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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


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.

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! ;)

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!!

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!

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???


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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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)

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!

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!!!

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!

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.

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

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.

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>

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?

Cremolavelodrome Sun 19-Aug-12 19:32:17

We do quite a lot of felting in this house - with dd and her cousins who are 7, 8 and 5.
With a small bag I'd mixed colour woollen tops , some washing up liquid and a bit of bubble wrap we make coloured felted pictures, beads and flowers for necklaces and brooches.
I also have a giant button box for sewing into felt pictures and brooches.
It's v relaxing and takes a while do we all sit round the kitchen table and rub our felt together chatting and listening to music.
The floor gets a bit sudsy but that's an acceptable mess to anyone I think!
Felt takes a while to dry but I always have some ready made for cutting into flower shapes and a handy glue gun for instant sticking!

InMySpareTime Sun 19-Aug-12 06:36:48

The Works is a national chain (they certainly have them in the North West, London and Edinburgh, reasonably widespread.
We home make birthday cards too, it really fires the DCs imaginations working out what to draw on for each person.
Poster paints are good for painting on windows as long as the paint isn't put on too thick or it drips.
Also, using cellophane chocolate wrappers makes lovely "stained glass windows" to stick on the window glass.
Ask tile shops for broken tile fragments, and make your own mosaics. If they're good, you can get tile adhesive and either make a mosaic outside, or stick them into a whole tile to make a wall picture.

JugglingWithFiveRings Sat 18-Aug-12 19:06:50

I think some quality products can go a long way ... I'm a big fan of oil pastels - lovely and bright and bold. A box of water colours each has been well used by both DC's too.

I guess my top tip though is to do home-made birthday cards for all friends and family. You can get blank card very reasonably eg. from "The Works" (is that a national chain ? confused) and DC's have made some lovely cards for everyone using those oil pastels I mentioned amongst other things.

RabbitsMakeBrownEggs Fri 17-Aug-12 21:53:10

We use the big rolls of paper from IKEA for artwork. The paper is nice and thick and it is folded away afterwards and recycled as wrapping paper at Christmas for family presents.

I display artwork in the hallway up the stairs so everyone can see it, then put it away into a box which I am saving up their work over the years into, so they can look back and see the things I treasured.

Wilkinsons have some really great art supplies at the moment. At pocket money prices too, my children have made masks and jewellery so far for a pound each, and we have pom pom animals, sticky tissue paper animals, and lots of crafting bits and pieces. Really worth checking out for some instant crafting.

jimmenycricket Fri 17-Aug-12 21:29:14

We bought a big plastic frame from IKEA and we have 'artwork of the week' from school and every Friday DD solemnly takes the old one out and puts the new one in and recycles the old one. Saves my house being full of frankly not very good pictures! wink

1805 Fri 17-Aug-12 19:28:38

I stripped ours down, to body paint in the garden onto a large strip of lining paper. Mind you - even after being hosed down they were stained pink for a while. dd didn't mind, but ds did!!!

Proper art work gets hung in the kitchen from a line of string and washing pegs. When it is full, it is a one-up-one-down policy.

Date and name the artwork when it's done.

Shadow drawing is popular in this house as basically they just have to trace an outline.

Storage - each child has a box in the attic containing old school books/reports/special artwork/memories etc.
Artwork which has survived on the kitchen string until August will be stored in "the attic box".

Most mess = when dd spilt a packet of green glitter all over the dog. I was finding it for months.

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