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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


turnipvontrapp Mon 20-Aug-12 09:57:31

I can't upload the photo on the Barclays site? Its the right size and under 5mb. Shows like its uploading then at the end it says no file chosen. Anyone else having this problem?

Sugarkane Mon 20-Aug-12 11:18:27

My children love painting, I have a messy mat for painting indoors, but they love to get outside and paint rocks/stones into mini masterpieces such as ladybirds. I must admit though I have to sit on my hands while they do art as I just want to jump in and help them get it perfect <bad mum>

bubby64 Mon 20-Aug-12 12:21:31

DC older now, but we used to put outside the big wallpaper pasting table and we had a roll of wallpaper lining paper with a dowel through it, which was tied to the end of the table (like a Doctors couch roll). They could pull the paper off the roll then use whichever type of art material was in use that day to do long artworks, be it paints, crayons, chalks or sicking bits on with glue.
It would then be put on our fence for all visitors to see.

MrsWeasley Mon 20-Aug-12 15:42:01

Anytime you have a box of chocs save all the wrappers - you would be very surprised what kiddies will create with a box of wrappers, some pencils, paper (or cereal boxes) and glue.

My sons "treat" when we went shopping was a roll of sticky plastic - this with some card (usually an old box) produced the most interesting "artworks".

Painting pebbles into insects is also a fun activity. Outdoors for the activity and for displaying the finished work.

Chalking on the path, side of shed etc - cheap and entertaining.

Another great one for the summer is a pot of water and a paintbrush and let them paint pictures on the patio, outside walls etc, keeps them amused, no tiding up needed.

As my children are getting older I give them the camera and let them click away (its interesting to hear them explain which shots they thought were "arty". wink

hmo2b Mon 20-Aug-12 19:01:14

We used canvases for this but I think it would work just as well with card or paper. Use masking tape to write your child's name on the canvas. Then paint the canvas in a variety of colours and patterns. When the paint is dry, remove the tape. Your child's name will stand out in white. Our sons did these and have them on their bedroom walls.

1stbabyat30 Tue 21-Aug-12 11:18:11

When I was little my mother would give me a large chopping board with flour and water on it - it makes a cheap as you like 'playdoh' type thing. I then made animals or bowls or whatever took my fancy - she would then cook them (not sure what temp or how long) but they were hard. For the extra special ones we would paint them I think - used to love it!

Helium123 Tue 21-Aug-12 12:02:58

For younger children paint pads are fab, they can use sponges to stamp, or better still make hand prints, finger print pictures, and it's very clean! No spillages and the paint dries really quick.
We normally do most art on kitchen table or floor as its easy to wipe!
All their art work is in a good quality art book so it can be kept and work is dated! I know I know!!!

aokay Tue 21-Aug-12 22:31:17

we have scrapbooks - I have 3 young children and they each have a display board of their own in the hall- I have framed some favourites pictures and these are hung in the loo alongside our family certificates, school awards etc; we have a wall for friends and visitors to add to as well! I have a three drawer plastic cabinet and have art materials, paper, scrapbooks, sketchbooks and any rescources (up to and including sweet wrappers- lovely and shiney!) in teh cabinet ready to go - nothing my lot like better than paper, shiney stuff and glue sticks - fab!

JugglingWithFiveRings Tue 21-Aug-12 22:43:33

We've had particular success doing scrapbooks on holiday, especially when DC's were younger - can be great, educational, and creative to collect postcards and tickets and do a little diary with drawings of what you've done each day. My DPs got us to do this as children too, though often finished them when we got home.
Prize for the best in those old competitive days too - but I couldn't choose between my DC's especially as we just have 2 (I had 2 sibs making 3 of us altogether)

SirBoobAlot Sat 25-Aug-12 10:49:48

I keep the majority of the artwork DS has created. A lot of it is blue tacked around the house, and in other peoples houses, as he does make things for other people frequently grin The rest of it is in plastic wallets to keep safe, all with dates on, and any description he gave at the time.

We do lots of messy art work, with glitter, paint, glue... You name it. Its great fun, he really enjoys himself, and its so worth the mess.

We also have giant chalks that we use on the patio in the back garden, that's good fun.

Also do a lot of junk modelling, so there are bags of junk to be reused under my kitchen table!

DS has his own camera, and sometimes we print off some of the (more focused) photos he has taken. He loves that.

Face paints are also a great way for them to get creative. We paint on each other smile

thisthreadwilloutme Sun 26-Aug-12 15:54:32

I've entered! My kids love to draw while they wait for dinner so my tip is have a big tupperware box full of pencils and paper in the kitchen so that they can draw while you cook.

