Preparing your child’s artwork

Hi Everyone!

I’m Jennifer Gilbert, owner of Jennifer Gilbert Photography in Tottenham, ON.  I first met Maria of Budding Artists at a business retreat a few years ago, and I instantly fell in love with her products.  What a fabulous way to preserve your children’s beautiful artwork for years to com

In order for Budding Artists to work their magic, we want to be able to provide her with the best image file that we can.  To help you out, I’ve put together some tips to prepare the artwork.

  1. Find the best lighting. An easy way to do this is to bring your coffee table or kitchen table over to a large window.  Natural lighting works best, but do not place the artwork in direct sunlight.  If you can’t bring a table over to a window, clear a spot on the floor that looks evenly lit.
  1. Get above the artwork. When you are looking through the camera viewfinder or screen, you want to make sure that the artwork is not on an angle.  Do your best to center the page so that all four sides are even.  If you own a tripod, use it to help you position the camera properly.
  1. Do not leave too much space around the artwork. Your image will end up being cropped in order to fit the item you are purchasing.  Leave a little bit of space, or background, behind the artwork to give some room for cropping by Budding Artists.
  1. Choose the right camera mode. If your camera has a landscape mode, use it.  The landscape mode will make everything it the camera sees as sharp as possible.   If the camera is having trouble focusing in this mode, your camera may be too close.  Move further back or switch to portrait mode.

5. Make sure the flash is turned off. Flash is icky.  It will over brighten your images.

6. Take a deep breath and press the shutter!


After you’ve transferred the image from your camera to your computer, upload it to the Budding Artist’s website and create your item!

Artistically Yours FAQ

1.Do we have to use the art canvasses supplied?

You do not have to use the art canvasses provided. Please make sure the artwork is 7×9 inches.

Clearly label student name and class  on the back of the artwork in pencil.

If you can, please return the art canvasses and we’ll use it. The artwork can be

2. Can we do digital art?

Yes, you can. There is no need to print it out. Send it to Budding Artists using We Transfer.

Name each file with Teacher Name + First Name of student +last name initial if there is more than one student with the same name.

3.  Can I photocopy the art canvas?

Yes, you can. It does not have to be on card stock. Please photocopy straight.

4. Can I paste the artwork onto the art canvas.

There is no need. Just make sure student name is labeled on the back.

5. Can I send home more than one piece of artwork?

Yes, you can. Ask the students to label on the back of their artwork  A or B.

First Day of School Glyph

Ever since I discovered glyphs it has been my favourite first day of school activity. I like to ease the first day of school by doing something fun and crazy. I tell the kids that I want to get to know them. Together, we will  each a create a crazy self-portrait. I walk them step by step.  This helps me determine who can follow instructions, who likes to work in groups and who likes to be alone. The kids think they are doing something non-academic and its just art. But the secret is that I use the portraits all week. I put them up so the kids can see it all at once. Each day, we read the portraits and learn things about one another. Sometimes, we record information and depending on the grade and interest, we create graphs and tables. Its so awesome. I leave the portraits up until Meet the Teacher Night to allow students to discuss their learning.

Here is a copy of my first day of school glyph. Make changes as you see fit. I give students a copy while I walk them through step by step.

You will need any size paper, crayons, pencil crayons, markers.

Have fun!

String He(ART)

I love string art. I remember making one in elementary school. It was the first time I used a hammer and was really proud of my ability to pound those nails straight. After I loved the process of adding the string and creating a design of concentric circles. It was the 70s  and the artwork did not live past the decade but I longed to make another one. So a few years ago, my daughter and I made one together from recycled wood from an old fence. She created a few more and even sold them to neighbours.

This past summer I tried it at art camp. Made a few mistakes such as not ripping the template off the board before the string. Providing early elementary kids with a complicated design. Need to stick with simple shapes such as circles and hearts.


Board ( any size)


Embroidery thread.

Hammers ( if you are in London, ON. I would be happy to lend you our hammers for a nominal fee)


  1. Sand the wood.
  2. Paint the board with acrylic.
  3. On the same size as board, draw the shape on paper
  4. Tape the template on the board
  5. Hammer nails at every line intersection. Then nail halway between the first two nails and so forth until they are aabout a 1 cm apart.
  6. Rip the paper off theboard before adding the string.
  7. Tie string on one nail and loop to the opposite side. Loop in a figure eight motion.
  8. Keep going till you fill it up.



5 tips to organize artwork on the last day of school

For many of us, the end of the school year is fast approaching. And, if your family is anything like mine, the last day is a sweet reminder of how much our kids have grown and changed! A year’s full of achievement and adventure is contained in a backpack and one brimming garbage bag! Last year, my kid brought home one winter mitten, dried up markers, another kid’s report card, dirty laundry, worksheets, newsletters from October, and a hurricane of artwork. Ah, those magical moments!

