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Reduce, Recycle Kids’ Artwork PDF Print E-mail
Written by HOLLYRAMER Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 December 2010 04:08

Turning children's artwork into Christmas gifts can be a creative way to clear away clutter.

All of these projects start with scanning or taking digital photographs of children's artwork, which allows the images to be manipulated without harming the original.And itmeans you can makemultiple giftswith the same art.


Use photo editing software to crop the scanned image or photo into a square or rectangle, and reduce the size to a few inches across. Print the image on photo paper or card stock, cut it out and then cut a piece of foamcore board the same size. Glue the image to the foam core backing and glue a magnet on back. Voila! A magnet to hold up the next batch of artwork that will begin arriving home when school resumes after the holiday break.


The same technique used for the magnets can be repeated to create a striking frameddisplay ofdozens of drawings and paintings - a miniature retrospective of sorts. Again, reduce the size of the scanned images or photos and print asmany as you like on photo paper or card stock. Back each cutout image with foamcore, and glue themto a large piece of white poster board cut to fit your frame. Twenty images, shrunk down to roughly 3 inches will fit nicely in a 16-by-20-inch frame. Play around with the arrangement before gluing to ensure roughly equal spacing between the images.

The foamcore backing gives the images extra dimension, but a similar effect could be achieved by uploading images to photo printingwebsites that create collages in a variety of sizes.


Have a toddler who's still in a "modern art'' phase? Abstract finger paintings can be turned into notecards suitable for anyone who appreciates bold color. Isolate interesting sections of a larger painting, crop to 5 1/2-by-4 1/4 inches and glue to the front of a card made out of a standard 8 1/2-by-11-inch piece of card stock cut in half, or print the image directly on the card stock. This idea also works well if you have a large, detailed picture colored by an older child that can be broken up into interesting sections.


Even simple line drawings can be turned into vibrant gifts with a little tweaking. Starting with a scan or photo of the drawing, use photo editing software to increase the contrast and create a pure black-and-white image. Fill the background with a bright color and change the black lines to white to make it pop against the background. I used a series of images drawn bymy son tomake a calendar by adding the images to 5-by-7-inch calendar templates purchased at a digital scrapbooking website and printing them as photos, but free templates also are available.