Art Journaling With Kids: A Fun Way to Use Children's Artwork

Display your children's artwork in journals and scrapbooks to preserve their artistic endevours. Have the kids help putting the journals together to make it a family project.

Every parent with grade-school aged kids knows the struggle of keeping up with all the artwork children bring home. Obviously, parents want to encourage these artistic endeavors but we can’t keep every piece of paper that a child ever put a marker to. Or can you?

There are few words more gut-wrenching than: “mommy why did you throw away my art” when a child spies their masterpieces in the recycling bin. With art journaling you can save bits and pieces of their art without saving the ENTIRE piece of paper. Art journaling also gives parents a chance to try their hand at the world of mixed media.

When art journaling with children, parents must let go of the notion that cutting up a child’s masterpiece is taboo.  Some special pieces should obviously be kept intact, but if your child is a prolific painter this can be next to impossible. Encourage your children to cut their art into strips, circles and more to be reimagined in new ways.

Paper crafting tools and punches are a great for making new shapes and patterns from a child’s more abstract pieces. These punches come in a variety of shapes including tear drops, hexagons, diamonds and of course circles. Use these elements in creative ways within a family art journal to accent photographs and more.

Just because you are "art journaling" does not mean you can not use traditional "scrapbooking" embellishments.  There is no right or wrong way to journal with children or their art. Not even pressure to cut out art with straight lines.

Even coloring book pages get new life breathed into them when incorporated into an art journal. When art journaling it’s an organic process, don’t get bogged down with minutia about when and where the children’s art was created. Let the colors of the art be your guide about what pictures to use with the art.

Each page in a family art journal is like it’s own mixed media collage. Layering elements like postcards, washi tape and small drawings of dogs will tie everything together. Pages are often as abstract as a pre-schoolers scribbles.

Often times when you hand over the glue sticks and scissors, kids will have keen eye on page layout. With art journaling, the more arbitrary the pictures, the better the page looks. Art with texture and raised elements only add to the beauty of a layered page.

Art journaling is truly a mixed media process. Let kids paint pages in the journal, then layer more art on top. Mix art from different years, events and children.

Children’s art work makes wonderful embellishments for a parents own junk journal or mixed media work. Using small elements from children’s artwork just as one would a ready made scrapbooking embellishments can set even the most traditional of layouts apart.

Handmade cards and sentiments can be attached directly to the pages of art journals using glue, staples, brads or washi tape.

Even via art journaling you can’t keep every piece of art kids bring home. Small children often times bring home more paper and art than there is space in a house. Some artistic pieces will live in a bin under beds, others hang on the wall and a few may eventually end up in the waste bin. However, before you purge pieces try using those mini masterpieces in a family art journal.

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