Thursday, August 15, 2013

First Day of School Picture Frame Craft #kids #craft

by Amanda from Crafts-N-Things for Children for
for ages 4 & up with Adult Participation and/or Supervision

For some school has already started and for others it is just around the corner. My little guy will be headed off to kindergarten later this month {insert sniffles and teary eyes here}. As a way to remember this very special day, we made a crafty 1st day of Kindergarten picture frame. This would be fun for pre-k through 3rd grade. It could be changed to say something like "My 1st Day of School" or "Officially a 1st Grader."

1st Day of School Picture Frame Craft - add a photo from the day in place of the drawing
Replace drawing with photo from that day

Supplies Needed:
1st day of school photo
Modeling clay
Craft sticks
Glue - we used hot glue
Permanent black marker
String or something similar
Clay Play Set by Melissa & Doug - optional
Sequins, gems, glitter glue, etc. - optional

Modeling clay for kids #artsupplies

Time Needed:
About 1 hour + overnight drying

Cut a piece of cardboard into a square shape in a size that you prefer.

We chose red, blue, and yellow modeling clay since primary colors are often associated with school. Alternatively, you could do a solid color or white and have the children decorate/color it with markers, gems, buttons, and so on. Choose a smooth surface and break the clay into smaller sections. Spread the pieces out randomly and then mold the colors together where the gaps are.

Modeling clay back to school craft #kids

Have the child press it with a rolling pin into a flat piece. Next, have them fold the clay in half and then flatten it again. This will create the swirls without the clay changing colors if you were to mix it together.

Modeling Clay craft for kids

Press onto the cardboard square until all the areas are covered. Flatten with the rolling pin until it looks nice and smooth. My toddler said it looked like a napkin and asked if she could please use it..... he, he!

Cut a square section of just clay out where the picture will eventually go - in whatever size you think looks best. You could have the center part cut out with the picture behind it, but I chose this way so that it would be sturdy and  not get wrecked or bent. Set aside to dry overnight.

1st day of school picture frame craft

While the modeling clay is drying, color 3 craft sticks using red, blue, and yellow markers. Cut one end on each so that it is a straight edge. Cut the opposites ends into a triangular point. They should now resemble crayons. Use permanent black marker to draw a line on each end so it looks like where the paper labels are on most crayons (this part is optional). I found that using regular markers caused it to bleed a lot which is why a permanent marker is best. Next, write 1st Day of School or something similar and the date so that it is spread out over all 3 crayons. We chose to write 1st Day of Kindergarten on ours and predated it with what will soon be his 1st day of school later this month.

Popsicle stick 1st day of school craft for kids

Take a photo of the child on the big day. Since we made ours before the school year starts, I had my son make a little drawing of himself to place inside for the purpose of this blog post; eventually we will replace with a real photo.

The easiest way to make the photo fit inside will probably be to use a paper template. To do this, take a piece of paper and place it over the handmade frame - this part should be done after it has dried completely. Use a pencil to outline where the square is, then cut it out. If you are having a hard time seeing, just push the paper down and cut where the bend marks are. Test to make sure the paper fits and trim accordingly if it does not. Place the template over the picture and outline it with a pencil, then cut the photo. Place it inside using either glue or tape to adhere it to the cardboard. Use acid-free glue or tape if you'd like to prevent the photograph from turning brown overtime.

Cut a small piece of string and glue it to the top of your frame so it looks like an upside-down u. Cut 2 pieces of string in the length you would like the crayons to hang down from the bottom of the frame. Glue the string to the backsides of the crayons and cardboard.

Now you have a cute keepsake that your child can hang somewhere to remember this special occasion!

There are many possible ways to make this same type of frame. Instead of using multiple colors, it could just be one color. If using one color, it would be neat to use one of the blocks from the clay play set to make impressions on just the edges or all over. A plain colored one could be decorated with things like glitter glue, sequins, beads, or anything else you can think of that would look great. If using white clay, the kids could color or draw on it once it is hard. Older kids could make pencils instead of crayons with the craft sticks.

What back to school crafts and activities have you made in the past or plan to this year? We would love for you to share your ideas and examples in the comments!

More back to school fun:
Decorated Notebooks
Meet the Teacher Gift (preschool & kindergarten)
Getting Back into a Routine

Amanda, also known as @artsy_momma, is a mommy blogger who loves doing all things creative. She enjoys doing crafts with her children as well as mommy made DIY projects. You can follow them on their creative learning journey by heading over to their Crafts-N-Things for Children blog. Amanda also has a passion for creating Handprint and Footprint art. You can find her blogging everything from precious keepsakes & holiday art to just for fun crafts. 

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