DIY Art Kit for Kids

DIY Art Kit for Kids | Mama.Papa.Bubba.Oh, the awesomeness that is the annual ‘cousins’ birthday’…  A few years back, my sister-in-law and I came up with a plan that allowed us to celebrate all of our kiddos’ birthdays in person, despite living in different provinces {or on different sides of the world}.  With all 5 of our kiddos having birthdays between July and November, we simply decided we’d do ONE celebration the one time we were guaranteed to be together each year – August long weekend in the Okanagan – and make it an official celebration of everyone!  And that’s what we’ve done ever since.  It’s super low-key…  We sing a big ‘happy birthday’ song that includes everyone’s names, each cousin opens a special gift, and then we play or hang out or get on with whatever else we had planned.  It’s something we look forward to each year!

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Roz {my sister-in-law} and I always check in with one another a little while in advance to see what the kids are into or if they have anything special on their wish lists, and I can’t tell you how excited I was when my little niece Kinslee {who is only 6 weeks different in age to Miss G} said, ‘Tell Auntie I’d like something crafty this year’.  Music to my ears!  I mean a giant LEGO prison island for Chayton and Retro Air Jordans with a rose gold swoosh for Korbin are pretty cool and all, but being able to make a DIY art kit for my creative little Kins?!  That’s my jam.


Miss G and I decided we’d tackle the project together and we both immediately agreed on the fact that our kit had to include the book Art Workshop for Children by Barbara Rucci (CAN) because we both just adore it for it’s open-ended project ideas and colourful photographs.

Then, with our art book selected,  we decided that we’d pick several projects, book mark them, and then include ALL of the required materials for those projects in a bin of some sort so that Kinslee could literally pick up her new book, flip open to a particular project, and have everything she needed to get started right there and ready to go.  {Pretty awesome, no?}

Miss G flipped through the book and very carefully chose 5 projects that she really loved and knew her cousin would love too.  I went through them with her afterwards to make sure we had enough variety and that the required materials were easy enough to include in a kit, and sure enough, they were perfect picks!


With our projects selected, we quickly jotted down a list outlining all of the materials we needed to include in our DIY art kit, and then the hunt was on!


The good news is that because most of the projects in Art Workshop for Children (CAN) use regular, everyday items, we had no trouble at all finding what we needed.  Between a stop at Collage Collage {our very favourite art studio}, Welk’s {a store both Miss G and I could wander the aisles of every week}, Urban Source {another fave}, and a the dollar store, we’d gathered everything in less than two hours!  {Though you could always streamline the process and order everything online… We were just happy to get to visit some of our favourite Vancouver shops one last time.}

Here are the projects we picked and the supplies we included with each:


Workshop 1:  Simple Frame Paintings

This is such a simple project, but often times simple is best and I absolutely love that it teaches kiddos the magic that is a painter’s tape border.  {I didn’t learn this trick until high school art and it’s certainly a game changer.}  It also gave me an excuse to gift Kinslee with our favourite puck paints, which is a win in my books!

For this workshop, we included:


Workshop 17:  Cardboard Collage Faces

We LOVE this one!  Miss G’s done it during her classes at Collage Collage and it was actually one of the projects we decided to do at Miss G’s art themed party too {where it was a total hit!}, so we knew that Kins would love it.

For this workshop, we included:


Workshop 18:  Wooden Bead Mobile

This is such a gorgeous project and as soon as Miss G told me it was one of the workshops on her list, I envisioned Kinslee’s beautiful hand painted mobile hung on the corner of her window frame with all of the other pretty little things in her bedroom.

For this workshop, we included:


Workshop 19:  Milk Carton Houses

Miss G fell in love with this project the moment she saw it, and for good reason.  Which child wouldn’t love creating their own colourful town filled with little houses and buildings, plus people to go with it?

For this workshop, we included:

IMG_0031Workshop 20: Heart Hangers

We haven’t tried this project yet, but free use of as much washi tape and glitter glue?  YES PLEASE. Which little creative doesn’t dream of that?!

For this workshop, we included:



And that was it! Once we had all of the items needed for each of our projects, we put them into large zip-close bags {I love the pretty ones at Ikea, but the large Ziplock ones would work just as well} and put a simple label on each.


When packing the bags, we tried to put everything as flat as we could, knowing that we’d be stacking or standing the project bags up in some sort of larger bin.


And here they are…  Our completed project bags!


Plus the book, of course!


When it comes to DIY gifts like this one, I usually just forgo the wrapping paper or gift bag and give it in a useful bin or container that can be used reused instead.


I wasn’t sure what that bin or container would look like for this particular gift, but when I came across this aqua wire basket at Home Sense, I knew it was the one.


To finish off the kit, we carefully placed each of the project bags into the basket, put the book at the front of the stack, and added an oversized gift tag.


And that’s it – our DIY art kit gift was complete! 

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7 thoughts on “DIY Art Kit for Kids

  1. Just saying – you are one of the most creative and thoughtful people in the world. I’m so inspired! I might do this for my nieces for Christmas! Thank you for sharing your amazingly cool idea!! The world is blessed because of your blog. And so is the writer of Collage Collage because I NEED to check out that book now.

  2. Megan (above), it’s sooooo true! How cool are Jen’s ideas?! If only I or my child was the lucky one to receive such gifts. Always incredible. My daughters friends (or maybe the Mothers??) have always been more than happy when I’ve gone down the route’s suggested on Mama.Papa.Bubba! Thank you Jen, once again for another great idea.

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