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.

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!

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?

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.

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

Mother’s Day Giveaway

Mother’s Day is around the corner and we know that one of the best things to get on mother’s day is a creations for your children. A hand made card, a painting to hang on the fridge, a piece of art to display for all to see.

That is what we would like to see. We want to see the art your children have created.

Upload a photo of your children’s art work on our Facebook wall, and enter below once you have done that and you’ll be entered to win a beautiful necklace with a replica of that piece.

Keepsake Necklace

The contest will close Thursday April 24th, at midnight. And the winner will be announced Friday April 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, for the month of April we have put our Travel Mug and Keepsake Necklace on sale for $20.00 +HST each. A great Mother’s Day gift. This is just while supplies last, so be sure to get your orders in quickly so you don’t miss out.

Five ideas for engaging your kids in an art gallery


1. Go on a Scavenger Hunt: Make your visit to an art gallery more fun by adding a little seek and find into your day. Craft a scavenger hunt list before your visit and print off one for everyone. Challenge your kids to find everything on the list. Adjust the difficulty level for the age of children involved. For example; find something blue (pre-schoolers), discover 5 faces (younger school-aged), locate a specific artist (Older school-aged).

2.  Make a top 5 list of your favourite pieces: We all have our likes and dislikes. Ask your children to vote on their top 5 pieces. Make it more challenging by picking favourites from specific mediums (i.e., best sculpture) or artists. Compare what they like to everyone else’s choices in your group and why. You can balance this with a discussion on what they didn’t like as much and why not.

3. Identify different styles of art: Art can be made in so many different ways. See if your children can identify the medium used to create artwork (i.e. pencil, watercolour, oils). Point out the varied mediums used and compare it to their own styles and what they might have at home. Can you find abstract pieces? How about still life images, portraits, landscapes? You can precede your visit with an introduction to art at home, or expand on your art gallery experience by reading up on specific artists or styles later. Better yet, bring along some different mediums of your own and have them sketch their own while you are there!

 4. Strike a pose: Many art pieces contain people. Challenge your children to copy the poses from the paintings. This brings a kinetic energy to the experience, which is perfect for wiggly kids. You just might take a stoic Mona Lisa or handsomely posed David home at the end of the day.

5. Find a friend: Encourage children to slow down and look closer at paintings by getting them to find familiar things. Bring the art work alive and make it more personal and accessible, by bringing it into their own world (ex. That man looks like Uncle Jack! I see my dog Shadow. She looks like my teacher.). You might find some funny comparisons, especially if you get them to find a painting that resembles themselves or you!


Major ART Galleries in Canada


March Break Craft and Art Projects

March break is coming up quickly! It can be a challenge to keep the kiddos busy, so we’re going to help you out! Here’s 12 crafts and art projects to keep them entertained and occupied!

12 Craft and Art Projects for March Break -

Decoupaged Eggs – Simple Easter Craft

Popsicle Park Bench

Clouds and Raindrops Craft

Lobster Kids Craft

Rainbow Wind Catchers

DIY Strawberry Planter

Walnut Nests