Aren’t you glad we didn’t spell “canvas” with a “k” to match “kids” in this blog title? Yup, we think kids should be respected and hope you do, too. Kids may have growing fingers that require a bit more supervision for crafty projects, but they have a lot to offer in terms of creativity when you are crafting works of art as holiday gifts.
Children are great inspirations when creating your photo canvas holiday gifts. Besides being adorable subjects for the underlying pictures, they can add physical, tactile embellishments to the holiday canvas prints. Your own children, nephews and nieces or special little friends can help you not only create a “hybrid” work of art, but they can add a level of personalization to gifts that cannot be bought in any store.
Three simple ideas for involving young ones in creating a holiday canvas:
1 – Digital scrapbooking
Canvas prints are an ideal output not only for photographic images, but also for digital scrapbooking images. If you’re not familiar with this practice, check out this video. Essentially, today’s digital scrapbooking software programs offer high-definition versions of virtually every craft tool available in a traditional paper scrapbooker.
We’re fans of Serif’s CraftArtist 2 Professional, but you’ll also enjoy Mother Crafter Martha Stewart’s CraftStudio iPad app or many other software programs outlined by Creating Keepsakes magazine. Many often free versions for download to help you get your feet wet as well as paid versions with more specialized tools, such as 3D simulations. Almost all allow you to customize the dimensions of the design you create. When creating a digital scrapbook page for printing on canvas, keep in mind the size of the final work you are looking to make.
Kids can help both with collecting materials to use and with designing the digital scrapbook pages. Naturally, they are terrific subjects of the designs as well. Note you’ll likely have to fine-tune the finishing touches, depending on their attention span. Finally, simply upload your designs online (such as with us!)
2 – Paint
An oldie but a goodie, break out the brightly colored, child-safe paints, and have at it. Look for paints that work especially well on canvas or paper.
What better way to record your children in a particular stage of development than with a handprint, footprint or fingerprint? Use the wooden tip of a paintbrush to add in initials or the year. Or, if you’re feeling brave, have your child brush on a simple design, like a heart or sunshine or a cultural symbol such as a Chinese character. Don’t forget stencils or stamps for more perfected designs.
3 – Gluing supplies
Now we’re having fun. There are endless craft supplies and personal keepsakes that kids can affix to a canvas. Consider:
- Children’s artwork
- Sheet music from their musical recital
- Score cards from a game or sports match
- Theater tickets from a play or performance
- Programs from family weddings or other special events in which they participated
- Good old fashioned glitter, tissue paper, confetti or other art supplies
A word about glue: again, plan out what you want to glue to your canvas and how you want it to look (smooth versus bubbly, etc.), so you can guide children when you are working with them. Not sure what you need to affix your item to the canvas? Try Michaels’ Glue It To It online tool. Also, Walmart offers several options for glue that works well with fabric. We really like Krylon Super Quick Grip Spray Adhesive because it’s easy to use, acid free (ideal for preserving work in its original aesthetic) and its’ great for lightweight materials.
Remember, no matter what your design, for any project:
- Have fun! Experiment with the kiddos on different crafting techniques on paper before altering your photo canvas.
- Plan things out a bit first. Photos on canvas are usually high quality (such as our MyPix2Canvas prints which are sprayed with a UV coating to prevent the color from fading), so take some time to think through your designs. Sketch them out with pencil and paper with kids first, and let their creativity run wild.
- Repeat after us: less is more. Don’t forget you can always add more paint, supplies or glue as needed, but it is way more difficult to take those materials away. It’s easy for little hands to get excited and use too many supplies.
- Don’t paint or glue anything that is too large or too busy. You don’t want your embellishments to compete with the main image.
- Still need inspiration? Our customers have had terrific ideas to personalize their canvases, or try browsing hybrid scrapbookers, the folks at Glue Dots or look to emerging craft maven Tori Spelling for advice on crafting with family.