Displaying Kids Art and Promoting Independence

 A few weeks ago I showed you this hallway in our home tour and when I showed how we painted the stripes. But I didn’t really talk about the “Fine Art Gallery”.
 I wanted a place to display all my little ones’ masterpieces that they create and bring home from school as well as a spot to hang jackets and backpacks. So I thought this would be a perfect spot to do all of that. It is right off of or garage and close to our entry but sort of tucked away so it isn’t the first thing you see as you walk in the door. The coat hooks are from Hobby Lobby. They come unfinished so I gave them a quick coat of white spray paint. The frames were all different frames that I found at Goodwill. I don’t think any of them were white originally–until my best friend spray paint got a hold of them as well. I just took out the glass and cut some cork (you can find at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, etc.) to fit the frame and covered it with a natural colored burlap. The back of the frames isn’t  very pretty because it is all just sort of shoved in there—but who sees the back anyway, right? I’m not even going to show you. 🙂 I will say burlap is messy so beware.
The vinyl I ordered (I can’t remember where but there are plenty of sites out there) and wa la—The Waterman Fine Art Gallery was born.
Well, seeing that this week is back to school week and I am trying to promote a little more independence with my kiddos, I came up with a new project to add to  that little space.

 It all kind of started when I spotted these 11 x 17″ bulletin boards at Hobby Lobby.

 …and a few other materials.

First step, was to give the frames a coat or two of oil-rubbed bronze spray paint. (I knew I was covering the boards so I didn’t bother taping them.)
 I found these cool Self-Sealing Laminating Pouches at Walmart and snagged a couple of each size (the larger size is 4 x 6″ and the smaller is about 3 x 4″).

 While my paint was drying I made some school-related graphics on my computer and printed them out on card stock. Then, following the directions, I laminated them with my self-sealing pouches. (Word to the wise: don’t trim them too much or they won’t have anything to stick to.)

 Here is the front of one of my cards.

 And here is the back.
 I punched holes at the top of each

 and made a few goodies out of vinyl with my Silhouette.

 By then, my paint was dry so it was time to cover the boards. I took my scrapbook paper and ran some scissors along the frame to create a crease to show me where to cut my paper.
 Once they were all cut, I just stuck them down with spray adhesive.

 Then I started placing and arranging things the way I liked them.

 My hooks were easy to put in because, remember, they’re bulletin boards! Somebody was thinkin’ eh?
 So here’s my final project. The top shows what the kids have scheduled each day of the week while the bottom reminds them of what they need to bring to school when they go. (They’re in preschool so they don’t go every day quite yet…next year, sniff.)
 And the perfect spot? Right above their backpacks of course.
 Now, every morning when I ask, “Do you have everything you need?” , they have a visual to keep them in check.
They can then turn around each card to see if they forgot anything before walking out the door. If every card has a smiley face, we are ready to go. I’m hoping this helps them to accept some more responsibility so that mom isn’t constantly running back in for things we forgot. I know my four year old will love this. She loves feeling like she’s in charge. 🙂

 Okay, finally feeling like we’re ready for the school year to begin.

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