The boys and I had a fun weekend working on some artwork for their room. We’ve been in our new place for over six months and I think it’s high time we got something on the walls, particularly in the boys room. I wanted to do something simple and graphic, and most importantly, something that the boys themselves could do, pretty much on their own. So we came up with a circle punch art idea.
We started with several 1 1/4 inch circles punched out a various types of patterned and textured papers. Little A (5) was especially good at punching out the circles and did quite a few of them on his own. Little O (3) did a few as well but had to have help pushing the punch.
We decided to make our artwork based on a couple of 28 ¼” x 40 ¼” IKEA RIBBA frames that we had. So we cut a large sheet of white poster board to fit nicely in the frame, at least 1/2 inch larger, on all sides, than the mat window measurements of 27 ½” x 39 ¼”.
I then proceeded to measure out where we wanted the circles to go. I made little dots for where they boys could place the circles. I measured 1 3/4″ between each one (I liked how the spacing looked at this distance but you can do whatever you feel looks good based on the size of your circles).
I then let the boys place the various circles on the marked grid.
And let me tell you, they had a lot of fun doing this. I never know how they will react to certain craft projects and i was a little surprised at just how into this one they got. I think they really loved the freedom of it and how easy it was to figure out. They took turns placing the different circles (we are just laying them out at this point to see how things look, we didn’t glue them down until the very end) and were delighted to see how things slowly came to life, the more circles they placed.
Little A was very particular about not using the same colored/patterned circle in one line. He also would notice if we didn’t have a lot of circles in a particular color/pattern and was quick to punch out a few more so it would be more even. Little O was less concerned about that and just loved placing as many circles as he possibly could. Their different approaches definitely stressed each other out but we worked it out together. I also decided that we would do two of these so that each boy could have more ownership over one than the other and so that we could put each one over their beds.
Once all the circles were laid out we talked about how we liked the look of things. I’d ask them questions such as “What do you think about all these blues and yellows together? Do you think we should space them out more and replace some with different colors and patterns?”. I’m a big believer in helping your child see shapes, colors, patterns and just the general design of things. I think kids gain more confidence from an art project that has some limitations, helping them learn about good design, than I do from a free for all (which is, I concur, an appropriate approach for certain projects at certain times).
Once we were happy with the overall layout of the circles I had the boys glue them down (using the “dot, dot, not a lot” mantra), which they LOVED. We used simple Elmer’s glue because that is what we had and to keep things easy for the boys, but you could use glue sticks or glue dots or really any type of adhesive you prefer. The boys took turns as to who would glue and who would place the circles. They loved each job immensely.
Once everything was glued down and dry, we placed the finished artwork in our frame. The boys really loved seeing their work presented with such prestige.
They also loved looking at particular circles they placed and were quick to point them out.
And like them, I’m so happy with the experience and how well the final product turned out. We did the second set of circles shortly after this one and I can’t wait to put them above the boys beds!
(oh, and if you are thinking, “Little A needs a bit of haircut”, well don’t worry, he took matters into his own hands and snipped off the back of his hair yesterday…so no more mullet…and after a bit of repair…and a little lecture…it all ended up looking A-OK. Oh and we cut Little O’s bangs so he can see now. :)).