Sunday, July 5, 2009

ArT WoRk

This is the frame that I made for my middle child's 3rd grade teacher as an end of the year thank you gift.
My "Sammy's" self portait. Love it!

Another view of the frame.

This is a Kindergarten auction project that I did for my youngest sons school auction. It is so much fun to do and well received by parents of the youngster. Read as "lots of bids" resulting in money for the school.

How did I do it? Let me tell you.

First of all I have a wonderful neighbor who has an amazing workshop and willing to help me out. He made the frame from 8 inch wide clear pine boards and attached a sheet of wipe board/dry erase board to the back. Hardware stores sell large sheets of this for a very reasonable price. I then prime the wood frame with white primer paint like Kilz.

Next, I have all the children draw a self portrait on a 5x7 piece of paper and color it with crayons. I encourage them to use bright colors and to stay away from the browns and blacks. Then I photo copy each one. Black and white copy works best.

Each bw copy is laid on top of the frame to find appropriate spacing. If a picture is too small or large you can reduce/enlarge on the copy machine.

I start in a corner working from left to right (because I am right handed) so that I do not smudge my work as I go along. Place on BW picture on the frame and trace with with a ball point pen, pushing hard to leave a mark in the wood of the outline of the child's portrait. Using carbon paper works best but I cannot ever find any. I then start using acrylic paint that I get from Michael's/AC Moore and paint the picture using the exact colors that they have used. Using skin color for the faces. The children's pictures are very basic because they are kindergartners and they do not to intricate work. I then outline all the colors with a black paint pen, this also works well for eyelashes. Sometimes it takes two to three coats of paint for some of the colors to get the pop of color you want. When I am done painting the pictures I print their names by their picture and let it dry for one day minimum. Then I spray paint the frame with a clear gloss to seal the paint.

If you do not have a way of making a frame this also works great with premade wood furniture from Michael's. I have even done it on a large unpainted book shelf with a storage cabinet that I purchased from Lowe's. If you use items that are prepainted you will need to make sure that the paint is not glossy and and will accept the acrylic paint.

The next frame that I am going to make for my home will be of my sons pictures that he drew in Kindergarten, I love having a fun way of displaying his artwork.

I hope this is understandable. It is really very easy with great results.


  1. What a neat idea! This is very colorful and sounds like it was fun to make. You did a great job!

  2. I was out checking out some new blogs and came upon yours. Love your photography and this frame!!!! How CUTE! What a great gift. Unique, creative. Perfect.


  3. that is such a wonderful frame! I LOVE IT! That would be the perfect gift...for ME! from my grandchildren....I am going to try it...huhoney is such a wonderful carpenter...I just need to get the art work....


“Do what makes you happy, be with who makes you smile, laugh as much as you breathe, and love as long as you live.” ― Rachel Ann Nunes