Looking for an easy way to dress up those walls? This simple DIY project for kids will bring a touch of elegant whimsy (is there such a thing? I say yes.) to any room.
Kids don’t need to be told how to create — they just do it. Isn’t that marvelous? It’s actually something that’s been on my heart lately… this idea that creativity is a gift to be enjoyed. That it reflects our creative Creator more than it does us, and that we should never obsess over whether we’re “better” or “worse” at it than others, or how “perfect” we can get our masterpieces to be. When we are acting creatively, we’re just echoing the traits of our creative Father. Anyway, my kids inspire me on a daily basis when it comes to enjoying this gift of creativity. I love displaying their artwork on our fridge but wanted to have a more permanent display in our playroom. I also wanted it to go with the colors in our home. And that’s when this DIY project for kids entered the scene.
“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them…” – Genesis 1:27
DIY Project for Kids | Materials
- Cup for water
- Paper plates for a palette (or a scrap of cardboard; I’ve even used a cutting board covered in plastic wrap)
- Acrylic paint
- Paper (I used this kind)
DIY Project for Kids | Logistical Do’s and Don’ts
- Don’t do this project on a day when you’re behind on housework or are otherwise stressed.
- Don’t expect to get anything else done while they paint. With my kids, the process can be kind of a whirlwind.
- Do set up a special painting space outside or over a large drop cloth or blanket you don’t care about.
- Do prepare all of your post-painting needs ahead of time. See step 1 below for details on what I mean.
DIY Project for Kids | Tips for… er, “Aesthetics”
Don’t get me wrong… I’m not trying to box my kids into a prescribed way to paint. They get a lot of opportunities to paint without my “ulterior motives” cramping their style. I just had a vision here, mkay? If you want to go the same route, here are my tips for the “aesthetics” aspect.
- Color choice: Decide on the type of color scheme you want. See below.
- Neutrals: e.g., Grays, browns, beiges… You could also throw in a shade of earthy green or navy blue into this as well.
- Analagous: Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel (e.g., blue, green, purple; OR red, orange, yellow)
- Complementary: Colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel (e.g., purple and yellow; red and green; blue and orange). Note: When mixed together, complementary colors neutralize each other (i.e., turn brownish) which may or may not be what you’re looking for. If you want to stick to the true hues, allow enough drying time in between colors.
- Allowing dry time: As I mentioned above, if you want to have some colors stand out on their own (vs being blended in with the others), allow a little drying time in between layers. You can have your children paint on other pieces of paper while you speed up the process with a blow dryer.
DIY Project for Kids | Help with Choosing Colors
If you aren’t feeling super confident in selecting colors, here are a few options to get you going. These color choices come from this acrylic paint set but there are so many more colors at Michael’s.
- Sunrise: White, Bright Yellow, Fuchsia, Jack-O-Lantern
- Ocean: White, Bimini Blue, Too Blue, Pewter Grey (Or… if you’re feeling fancy, you could add a touch of Nutmeg Brown to White to create a sandy color… very pretty with blues and can lend a nice beachy vibe)
- Woodsy: Nutmeg Brown, Holly Branch, New Shamrock, Pewter Grey
- Monochromatic: White, Pewter Gray, Black (+ maybe a touch of Melted Chocolate for warmth)
DIY Project for Kids | Instructions
- Prep Your Post-Painting Needs | Believe me, if your kids are younger, you want to have this ready ahead of time. Because you don’t want to be scrambling around trying to clean them up while they’re covered in paint.
- Have an area set aside for the paintings to dry, ideally away from excited little hands that want to pick them up.
- Bring out some towels to wipe their hands and feet before letting them leave the messy painting area (and walk around your home).
- Think about how you’ll wash them off afterward. I’ve used the water table in the yard a few times, and I’ve also used the bath tub. Both have worked great.
- Give Children Supplies | Give each child a palette of colors to work with, along with paper, paintbrushes, and water.
- Paint! | Let them paint and have fun with it! It’s up to you whether you want to intervene. If left to his own devices, my two-year-old would just keep swirling the paint around on the same paper until it was a nice, uniform, murky brown. So, I grabbed his paintings as they started to take shape and quickly replaced them with blank paper. He didn’t mind. 😉
- Dry | When a painting is done, set it in a special place to dry, up and away from little hands.
- Display | I love these paintings displayed in frames together. I used simple white picture frames to create a miniature gallery above our toy storage unit.