It can be overwhelming to think about organizing and cleaning up. There are some things that can’t wait, like getting the dirty laundry in the hamper and weeks-old food in the compost. But, the scraps of long forgotten math tests, books of creative writing, and artwork? Markers and other art supplies? As tempting as it is to relegate the garbage-bag-of-adventure to the basement to sort through in August, resist the urge!

Here’s 5 helpful tips for the last day of school:

1. Here’s how I decide to sort the paper that comes home.
Make two piles: memorabilia and other. The memorabilia pile includes creative stories, artwork, awards, self-portraits, photos, report cards and handprints. The other is a pile of newsletters, tests, planners, and workbooks that can all be let go. (See #5!).



2. Ask your child to help you organize the memorabilia pile.
We always keep creative stories, school photos, and most of their artwork. Many families also hold onto report cards, awards or mention of the student in a newsletter. Figure out what’s important to you, and ask your child what they want to keep. We set aside the artwork that we want to frame or gift (see #3), and for the rest of it (creative stories, report cards, awards and photos) put them in a D-ring binder with page protectors. That way your kids can pull them out and look at them every now and again, and important papers won’t get wrecked or lost.


3. Manage the artwork.
If your kid is anything like mine, she can make up to 5-10 pictures each day. So, ask your kids to help decide what artwork is important to them. Are they proud of it? Is there a story behind it? Has a theme emerged? Set aside the truly wonderful art pieces in a portfolio, designated drawer or box to have them turned into great memories later in the summer. Consider making themed art into a poster. Traveling this summer? Artwork is the perfect gift when visiting out of town family and friends. Or, hold on to the artwork to gift to grandparents at upcoming holidays. (We always give away artwork that is ready to use or framed. We have lots of ideas to preserve memories at Budding Artists. Believe us, you don’t want the artwork to go in someone else’s drawer.)



4. Recycle art supplies.
Did you know that all brands of dried-up markers, sharpies, pens, and highlighters can be recycled? Markers are made from #5 polypropylene, a recyclable material, and can be dropped off at your local Staples’ Terracycle Program.



5. Bonfire!
Remember that paper pile of worksheets? Ball up every single spelling test, phonics paper, math worksheet and newsletter and watch them burn at a family bonfire! Don’t forget to toast marshmallows and hotdogs for the perfect end of year celebration!

Using posters to display students’ artwork

As teachers, we’re always looking for ways to display our students’ artwork. They draw, paint and collage a creative mountain in the classroom, and their art deserves a special display! But, more often then not, these treasured pieces end up crumpled in our students’ backpacks. (And, as a parent, these wrinkled masterpieces end up in an art pile, along with some good intentions to hang them in our home. Or, is this just me?!)

So, how do you get a stack of original students’ creations that honours their artwork, and looks good for parents, and is an easy and creative fundraiser?! Have Budding Artists turn your classroom art (or, for parents, your child’s art) into a poster! In this post, we share how to display students’ artwork in a poster, and turn in into a quick and engaging fundraiser for your school.

Poster fundraisers:

Last year, my child’s school celebrated 100 years. As part of the celebrations, each student made a self-portrait. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas. We scanned in the artwork, and a parent made the class poster. Don’t forget to display the posters so parents can see them and order a print! We used the media centre from our school board to do the printing, and raised $7 per poster. It was an engaging idea to get parents involved, and we quickly raised $600 for our school!

Book-inspired art?

Looking for other ideas that align with curricula? What about using artwork inspired by a book? In this case, we didn’t sell the posters, but I made the poster as a big thank you to our grade 1/2 classroom teacher.







Individual art pieces:

We loved making posters so much that we’re adding this product in our newest program, Artistically Yours (Fall 2017). Check out our posters!

Hanging the poster. A simple frame is always a lovely way to hang a poster. But, we also love the use of washi tape (from your Dollar Store) for an extra colourful and inexpensive way to hang the poster on your child’s bedroom wall.

Budding Artists can create personalized posters. We can do a variety of themes. Call us and ask how we can help preserve your child’s artwork and raise funds at the same time.


Mother’s Day Art Ideas

March break has come and gone. We are looking forward to spring and planning our Mother’s Day event. Here is a collection of Mother’s Day art activities you can do with your children. 


