Uses for Kid’s Artwork – Idea #1

As you know, I have a problem just throwing Elly’s artwork out, but I can’t possibly keep the mountains of artwork she creates. Well, to be more precise, I have a hard time throwing out Elly’s paintings and legible drawings. It’s not just because Elly made it. Without a second thought, I toss little crafts that Elly makes on a daily basis. No, it’s more because I love paintings. The more colorful they are; the more I love them. Elly thinks like I do; she too loves color and rarely limits herself to just one. So, I swoon whenever Elly pulls out the paintbrushes. I do.

Rather than throw out Elly’s awesome paintings, I have come up with a few ways to save them or repurpose them.

A clock! 

This was an easy project. All you need are 4 handprints, scissors, white acrylic paint, mod podge, a clock and clock gear.

Elly made the handprints with Crayola washable paint and construction paper.

The clock, clock gear, and mod podge I purchased from AC Moore. The paint came from my insane supply.

Once home with our clock, Elly and I gave it a coat of white acrylic paint.  

Then, I fussy cut around the handprints.

With a paintbrush (though Dan prefers a foam brush for fewer brush marks), I coated the entire clock with mod podge. It took me a while to line the handprints up at the 12,3,6, and 9 positions.

To protect the handprints, I sealed the entire front of the clock three times over with mod podge.

Finally, I installed the clock gear.


Though I was tempted to keep this clock myself, Elly picked out who she wanted to give it to for Christmas.

Next Paint Project

Now that the living room is done, it is time to start painting something else. Two candidates came to mind.

First, the dining room needs to be finished. I have my heart set on orange walls above of the chair rail and orange stenciling over the yellow paint below the chair rail. Soon every room in our house will have bright colors – just you wait.

Second, the porch is in a sad state with peeling paint everywhere.

Since the dining room can be done at anytime of the year, the porch takes priority as I can only paint it during the summer. It could be painted in the Fall too, but then I am having to hope for a stretch of no rain. Rain is less plentiful in the summer though I imagine the humidity will not be helpful, but you can’t have everything.

Saturday morning was spent scraping the old, flaking paint off. Elly helped for a total of 2 minutes before she hopped on her rocking horse.

After I finish painting the porch, Elly has asked that we paint her rocking horse.

She would like it orange.

Great minds think alike!

A Painting Party

A lot of painting has taken place in the past few days.

Elly made several masterpieces over the weekend.

Her process was terribly messy. I was instructed to put a large glob of paint in the middle of the construction paper. Then, Elly dipped her hands into the paint, letting the excess ooze through her fingers. She swirled the paint all over the paper.

While waiting for me to change papers, she rubbed the paint into her hands like it was some colorful lotion.

It is no wonder that I have to replenish our washable paint supply every other month. Elly loves her paint.

Truly loves.

On Monday, I painted the 3rd wall in the living room. This time I used a roller and oh, boy, was it much faster. Up close you can tell that one wall was brushed on and one wall was rolled on, but if you are that close to my walls, you are likely a kid in time out. Nobody else is going to be studying my walls.

Only 1 wall left to paint before we finally get to rip up this carpet. I can’t hardly wait!

Yesterday, Elly painted an American flag with the Pottstown Moms Club.

I used artist tape to block out the stripes and star section as seen in this blog.

Perhaps we will take a break from painting these next few days. Or not since it seems to be raining yet again.

Slowly Painting the Living Room

The old walls are not terrible , but the 50-year-old golf-green carpet has seen better days. For 8 years, I put off ripping this carpet out. Then, a hole formed and pushed up my timeframe.

Still the rug has not been ripped up. An ugly, tattered rug like this is the perfect drop cloth.

The walls were a light yellow. It was nice, but it was also a bit plain.

I kept with the yellow theme, but just punched it up a notch. Oh, how I love bright colors! They make me so happy.

(only 1 coat of the new yellow next to the old yellow)

Only 2 walls have been painted. Both were painted with only the use of a brush. Due to the windows, front door and fireplace mantle, so much had to be cut in that it was just faster to work with a brush. There are 2 walls left to paint. Little will have to be cut in on the two remaining walls, making a roller the more efficient tool. The only reason I would use a brush is to keep the look consistent. The brush strokes are visible to me.

So, should I paint the other walls with a brush or have I been staring at it too long? Will anybody notice? Will anybody care besides me?

Once the walls are painted, the last of the ugly green carpet can be thrown out. Hurray! I will likely bake a cake to celebrate.

Dave Painted Our Walls

To be precise, Dave painted our living room walls in 1996. If we purchased this house in 2005, how do I know?

That is how.

It was behind the big mirror that has been mounted over our fireplace since presumable 1996. The big mirror that reflected nothing but the ceiling. For many years, I have wanted to take that mirror down. Finally, I got my wish.

Dan and I got a good laugh out of Dave’s signature and the garish pink paint.

Mr. Elliott, the husband of the couple that built our house, must have been a loving and tolerant man. I don’t know too many men who will allow their wives to paint their living room pink.

