Finding inexpensive indoor family activities can sometimes be difficult, and often leads to the same old “movie and popcorn night”. While we enjoy a movie and popcorn as much as the next family, I am always looking for something else. When I saw this brilliant idea from my sister, I knew I had to try it out. She bought a large piece of insulation board from the hardware store, cut it to the size she wanted, and with the help of her kids, made a family painting that included colors that matched her decor. The possibilities are limitless, so we gave it a whirl.
What you’ll need:
– A piece of foam insulation board. These came in 15-foot sheets at my hardware store, and are one inch thick. They’re really easy to cut, they’re very lightweight- perfect to hang on a wall, and they look just like a canvas when painted.
– Assorted brushes and rollers, and sand paper or sanding block to smooth the edges after you cut them.
– Paint. I had some colors mixed in the little sample jars at the hardware store, and I also ended up using acrylic craft paint. Any kind will work really, but spray paint will not work- it bubbles and sort of melts the insulation board.
– Also not pictured is a utility knife and a square for cutting.
First, measure and cut your board. This is just so great because you can go as big or little as you want. Be sure to have a sharp knife or you’ll sort of “snag” the edges and it won’t cut smoothly. My brother also mentioned that he scored the board first with the knife and then snapped it like dry-wall.
I’m not so good with measuring and straight lines, so I definitely needed the square to line things up.
Once you have your piece cut, sand the rough edge to make it as smooth as possible. Don’t worry about it too much, but make it as finished-looking as you can manage.
Paint! I rolled the base-coat on the board and did the edges at the same time. My fingers were messy but it worked for me. I did this project outside because the weather was nice, but this can easily be taken indoors or into the garage. I applied one coat and it covered the board well.
Have some fun! I limited my kids to a few different colors, but told them they could do anything they wanted with the exception of people, stars, or hearts.
When my sister did hers (pictured above), she painted a few thick layers of paint and then let her three year old do some squiggles and fun things with a brush. She also let her one year old get his fingers in on the action. Then, when the kid’s work was dry, she added a few flourishes of orange to pull everything together. I love the results, but bear in mind that this project will likely leave you with a modern or abstract piece or artwork.
In our painting, the boys started doing lines and just kept going.
Lastly, you may want to illuminate your art with a picture perfect light. (These are really great for any piece you want to showcase.)
We had a lot of fun, and my boys felt really good about helping me with a project like this. The nice thing about this project is that you can use one sheet of insulation for multiple paintings, so if you end up not liking one, you can do another, or hang a painting for a month and then do a new one.
We ended up with some crazy artwork, but I think it’s neat, and my boys love it because they get their work hung on the wall. You can easily hang this with a 3M strip or even drive a nail into the wall and just smoosh the board onto it.
Let everyone get in on it and have fun!
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