Wednesday, November 14, 2012

DIY Cheap Art Boards and My Favorite Drawing Books

My kids will use literally any flat surface they can find for art work...the piano bench, large books, the footstool, the floor, or even an actual table when they're desperate. 

So I finally got smart and made them some art boards...

if you can even really say I "made" them.  I bought a large piece of 8 ft sheet of masonite/MDF at Home Depot.  Then I had the guy cut it into 12 boards about 16x24''.  That's it.  So yes, we have 12 of them...but it's nice to have the extras.  (I emailed Gail from That Artist Woman and she told me the dimensions to get.  She uses these in her classroom...and if you've never checked out her blog, you NEED to.) Then when friends cover over there are always enough for everyone.  I've used them some with the science club I help with at the school.  They're a nice, portable little workspace that's easy to clean up...and is okay if the crayon or paint or whatever doesn't come completely off them.  (That crayon on the art board is crayon I don't have to clean off  my kitchen table, furniture, or floor.)

I also love them because it gives me a surface to tape the kids paper to.  I mostly tape their paper when they are painting, but it works well for drawing too.  Taping their paper not only keeps it from slipping around while they're working, it also creates I nice little white frame for their work.
(Idea for the Googly Eye Monster came from House of Baby Piranha here.)

My kids LOVE to get the art boards out.  Combine the art board with a fun drawing book and I even managed to get Katie and Seth to get along for 30 minutes while participating in the same activity.  I'm not sure if it's the art board or the drawing book or the stars aligning just right that I have to thank for that.
The book they're drawing from is What Shall I Draw? from Usborne Books.
It's the perfect level of drawing instruction for my kids, nd it's just one of many books you could choose if you win the current Usborne Book giveaway here,  (It's open until November 19th.)

Our two other favorite drawing books we have are I Can Draw People and I Can Draw Animals.

This is Seth's drawing.
Can you tell he's proud of it?  (He's 5.)
It's been nice to see the kids expanding their know because they tend to draw the same 3 or 4 things all the time, so these books help them branch out a little with the step, by step pictures.  (Ha!  Can you see Becca thought this was a coloring book and colored in a few of the bears.)


  1. Wow, I wish I'd been that cool when my kids were little! This is a great idea. Thanks for the book tip, too!

  2. Oooh, nice. I should make one for Olivia.

  3. Oh, I really need to do this. Boards like that would also come in handy for building blocks and things like that that work better on a hard surface. great idea!


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