Making Wall Worthy Kids Art with Stencils

Stencils are a great way for kids of almost any age to make wall worthy art. As long as they can hold a painting utensil or sponge, then they should be able to transfer paint onto the prepared stencil surface and have it result in something pretty decent!

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We recently took advantage of a cold rainy afternoon to do an art project compliments of Stencil Revolution. I picked out a neat seahorse stencil to go with our beach house renovation decor and set it up so my three-year-old son could do the painting.

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The first thing we did was head to the hardware store to get a piece of wood to use as a base. I also had a second Halloween themed stencil, so I got a 4ft. piece of wood to fit them both for just $9. After cutting it to fit both stencils I still had enough left over to make something else. After cutting the board to fit, I stained them a navy blue. You can also paint the boards a solid color.

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After the stain was dry, I taped the stencil where I wanted the design to be. My board wasn’t as wide as I should have been, but I just went with it. I realized later, as my son was really going crazy slapping on the paint, that it is best to have all the sides taped down really well. I was only able to tape down the top and bottom so it slipped a tiny bit, but not enough to mess it up in the end. You do need to have it secured better than we did if you want a crisp stencil edge.

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With our surface prepped, next we mixed our paints. We used acrylics in a metallic teal, blue and a dash of white. Our painting tool or choice was a sponge painter. My son took to sponge painting with gusto, scooping large blobs of paint out and slopping it down as I scrambled to make sure it wasn’t splattering beyond our small art mat.

At first I kept trying to limit his paint and show him how to do it, but then I just let him go with it and his unique blob painting technique actually resulted in a really cool texture! The bubbles and lumps make it look almost like the seahorse has scales.

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I made sure every spot was covered and then Mr. Impatient had to see his creation immediately, so I removed the stencil and we were both very excited to see something so pretty! I’m sure you’re probably supposed to let it dry and then remove it so you don’t risk smudging it, but it was hard enough to stop the flailing little arms from smearing the whole thing while it was on so I figured I’d better show him and then display it up high where he couldn’t touch it.

After I removed the stencil, I immediately rinsed it off and the acrylic paint easily came off with a little scrubbing. The stencil is made from laser cut 12 mil Mylar and can be used over and over again. It can also be cleaned with paint thinner if you choose to let the paint dry on it and have a harder time cleaning it off. Acrylics will usually wash off or peel off easily though, even when dry.

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So you can see our seahorse doesn’t have super crisp edges and isn’t “perfect” but I think that adds to its beachy vibe. I just have to add a little hook to the back and I’ll be hanging this little masterpiece on the wall. And thanks to StencilRevolution.com for sending the stencil for this fun little project!

Spread a Little Happiness with Kindness Rocks

When we first moved to our new neighborhood at the beach, I kept running across these pretty painted rocks stuck in random places. At first I was afraid to take them. I’d pick it up and admire it and then put it back, afraid maybe it was meant for someone else. I eventually realized it was meant for me to take it! It was left there for anyone who is lucky enough to find it. If you’ve stumbled across these little painted rocks, than know they are meant to be taken and hopefully bring a little happiness to your day.

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We found a rock!

They are often called “kindness rocks” and are painted with whatever people want to put on them. Some just have nice messages on them like “smile” or “be kind,” and others may just be swirls of color. We’ve found some that look like intricate art pieces! Sometimes people use different materials like shells or rocks that appear to be shaped like something already, but the most popular rocks are medium size with a good smooth surface for painting.

Once we started collecting painted rocks, we also got into painting new ones to hide. You can use lighter colored rocks and paint or draw right on them, or paint darker ones white first. I’ve also seen light ones painted black. Acrylic paint, paint markers and Sharpies are great for doodling on rocks. You can also spray them when done with a coat of clear paint sealer.

Dark river rock painted white and ready to be transformed in a Kindness Rock

When you find a rock, be sure to look on the back for a hashtag or instructions on sharing. Most will tell you where to post on Facebook and a hashtag to include so the person who hid it can see it was found. Most people re-hide the rocks they find so they travel around. It’s OK to keep them too! We save our favorites for our garden. But if you are keeping them, make sure you are making new ones to put out so other people can enjoy them too.

If you are interested in getting started painting and hiding rocks, just search your area and add “rocks” on facebook. For example – I live in Atlantic Beach so our rock group is called Atlantic Beach Rocks and the hashtag is #rockinthebeaches. And if you don’t have any rocks handy, you can order buckets of rocks for around $20 on Amazon or even get an entire kit with ready-to-paint rocks:

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*Post contains Amazon affiliate links*

So have you found any rocks in your area or gotten into rock painting? If not, you can always start something in your area! Also, a funny thing happens once you start looking for the rocks- you’ll start seeing them a lot more. You get a little more conscious of your surroundings and notice little spots that look like a rock might be stuck there. And sometimes you’ll find spots that becomes “regulars” and you can usually find a rock there, or leave one there yourself. Rock painting, finding and hiding is a great creative activity for kids and adults and a nice way to brighten someone’s day when they run across a surprise hidden gem.

A Different Kind of Book for Children

I was recently introduced to Quiet Books by the Quiet Book Queen and we decided to give it a try! It’s crafty activity book you assemble yourself, or with the help of your child. The Quiet Book Queen website offers a Calendar Quiet Book Subscription Kit where every month you get a new page/activity to make for your book. The idea behind it is to encourage screen-free activities through play and imagination. We started with October and had fun making a dress-up doll page and a finger puppet spider.

You’ll need a few tools to make your book pages – like a hole punch and snap tool. You also will be sewing, glueing and ironing things. The kits come with everything except the assembly tools.

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Snap Tool and Hole Punch

The pieces arrive all cut and prepared for you to assemble. Each kit has two activities and step-by-step instructions included. I found the kit to be a little more advanced than my 3-year-old could handle, so I found it was best to let him play with the pieces first and then actually assemble the page on my own. He then got to play with the finished page.

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All the pieces for the November Quiet Book page

Each month is themed so our November page had a fun turkey craft. There are also options for making it with or without snaps.

If you’d like to try it out, or maybe send as a gift to a crafty mom, new subscribers get 50% off their first month and free shipping:
https://quietbookqueen.com/collections/quiet-book-page-kits