  1. Fork Sunflowers Crafty Morning
  2. Picasso Flowers Mrs. T’s First Grade Class
  3. Mom The Educator’s Spin On It
  4. Monet’s Garden Art Rocks
  5. You are My Sunshine Twin Dragonfly Designs
  6. Paul Klee Portrait Simply Art Lessons for Kids
  7. Dandelions Crafty Morning


Create a personalized new piece of artwork or break open the treasure trove of artwork you have preserved neatly. We’d love to see what you do together. Share it on our Facebook page

Orders over $80 receive free shipping! Order by April 25, 2017 for a Mother’s Day delivery. 

Happy spring!


9 Ways to Raise Funds Using Children’s Artwork


1.      Art Auction

Art Auctions are a fun way to bring people together. They celebrate art, but even more so they foster pride in creativity and community building.

A great way to pull an Art Auction together is by inviting artists to come into your school to work with children. Each classroom in the school is given the opportunity to learn skills and techniques, then takes those skills to work together to create a collaborative art project.

One school where a successful Art Auction took place hosted an adult cocktail party, which coincided with the school’s 100th anniversary. All of the completed projects were displayed prior to the event. On the evening of the cocktail party, some of the pieces were part of a live auction, while others were included in a silent auction.

This is just one example of the many ways to build a buzz about your school’s creativity. Budding Artists has many ideas for projects you can create suitable for live and silent auction pieces. Check out our Pinterest board for ideas.

2.      Art Sale

Are there budding artists at your school with an entrepreneurial spirit? Have them show off their talent and raise money at the same time with an Art Sale.

Art Sales are a great way to highlight student talent and encourage creativity. Have students create artwork to include in an Art Sale. The sale can be part of a larger occasion, like a school play, or used as a stand-alone fundraising event, similar to a lemonade stand idea. Display artwork near the school’s front entrance or outside of the office to attract attention and drum up sales. The money raised by the sale of the artwork can help buy further art supplies to potentially host another Art Sale or go towards other school needs.

One Philadelphia based company, which successfully uses Art Sales for fundraising for some of their programs, is Fresh Artists. They provide art supplies to lower income public schools with the money raised through a clothesline art sale. Children involved feel good about creating art and at the same time help those in need. The company also sells artwork to companies to hang in their offices.

Does that give you any ideas?

3.      Art Wall

Does your school have a celebration coming up? Perhaps an anniversary or special event to commemorate? What are you doing to mark Canada’s 150th birthday? An Art Wall might be just the thing to honour that.


Art walls are a beautiful way to get your whole school involved in a celebration. Have each child create a self-portrait to get included on the wall. The colourful mosaic becomes a stunning centerpiece to observe your occasion and to remember it long afterwards.

Budding Artists sells the tiles for $5 a tile. If the plan is to use this as a fundraising initiative, you sell the tiles for a higher price to your parents. The difference in price becomes your profit. The Art Wall becomes a thing of beauty for the whole school to enjoy.

4.      Create Class Posters

Is your child’s class looking to promote themselves for one reason or another? Perhaps they are looking to fund a special field trip or to donate funds to a charity of their choice. A Class Poster might be just the thing.

Class Posters are easy to create. Have each child create a self-portrait. Place each image on the poster for the individual class. Add the school’s name, and the name of the teacher, and the grade. For a wider school fundraiser, have each class create their own Class Posters.

One school that Budding Artists worked with had the posters printed at the school board in their Media Department. The cost of the posters was $8 apiece, but they further laminated the posters and sold them for $15. Budding Artists provided the scanned images and their Graphic Designers created the posters to create wonderful keepsake items for all involved.


5.      Holiday Cards

Is sending cards over the Christmas holidays a tradition? If not, consider sending Valentine’s cards if Christmas is too busy.

Make your cards even more festive this year with Holiday Cards designed by your kids. Budding Artists has a program to help make the process easy. Have the children create art and leave the rest to us.

One of the schools that works with Budding Artists is Ecole Eduoard Bond. Making Christmas cards with holiday themed artwork has become a tradition at their school. They have raised over $1500 with the help of Budding Artists. To increase their selection to choose from, they added Christmas ornaments, art magnets and mugs this year.

6.      Art classes

Are you looking for extracurricular activities for children other than physical fitness classes? Would you like to interest your children in art, or foster a better confidence in their artistic abilities? Did you know that making art helps people to communicate, problem solve, tap into a deeper creativity, and is just plain fun? The solution might be to hire an artist and offer Art Classes.

Art Classes can be part of an after-school program or offered as a PD Day activity. With a talented and experienced artist on hand, the only other things needed are art materials and a space to work in. Get the word out to your school community and advertise to drum up interest.

7.      Create a Perpetual Calendar

Calendars help keep us organized, but they don’t have to be just a dull tool. A Perpetual Calendar made from vibrant, artistic images made by your child keeps you on task in a fun and personalized way. Plus, you can enjoy it for years to come.

