Memories through Art

It’s no secret that I’m not very crafty. I’ve been trying, though, and one of my favorite things is to incorporate some art projects the kids do into gifts and cute works of art that we can hang up around the house.

I’ve been so eager to post these “LOVE” canvases that we did, but we made some for Grandma Gifts as well, so I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. My grandma and Josh’s mom visited this weekend, and we gave them their canvases. Aren’t they beautiful grandmas?

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Anyway, I’ve always loved those big “LOVE” pieces of art that are simple, in contrast colors, and classy looking. I friend of mine had taken a picture of her newborn baby’s feet making a “V” shape, and had the L-O-(feet)-E as a photograph and it looked so cute! With a little brainstorming, I decided to put those two ideas together. To get a memory of all three kids in one canvas, I used Aerie’s handprint as the “O” and one of Rockson’s footprints and one of Gage’s footprints combined to make the V. It turned out super cute, and was fun to make.

Here’s what I used: White canvases, acrylic paint (recommended), washable finger paint, paint brushes and hands/feet.

I wanted to use “love” colors. You know… red, pink, something very lovey dovey. I knew I wanted to make my grandma’s pink to match her living room, and I made Josh’s moms red. I painted the canvas with a coat of paint, including the edges (sides) of the canvases. I allowed it to dry, then applied one more coat of paint. This is when I figured out that acrylic paint works so much better.

I used red acrylic paint that I had left over from making our Handprint Ornaments at Christmas time. The only acrylic paints I had on hand were red, black, white and cream. The pink I used to paint the background of my grandma’s canvas was Crayola’s Washable Kids Paint in Fuchsia. The first coat turned out beautifully and blended really nicely. When I went to apply the 2nd coat after the first coat had dried, the first coat was sort of washing off, and the canvas was turning white again because of applying the wet paint. I was bound and determined to continue with the fuchsia color, so I ended up doing more of a sponge-paint technique on it. I don’t know how many coats I did, but had to keep retouching it in certain spots. Eventually it looked pretty even, and sort of had a nice textured look to it, but it was much more work than I originally planned. So to sum up my experience, use acrylic paint.

After the backgrounds were painted and dried to my liking, I measured the canvas into 4 equal parts and just put a little mark on the side of the canvas as a guide to keep everything as centered as possible. I used Aerie’s hand, then as the boys were eating dinner in their high chairs, I painted one of their feet and quickly pressed it onto the canvas. From there, I added the “L” and “E” to complete the painting, and tried to keep it all centered and spaced as best as I could. After that dried, I touched up the spots that I marked for placement, and any other area’s that needed it. Once that was all dry, I wrote each kids and the year really tiny along the side of their individual hand/footprint.

If you try this and your kids are a little too squirmy, or move as you try to place their hand/foot, don’t stress. Let it dry and cover over it with your background paint. Then retry. That happened to me, but I was able to touch it up. Also, one of the boy’s footprints didn’t fully turn out so I just filled that spot with a little paint and voila. You can’t even tell.

In addition to these, Aerie also created a nice canvas for her room with a big “A” in the middle, and the background was filled with her favorite colors, pink and purple. It’s adorable and she had so much fun doing it. I actually used the Crayola Kid’s Washable Paints with her canvas and it turned out nice. I just think if you are trying to use them as a background color, it’s not the best for achieving a nice, even tone if you need more than one coat. I did, however, have Aerie do only one color at a time. When that color dried (which took no longer than 10 minutes), I’d use a new color, and so on.

I plan on having Rockson and Gage do one this week with their initials, so once that is complete, I’ll post the initial ones. It’s something fun for them to do, and also cute to display in their bedrooms.

All in all, it was a great weekend visit with the grandma’s. The kids played their little hearts out. Aerie had endless tea parties, conversations with her imaginary friends, Easter egg hunts, and fashion shows. The boys were their normal, happy selves and were cruising all over the house. The boys also got their first haircuts this weekend, too. They look so adorable. It’s amazing that they look even more alike now. Gage’s hair was growing really long in the front, so it was easy to identify him. Now they’re back to looking identical again. I swear, even though they are fraternal, they look more alike than a lot of identical twins. But they also both look a lot like Aerie when she was that age.

I hope you all had a fabulous weekend. I have to cut this short because it’s my weekly meal prepping day. Josh took Aeriella with him for the day and the boys are napping. Time to see how much I can get done before they wake up!

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