Watercolor the Walls

Do any other parents ever struggle with what to keep from their children’s’ childhood? Doodles, handprint art, noodle necklaces, a pre-K report card? I’ve given a little thought to saving all the things that my kids create. Honestly, I have a small plastic bin for both of them, and really there are only a few things I have saved into them; baptism certificates, baby shower cards, a smattering of birthday cards that were meaningful, and a pre-K report card for my son.

Honestly, I think most of us yearn to give our kids some sort of memory box filled with childhood mementos to give them when they leave the house. Just a little reminder of where they came from, all the things we did together, and who continues to love and support them as they become more independent. I personally love things like that! So that is the inspiration for this next project. P.S. I have been focused on painting crafts a lot recently….

I want to have a few more artsy-type crafts saved from their childhood for them to reflect back on when they move out. Keep a few thoughtful memories aside from just photos, right? But not just another standard doodle or a squiggle, we have doodle drawer that I can’t quite get to sorting through yet. I wanted a few of those mementos to be a bit nicer, more meaningful for the long haul.

So with that being said…


Things to Use:

  • 8”x11” white canvas (or the size you prefer)
  • watercolors
  • paint brushes
  • water cup
  • indelible marker
  • stencil print out of their favorite character, toy, etc.
  • tape

This one has a few minutes of prep before the kids jump into painting, but it gives me a few creative minutes in the process!

Ask your kids what they would like to paint on their canvas. My son wanted the Mystery Machine from Scooby Doo, and my daughter gave a curt answer, “Minnie.” I quickly hopped on a search engine and queried Mystery Machine stencil, and Minnie Mouse stencil. Picked out the stencil the kid’s liked best, and sent it to the printer (hooray for Wi-Fi printing capabilities!).

I trimmed off the excess white edge of the stencil paper so it fit to the back of the canvas, and then taped it to the back of the canvas, like so.


I held the canvas up to the window, and using the indelible marker, traced the stencil onto the canvas. Once, the tracing was done, I simply pulled off the paper copy stuck on the back of the canvas, and let the canvases dry for about ten minutes or so.


I setup the watercolors, brushes, and those little glass mason jars for rinsing at the table.

Once the canvases were ready to be painted, the kids were super excited to watercolor! Actually, they were both running and hopping in excitement as soon as the stencils were printing out and being traced.


There may have been a bit too much enthusiasm about the water rinsing between colors because the canvases became a puddle of paint water a few minutes in. So I sopped up the excess, which actually became a second chance to watercolor their canvases. But overall, this was pretty self-contained for mess making.

We let the canvases dry overnight, and then they were ready to be hung up! A cute art project to (proudly) hang in their own rooms, and once they outgrow it, those canvases will be awesome memory bin keepers!


Enjoy the memory making,





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