Toddler Scribble Art

I’m putting down the spatula today to share my attempt at being artistic. Miss Ava has been scribbling on paper for months and I just can’t bring myself to throw those scribbles away…..thus I turned them into toddler artwork!

It must be noted that my true passion is in the kitchen.  I’m not really an artsy fartsy chick; heck, I have the worst hand writing!  This project is fun and it makes such a cute keepsake!

The supplies are basic:

  • Paper scribbled on by toddler
  • Canvas
  • Paint
  • Modpodge
  • Foam brushes
  • Scissors or paper cutting knife
  • Pattern – I searched online for flower patterns and flower petals

Paint the canvas and allow it to dry completely.  Apply a second or third coat of paint if needed.

Simply cut out your pattern using your knife or scissors.  Cut out the pattern and then use the pattern to cut the scribbled paper.

Use Modpodge to glue the pattern to the canvas, then modpodge the entire canvas.  Allow to dry and repeat until the canvas is covered to your liking.  I did about 4 or 5 coats.

I hope you will find this tutorial to be helpful and mostly inspiring!  Think of it as recycling.  Don’t throw away your child’s first artwork….turn it into a masterpiece!

Whitney

 

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90 comments


  1. That’s so extraordinarily clever, and such a wonderful thing to do. My son is 11 now, and I still have stacks of his early drawings. I’ve photographed some to preserve them, and have a few on the walls. I wish I was able to do something like you’ve done. Fabulous job.

  2. Anne Marie

    What a wonderful idea! Like you, I am much better in the kitchen, but am going to give this a shot. My son is 2 and I already have a stack of art that I want to preserve in some way. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Clever idea — so cute!!

  4. Anne

    My Great Granddaughter, aged 2, loves to write on paper (some people think its scribbling, lol) and that is such a unique way for me to save her important work…thank you so much

  5. Renee

    I LOVE this idea! What paint did you use to paint the canvas? I have an (almost) 3 year old and I would love to do this with his beautiful scribbles :) Thanks!!

  6. Lindsay

    Great gift idea for the grandparents!!! Yay! Thanks for the inspiration!

  7. Debbie Hayek

    Stampin’ Up makes cards that are diecut already and it would be cute to put the scribbled paper behind the card to have it show through – easy notecards that can be from your child.

  8. Jen

    Fantastic! Thanks for sharing this, I am definitely going to do this when we move!

    • Mishti

      Not sure if its relevant now for you, but if anyone’s reading this thread after a year like I’m doing now, you can use tear drop shape wooden cut pieces to trace. You can find them in a bad in Michaels/ Hobby Lobby. They have some oval shapes too in the mix. There are bags of heart shapes , circles etc too.

      I never shop at any craft store without a coupon. I feel like I’m being ripped of if I don’t use a coupon there :)

  9. This is so great, I can’t wait to try this with my little one.

  10. Carla

    I really love the pattern on the pink one. Would you share with us where you got it!

    • Whitney

      I would if I still had it. I actually just did a google image search for flower petals. I found one image that had a tear drop shape and I changed the size to make small, medium and large sized petals. I hope that helps! Happy Crafting!

  11. Nancy

    Great idea!! Can I ask where you found the canvas’s?

  12. Ruth

    I love this! Redoing my living room right now. Going to put this on my walls. Thanks!

  13. Crystal R

    This is absolutely brilliant, it breaks my heart to throw away my toddler’s art, and I’m so guilty of letting it clutter up my home, which isn’t good. Thank you for giving me a classy guilt free way of keeping such treasures!!!

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  15. So fun to find ways to enjoy our children’s art! Pretty too. Be sure to ask permission to cut up their artwork of course. Most kids think it’s great when someone loves their art enough to want to “play” with it.

  16. Erica

    I love the purple you used on the canvas! Do you know which brand and the name of the color of paint you used?

  17. sarah

    This is sooooo awesome! I have a two year old who loves to color and this would be such a fabulous way to display his art! LOVE this!

  18. Vickie Jones

    This is truly inspiring! How clever, can’t wait to try it!!

  19. Sarah

    This a fabulous idea, I am going to do this w/my grandson’s “art”.

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  21. DIana

    I’m a preschool teacher, and now have the perfect gift for our mother’s day tea!

    • These are absolutely adorable. Diana I am also a preschool teacher and if you have a Michael’s near you, you can get the canvas’s in a ten pack for 20.00 these are the 8 X 10′s though. They do have them bigger but a smaller quantity. Even better if you can get a hold of a 40% off coupon that you can usually get online or in your junk mail. Then their only 12.00. I don’t know about you but pretty much all these little extras come out of my personal pocket. I’m actually going to use these for Mother’s day Gifts. Except I’m going to paint the kids feet and turn them into butterflies, and use their fingerprints to make a caterpillar and bugs in the garden scene, and their fingers for grass and flowers. Hope all that makes sense. Sorry for ranting. God Bless. Mrs. Valerie

  22. I’m a first time visitor to your site. I saw your toddler art on Pinterest, and what a great idea! I have boxes of my daughter’s artwork – she’s now 8 – I fill up a box a year! I’m so excited about this, because now I can honor her artwork, and make it into great gifts to share with grandparents and to decorate with! Thanks again!

  23. Mary

    Great idea! What size canvas did you use?

  24. This is super genius!!! I wish I had seen this sooner I just dumped a few scribbles I am ashamed to say!
    Love it.

