Our refrigerator is covered in artwork my nieces have created for us. Unfortunately, all too often they get overwhelmed by pizza coupons and takeout menus, not to mention the fact that we don’t have ANY magnets that are appropriate for children’s eyes.
Hanging up a lovely painting by a 3-year-old with a magnet that reads, “If we are what we eat then I’m fast, cheap, and easy,” just feels wrong. While you may have more grown-up magnets in your life, I’m offering up a super easy tutorial to make an alternative for yourself or as an awesome gift for the parents, grandparents, or other kiddo artwork-displaying people in your life.
This project doesn’t take much in the way of supplies
-Wood Plaque – these can be picked up for $1.99 at Michael’s or other craft stores
-Primer and Spray Paint in your choice of color – you can use regular craft paint, but I prefer spray paint for its even coverage and lack of brush marks
-Glue Gun – for attaching clothespin or other embellishments
-Clothespin – you can use a regular clothespin or a mini-sized one(available at craft stores)
-Michael’s has a bunch of different wood embellishments. I choose little letters for the first initial of each of my niece’s names, but you can get as creative as you’d like: stars, hearts, animals, sports equipment, the options are endless
Get out your spray paint and wood plaque and place them on a piece of cardboard or newspaper in a well ventilated area. Spray the plaque with a coat of primer; let dry for about ten minutes.
Spray your plaque with the color of your choice. Usually it will take two coats, so be sure to let each coat dry in between. After applying your last coat, let the wood dry for at least an hour or two so it will be set.
The Detail Work
If you are good at handwriting, feel free to free hand the “I Made This!” variation of your choice. If you are like me, this is not the best idea. I like to get on the computer and write out my phrase of choice in a bunch of different fonts. Make sure to size them up to what you’ll need for the plaque size you have chosen. I am fairly deft at copying, so once I find a font I like, I can recreate it (mostly). However, an even better option is carbon paper (available at craft stores, usually, but easier to buy online. It is around $8 a package, but it comes in handy for SO many projects and goes an incredibly long way, so it’s worth it). Lay the carbon paper down and place the printed words on top, then trace the words with a pencil. It will transfer perfectly and then you can paint it on.
Finally, attach the clothespin with the hot glue, hang on a wall, and voila! You have an adorable little display for all your little one’s masterpieces!