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.