Wondering how to raise funds with a Perpetual Calendar? Why not host an art contest and choose images from your entries for the calendar? Pick a theme for the contest—this year is Canada’s 150th birthday! They can be sold individually or include them in an Art Show or Sale.

8.      Art Show

Do you want to showcase children’s artistic skills? Hold an Art Show! Show them that their artwork is valued more than for a brief stint on the fridge.

In order to maximize the success of your Art Show, organize an art class prior to the event. Select each child’s best piece and frame it or create a canvas for the show. If you incorporate the cost of the production of the canvas into the price of the art class, then the profit from the sale of them becomes your profit.

If you choose to charge admission to your event, provide refreshments. Well-nourished customers are more apt to purchase a canvas and increase your profit. Regardless, children will experience a moment of pride when they see their artwork displayed for the Art Show. If parents choose not to purchase the artwork, the child still keeps the original art to enjoy.

9.      Budding Artists

Budding Artists has plenty of ideas of how to incorporate children’s artwork into your fundraising plans. We have been encouraging and valuing creativity by preserving and showcasing artwork for 10 years! Let us make some suggestions for you.

Choose between two programs:

Artrageous: Everyone participates in facilitated art creation. Order forms go home showing 20 different products, which incorporate your child’s artwork, such as trivets, shirts, canvasses, etc. The products get sold to your organization at wholesome costs and you set the selling price to determine your fundraising return. The suggested retail price nets you a minimum of 25% net sales, depending upon your pricing.

Artistically Yours: Similar to our Artrageous program, Artistically Yours takes your child’s artwork and transposes it onto our products. Children create art, which gets scanned and uploaded onto a personalized order form. The order forms go home for you to select from some of the eight stationery products available: notebooks, cards, journals, sketchbooks, etc. All participating children get a bookmark with their name and art image on it, as well as their order. The profit margin is approximately 25%, depending upon orders.


Commemorate Canada’s 150

Commemoration Tile Wall

Have you thought about how you are going to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday? Why not consider building a Commemoration Tile Wall to mark the year.

With the help of Budding Artists you can make the celebration an easy one whose memory will live on long after 2017. Include everyone at your school or limit it to a single classroom or social group. The choice is yours, but the process is easy however you choose to run it.

Tile Walls

You have a few choices on tiles. Ceramic and Hardboard Tiles (4.25 x 4.25) cost $5, including shipping and handling. Smaller hardboard tiles (2 x 2) cost $3.

Decide whether you want your Tile Wall to be part of a fundraising initiative or the focus of a community event. There are different ways to proceed with the building of your Tile Wall, depending upon your needs.

Fundraiser – Charge more for the tiles ($7-$10). Everything over and above the $5 cost is your profit. If you have parents unable or unwilling to pay for the cost of the tile, but you want to include everyone in the process and final product, factor them in, but reduce your profits accordingly.

One way to raise money to pay for the Tile Wall is to run a Budding Artists Artrageous fundraiser. Everyone creates artwork, which is sent home with an order form. Parents purchase products made from their children’s artwork with a potential profit of 25%, depending upon the cost you set for products.

Community Building – Include everyone in the process, regardless of whether they can afford to buy a tile or not. Charge everyone $5 to cover costs of the tiles or use money from your Parent Council or from other fundraising efforts to pay for the wall. You can ask for families to sponsor extra tiles.

The Process

  1. Decide on a theme for your tile wall. If it is for a Canada 150 celebration, ask everyone to design a tile with that in mind (what does Canada represent to you? what images come to mind when you think about Canada?). Another option is to choose specific colours to unify the look of your wall (perhaps your school colours?). The choices are endless, but make sure to instruct the children on the theme of their tile before designing it.
  2. Who will facilitate the making of the art? Will you have children design their tiles at school or at home? If at school, who will be the one to oversee the process? Make sure instructions are clear to ensure your final product fits with your theme.
  3. How will you display the Tile Wall? Will it be permanently attached or will it have the ability to be moved? Tiles can be directly attached to a wall or placed on a board, making it movable. Make sure you get permission from the administration before installation if you choose to make the display permanent. Who will construct the wall once the tiles are completed? Where will it be located?
  4. Decide on a delivery date. Here is our calendar.
  5. Book online.


No matter what you are celebrating this year, an anniversary or special historical event coming up at your school, Budding Artists is here to help.

Make your mark!

Crayon Art

There are so many wonderful ideas using crayons to create memorable art pieces.

The image below is a gift from my self-described “I don’t like art” teenager for Mother’s Day a few years ago.

