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NOW CLOSED: Share your cheap art tips for children - you could win a £100 voucher from Barclays

(119 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 06-Aug-12 19:12:31

Please note the Barclays Mini Masterpiece Competition closes at midnight on 31 August 2012

We've been asked by Barclays to find out your best tips for cheap art projects for children - whether its something you set up for them or just arty things your children enjoy doing. And when they're finished, what do you do with the artwork?

For example:
Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?
What works well as a cheap art option?
What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?
What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?
Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?

Whilst we are talking art (and the future uses of it) we wanted to highlight (and you may have seen it already) - the amazing competition Barclays are running.

Barclays (via their pages on Mumsnet as well as on their own site) are on the look out for those special art pieces (from children in your family aged 12 or under at the time of entry) for their 'Mini Masterpiece' competition.

Barclays say "We're looking for fantastic artwork by kids to celebrate the launch of the new free Barclays Personalised Card Service. You don't need to be a Barclays customer to enter the Mini Masterpiece Competition and we've got fantastic prizes to give away, including a family holiday (worth £2000) and lots of arty goodies for kids.

"The judges, Carrie Longton (co-founder of Mumsnet), and Lauren Child (creator of Charlie and Lola), will choose a winner and 20 runners-up - deciding which images they think would make the brightest, most original and vibrant debit card designs"

There's more info, full T&Cs and details on the prizes here

If you add an arty story or share a child art related tip on this thread you'll be entered into a prize draw where one winner will get a £100 Amazon voucher.

Do also let us know on this thread if you've entered or will enter the Barclays competition - good luck to all entrants smile


Kveta Wed 08-Aug-12 15:12:43

how many 'artworks' can each person submit?

notactuallyme Wed 08-Aug-12 16:15:40

hahah i have tried loads of times! not sure what to do now!

notactuallyme Wed 08-Aug-12 16:31:11

tried again - no success. will have to give up.

racingheart Wed 08-Aug-12 17:27:56

We buy canvases from the pound store. We mix up poster paint colours and paint on a base colour, then take them into the garden, lay them on an old groundsheet, fill old water pistols with liquid paint and fire, or squirt paint from squeegee bottles. You get Jackson Pollock-style paintings worth keeping and funnily enough, no two children do it the same way. The effects are very different, and if you like abstract art, they also look great on the walls.

But by far the best arty fun we ever had was to head down to a river nearby in waterproofs and wellies. There was a seam of red clay in the river bank. We made mud slides down it, dug out the clay and made pots and figures with them which a friend glazed and fired in a kiln. They are very home made and wouldn't win any prizes, but it was an unforgettable day.

Elainey1609 Wed 08-Aug-12 18:19:13

Well deffo the way to go is lack of mess and as cheap as possible
they do love the classic for a reason and that is colouring, i have a couple of colouring books and some pencils and croyns which they love..

Also have a box that i top up with crafty bits, i buy odd bits from poundland and 99p shop when ever i can....and add preety paper or odd wrapping up paper or ribbons when ever i get them to it...this is my rainy day box as its a little bit more messy...

In the summer i get them outside with chalks on the patio, and they have a large chalk baoard........painted back of there bedroom dooe with blackboard paint....they love it

they each have scrap books...i have a collection of stickers (which i buy when ever i see them on sale) which they mess around with.

newlark Wed 08-Aug-12 18:37:03

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table? - On the kitchen table covered with newspaper and closely supervised now (see below)!

What works well as a cheap art option? - chalk outdoors - on the walls and paving. Cutting up old newspapers/magazines for a collage

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place? - dd once managed to get paint on the walls when I was out of the room and tried to wash it then rub it off with an eraser - the wall paint wasn't washable and she went down to the plaster bit of the plasterboard - the scar is still there (waiting for redecoration until they are past this stage!)

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling? - special ones go on the wall of in their scrapbooks - less special ones get "hidden" for a couple of weeks then recycled.

Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything? - just some special ones that we can look back at together to see how they've developed. Both dcs have a scrapbook and I try to take the occasional photo of them to add to it.

Snog Wed 08-Aug-12 18:47:14

Temporary art works are the way to go - then photograph them before they disappear!

My dd still likes to draw with an old washing up liquid bottle filled with water - and she's 12! Think Andy Goldsworthy style...get outside and arrange natural objects into patterns then photograph, eg patterns made with leaves/branches/stones etc.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 08-Aug-12 20:40:10

Kveta - the T&Cs say "You can enter the Barclays Mini Masterpiece Competition more than once, on the condition that each entry is a different piece of artwork."

notactually - I have sent you a message to try and sort it out.

