Today’s tutorial is how to take your child’s artwork and showcase it to create a memento. I am guessing your children have a ton of art they bring home.   If you are a saver you have a lot of artwork to go through at the end of the year.   Well our special guest is going to show you how to preserve it. Our guest of the week is Holly from 504 Main.   I got to meet her at CHA in Los Angeles in February.   So it is a privilege to invite her over to my house for the day.   Take it away Holly.
I am BEYOND excited to be here at Beckie’s place today…like seriously, I am jumping up and down. I have followed Beckie since I first began blogging and even have a Roadkill Rescue hutch waiting for a Beckie makeover (oh to find the time for it all)!
Anyway, I am Holly, and 504 Main is my home away from home where I entertain, cook, create. I love making a mess and sometimes that turns into a brilliant craft…and sometimes not.
Saving the Kids Artwork
My kids are out of school in 14 days…can you believe it!? And, you know what I have to show for it?   Piles of artwork…some brilliant and some, well, let’s just call it artwork. I save the pieces that have their photos or their hand or feet prints, and anything else that seems to be super special, but I always have a heaping pile of random pieces leftover. The 4th grader’s pile is much smaller than it used to be, but the preschooler, that is another story…she paints and draws and LOVES it.
I wanted to find a way to commemorate the school year and save some pieces of the art that was not going in the memory book, so I came up with this idea, and if I do say so myself, I think it is pretty darn cute.



Supplies: Canvas

  • Canvas – you can choose any size. Mine is 6 x 9
  • Kid’s artwork: at least one sheet of paper (see Note*) to cover the entire canvas and multiple others for cutting circles. (Most of mine )
  • Decoupage medium
  • Foam or regular paint brush
  • Circle Punch (Mine is from Creative Memories) or Circle Die cutter…or cut them the good old fashioned way…with scissors.



Supplies: Frame


  • 1-2 yard sticks or wood rulers (you can use a pre-made frame or make one out of paint stirrers and paint it a solid color). I think the rulers add a fun school-like touch.


  • Gorilla Glue


  • Staining and Antiquing Medium (DecoArt)


  • Acrylic Paint, Asphaltum (DecoArt)


  • Tape (I used Gorilla Tape)
  • Sanding Bug
  • Hand saw or miter saw
Supplies: Adornments (optional)
  • The canvas is pretty darn cute with just the frame, but here are some options for adorning and dressing up your frame.
  • School photo of your child (or any favorite photo)
  • Chipboard circles or some sort of backing/frame
  • Vinyl or sticker letter to add the school year.
  • Glitter, rosettes, and just about anything that suits your style!



DIY: Canvas



  • Select the full size sheet of artwork you would like to cover your canvas (or paint the entire canvas in an acrylic paint of your choosing – typically one to compliment the artwork you have selected).
  • Prep canvas by applying a thin layer of decoupage all over.
  • Lay paper face down on a covered work service, and position canvas in the center of the paper.
  • Wrap the canvas with the artwork like you are wrapping a present. Once you get the front and sides secured, lay the canvas face down and then apply decoupage to the canvas covered portion on the back of the canvas and secure the remaining artwork to the frame – you can trim excess paper when you are done.
  • Apply decoupage all over the artwork and let dry. Smooth out bubbles with fingertips. If it is still a little bubbly that is OK, you will be layering on top of it and I did find that due to the thin nature of the paper there were more bubbles than usual.


DIY: Circles



  • Using the circle punch, cut circles out of the art work. I choose a few different pieces or art with colors I preferred and worked well together. This is a fun piece and so the colors can be a “little crazy” or you can choose to use more subdued tones too.
  • Cut numerous circles of the same size in all different colors.
  • Dry place them on the canvas, just to be sure you have enough circles.

  • Once happy with the layout, secure the circles to the canvas by applying a layer of decoupage to the canvas, laying the circles on top and then finishing with a layer of decoupage.
  • You will need to smooth out the paper as you go…The artwork I used was on inexpensive art papers, so it easily crinkled, but by smoothing it out gently with my fingers, the bubbles disappeared. Let dry.
  • Apply 1-2 additional layers of decoupage.
DIY: Frame



  • Measure the yard sticks so you can make the frame. I used about a 1/2 ” overlap on the main board and frame (1/2 of the ruler was glued to the frame and half hung over)
  • Miter the corners of the frame (or straight cut if you do not have access to a miter saw)
  • Lightly sand the corners and the yard sticks (especially if there is a sealer on the sticks)
  • With wood glue, apply glue to the corners of the frame and match up.
  • Use tape to secure corners until they dry.
  • Remove tape and sand if necessary.
  • Get painting and staining. I used a staining and antiquing medium mixed in equal parts with acrylic paint in asphaltum. (of course you can paint the frame too.)
  • Finish frame with a spray of a wood finishing spray or I just gave it a quick coat of decoupage.
DIY: Assembly



  • Apply either a line of glue or I just used the decoupage around the outer 1/4″ of the finished canvas.
  • Place the ruler frame on top, press down to “stick it” and let dry!
DIY: Adornment


  • I used a school photo of my daughter and cut it into a circle.
  • A cut a slightly larger circle out of chipboard and one out of artwork.
  • Decoupage the art work circle onto the chipboard and then place the photo on top and applied 2 layers of decoupage over the entire surface. Let dry.
  • In the meantime, create a paper rosette with the art work (cut the rosette is 1″ wider than the photo circles x approximately 18″; accordion fold the paper; fold in half and glue to matching halves together; fold the other way and glue the other two halved together; voila – a circle!)
  • Glue the rosette to the corner of the frame using decoupage; glue photo/circle to top of the rosette using decoupage.
  • Place it in the lower corner. From here you can add another circle with a school year or a name, or just about anything you like.


So there you have it…a little way to save some of that
priceless artwork and a sweet way to commemorate a child’s school year!


Anyone have any great ways to save that priceless art that you want to share?



Beckie, thank for having me over…I had a blast!





504 Main

Here are my favorite tutorials of Holly’s.   Click over there to see more.

Screen Wreath


Vintage Canvas Wreath Photo Display

canvas wreath display

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