He used a stencil and spray painted ” Happy Mother’s Day” He glued a set of crayons onto a bristol board and used a hairdryer to melt the crayons.

I love it so much. He planned and executed an art project. Its worth so much more than a box of chocolates.


A quick search on Pinterest for ‘melted crayon art’ will give you a plethora of ideas. Here are a few ideas. Looking for a crayon resist Father’s Day project, check this out.






FUNDRAISING: Why Include Kids?

We all know that fundraising can be a lot of work. It can also be a lot of fun for everyone involved though. So often fundraising focuses on parents, teachers and support staff, but children can and should be a part of the process. Why? The reasons are numerous, but here are just a few great reasons why children need to be an active part of your next fundraiser.


  • Acquaints children with altruism – Kids are never too young to learn why and how we should give back to society. We all need a helping hand at some point in our lives. When you can provide that helping hand for someone else, it makes you feel good knowing you are part of a worthy cause. Fundraising is a wonderful way to be exposed to that.
  • Empowers children to be a part of the process – When children feel part of the process, they put in more effort, understand the reasons why fundraising is done, and have a greater sense of ownership for the efforts involved. Children will want to be involved when they feel they make a difference.
  • Expands education in new directions – Life is more than just the ABCs and 123s. Being part of a fundraising process expands children’s knowledge of the world around them. From learning about others in need, to learning how to improve their own experience, and even creatively coming up with new ways to tackle problems, fundraising can make you look at life a little differently.
  • Introduces new concepts – Have your children collected money for a cause? Do they understand that the money belongs to someone else? Can they manage their time to ensure that an event happens when it is supposed to; i.e. sticking to the deadline of when money needs to be returned? Do they understand why fundraising is undertaken in the first place? These are just some of the new concepts that a child can learn when they become involved with a fundraising event.


Can you think why else children should be involved in fundraising?

He(ART) Cards

Christmas has come and gone. If you are like me, the tradition of sending out Christmas cards with a personalized Christmas letter has gone by the wayside. I suppose I have become more lax, what with the ease of keeping in touch via Facebook and other social media outlets. Really though, who doesn’t like to receive a real letter in the mail?

So why not start a new tradition? Winter is the perfect time to create your own love cards. This February, send homemade he(art cards). Budding Artists makes it easy.

For the month of February, send us your artwork and make your own he(art) cards. Spend some quality time together to create art with your child. Come up with a meaningful message from both of you to insert into the card. Bring back handwriting and enjoy time with your family—creating and writing! Your friends and family will be touched by your thoughtfulness.

Talking to Kids about Art

Anyone that has ever stepped into a home that includes children has certainly seen a fridge full of art covered in colourful blobs, scribbled designs, and creative messes. What you may or may not be able to figure out is what those pictures represent. Is it a tree, cat or picture of you? Or is it anything more than playing with the colour blue? When it comes to children’s artwork, it ultimately doesn’t matter. Children’s creativity is more about the process of making it, than the final product. That squiggle in fact might be a car going fast. Kids aren’t professional artists and it doesn’t matter if the final piece is a masterpiece or not. What you want to encourage is the continued pleasure in making it, because with a little more practice they just might be.  my papa square

So how do you encourage your children to make art and show them that you care? A little conversation goes a long way. Try talking to your children about their art. Not only will this show your children that you care, but it gets them thinking about their artwork as well. If you are at a loss as to how to talk about the purple blot surrounded by brown lines, don’t worry. There is a story in that art, you just have to figure out how to find it.


Examples of Words of Encouragement

  • How did you make that shade of green?
  • Wow, you filled the entire page with your painting!
  • You’ve used lots of different lengths of lines in your picture.
  • That looks just like the flowers in our garden!
  • I think our trip to the fire station inspired this picture with all that red.
  • Why did you use those colours in your painting?
  • Where did you start drawing? Why?
  • What do you like best about your picture?
  • Which picture are you going to take off the bulletin board to make room for your new one?
  • Do you think Grandma would like this one for her fridge?
  • Tell me about your picture.