Before the day was through though, I had painted over it with a primer. I can tolerate a lot of colors, but pink is not one of them. Sweet Elly will have to live her entire childhood without pink walls.

Hopefully, relocating the huge mirror that once hung over the mantle into her room will make up for the lack of pink paint.

Though I would love to claim that moving the mirror into Elly’s room was my idea, the brilliance came from her Grandpop. He saw how Elly lit up in front of the wall of mirrors in her aunt’s house and promptly informed me that she needed a huge mirror in her bedroom.

Now she has one.

I imagine a lot of time is going to be spent in front of this mirror.

Paint at Last

In July, I posted about scraping the last of the primer and paint off of the oil paint in our dining room. Since then, I hadn’t the energy, enthusiasm, or courage to paint the walls again. Not to mention I didn’t have the time since I spent every free moment sewing in order to finish the dresses. So, for 3 months, our dining room has looked like this.

During the 3 months, we periodically had guests visit, but even that wasn’t enough encouragement to get me to pull the paint and brushes out again. I just couldn’t deal with the possibility of defeat again.

Yesterday, all that changed. It was time. The walls had started to annoy me. The carpet was shredding to pieces in yet another spot. It had to go, but it’s such a useful (albeit ugly) drop cloth.

So while Elly played at a friend’s house, I got to painting on a coat of oil-based primer.

When Dan came home and praised my efforts, I told him to not get too happy. If anything goes wrong, even so much as the stripes not being wide enough, I’m slapping up beadboard. No power on this earth could make me scrape those walls again.

Ecstatic over Ugly Paint

The two layers of white latex paint and one layer of latex-based primer have been scraped off.

The original ugly gold paint is visible again. I never thought I’d want to see it again, but I’m thrilled to have it back.

Now I can paint these walls again, but this time I’ll do it right. First, I’ll brush on a layer of oil-based primer. Next, I’ll add the base coat, a white latex paint with an eggshell finish. Then, I’ll start drawing and painting the stripes on.

It’s my understanding that once I paint over the oil-based gold paint with an oil-based primer, I can paint the stripes in either a latex paint or an oil-based paint. As I have already purchased all the paint in latex for the stripes, that is what I am using. If paint peels off again when positioning the painter’s tape,

I will just curse, cry and reach for our gallon of port – not necessarily in that order. Afterwards, I will head to Lowes and buy beadboard paneling. I don’t care that Dan hates it. No power on this earth could make me scrape paint off a wall again.


Don’t let Elly’s smile fool you, it is not fun.

Good Ole Elbow Grease

The electric sander has not removed the white paint quickly or easily. It’s been a bit of a disappointment. Plus, Jake and Elly don’t like the loud noise it makes. So, I packed it away and went old school.

The old-fashioned paint scraper and some elbow grease removed all the paint from this section.

I try to work a little bit on it each day. Elly helps now and then. Even so, it appears it will take me a month or more to get all the paint stripped off.

Crying Over Oil-Based Paint

Assuming the original dark gold paint was just a high gloss latex, I scrubbed, sanded, and primed before adding 2 coats of a white paint for the base coat of my crazy stripe plan.

It was only after I drew all the stripes out and started to adhere the painter’s tape that I realized the original coat was a different beast altogether.

Paint shouldn’t bubble up and peel off.

It especially shouldn’t do that when I took so much time and effort to make sure it didn’t do that. Grrrr.

Come to find out it’s an oil-based paint. I used a simple test to find out. It never occurred to me – never even crossed my mind – that the high gloss was oil. Who puts oil-based paint on their dining room walls? It makes no sense.

How do I fix this problem? My local paint store advised me to sand the 2 coats of latex paint and 1 coat of latex primer off. Take it back down to the ugly gold oil-based paint. Then, prime it with an oil-based primer. It’s similar to the advice found here except for the sanding part. Afterwards, I can finally add my stripes in latex paint.

It sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it?

Yeah. Despite being stuck indoors yesterday due to the rain, I made no progress. I dread the first step even though I have an electric sander.

Painting with a 2 year old

It wasn’t my plan to let Elly help me prime the dining rooms walls. She was just that insistent. Even my pulling out the trump card, a Tinker Bell movie, didn’t hold any sway. Elly didn’t want to watch a movie or any TV show for the matter. She wanted to help me paint.

And so she did.

It didn’t matter that Elly dripped paint all over the rug because the rug is ugly and way past the date when it should have been tossed in the garbage. In one corner, we are holding it down with duct tape. In another spot, the carpet is unraveling. And in several other spots, the carpet crackles when you walk on it. It’s that old. Goodness knows, you don’t need me to elaborate on its ugliness. Just look at it, would you?

I kept Elly in front of me on the wall we were working on. That way she could draw ‘c’s, ‘o’s and dinosaurs to her heart’s content. I followed with a paint brush and evened everything out.

It also didn’t matter that Elly dripped paint all over herself. It was easy to just toss her in the bath afterwards.

Though if your 2-year-old offers to help you paint and you just happen to own a shower cap, put it on her. Even after a long bath and a thorough brushing, Elly still has paint in her hair.