What to do with your Preschoolers Artwork

When Oscar started preschool back in January 2015, I was adamant I would keep and display any artwork he came home with. Within the first week he came home with enough daubs to wallpaper the house. I had no idea what dross the nursery would consider his art and pass on to me to deal with! OK, maybe that’s a bit harsh, some of it is beautiful in its own right. I actually do have one of his first paintings on the stair wall. I was struck by how much like a Japanese scroll it looked and I love displaying it. But seriously, most of it is enormous pieces of A3 size paper with a couple of splashes of paint on it. And quite quickly I realised these rolls of “art” we’re going to take over my house if I kept them all.

So last summer I came up with various way to use his art. Some of it I used as wrapping paper. This went down a storm with the recipients but the paper the nursery use is quite thick and wrapping with it was physically difficult. However, if you can manage it I highly recommend it. It looks wonderfully effective, particularly when tied with string. Some of it I did actually display. I had a mind to display one new piece a week, in a sort of gallery, but he brings home sooooooo much, that it didn’t really work as a thing. I gave some to grandparents and great grandparents, but again it did nothing to even dent the pile I had growing in the conservatory. And so that’s when I came up with the idea of consolidating it.

It worked so well and the resultant gift was so gratefully received that when the art work started to build up again this year, I decided to do the same again.

Just two terms worth of preschool artwork

Just two terms worth of preschool artwork. Each roll has several pieces of A3 paper, some with just a few strokes.

You will need a way to cut the artwork (I use my Scotch Saftey Cutter), plain A4 paper and glue.

You will need: a tonne of toddler paintings, a way to cut the artwork (I use my Scotch Safety Cutter), plain A4 paper and glue.

Start by cutting the artwork into strips.

Start by cutting the artwork into strips.

I like to cut across the lines, so you can still see the strokes.

I like to cut across the line of paint, so you can still see the brush strokes.

Start gluing them on the paper in a haphazard manner. The idea is to build up layer of colour.

Start gluing the strips onto the A4 paper in a haphazard manner. The idea is to build up layers of colour.

Glue the pieces so they lie over the edge of the paper

Glue the strips so they over lap the edge of the paper

Like so. When you feel you have enough colour you can trim these pieces off

Like so. When you feel you have enough colour you can trim the excess off

Et voila, one massive pile of art, is now one cool piece of design.

Et voila, one massive pile of art, is now one cool piece of design.

Now you can either frame it, which is what Ben’s mum did with the piece I made for her last summer. Or I am also thinking you could cut out shapes from the newly created artwork and frame those on a white background. Oscar loves fish at the moment and fish shapes cut out of this would look awesome in his room.

What do you do with all the artwork your children bring home? I’m always looking for new ideas!


Liquid Eyeliner and Me

I’ve been wearing liquid eyeliner since I was 17 years old. You don’t need to know that was 20 years ago, but I’ll tell you anyway (while sobbing into my make up bag!). Anyway recently, I’ve started to notice that my skin isn’t necessarily as, errr, taught as it once was, particularly on my eyes; meaning my Rimmel liquid eyeliner is getting harder to apply and more importantly to look good. Gone are the days of just ‘drawing the line’ and being done with it!

Now I don’t wear make up day to day. Partly because I’m lazy and partly because I just don’t see the point. It’s all I can do to remember to slap a bit of moisturiser on in the morning. But I think it’s also something to do with ingrained make up habits I’ve had for a long time, i.e. when I do it, I do it full on. Primer, foundation, concealer, blusher, three shades of eyeshadow, liner, mascara, khol, lipstain/stick/gloss. I just don’t see the point of just mascara, or just gloss. Go large or go home, that’s my make up motto and the same goes for my eyeliner preference. I love a good dramatic wing.


So back to not being so good at them. While meandering through Boots last week on a rare day by myself, I decided to ask the Benefit ladies about their gel liner pen (the They’re Real Liner – nope not a fan of the name sorry). I figured perhaps gel would be easier to apply to my wrinkled old eyelids. As the 17 year old assistant who served me agreed! A sigh and a sob! No, she was a dear really and was able to do a lovely, if small for my taste, wing on one eyelid for me. But could I get the other eye to match? Could I figroll!! What a mess. But it did seem to be going on well, so I spunked out the cash for the new pen and off I trotted with my first piece of Benefit make up. Happy me.

Trouble was, I just couldn’t do it again when I got it home. Oh blimey, what a palaver. I watched Benefit’s own tutorial videos and everything and I still ended up wonky. Too thick this side, too thin that. I think the pen is going to take practice too, it’s a very different style to the fine liquid liner I’m used to. However, give it it’s due, it has the staying power (although not, I hasten to add, the consistency) of dried on Ready Brek. Nothing (except my lovely Liz Earle) can get the bugger off!

Anyway, somewhat in despair I started searching Pinterest for some kind of tutorial. All the ones I’d seen on YouTube, were good and all, but were make up ‘experts’ showing you how to do it on other people. I needed to know how to do it on myself. Then I stumbled on a doozy of a blog post by Batalash Beauty. It’s a great post, however the two most important things I took from it were:

  1. Look down when applying your liner, not forward
  2. Hold the liner almost parallel to your eye, rather than at a right angle to it

I tried this and immediately the wrinkle issue suddenly wasn’t one and by holding the liner differently I could draw the line with even a khol pencil! It was a revelation. Straight away I could do an even, decent, dramatic wing.

Now I just need to practice using my new pen. The 17 year old me would be so proud.