  • Point out their use of colour, space, lines, and/or other elements: Instead of asking your child what their art is or giving blanket praise to everything they create, comment on the elements within the art. Talk about what you see and recognize, like the colours, spaces between them, and the lines that bring them together. This shows that you are engaged and understand the process that your child has gone through.
  • Draw comparisons to life, the world, or other artists: Many artists try to recreate images in their artwork, for example in portraits, landscapes, still life’s and more. Draw comparisons between your child’s art and beyond. Point out similarities and see where the conversation leads.
  • Encourage critical thought: There is so much more to art than what you see on the page. What inspired your child’s artwork? What made them interpret it in the way they did? How can you get your child to talk more about the process they went through in making their art?
  • Offer pride of placement: Now that you have your child’s new art, what do you do with it? Here is another way that you can involve your child. Ask them where they would like to display their newest artwork. Would they like it on the fridge, bulletin board, on their bedroom door or wall? Remember that every new piece that gets displayed means that an old one gets taken down, so having them choose builds pride and ownership.
  • Don’t assume what it is: Talking about your child’s art is a wonderful way to have your child feel like you care about it, until you guess what the picture is and get it completely wrong. Children can quickly get discouraged, declare they are no good and give up on art altogether. What you think might be helpful guessing, could blow up in your face, so try not to always assume the topic of your child’s art. Instead, let them take the lead in explaining their art.

Six Fundraising Questions for Schools


Its that time of year again when schools begin to think of How do you go about choosing the right fundraiser for your school? What factors affect which fundraiser is right for you? Plenty. Here are a few things you should consider;

1. What is your fundraising goal?

Be sure you know what you are allowed to fundraise for. Many school boards do not allow fundraising for textbooks. Knowing what you are fundraising for and the amount helps to plan a variety of activities.

2. Does the fundraiser fit into school and school board policies and goals?

Check with the organization’s policies. Some school boards have limited permission selling “junk” food. Other’s do not allow home baked goods.

3.  Is it a community builder, service, or product fundraiser? There are many creative ways to fundraise. Most organizations plan out their year and choose a balance between a community builder (Halloween dance), service (hot lunch program or speaker) and a product fundraiser (gift wrap). There is also some fundraisers that are both a service and product fundraiser. One fantastic idea is the Fresh from the Farm fundraiser. The program promotes healthy eating for the entire family. 

Community building events such as an art show brings the school community together. Is it open to the public? Will you need an advertising budget.  
A service fundraiser such as a hot food lunch program is great. My children’s school offered milk and pizza every Monday. I always thought it was brilliant idea to not worry about a lunch for  Monday mornings especially after a busy weekend. If it a product fundraiser, do you have to purchase product before selling them. Leftover products will cut into your profits

4. How many volunteers are available to help organize and run your fundraiser? What are the time commitments?

The best fundraisers require the least amount of work. Community builders require a number of coordinator meetings.  The more volunteers involved in a community event the better for generating spirit in an organization. Most people want to be assigned jobs during a community event and not interested in detailed meetings. Using Volunteer Spot is a great way for signing up volunteers online.

5. How much money might be raised by the fundraiser?

Do you know what the average participation percentage rate and the average amount of profit is per participant. Knowing your stats will help you make informed choices. How will the money be collected? Who will collect it and is there a process of transparency?   

6. Are children part of the process?

When children are active participants, it sends a clear message that altruism is a worthy characteristic. However, we do not recommend children “sell” to strangers. Can the fundraiser be incorporated into the curriculum such as Jump Rope for Heart?

Take these factors into consideration before you select any fundraiser for your organization. Know your group, do your research, and you will have a better chance of selecting the right fundraiser for you.




Drawing with Children


Children equate art with drawing. Many base their art confidence on their ability to draw. It takes practice. So giving children the time, space and materials to practice is key in helping foster their confidence. Breaking it down in shapes is key.

Materials to start the process: pencils, good quality eraser, sharpener and a blank art book. 

Listed below are some websites and some of my favourite drawing books. Many of which can be found in your local library.  


Incredible C@rtoon Lessons For older children

Art for Kids Hub Fantastic resource for how to draw and paint a variety of objects and characters  in video format

Hello Kids Video and Step by Step tutorial

Kids Front: For younger kids. Step by step with a click of a button.

Drawing How to Draw Video, Step by Step tutorial and written instructions.


Ed Emberley. He has a series of books very popular with children.

1, 2,3 I Can Draw Kids Can Press

Step by Step Drawing Book by Usborne Books, Check out their many other titles.

My favourite is the Kids Can Draw series by Phillippe Legendre. Here are some samples from students.


Our NEWEST product is a 25 piece hardboard jigsaw puzzle. 17 x 17 cm $25. Till August 31, its on sale for $20 each. We currently have a limited number in stock. Email info(@) to order your personalized jigsaw puzzle.

lion puzzle


Book Review: Using Art to Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies


Summer Reading for Art and Artful Teachers

Early in my career I was teaching primary French Immersion at one of the schools identified as a “Turnaround” school by Ontario’s Ministry of Education, now almost ten years ago. I have continued to embed my teaching of decoding strategies to early primary students within opportunities that build the groundwork for complex reading comprehension strategies.

