Zander and I discovered some lovely colored canvases on sale for 60% off at Michael’s this week, and we decided to use one for one of Alex’s Father’s Day gifts. Alex is far too busy to ever read my blog, so I feel comfortable publishing this before Sunday and am not worried that doing so will spoil the surprise. 🙂
Gift number one (above) is a simple handprint and footprint painting, with the hands forming leaves on the tree and the foot forming a bluebird. It was inspired by a variety of fun Pinterest findings and is pretty self-explanatory. I painted the base of the tree first and let it dry before bringing Zander in to add all of the special touches.
Gift number two (below) is a cell phone holder for use while charging Alex’s phone. It was also inspired by something I found on Pinterest and is designed to keep Alex’s phone safely out of the reach of 4-year-old hands while charging. It is made from a repurposed Tom’s of Maine mouthwash bottle.
Here’s how to help your child make his or her own:
1. Find a plastic bottle in your home that is relatively flat/oval in shape (so it won’t stick out too far from the wall and get in the way) and preferably already empty. In this case, our container was not empty, so I transferred its contents into a glass bottle and then thoroughly rinsed the inside of the plastic container.
2. Remove all labels and carefully clean the outside of the plastic container.
3. Hold your cell phone up to the container and map out a design in your head, making sure it is deep enough that you won’t risk your phone falling out of the holder if bumped. I wrapped a piece of paper around the container to help me draw a straight line. Also, I used a dry-erase marker rather than a permanent marker so that I could wipe away any mistakes or stray markings after cutting, but you could use whatever you have on hand, and it really doesn’t matter if you are planning to cover the holder with paint or fabric.
4. I was initially planning to cut out a square so that the holder could be mounted around the plug on the electrical outlet, but all of our outlets are close to the ground, and I wanted this to hang higher, so I wiped this part of the design away and left the top in tact.
5. Using scissors or an X-acto knife, carefully cut along your drawn lines.
6. If desired, draw and then cut a small opening at the bottom, allowing the smaller portion of your phone charger plug to pass through while keeping the larger part secure within the container. (Scroll down a few shots to see what I mean by this). You could totally skip this part and tuck your phone in with the cord sticking up out of the top, if you prefer. I just thought this would look a little cleaner and more streamlined.
7. Decorate your container however you like. Some people on Pinterest recommend adhering fabric with Mod Podge, and that looks really pretty, but I wanted the decorating part of the project to be something that Zander could do, so we decided to paint it instead. First, we coated the entire outside surface with a thick layer of black acrylic paint.
8. For our design, Zander chose the animals, and then I helped him paint on the needed appendages. The base of each animal is a hodgepodge of Zander’s fingerprints. Zander chose ocean animals because he is very proud that his Daddy works to protect them. Part-way through, he decided that at least one of the animals should be an alien with multiple eyes. The additional googly eyes scattered around the scene are plankton. I was originally planning to coat the entire thing with Mod Podge as a sealer/finish, but at this point, I think we will simply leave it as it is.
9. When dry, hang your holder on the wall with either a nail or a thumb tack. We did a trial run with a thumb tack, and it seemed sturdy enough, but once Alex decides where he’d like the holder to be located, we’ll probably use a nail for the final mounting.
To close, here is a shot of our work station. In case you were wondering, this 9×12-foot canvas drop cloth is one of the best purchases I have ever made. I highly recommend it.
I can’t wait to watch Zander give these super-fun gifts to Alex on Sunday! He is extremely proud of them, as he should be! 🙂