EwanHoozami Mon 27-Aug-12 09:15:34

I decided one day that the blu-tacked works of art were looking a bit tatty on the wall by themselves, so we came up with the Ever-Changing Gallery.

DH and I relieved the local charity shops of their most OTT flock-framed pictures and paintings, ditched the contents and took the glass out of the frames. We painted the backing board white and added a heavy-duty bulldog clip. They are hung in a cluster at small-person height in the hallway and the most prized creations of the month (as 'curated' by DS) are clipped into the frames and displayed.

ScorpionQueen Mon 27-Aug-12 23:01:29

Children can be creative in so many ways, drawing, painting, collage, indoors, outdoors and on different scales.

I get the cardboard inserts from fruit boxes from the supermarket for junk modelling. Got some big melon shaped ones today and smaller apple sized ones.

We make mud men on trees in the woods and create outdoor art using natural resources.

moonbells Tue 28-Aug-12 14:54:50

I'd like to enter some of DS's drawings but half of them need explanations...

I would say don't just think to buy children's art materials. I bought some adult watercolours when I saw some going cheap, and after the inevitable experimenting (everything was black for a while!) he started learning to go sparingly on the brush pressure and remembering to use a clean one, and the pictures changed. Very abstract still (he's only 4), but lovely use of colour. Now he's drawing rockets compulsively!

Do you send them outside with paints or allow them to get 'creative' on the dining room table?
Plastic garden table, easily scrubbable and I don't care about it getting damaged in the way I would about the dining room table!

What works well as a cheap art option?
We like searching for 'colo(u)ring in' on google - amazing what pictures you can find to print out!

What's the most mess they've ever managed to make? Or do they manage to keep it all in one place?
I have several T shirts I still can't get the supposedly-washable paint out of. One was brand new. Thanks, nursery.
I have banned moonsand and plasticine. Parts of my carpet will never recover.

What do you do with the creations? Are they more likely to be stuck on the fridge or assigned to the recycling? I'd like to recycle the lot but he won't let me! If A4 sized then I'll scan them before consigning, anything larger gets put on the floor and photographed.

Are you someone who keeps everything, nothing or some special creations? What makes you keep some but not everything?
I keep specials, but there's a bag with nothing but creations in. I will recycle it when I think he's no longer interested. Specials are like the one we got the other day: perfect 'Wallace and Gromit' rocket, with '12345678910 BLIST OF' written on it. I laughed a lot. It's on the fridge.

jezztri Thu 30-Aug-12 18:57:35

As my I work from home, my three year old little boy has to entertain himself sometimes when there is a deadline looming. Art ranges from painting, to building a row boat with oars made out of an empty Amazon box following a delivery and the inside tubes of wrapping paper for the oars. He also painted a fish separately, used lentils for the scales and named the boat.

Other times, we have looked on Youtube to learn how to do origami, making aeroplanes and cranes. I have also bought ice-cream sticks so he can "build" bridges for his Thomas the tank engine set.

I have also bought pictures with felt outlines from the pound shop so he can colour them in and give them as gifts. Wednesday was his last day at nursery, and he spent three days on the "project" before writing his name on the back and giving it to his nursery teachers!

All these projects are inexpensive, and he is entertained and challenged for hours. He has full access to all materials, so can use them whenever he feels creative.

I have tried to enter the competition but have not had any success. I think it may be the size of the picture, but for the life of me I do not know how to change that! Could it be a Mac issue???


dilbertina Thu 30-Aug-12 21:13:56

I'm adding my name to the "tried to enter but can't get it to work" list. Having now wasted a fair bit of time scanning pictures and making multiple attempts to upload the things am feeling a little peeved.

I can get it to say "connecting" in Firefox (Not even that in IE...), but eventually it seems to time out and as others have said "uploaded" image disappears from form.

Could I suggest someone from Barclays or Mumsnet has a go?! Top tip - don't put space in phone number - it won't accept it.

I am going to drink wine, surrounded by children's masterpieces that, I will forever suspect, might have won..sob!

Puppypoppet Fri 31-Aug-12 10:51:18

Arrggh!! I've been trying for the last couple of hours and just will not let me submit. Picture is correct size and format etc. I've tried on IE, safari and from my phone - just will not work!!

Faylalu Fri 31-Aug-12 11:14:19

I've entered Vic's masterpiece! However, I'm not sure if it's been accepted/gone yet?

Home-made play-doh is the way to go and if you want to keep it, bake it in a low heat oven for a couple of hours! Masterpieces preserved and given as gifts to grandparents! That's Christmas sorted! ;)

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 03-Sep-12 11:10:43

Thanks for all the tips and competition entries.

Am pleased to say Elainey1609 has been selected as the winner of the £100 Amazon voucher...well done.

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