Summer Art Projects for Kids

Last summer, I started a fun art project with my kids. We came up with a list of 50 easy, fun art projects all the kids would enjoy. We have most of the stuff for the art projects, so when we need a cure for Summer Boredom Syndrome, we pull out the art project list. (Get the printable list here!) And I’m back this summer to show you some of our favorite projects from the list.

Race Car Painting

Painting with race cars is quick and easy to throw together at a moment’s notice. Just grab some toy cars (it’s best if you can find some with different tire sizes/patterns), some craft paint (any type of acrylic paint works well and washes up easily, and some paper. 

Let the kids drive the cars around and see what they come up with! This is a project my kids ask to do all the time. 

Bouncy Ball Painting

Painting with bouncy balls is another one of our favorites. Can you tell I like to paint with toys? 😉 But my 10-year-old loves this project, too because it gets a little wild. We do this project outside on our picnic table; but the sidewalk or driveway would be perfect, too. Same thing here: acrylic craft paint is perfect. Grab some bouncy balls and a paper plate or two. Suqeeze the paint onto the paper plate and roll/dip the ball with paint. Then throw it at the paper. Somehow this activity always turns into a dodge the paint-bomb as well as creating a fun art project. If you did this with a roll of butcher or kraft paper, it would make a fun gift wrap for summer birthdays, too. 

Salt + Watercolor

And finally, we have salt paintings. This one is kind of like a fun science experiment and an art project at the same time. Start by drawing a picture with white school glue. Outlines work best. If you get a big puddle, it kind of turns into a blob. But you want a nice, thick line of glue. Next sprinkle the entire glue drawing with salt. I prefer coarse crystals; but table salt works great, too. While the glue is still wet, grab some watercolor paints and get to work! Load your brush with paint and water and gently touch it to the salt crystals. The salt pulls the water and paint right out of the brush and it spreads across the surface of the painting. Let the paintings dry overnight, and display them with pride! 

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Get the Look: Banana Leaf Print

Banana Leaf print. It’s everywhere. This article from online interior designers Laurel & Wolf inspired me to give it a whirl. I don’t typically decorate with large patterns, so this was a great way for me to get out of my comfort zone. Just for fun, I challenged myself to style the pattern in three different rooms. I’m so excited with the results. Let’s start with the bedroom: Banana Leaf-02If we’re using banana leaf wallpaper, we need to start with the original. This pattern is the one used in the Beverly Hills Hotel; which is where it all began. I would do one focal wall with the wallpaper, and opt for a softer off-white paint for the rest of the room. I kept all the furniture and accessories really neutral and threw in some black and white pillows and a geometric chandelier to make it a little more playful. I think this would make an especially inviting guest room.

Shop this Look: Wallpaper | Painting | Chandelier | Nightstand | Stripe Pillow | Dalmation Pillow | Lamp | Bedding | Bed


Banana Leaf-01

And now we’re on to the dining room. Statement curtains are the main attraction here. I love the way the banana leaf print pairs with pinks and corals. I opted for a table with clean lines, some comfy chairs and added a glam chandelier for some extra sparkle. I’d keep the walls light and airy and throw in some gorgeous, colorful artwork and some casual vases to make it a little less formal.

Shop this Look: Curtains | Chandelier | Paint | Vases | Artwork | Chairs | Dining Table

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This bathroom is my favorite. I love it so much, I may actually use it for my kids’ bathroom. The banana leaf print feels fresh and new in a large-scale watercolor. I’d keep the towels and accessories pretty simple here so there’s not too much going on in such a small space. A black claw-foot tub keeps the room from looking too theme-y; and some classic vintage-inspired hardware and wall sconces and a sparkling recycled glass countertop complete the look. 

Shop this Look: Shower Curtain | Towels | Countertop | Bath Fixtures | Basket | Wall Sconces | Bathtub

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If you’re not ready to go big with the banana leaves, you can always add a pop of the tropics here and there. I especially love the way Lulu & Georgia incorporated their banana leaf pillow with the other colors in this cheerful room. (image via Lulu & Georgia) Here are some other ways you can test-drive the leaf craze to see if it works for you: 
Banana Leaf-04

  1. Throw Blanket 
  2. Thank You Notes
  3. Art Print
  4. Throw Pillow
  5. Notebook
  6. Watercolor Art Print
  7. Vintage Side Chair

There you have it. I have to admit…I didn’t think I could pull off styling three rooms with tropical prints; but I actually really love them. I’m itching to grab a sledgehammer and get started on my kids’ bathroom. I’ll keep you posted on how it turns out. 

UPDATE: The nice folks over at Laurel & Wolf have offered all of my readers a 50% discount on their classic design package. Just use the code MEMDAY at checkout!