NoCarbsBeforeBarbs Thu 09-Aug-12 08:59:32

We have a chalkboard wall in our kitchen for creations! Other than that alot of ours are canvas and they get reused when they have had enough of their old design. I've just helped make a GIANT collage canvas of the current favourite theme-Lego Ninjago!

My 6yr old has an art drawer that needs clearing out every five minutes week, he wants to be an artist when he is older.

We also enjoy chalking in our garden too!

DoodleAlley Thu 09-Aug-12 19:14:57

We love painting stones outside and ds always loves a good bit of junk modelling too!

beautifulgirls Thu 09-Aug-12 20:19:30

My favourite mess free art time for the girls is aquadoodle - great for any age and handy with the little travel sets they do to.

I usually photograph drawings or model before they are put in the recycling but do keep the occasional one now and again. My favourites are the little clay Christmas tree decorations that we will probably use forever.

mrscumberbatch Sat 11-Aug-12 00:19:22

I loooove doing crafty stuff with my daughter. (Although I sometimes fear that I'm enjoying it more than she is!)

With the good weather, we have been making lots of collages out of things we've found out and about on nature trails.
Our garden path is mostly green and blue from chalk and we had a 'Hooray for Sunshine' party in the garden. (We live in Scotland- Delighted when we actually see some sunshine- it doesn't happen often.) We made our own suns with lots of glitter and crepe paper sunbeams!

We have a big craft box for when the weather is bad, and we'll watch a film or favourite tv show and make something inspired by it. Recently we've made lion masks (after watching Lion King.) and our own paper dollies (after watching Charlie and Lola.)

I love watching her developing her fine motor skills and having lots of new ideas.

If i could only get her as enthusiastic about clearing up it would make life a lot easier!

LaTrucha Sat 11-Aug-12 19:32:22

My children are very young (4,2) and I find that they can't understand the concept of making something, just the process (painting, sticking etc) that they are doing at any one time.

I find it works really well if we do one big thing and add to it on consecutive days eg.

day one: on a template drawn by me, children paint a bird (like colouring in)
day two: stick feathers on the bird (Poundland do a boa for a pound which provides more than you'll ever need).
day three: glue shiny things on the bird
day four: stick stickers on the bird.

In between times the bird lives / dries pinned to the boiler and we often talk about it and it makes it seem important.

Some things I keep, if they seem inidcative of what sort of things the children are doing at a partciular time. I always write the date on the back and anything I might need to remind me. I have a big plastic folder I keep them in (two for a pound from Poundland).

Other things I bin.

We made some lovely butterflies last week. I might even frame them.

I am a huge Poundand fan for crafts. They do A3 size paper which we often paint to use as wrapping paper, or put it on the floor outside to do footprints or whatever bit more freestyle. Stickers, shinies and glue all cheap.

My kids also have a big Melissa and Doug colouring book which means they, or we, can share a page. They are happier longer like that.

thisonehasalittlecar Sat 11-Aug-12 22:24:03

We had a decorator in last year who left behind a roll of lining paper for the children which has lasted for ages. I cut pieces big enough to cover the kitchen table and let them go to work with pens, crayons or whatever-- it does a double job of protecting the table.

I am pathologically unable to throw away any of their art so have a huge box full of it. From time to time DH has them pick out some of their favourites and he arranges them in big picture frames from charity shops and puts them up on the wall.

NS Sun 12-Aug-12 18:59:30

'Fashion Nature' - My sons tried this group activity and found it very enjoyable. Go out to the local park or garden and gather leaves, flowers, twigs or anything (used straw for binding) to make head styles for others in the group . You can also decorate faces with clay or mud!

lorisparkle Sun 12-Aug-12 20:38:51

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?

We do a bit of both but can get hard to manage with three lively boys!

What works well as a cheap art option?

'Painting' with water outside - completely free, mess free and they love it!

Using fingers to make marks in paint (on a plastic surface such as a tray) then pressing a piece of paper over the top

Using duplo, stickle bricks, cotton reels anything really to do printing with
Using cars to roll through paint or marbles in a flat bottomed bowl with paper in to make marks with

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?

