Wednesday 27 February 2013

Making Keepsakes from kid's artwork

I spent another lovely evening last night hanging out with Red Ted Art and all the cool crafty kids at a Google + Hangout.  This time we were sharing ideas for preserving kid's artwork, and boy were there some incredible suggestions.

Check out the video here and there's a full list of the tutorial links at the end of this post.

I shared a process that I've used once before to make my lace April Showers pendant, but I thought it would also work really well for making little keepsakes of Ruby's art work.

She's forever coming home with armfuls of pictures and paintings from school and quite simply there isn't room to keep all of them.

Using this simple method, you can use old bubble wrap to create a kind of laminated, plasticised finish to paper, which protects it and makes it durable.  You can then turn it into key rings, fridge magnets, jewellery pendants, coasters....all sorts of things!

In some ways I prefer it to using a laminating machine.  For a start off it's free!  It's a great way to recycle waste material, and it gives a different finish to laminate.  The end result is slightly opaque, and you get a lovely shadowy impression of the bubbles, which can work really well with certain images, picking up the circular patterns like with this apple tree keyring we made.  You can also cut it down to size much easier than the hot laminated material, without having to leave that ugly seal gap around the edges.

You simply need:

  • Your artwork
  • Old bubble wrap
  • Greaseproof paper
  • Iron

Layer a piece of greaseproof paper, followed by a piece of bubble wrap, then the artwork paper, then another piece of bubble wrap and finally a top piece of greaseproof paper.

Press down a hot iron on the paper for about 20 seconds until you hear the bubbles pop.

Leave for a minute or so to cool before peeling back the greaseproof paper.  Add more layers of bubble wrap until you have built up the thickness you require.

Once it's cooled, peel off the greaseproof paper and you're left with your artwork keepsake. Trim to size with scissors.

You can use a hole punch to make holes for keyrings or jump rings, or use adhesive magnet tape to make fridge magnets.

Check out all these other wonderful ideas for preserving artwork:

Red Ted Art's Paper baubles  - great to make as egg decorations for Easter
Playful Learner's Paper Bunting - gorgeous for a child's playroom or party
Plus 2 Point 4's embroidered pillowcase - sleep on your artwork!
Kids Chaos' plush toy - immortalise kid's artwork in their very own toy
The Imagination Tree's initial artwork - make personalised keepsakes to hang on the wall
Zing Zing Tree's glass jars - use as vases or for keeping mementos in
Fairy and the Frog's greetings cards - we all need cards, this idea would be great for Mother's Day too
The Crafty Kitty's Screen Prints - this is the tutorial I've been looking for! Make bags, Tshirts etc

What an awesome collection of inspiration.

What do you do with your children's paintings and pictures?  Do they get stuck on the fridge, and how long do you keep them for?


  1. What a wonderful idea.... am so going to try that, quick, someone send me a parcel, stuffed with bubblewrap!

    Ali, KidsChaos x

    1. *looks about for something to post to you*

  2. I think this is such a cool (!) idea, we have so much bubble wrap lurking about!

  3. what a fab idea Ive got loads of bubble wrap and loads of art too so I shall be busy thanks @kikicomp

  4. I love this idea!! I may try it with cling film too! ;0)

    1. Thanks Adele. Cling film is an interesting idea, let me know how that works (don't forget the grease proof paper or it will get very messy!)

  5. A lovely way to keep things. I have a few tatty favourites in my wallet, this is much better.

    1. Aww I feel bad that I don't have any drawings in my purse, must sort that out!

  6. No way! This is genius!
    I tend to scan really nice pictures and save them on the computer, there is only so much artwork you can keep.

  7. These are incredibly cool! Will have to try if I can figure out how to turn our iron on ;)

    1. Yeah, from what I can gather, you poke the end with the three prongy bits into the socket in the wall, then use the hot, heavy end ;0)

  8. That is such a good idea...knowing me though I would ruin my iron!

  9. That is such a fantastic idea!

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  11. Great idea. Can you give me ideas for grease proof paper. I'm not sure what this is. Maybe wax paper?

  12. Love the idea.....back to basics !