Tutorial: Repurpose Kid Art for a Mother's Day Gift

First of all, I want to thank Sarah of Sarah Jane. Her blog post of 2009 was the inspiration for this tutorial, which is a play on her original idea. Three years ago, Sarah decided to display her children’s art by cutting it into whimsical shapes and framing them.

I've always wanted to do something like this and I finally tackled a project that originated when my now fifth grader was in pre-school. In 2006 Elizabeth and Fiona were best friends. They did everything together including painting this masterpiece that used to hang on their classroom door in pre-school.

While the girls have gone their own ways, I wanted to preserve this piece in a way that they both could enjoy by turning it into TWO wall decorations.


  • Artwork
  • Stretched Canvas 
  • Acrylic paint 
  • Mod Podge or other decoupage medium 


Paint the top and side surfaces of the canvas in your preferred color.

While the canvas dries, cut up the artwork into a shape that you like. For this project, I used this stencil for the butterfly and this one for the cat. Sarah generously provided templates for a swallow, an elephant and a seal on her blog. You could also have your child draw a shape and use that.

When the canvas is dry, apply Mod Podge to the back of the image you cut out and glue it onto the canvas.
Then proceed to varnish the image by painting it with three coats of the Mod Podge. Let each coat dry (approximately 20 minutes) before applying the next layer.

If you decide to further decorate this piece and add the shape’s name like Sarah and I did, you can practice your penmanship while the glue dries and test out what you want to write on the canvas to complement the decoupage.
Once the decoupage is dry, finish of your piece by writing something fitting with acrylic paint using a very fine brush.
The butterfly will go to Fiona’s house and the cat will stay with my girl. This way they both can share a piece of the fantastic work they created when they were four.

By the way, Sarah is the designer of the Children at Play fabric line. Her work can also be found on Etsy at SarahJaneStudios.