At Grandmas she gave them free rein with paints and paper outside OMG I have never seen such mess when I went to pick them up
At Baby and Toddlers sheets of paper on the floor, paint in small trays then footprints all over the paper.

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling?
Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?

I can not throw anything away. We have bought large art folders to keep some stuff in, try and take photos of them holding models so if they do disappear we have a permanent reminder of them, but other stuff is just randomly and rather messily round the house (note to self must sort out!!!)

lisad123 Mon 13-Aug-12 20:09:34

We have been off into the woods with pestle and mortar, water, pots, brush and torn up pieces of sheet.
Crush up different coloured items from the woodlands, berries, flowers, leafs ect, add bit of water and seive to make paints. Use to paint onto sheet to make lovely watercolour type pictures grin all for free wink

lisad123 Mon 13-Aug-12 20:11:35

Ps is there an email address I can send photo of dd1 art work to as cant get form to work on iPad and my laptop is broken sad

NoKnownAllergies Mon 13-Aug-12 20:11:56

Mine paint each other in the bath before shower time. I give them face paint trays each and a theme like space or flowers and tell them to get on with it. It gives me 15 minutes to tidy upstairs and lay out pyjamas before bed. Then the shower goes on and it all comes off. They are still small enough to do this together at 4 & 2. smile

NoKnownAllergies Mon 13-Aug-12 20:13:04

I must add, mostly its just streaks etc but DS is incredibly proud of his attempts!

SoupDragon Mon 13-Aug-12 20:14:18

The most mess mine made (say that 10 times quickly after a bottle of Pinot) was when I gave them the task of making a Jackson Pollack style splatter painting for the playroom wall. I gave them 4 stretched canvasses, an assortment of acrylic paints and let them get on with it.

My top tip would be not to let your child do this in the kitchen. there is still paint on the ceiling and some of the wall cabinets 5 years later.

Hulababy Mon 13-Aug-12 20:18:00

Instead of buying lots of art paper I have often just brought rolls of lining paper from B&Q. It works out much cheaper, can be cut to whatever length you like and it is thick enough for paint, crayons, sticking, etc. Can also make big long panoramic pictures too with lots of children using the same sheet at once to do art together. It works well at a party too for the food tables - children can use crayons to personalise their place.

SoupDragon Mon 13-Aug-12 20:18:12

On a "cheap" note, I got several free wallpaper samples from Homebase and, with a few instructions, gave them to DD and her friend (both 4 at the time). They cut out butterly wings and stuck them on some black body shaped pieces. The only cost was the glue and the laminating, which I decided to do but is optional really.

WowOoo Mon 13-Aug-12 20:33:02

For us, there have to be designated art times and places - for mess control.
Chalking outside is fine, as is painting but on a rainy day we have to have a clear dining room table and they have to finish what they start. (not usually a problem)

I collect stuff like mad. Leaves in autumn, shells, sticks,disposable forks and knives and marbles for making patterns, loo rolls, string, wool, silky stuff from fancy bagsand wrapping, egg boxes, tissue paper, cereal boxes and any box with craft potential - especially a plain brown one is kept in a big box. The box itself is covered in the kids' artwork and stickers and they love going to choose their bits and bobs .

Mud painting and sand painting free, but mucky. I live near a beach but all you need is a little bit of san, a deep tray and some sticks. Et voila! With PVA glue and paper you can keep the masterpieces. I also live near a field which is full of mud zones. When it's rained a lot but is dried out a bit since is a great time for a walk and a bit of mud grafitti. Sticks or stones are all you need.

I try to get eldest to be brutal about what we keep and recycle. If he's not brutal enough I make the decision for him a couple of months later.

The things I've kept are things we judge to be good or meaningful art or special achievements. A splodgy painting by ds1 when he was 5 has been framed - it's a mish mash of loads of lovely colours and looks fab in it's frame. Also, the first meaningful pictures have been kept - stick people who are our family with dodgy writing underneath are a bit precious.

Silverlace Mon 13-Aug-12 20:38:40

We have "doodle drawers" (borrowed from Mr Maker!) where we keep craft materials. My boys nab any box or paper they find and put it in the drawers ready to make things. They prefer 3D models to painting or drawing and my older DS will spend ages making something.

I do try to keep special projects but sadly don't have space to keep everything so will take a model apart and recycle it. I have kept a lot of their art from nursery, pieces where they had made progress in their skills and always keep anything that is a picture of mummy or daddy!

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