The girls are approaching the end of their preschool career (their “graduation” ceremony is tomorrow!), so the opportunity to create a display of their school art was so timely! My girls’ hands-down favorite activity at school is art. They are proud of their creations so I was very excited to create this display board for them.
Actually we headed to two Walmarts, because the first one didn’t have large tri-fold boards or the Elmer’s Single Painters!
It was a long afternoon, but we got what we needed.
And the girls certainly deserved their sticker rewards for being such troopers.
Click here to see more of my shopping story to find our Elmer’s supplies at Walmart.
I had actually purchased these smaller cardboard Elmer’s boards at the first Walmart just in case. I was going to return them, but came up with a way to include them in my project!
So in addition to the large and small tri-fold boards and the single painters, I also used Elmer’s Craft Bond Spray Adhesive, Elmer’s X-TREME Glue Stick (my all-time favorite glue stick in the whole wide world) and Elmer’s School Glue (stolen from my girls). I also had some of these Elmer’s Journaling Pens handy in case I wanted to use them. In addition to these Elmer’s products, I used from my own stash (not shown): scissors, stencils, and binder clips and twine (for hanging up the project on the wall).
My girls have been putting most of their artwork into this basket, if they weren’t hanging it on the walls when they got home from school. I figured the ones on the wall were off limits, so I concentrated on the basket. I separated out the “modern art” to use for borders and shapes, and the things like animals, trees, hearts, hats, Easter eggs, etc.
I then realized there were a lot of animals! So I decided to do an animal-themed display board, with some plants here and there.
As for the smaller cardboard Elmer’s tri-fold boards, I decided to use those as “windows” and fill them with animals. At first, I thought I could actually do a Noah’s Ark with the animals peeking out of the windows. But it turned out there wasn’t always two of everything…sometimes only one of them had made a certain animals. So there weren’t enough pairs to go around.
First I covered the windows with a larger painted piece of each of the girls. I cut it down to cover the front of the windows, still keeping it in one piece, plus overlapping the side edges by about an inch or two.
I sprayed the front flaps of the windows with the spray adhesive and smoothed down the art piece.
Then I flipped it over and folded over the sides, gluing it down with the glue stick.
Then I carefully cut the paper down the middle of the front with scissors, to open the window back up.
After I centered the two covered windows onto the large board, I was able to envision what I wanted to make. I put the sea animals along the bottom, then I wanted to put a tree down the middle and above the windows. So I started positioning everything along the bottom, cutting some of their artwork with blue paint into some water waves.
Then I cut up some painted artwork into a tree trunk, but thought it was kind of meh.
So I cut it up into shapes to make it like a puzzle or stained glass.
For the leaves, they actually each had two large leaves with a caterpillar on it. So that was my inspiration for the tree leaves…I found two other pieces of art using green construction paper and cut them into large leaves as well.
I cut two different types of their art into 1.5-inch x 12 inch pieces and alternated them to make a border along the bottom and side edges. I was now ready to start gluing, so I started with the border.
Then I glued the waves with the glue stick.
And we all started gluing the sea life. I put a background of painted art behind each of their fish so they wouldn’t fade into the background.
I used the spray adhesive on the back of the windows to glue those down.
Then the girls helped me position the animals and their monkey tree (a favorite of theirs) in the window.
Next, I glued the tree pieces, with some space in between.
Then I glued the bugs crawling along the tree trunk. Finally, I glued the leaves and the butterflies along the top among the leaves. The snakes were the only thing were I had to use school glue. Other than that, all the animals and tree pieces were glued with the glue stick.
Now to use the Elmer’s Painters. I made little water splash droplets along every other wave. I just hand-painted those.
But I wasn’t very confident in my leaf-drawing skills, so I used a stencil I had. First, I tried to just paint over the stencil as I would with a sponge brush.
Bleh, that didn’t turn out too well! So I just used the pen to fill in the leaves.
But as I kept going with the stencils, I got better at it. Instead of painting over the entire stencil, I just used the pen to color in the insides of the stencil. I still had to go over the painted areas afterwards to clean it up.
Also, what I liked about the pens is, I could connect the leaves and branches because for my project, the disjointedness didn’t really look right. So I just continued along the same lines to connect the branches together, and I liked the look a lot more.
To hang the board up on the wall, I simply used two binder clips centered about a food apart, some twine and a push pin in the wall.
Here it is all finished in the play room! This is definitely a fun way to hang their artwork throughout the year. I know they will proudly show off their creations to everyone who visits!
Congrats to my little girls on finishing preschool! I can’t believe you’re all done!
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