Do you ever wonder what to do with all those scraps of artwork your kids make? Half the time they wind up in the recycling bin. (Shh.. I didn’t just say that). It’s impossible to save every scrap of artwork, but an easy way to recycle old artwork and create new artwork is to make a simple kid’s art journal.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links to products. All opinions are my own.
- scraps of your kids’ artwork (8.5″ x 11″ sheets of paper)
- watercolor paints
- rubber bands
- leather punch or hole puncher
- two bulldog clips
- large craft sticks
one piece of thick water color paper (9″x 12″) to make marbleized paper.
Collect the Artwork
The first step for this project is to collect 10 pieces of your child’s artwork. If they are pieces of scribbled paper, have your child sit down and use watercolors to paint over their scribbles. An optional twist could be to make marble paper covers. (I love using Babble Dabble Do’s milk marble paper technique. ) In my opinion, this will add texture and visual interest in the final piece. Once all of the watercolor pages have dried, collect them and cut them down into 4.25″ x 5.5″ sheets. Essentially cut 8.5″ x 11″ pieces of paper in half. If you would like to make a larger art journal, just skip this step.
Many other children’s journal binding tutorials show using yarn or string to bind the pages together. The problem I always found with these method were that the pages were not securely bound and they ripped easily. My secret trick, to securely bind pages, is to use a rubber band and craft stick. Not only will these pages stay secure, they will look beautiful. Another twist is to have the children decorate and embellish their craft sticks, or simply use colored craft sticks and colored rubber bands. The possibilities are endless!
Use two clamps to hold down both horizontal ends. This will keep the pages in place when punching the holes. Next, take the leather punch or hole punch and make two hole about 1″ from the top and bottom of the journal.
Start in the back of the journal, and pass the rubber band through the top hole.
Place the end of a craft stick through the rubber band.
Pass the rubber band through the bottom hole and place the other end of the craft stick through the rubber band.
This past summer my Pint-Sized Artists created their own amazing art journals as a way to document their creative experience in our art camp. Everyday we added a new element to each page of their journal. From creating marbled covers, ripping pages, folding corners, drawing lines and shapes, to paper weaving. I even took photographs of each child for them to alter. The results were beautiful as each child left their unique stamp on their work.
The Benefits of Art Journaling
Did you know that many famous artists from Leonardo DaVinci to Toulouse Lautrec kept art journals? Many artists used their journals to doodle ideas which eventually became super mega famous masterpieces, or famous inventions. Take a look as some of Leonardo DaVinci’s doodles (here). They are really quite stunning!
The benefits of creating a child’s art journal go beyond resourcefulness and recycling a child’s artwork. Drawing, painting, sketching, tearing, glueing in a sketchbook provides children an outlet to process their thoughts, observe their surroundings, helps children de-stress and regulate their emotions.
Art journals are easy, fun, and best of all there are no rules! Has your child ever created an art journal? Leave a comment below!
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