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Spring-Inspired Front Porch

Guys! It’s Spring! We’ve had lots of those proverbial April Showers lately; so I’m sure those May flowers are going to be AWESOME. My phlox is blooming like crazy, the weather is warming up and the air smells sweet. My friends at Wayfair wanted to know how my love of spring inspires my home projects. Spring is the time of year that I start turning my attention from the inside of the house to the outside. All winter long, I work on interior projects–painting, rearranging, organizing, etc. And once spring arrives, I can’t wait to brush off the dirt left behind by Ol’ Man Winter and breathe some life back into the exterior of our home. 

Spring Inspired-01Last spring, I sanded down our old, weathered wood front door and gave it a fresh coat of paint. I decked it out with a fancy doorknob and a handmade wreath. The results of that simple makeover make me so happy every time I pull into my driveway. Now that spring is here again, it’s time for me to wipe down the door, freshen up the wreath and grab a new door mat…and then I’ll start planting flowers. I really like to keep my planters simple so the flowers can take center stage. And I’d love to change up my house numbers, and maybe even my exterior lanterns this spring. It’s really amazing the big impact small changes can make.

BeforeHere’s a before shot of my sad, cracked and yellowed front door. Since I never really planned for this to be a before/after project…so you get to take a walk with me down memory lane to see a picture of my blurry, barefoot babies jumping off the front step. I can’t believe how tiny they were when we moved here! 

And here’s the after:

Door After

I decided to save thousands of dollars by sanding and painting the door myself rather than replacing the door completely. Our exterior is very, very brown; so I like the addition of a little bit of classic navy. Seeing the big impact this little project has inspires me to take on a few more projects this spring. 

I’ve created a little inspiration board here for you on some quick, easy ways you can freshen up your front porch for spring. Here’s a shopping list:

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 So there you have it! Make sure to check out all the other outdoor goodies Wayfair has for your spring makeovers. Happy Spring, Everyone!

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Playroom Do-Over

I haven’t been blogging much at all this year. I’ve been focusing on some fun projects for my shop; and for my home. I’m so excited to finally share some of these projects with you! 

Our playroom has been a source of frustration ever since we moved in. The previous owners had used the room as a gym and had installed one of those modular black rubber floors. Initially, I thought it would be great for the kids. It was squishy and soft and virtually indestructible. Then the kids hated it. It felt weird on their feet; it was cold, and it held onto dust and gunk and was kind of gross. 

The other major problem with the playroom in its current condition is that it’s too full of stuff. Where does all the stuff come from? I have no idea. It’s always such a mess that there’s no room to play. Imagine my laundry room (pre-makeover) but with toys. It’s time to clean and simplify. 

Playroom Style Board-01
My goal with this space is to create a room that gives them plenty of room to play. I have every intention of donating and/or storing all of the toys they’ve outgrown or don’t use. Most of my kids’ playtime is spent drawing, building or crafting. I have no idea where they get it from. 😉 But if that’s how they like to play, let’s give them a good space for it. 

I started a couple weeks ago by installing a laminate wood floor. Laminate is never my first option from a quality standpoint, but this is a room for my kids to play in and make a mess in. I want something that is stress-free and inexpensive. Laminate does just the trick. I was able to install the entire floor in one Saturday. (And it doesn’t look terrible!) I love do-able DIY projects. 

Next, in order to free up floorspace, I’m going to mount everything on the walls that I can. A giant magnetic whiteboard will keep them busy playing school or restaurant or drawing elaborate escape plans for the zombie apocalypse. I’m going to make some sturdy wooden shelves to house art supplies and I’ll finish off the room with a big roll of kraft paper they can draw on/craft with. We’re installing taller legs on our old play table and adding larger, metal chairs so the furniture fits their growing bodies. Speaking of growing bodies, I’ve always wanted a ruler-style growth chart, and this black one is perfect.

I’m keeping the room really simple with natural wood tones, black, grays and white. The bright chairs and the kids’ artwork will add a pop of color. We’ve got one awkward wall that is begging for a wallpaper accent…and this is wallpaper they can draw on! So hooray for turning that awkward wall into useable space!

I’m thrilled with how things are coming along so far; and I hope this will be a space they can use for years to come. I can’t wait to show you the finished room! 

Here’s a source list: 

  1. Kraft Paper Roll
  2. Green Chairs
  3. Play Table
  4. Growth Chart
  5. Frames Wallpaper
  6. Raw Steel Shelf Brackets
  7. Paint Color – Driftwood
  8. Laminate Flooring
  9. White Board

I hope your weekend is filled with lots of spring cleaning and DIY projects! I know mine will be. xox



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