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.


NewNew plus Glue = Decoupage!

Decoupage, derived from the French word decouper, meaning to cut out, is the creative art of assembling, pasting and varnishing paper cutouts for decorating objects. Techniques for decoupage are actually quite simple. If you can cut and paste, you already know most of the techniques involved. Basically, you cut out pictures; you glue the pictures onto an object; and then cover the object and pictures with a few coats of glue/decoupage medium to protect it. You can decoupage anything! From furniture to dishes to jewelry to home decor...the decoupager is limited only by his or her imagination.

The NewNew York Etsy Team is fortunate to have several of its members who employ this technique in their work. Linda from Purty Bird decoupages onto scrabble tiles like this one: Linda has these tips for decoupage novices: "If you want to use digital images, laser-print them on 28 or 32 lb paper (cardstock is too stiff). As for adhesive, anything that dries clear, flexible, and not too quickly will work, but Mod Podge® is a favorite (especially the gloss-lustre). As for tools, make sure your scissors are nice and sharp. A damp sponge also comes in handy."
Lauren, from Paperelle uses decoupage to turn things like ho hum vintage plastic bracelets into one of a kind, eco-chic accessories!

This bracelet has been meticulously decoupaged with very thin paper strips from a security envelope. The technique yielded a cool pattern in black and white. This is a cute accessory- no one will believe that it was made with items from the recycling bin!
This bracelet is created from a New York State map. Once covered in paper the bangle is coated with several layers of a glossy sealant.
Can't Afford 'Em Crafts decoupages comic book pages onto old records to create these unique clocks.
Copabananas decoupaged vintage sewing patterns on these wooden blocks to create a unique piece of sculptureToday's Giveaway is brought to you by Maryanne from Wabisabi Brooklyn. This shop is full of incredible decoupage jewelry.
When asked how she first started out with this technique, Maryanne replied that she first started decoupaging in high school:" I wish I had a picture of the doorway to my bedroom, which throughout the course of my senior year I covered with an assortment of ephemera that I collected because it had meaning to me: Bazooka gum wrappers; the odd soda bottle label - you get the idea. In college I switched more to collage, mostly to create elaborate letters which I sent to friends throughout the country back in the days before the interwebs made keeping in touch a less tactile sport. Although the surfaces I was decorating were different, it kept my eye sharp for spotting interesting images to crop and reuse."

We asked where she first got the unique idea to decoupage onto pennies, and she told us that while she had a partner who employed the technique on other material, the inspiration to apply the idea to coins was hers. "We were out buying different copper shapes for our jewelry, and I noticed they were selling small flat copper circles for nine cents each. Immediately my thoughts turned to pennies, which I've always loved and picked up (only if they're heads up!) for good luck. The much maligned monetary unit became the basis for the most popular Wabisabi Brooklyn designs."

YOU can win this beautiful green clover bracelet from Wabisabi Brooklyn!!
Wouldn't you love to own this 1 inch copper circle decoupaged with a vintage art deco design?
Just follow these simple steps:
- You must be a follower of this blog
- Visit Maryanne's store HERE
- Come back and leave a comment that describes which item you like from Wabisabi Brooklyn. One entry per person
- Twitter, blog, or facebook about this giveaway and get additional entries! Leave a link in comments.
- Winner chosen at random on March 15-announced here on March 16th.

WINNER OF THE MAY LUK GIVEAWAY IS AMY from OUR SMALL WORLD: A MOM'S VIEW. Amy-please contact May Luk directly to claim your prize.