  25. I found your idea on pinterest and I can’t even begin to tell you how much I love it. I want to keep all my little men’s drawings, but short of scanning them and putting them into a book, I didn’t know what else to do. Now I can save their special drawings and have some pretty art in the house. LOVE!

  26. Erin

    My sister in-law just made this for me as a birthday present. I absolutely love it! I’m going to attempt to make one myself for my sister with her son’s drawings.

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  28. Is it ok to pin this? http://pinterest.com/pin/108508672241748569/
    Love your blog! xoxo, Julie Ann

  29. Pam

    What a great idea for us Grandmothers!! Thanks for sharing!

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  32. Here’s my take on it, using watercolor “paintings” instead of scribbles. Thanks for the idea! http://www.sarahewhite.com/?p=1004

  33. That is utterly brilliant and I’m doing it. I LOVE it. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE>

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  36. Kylie

    I love love love this idea. My best friend was just saying she has a million drawings from her daughters school and can’t throw them away but doesn’t know what to do with them!! Mothers day present!!!! :) thank you!

  37. Wow, great idea. Definitely have put this on my list of to do activities with my son.

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  40. Darby

    I love this, thank you for sharing! I am experimenting with making this with my son’s scribbles but was wondering if you had any other ideas besides something flowery? I saw the previous post about footprints but my ideas are running dry right now trying to think of something more “boyish.” I am also putting the letters for his name and using a larger size, I think. Nothing is definite yet and I’d love any other ideas you or others have!

    • Whitney

      Oh, thank you so much! I’ve had so many other ideas….if only I had all the time to actually make them all happen. But I LOVE the idea of spelling out the name. And I’ve thought about simple outlines – like a boat, plane, animal, etc. I also thought about making a scene, like grass and a tree. I hope this gives you some inspiration!

  41. Melissa

    I am not crafty at all! Please share with me some other patterns or a place i can get diecuts already patterened for cheap. again i say i am NOT crafty at all BUT this captured my heart

    • Whitney

      I just googled free patterns of flowers and found some I like. You might also check out a craft store and see if they have any stencils that would work for you.

  42. I like it so much and try this :) thank you :)

  43. Ladi Adra

    You get an A++ for this one. I love, love, love this idea. Thanks for sharing. I am definitely doing it. I will however, make photocopies of their scribbles, and save the originals. I have scribbles from one of my seven granddaughters, and two of my three great granddaughters. I had the idea of framing them in double sided acrylic, because they are on both sides of the paper, and that look is fantastic. This however, will be a gift to each of them, and now, thanks to you I will have a canvas for myself of their masterpieces, as I have so graciously labeled each.

  44. amanda nay

    I don’t mean to sound dumb but can you please tell me what modgepodge is?

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  46. kerrie

    I absolutely love this idea. Im so mad I haven’t seen it sooner. I had a ton of scribbles b my 5 year old. I was tired of keeping them. So they ended up in the trash. Now she actually colors decent a pictures. Im defiantly passing this one on to friends about to have babies.

  47. Melissa

    Love this idea. I’m a nanny and do a lot of art with my little boy. I decided to take it all and make this for his parents for Christmas this year.

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  52. Brooke

    Do you actually put the modge podge over the art work?? I’ve never used it before! Just want to make sure I don’t smear the art :)

    • Whitney

      Yes, you put it right over the top of the art work. I was REALLY nervous about this at first too but it turned out great! No smearing or anything. I should point out that all of her “scribbles” were done in crayon and colored pencils. Good luck! :)

  53. Kim

    This is a beautiful idea. I feel the same way about throwing out my little guy’s scribbles. Now I have a way to capture them forever. Thank you for sharing!

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  55. Whitney,

    This is a fabulous idea, and I’d love to feature it on my site, AllFreeKidsCrafts.com. Please browse our site to see what we are about and contact me if you are interested.

    Best,

    Jaclyn
    Editor, AllFreeKidsCrafts

  56. Erin

    I think this is fabulous and plan to make several…a big one for myself and 2 more for Mother’s day gifts! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Erin

      Oooh, couple questions…do you remember what size canvas you used? Just trying to get perspective between the pattern and the canvas size. Also, do you know if you can do mod podge over pictures? I’ve never used it before and…I gotta say, I’m a little scared!
      You are obviously very creative. I am not. lol Good thing there are people like you around to inspire the ones like me!

  57. Melinda Winn

    Hi! I think this is a wonderful idea, but when I first saw it made a mistake, and I thought the art project was a little different than you explained. I thought that you had cut a pattern into a piece of leather or canvas, glued the toddler art to it, and then wrapped them around a photo album (so that the art was between the album and canvas). That way, the art is peaking through the pattern on the canvas instead of having to cut the art. I thought that might be a good idea too, but I am not an “artsy fartsy” person either, so I might be saying something that doesn’t even make sense in the world of crafts.

  58. Lauren

    So adorable! Did you use glossy or matte Mod Podge? And would it make much of a difference either way?

  59. i have cards from our wedding and i think Im going to use them. ..this is an awesome idea thanks!

  60. Nicole

    I did a similar thing by cutting out large letters of my one-year-old’s art and making a birthday poster for her that we have since used for her every year.

  61. I really want to bookmark this specific post, “Toddler Scribble Art | Squash Blossom Babies” on my page.
    Do you mind if perhaps I reallydo? Thanks a lot ,
    Tracie

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