I was excited to read the work of Jennifer Klein and Elizabeth Stuart that invites us to integrate the teaching of art and reading comprehension strategies in ways that that I believe will increase all students’ engagement, deepen students’ understanding of both art and reading processes, and support students with special learning needs.

Klein and Stuart present their work in a very organized and methodical manner which makes it an ideal resource for practising teachers. The introduction summarizes the core principles of art education as well as the leading research on how to best teach reading comprehension strategies. The subsequent chapters focus on six key reading strategies: Making Connections, Questioning, Visualizing, Inferring, Determining Importance, and Synthesizing.

Each chapter describes a systematic process for teaching one of the reading strategies, first through a series of two to four art sessions, and then in two to five reading/language sessions that incorporate skills and understandings that students first develop during the art sessions. The chapters also provide resources that support the teaching of each reading strategy, including a list of books and artists, the research on literacy benefits of each strategy, the authors’ reflections from their teaching practice, and copies of the templates and worksheets the authors use during their sessions.

I have encountered early primary students who react negatively to feeling pressured to become successful decoders. Some of them experience challenges in verbal linguistic areas of intelligence but are gifted in visual-spatial, natural and inter- or intra-social intelligence. Klein and Stuart advocate using art and art making to introduce the concepts and practise the skills that will lead students to make connections, question, visualize, infer, determine importance and synthesize, without the added stress of decoding written language.

As students gain confidence in their abilities to make meaning and revise their understandings through reflections and conversations about art, I believe they will be able to draw upon these reading comprehension skills during the difficult task of decoding written language. I believe this approach will enhance reading instruction for all students, and may prove to be instrumental for the success of students who feel challenged, overwhelmed or disengaged during reading lessons that prioritize the teaching of decoding strategies to improve reading for meaning.

Wendy Fischer, OCT teaches primary French Immersion in Ontario, Canada.

Summer Art Challenge 2016

Summer 2016 BA

Dad: Crayon Resist Project

June 8 is our deadline for a Father’s Day delivery.  Create a one of a kind gift using  a picture of Dad doing, saying and dreaming of his favourite activity. Choose from a pencil holder to a mug or a t-shirt to show off the artistic skills of your children.

Here’s a quick easy art project using a resist technique.FullSizeRender

Using a sharpie, draw block letters of a word. Have your child colour inside the letters in crayon or pastel.

Paint the the paper with watercolours, Et, voila une “masterpiece”! Another variation is to use bingo dabbers and contact paper. Cut out the letters and place upside down. This will be tricky since you have to make sure the letters and right side up. Your child will have a great time using the dabbers to dab all over their masterpiece.


Andy Warhol Style Family Portraits

Why not create an Andy Warhol portraits of your family?

IMG_8392 Many years ago, I came across Jessica Camis blog Art Smarts 4 Kids on creating Andy Warhol portraits of children. She recommends Photo to Sketch which I have to say is still the best program to use. I made minor changes when I created my son’s portrait. I used 30 precision but used 9 for line. I like seeing my lines thicker. I also put it through Photoshop just to clean up some of the lines. Here you can see the original and the cleaned up version.Untitled-2Aidan a 

We used liquid watercolours because I love them. You can use pencil crayons, markers or regular watercolours. Use 4 colours and alternate the colours between hair, face, background, shirt. My daughter left the neck, eyes and lips white. I tell children to begin with one colour. Colour in this order: face, hair, shirt, background .IMG_8385IMG_8387

Keep the images in order. Start with colour one and paint face of image one. Continue in order of face, hair, background, shirt. Take colour 2 and  paint image two’s face next and then hair of image 3,  background of image 4 and shirt of image 1 etc.

Then I scanned each one and made them into one image. If there are four people in your family, you can do a sketch of each person or you can create one with four people.

If you do create one, I would love to see it. Post it on our Facebook page.


Portraits of Mom

At Budding Artists, we love portraits especially when created by our children. There are so many different ways of drawing a portrait. As kids get older, I would show them how to draw a face using appropriate proportions. Check out Deep Space Sparkle’s portrait guides.  Patty Palmer’s lessons are great and worth the cost.

This is a collage version of me when my child was 7 years old. I love the double eyes and eyelashes.

This one was done when she was a bit older and she was playing around with liquid watercolours and a straw.  

Do you have a portrait of yourself? For ideas on creating portraits, check out our Pinterest board collection.

April 25th is our deadline for a Mother’s Day delivery. Create a one of a kind gift using a picture of  Mom doing, saying and dreaming of her favourite activity.  Why not use your children’s artwork as design on one of our functional products. This month  we are offering  special for potholders for $25 for a set of two.  This is a special only till April 30, 2016. We are bringing this special product for a limited only.

