Sunday, January 6, 2013

Scribble & Dots: Kids DIY Family Art Project for Gifts

 Our family is very close, always has been since I was a wee one. I used to spend many of my weekends with my Aunts and/or Grandparents. We had a family business where most of the family worked together. We lived within a couple miles of each other. We spent all holidays together celebrating.  We typically would have a Big Ole Family Dinner gathering once a week. Went to church together. F A M I L Y. 

Within the last 10 years, one by one, we have lost almost all of our local family that we celebrated daily life with. As the holidays that are well known for gathering all your peeps together were approaching in November, I began to become sad. I missed the day to day living with extended family. All of a sudden God got my attention - you still have this family in your home, it is just moving down through the generations. Sure enough as I looked around I still saw a gathering of peeps. They were just much smaller.

Within the walls of our home we frequently have an abundance of little ones running here, playing there and yes, there is some squabbling at times. It's not uncommon for the cousins to come stay the weekend with us a few times a month.

As I write this the younger cousins range in age from 8-10 years old. This little chaotic clan consists of my little guy, Nate - (who is 8 years old), the twins, boy & girl (who just turned 9) and a 10 year old boy. There are the olders too @ 12 & 13 years old. Add in a 19 & 24 year old and you see the total picture that could be gathered on any given weekend.  These kids LOVE to play board games, tell stories, make craft projects, play on the computer and... DRAW! They are a creative bunch. 

Trying to find a sheet of paper or blank notebook within our walls is pretty scarce as we usually find sketches or cartoons plastered on the pages. Like this one:

Super cute - but when you need to make a quick important note a blank page seems way more appealing. 

The day I was speaking of earlier, where I was moping over our decreasing numbers and God brought my attention to the youngers - He also gave me a great idea. I had this vision of "The Gathering Place" . A treasured location where we all come together to fellowship around a table. In place of my historical mental picture where my elders were around the table and I was the child. This time I was one of the elders. (Yes - I do find this a bit frightening) and the table was full of the upcoming generation below us. 

Instantly I had a brainstorm. The cousins were already at our house for the weekend. We could make a gift for Grandma. My Dad passed away 2 years ago and Christmas has just not been the same for her, or any of us,  since. I had been trying to come up with an arts and crafts project the kids could make her. When you have this many kids though would she really want 4-6 versions of the same DIY children's project? 
Well, I had what I thought was a terrific answer to my Kid's Craft quandary. So I bundled the kiddos all together around the table and encouraged them to warm up their little fingers as they practice doodled to perfection. We were going to create a collective piece of art. Each cousin was going to draw 1-2 people in our family around our Gathering Place. The kids even decided to add all of the precious little furry friends in our family project. 

Isn't this precious? I just LOVE it! (In the middle of the family at the top are my parents. My Dad is in heaven now but even though he is not here physically with us we still needed to have him represented within our family.)

Then I scanned and imported the image into my graphic editing program where I added names. From here I knew I had two projects I wanted to create. 

  1. DIY Sack Cloth Kitchen Towel Project with heat transferred images on it in a cute oval frame with 
    "Gathering Place" printed underneath it. (Image above)

  2. I also wanted to frame the adorable family project in a solid black frame with a cute  little burlap embellishment that had been heat transferred with an  image that said "FAMILY". (below)

I have to say this not only captured a fun and fantastic family snapshot in their drawing. It also captured the quirkiness of the illustrators as well. For those of us in the family we can look at each of the drawings and identify who sketched whom. It is a treasured keepsake for sure. It was such a simple craft project really, very inexpensive and I love that it was a group labor of love. I believe it is something Grandma will treasure forever. 

I will be putting up a post later on quick and easy image transfer gift giving projects that will give you the "how-to" on the towels and burlap. So make sure to check back. 

Psalm 127:3-5
Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him. Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. How joyful is the man whose quiver is full of them! He will not be put to shame when he confronts his accusers at the city gates. (NLT)
-Simply Sublime

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