Chaos: Part II

So like I said, I love my little artists' "masterpieces". I don't want to stifle her creativity by telling her that I really DON'T need another picture of a three legged person, a sun or a flower. When Makayla was about 1, I bought an expanding file folder with the intention of storing all of her creations in it. Well, that worked fine until she was about two and a half and started spitting out new art by the dozens. Then after she started preschool this fall, the art work quadrupled again. I was getting buried in sweet little creations that I didn't want to throw out but I didn't know what to do with them!

This is actually the file of all of her art from 4-5 (and she's only 4 and a half right now!) So I decided to take control of the clutter and turn all of her artwork in to a collage that I can display instead of sitting in a file folder that no one sees.

I started by sorting all of her work by age: Age 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, etc. Then I got out my scissors and started cutting out all of the "good" parts. I don't know about your kids, but Makayla rarely uses the whole page. She puts one or two people on a huge sheet of paper and calls it a day. So I started by removing all of the extra white space. For her baby art, I cut out shapes from her full page finger paintings. When she actually started making recognizable things, I cut those out. Then I decided what I truly liked from her art and threw out the rest.

There are a few pieces that I didn't cut, like the watercolor she entered in our county fair this summer and won Best in Show for the under 5 set. Things that are truly special can stay.

I bought a 5 pack of 16 X 20 canvas boards, some Perfect Paper Adhesive, and a large brush.

Then you just start gluing. You can create the collage dry first if you want then glue it down or glue as you go. Generally, I try to start with the biggest pieces on the bottom and embellish with smaller pieces. Some washable inks can run with the glue, so brush gently. Once you get everything glued on, spread a layer of the glue over top of everything to seal it. You can use any finish you like, I'm using matte but PPA comes in a variety of sheen levels. Then let it dry overnight.

Here are the two that I've finished, age 1-2 and age 3-4.

I think it turned out neat, kind of "modern art" like. The best part is, my files are no longer exploding AND we get to see our lil fella's art every day!