Kids love to display their artwork, but usually it’s just temporarily stuck to the fridge for a while. Here’s how to use stencils and a piece of wood to help your child create wall worthy art you can hang anywhere. As long as they can hold a painting utensil or sponge, then they should be able to transfer paint onto the prepared stencil surface and have it result in something nice enough to actually hang on your wall!
We recently took advantage of a cold rainy afternoon to do an art project compliments of Stencil Revolution. I picked out a neat seahorse stencil to go with our beach house renovation decor and set it up so my son could do the painting.
First Choose Your Stencil Surface
You can use anything for the stencil base- poster board, canvas, or like us, a piece of wood. We got our wood at the hardware store for just a few dollars and I had my husband cut it to the right size. You can also usually get the wood cut right at the store. After cutting the board to fit, I stained it a navy blue. You can also paint the boards a solid color, or leave them as-is.
Next Securely Tape Down Your Stencil
After the stain was dry, I taped the stencil where I wanted the design to be. My board wasn’t as wide as it should have been, but I just went with it. I realized later, as my son was really going crazy slapping on the paint, that it is best to have all the sides taped down really well. I was only able to tape down the top and bottom so it slipped a tiny bit, but not enough to mess it up in the end. You do need to have it secured better than we did if you want a crisp stencil edge.
Choose Your Paint and Tools
With our surface prepped, next we mixed our paints. We used acrylic paint in a metallic teal, blue and a dash of white. Acrylics are a good choose because they are easy to clean up afterwards. Our painting tool or choice was a sponge painter. You can also use a regular cut up sponge or paint brush. Anything that transfers the paint will work!
My son took to sponge painting with gusto, scooping large blobs of paint out and slopping it down as I scrambled to make sure it wasn’t splattering beyond our small art mat.
At first I kept trying to limit his paint and show him how to do it, but then I just let him go with it and his unique blob painting technique actually resulted in a really cool texture! The bubbles and lumps make it look almost like the seahorse has scales.
Make Sure Every Part Is Covered
I made sure every open spot was fully covered and then Mr. Impatient had to see his creation immediately, so I removed the stencil and we were both very excited to see something so pretty! I’m sure you’re probably supposed to let it dry and then remove it so you don’t risk smudging it, but it was hard enough to stop the flailing little arms from smearing the whole thing while it was on so I figured I’d better show him and then display it up high where he couldn’t touch it.
After I removed the stencil, I immediately rinsed it off and the acrylic paint easily came off with a little scrubbing. The stencil is made from laser cut 12 mil Mylar and can be used over and over again. It can also be cleaned with paint thinner if you choose to let the paint dry on it and have a harder time cleaning it off. Acrylics will usually wash off or peel off easily though, even when dry.
So you can see our seahorse doesn’t have super crisp edges and isn’t “perfect” but I think that adds to its beachy vibe. I just have to add a little hook to the back and I’ll be hanging this little masterpiece on the wall. And thanks to StencilRevolution.com for sending the stencil for this fun little project!