Kid’s canvas art is an easy painting activity and makes a great Christmas gift for your child to give to a teacher or grandparent.
This kid’s canvas art painting activity pairs seasonal words for an easy Christmas gift idea your child can make as a gift for a teacher or grandparent.
When it comes to a teacher gift for Christmas, I think it’s important to involve your child in the process to help him or her understand the importance of giving to others. I think it drives home the point that Christmas is not just about your child and what Christmas presents they receive. The sooner we can help our children understand that important life lesson, the better it is for everyone. The dilemma of course, is teachers who have 20+ kids in their class don’t really need or want 20+ little trinkets every year.
With that in mind, the last few years my son and I have made something small and heartfelt for his teachers and then paired it with a related gift card. A few years ago, we gave them Christmas Mugs with small jars of cake mix and instructions to make microwaveable mug cakes. We paired those with Starbucks gift cards. Last year, my son and I worked together to make a kid’s canvas art painting for each of his preschool teachers and then paired it with a gift card to Hobby Lobby. I think they turned out cute and would make great DIY Christmas gifts for grandparents too!
The canvases we used were inexpensive and small. We designed them to function as Christmas home decor that would make the teacher think of our son each year when they hang them on the wall or set them on a shelf. We even had him sign and put the date on the back. Each kid’s canvas art painting paired two words commonly associated with Christmas:
- Merry + Bright
- Faith + Hope
- Grace + Peace
- Comfort + Joy
How to Make A Kid’s Canvas Art Painting for Christmas
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As far as DIY Christmas gifts go, a kid’s canvas art painting is incredibly easy to make. You just need some paints, brushes, vinyl letters, painter’s tape and a little time and patience. My son was 4 1/2 when we made the kid’s canvas art paintings, but I think any age child could do this project as long as they’re past the stage where they put everything in their mouths.
What You Need:
- 8 x 10 inch stretched canvases
- Vinyl letters
- Acrylic craft paint
- Metallic acrylic craft paint
- Glitter puffy paint
- Paint brushes
- Painter’s tape
- Newpaper, cardboard or drop cloth to protect your table
1. Paint a base coat. Have your child cover each canvas with a base coat of acrylic craft paint. Keep in mind that the base coat will end up being the actual color of the letters and the edges of the kid’s canvas art painting when you’re done.
If you’re going to do multiple kid’s canvas art paintings, it may be helpful to choose your color pairings ahead of time. I’ve been talking to my son about how artists get to make choices about what their art looks like so I let him do most of the pairings with just a little input from me when it came to the top coat color. I wanted to make sure there was enough contrast between the two layers for the lettering to really pop! Metallic acrylic paints really dress up a kid’s canvas art painting and give it a little holiday shimmer.
2. Apply the vinyl letters. After the base coat dries on each of your canvases, apply the vinyl letters for the words, phrases or word pairings you want to display. The letters are only going to act as masking, but you want them to be applied firmly enough that paint doesn’t leak under the sides of the letters too much. I did this step so we could make sure the letters were centered and straight. I made the plus sign between the words by cutting pieces of the scrap vinyl.
In this step, you’ll also want to apply painter’s tape around the edges of the canvases if you want the sides to match the lettering.
4. Paint the top coat. Have your child paint the canvases with a contrasting color. My son loved doing this step and got a kick out of being able to paint over the vinyl letters.
Because each kid’s canvas art painting was going to be for Christmas, we stuck with red, green and neutral metallic colored paints for both the top and bottom layers. I did let my son go out on a limb and paint the top coat on one of them black. It turned out awesome which just goes to show I should trust his artistic instincts. Let the top coat thoroughly dry then apply a second coat if necessary.
5. Drizzle the kid’s canvas art painting with glitter puffy paint. I thought it would be really fun to drizzle the canvases with glitter puffy paint to give them a little extra dimension.
I intended to have my son do this step, but his little hands weren’t strong enough to apply a gentle pressure on the puffy paint bottles, nor was he coordinated enough to quickly drizzle back and forth across each canvas. The one he did came out as big blobs of glitter puffy paint, which we just fixed by letting him spread the puffy paint with a paint brush.
6. Carefully remove the vinyl letters. Before the puffy paint is dry, carefully remove each of the vinyl letters. Try not to smudge the puffy paint too much as you do so. I was worried that if I waited to remove the vinyl letters after the puffy paint dried that the puffy paint might peel off in large chunks.
Once you remove all of the vinyl letters, take the painter’s tape of the edges too. Let each kid’s canvas art painting dry thoroughly.
7. Wrap, give and enjoy! Before you wrap each kid’s canvas art painting, make sure your child signs and puts the year on the back of the canvas so your child’s teacher can easily remember who gave it to him or her. We placed each kid’s canvas art painting in a standard shirt box along with a gift card to Hobby Lobby, wrapped it with pretty paper and ribbon.
My son was so proud to walk into school with a large bag filled with special presents he created himself for his teachers (with a little help). He just grinned from ear-to-ear when I dropped him off that day, making it well worth the time we’d spent together making these easy, inexpensive Christmas gifts.
What’s the most creative gift you and/or your child ever made for a teacher? Please comment below and share, we’re always looking for new ideas.
While you’re here, you may also enjoy these Ideas for the Home by Kenarry™ –
- Free Printable Teacher Appreciation Thank You Card and other suggestions we have for teacher gifts
- Christmas Mug Cake Gifts
- DIY Heart Photo Key Chain – it’s the perfect homemade gift idea for a loved one.
- This fun Christmas Dice Game to keep the kids entertained.
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