Cute & Simple (Friday)
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Cute & Simple: Preserving Memories

The end of the schoolyear is amongst us.  All differnt types of parents have all different  reactions to the “end-of-times.”  I fall squarely into the great-now-what-am-I-gonna-do-with-this-ball-of-energy-I-call-my-daughter-for-90-days?!  Easy.  She’s going to YMCA day camp.  (Yes, I finally got the tedious paperwork completed to send her).  But, that doesn’t mean I’m a completely hands-off parent.  In fact, my energetic 6-year old is also very crafty.  Something we have in common! 

Sooo….with that in mind, we plan to make some creative art projects using all of last year’s art work.   Your child is likely bringing home lots of projects as they clean out desks and classrooms in preparation for the end of the school year.  Save them.  Set them aside.  Mark a date on your calendar to do something with them. 

Here are some ideas:

  • Turn them into placemats.  Get large paper, about 18″ x 12″ and make a collage, sticking with a theme, with her favorite pieces of art. Take it to an office suppy store and laminate for about $2-4.
  • Don’t be afraid to cut apart projects to create something else entirely.  For example, if you have mulitiple pieces of art, but want to create a whole new scene–do it.  Save the tree from the rainforest project, add a butterfly from the spring project, cut the ladybug and bird from your Mother’s Day card and make something new.  Label the parts as they came from the originals.  It’s okay to combine mediums as well…say a watercolor frog (from art #1) with a marker lily pad (art project #2) and a felt sun (project #3). 
  • Frame them.  Set aside yoru absolute favorites and determine if they are 1) seasonal 2) blend with a theme already apparent in your home or child’s room 3) suitable for a gift.  Seasonal ones can be stored and brought out for special holidays or events.  You may even be able to frame something for your child’s bedroom or hang in a bathroom.   Don’t forget dads and grads in June.  Hummm…the possiblities are endless! 
  • Turn art work into something functional.  Make note cards out of plain cardstock notes (found at hobby/craft stores).  You can often reduce the size of large art by taking it to an office supply store and having them reduce the image to something to fit on a card.  Make color photocopies and adhere to the cardstock.  Add envelopes and tie with a ribbon–done!  You can also do this for one-time Birthday cards or other celebrations. 
  • Scan art work to create mugs, coasters, notepads, calendars.  If you have a home scanner and access to the Internet, the job is as quick and easy as 1-2-3…hook up with a site like or and you’ve got some cool gifts. 
  • Store it all in a box marked with your child’s name, school year, grade and teacher.  Make sure you label all items with the description of the project and approximate date. 
  • Slip art work and special papers into a scrapbook.  I picked a couple up at Michael’s recently…it’s a quick and easy way to collect and catalog memories.  It’s inexpensive and easy to store.

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Have fun with your child and happy crafting!

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