Chicken Big


Chicken Big is one of my most favourite books. Its funny and entertaining about a very big chicken and how size has its advantages.

Here are two project ideas:

Project One:


  • 12×18 paper
  • tempera paint

Practice drawing chickens. We discuss proportions and and after that its up to the student to choose their favourite part of the story and recreate it as a painting.

Chicken Big inspired painting 9936_10151897190449832_1583688684_n








Project Two:


  • Oil pastels
  • 8×11 paper

Guided drawing lesson of a chicken. Here is a quick stylized chicken video. Cover the entire page with colour.

Chicken 1 Budding Artists Chicken 2 Budding Artists


Great Picture Books to Inspire Young Artists

Great art needs someplace to start. Ensure your child gets that inspiration at a young age with a little help from a few good authors and a few excellent books. Why not start with these authors?
Eric Carle; All of Eric Carle’s books are a delight of colour, shape and design. They draw you in and excite the eye of young and old alike. Here are just a few that might inspire the young artist at your house – ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?’, ‘The Mixed-Up Chameleon’, ‘The Very Hungry Caterpillar’, ‘I See a Song’, ‘Hello, Red Fox’
Lois Ehlert; Award winner illustrator and author, Lois Ehlert brings art to life with her collage style. She shows that art isn’t just about the line in a colourful way throughout her many books, which include – ‘Color Zoo’, ‘Planting a Rainbow’, ‘Chicka Chicka Boom Boom’, ‘Lots of Spots’, ‘Scraps’
Peter H. Reynolds; Art isn’t about perfection, it is about creation. That is the premise behind many of Peter H. Reynolds beloved picture books. See if you don’t fall in love with ‘The Dot’, ‘Ish’, ‘Sky Color’. Also check out International Dot Day. Its September 15ish.

Individual Books
o Art Dog by Thacher Hurd – Art Dog saves the day with some fancy brushwork when famous artwork is stolen from the Dogopolis Museum of Art.
o Art & Max by David Wiesner – Arthur is an accomplished artist, but his friend Max is just a beginner. When Max delves into new mediums, the results are unexpected, but great!
o Beautiful Oops by Barney Saltzburg – Sometimes mistakes make the most beautiful art. This fun pop-up book is full of lessons on how to look at art in a different way, thru smudges, tears, holes and more.
o Chalk by Bill Thomson – When a group of kids takes some chalk to the playground, creativity is set free and the world they create comes alive.
o Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson – The classic story of 4 year-old Harold, who creates a world of his own, compliments of his handy purple crayon.
o Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh – Learn about colour mixing with the help of a few cute mix who climb in and out of paint jars to mix up some fun.
o The Art Lesson by Tomie dePaolo – Tommy is thrilled to go to school to learn about art, until he discovers that there are ‘rules’. But he is excited to discover that you can still be an individual within the rules
o The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt – When Duncan goes to color, he discovers that the crayons have all quit. They are tired of only filling narrow roles and want to expand their color palette.
o Too Much Glue by Jason Lefebvre – Matty loves to create with glue, but his teacher warns him that he shouldn’t use too much. So Matty reaches for the fullest bottle he can with funny results.

We’re Moving Out of the Basement!

Its been a very exciting spring and summer. I have been busy creating relationships with local organizations and businesses to expand Budding Artists. Since 2008, I have been making the majority of Budding Artists products in my basement. My kids called it a sweatshop!  I am proud to say that I have been able to help over 75 organizations raise over $75,000 in last 6+ years.

Beginning this fall, Goodwill Industries will be making the majority of our products. In partnership with Pivotal Services, people who face barriers to employment will be developing job and social skills  while producing the majority of our products.  We are thrilled to be part of the process.  So not only will you be raising funds for your organization you will be supporting people in my local community to gain experience for mainstream employment.

Kid Friendly Mother’s Day Projects

Mother’s Day is almost here! There is nothing we like more that to spoil our very special Mom’s! Here’s some fun and Kid friendly ideas to Help make Mom’s Day Special!

Mother's Day Projects for Kids!


Projects 1-2-3

1. Family Map – Coco and Cocoa

2. Iron-On Kids Tote Bag for Mom – Martha Stewart

3. Hand Print Art – Adventures in Kindergarten

Projects 4-5-6

4. A Spring Gift – Creative Connections for Kids

5. Mother’s Day Flowers – We Bloom Here

6. Finger Print Tags – Things to Share and Remember

Projects 7-8-9

7. Free Mom I love You Printable – Busy Being Jennifer

8. Coupon Book For Mom – Martha Stewart

9. Fingerprint Pendants – A Girl and a Glue Gun