art · Crafting · preschool

Upcycle their ART: DIY Coasters!

Turn Kid Art into DIY coasters A few years ago, long before baby K and on the heels of a play date for miss R, I decided to turn our dining room into a playroom. The first couple years of R’s life included A LOT of toy pileup in our living room (still my reality) and I was determined to create a kid-friendly space of her own. That afternoon, I moved loads of impossibly heavy furniture, rearranged dressers and bookshelves, and curated various art areas. I shocked Mr. T with our new setup when he arrived home that evening (I’ve never been able to wait for help when I have an idea that needs setting in motion). 

Three years later, toys still litter our floors and I spend way too much time tidying rooms before imminent and perpetual kid-nadoes. But one thing the playroom has allowed for is wall space for R’s artwork. Kid artwork display wallMy girl is prolific, creating several pieces each day. I don’t keep everything, but I do my best to hold onto our favorites (which are plentiful). The above picture shows a mere fraction of the drawings and paintings on display, many created more than three years ago. The wall is at full-capacity — and plastic portfolios, binders and photo books are also swelling with artwork — so every now and then I come up with new ways to memorialize my little artiste‘s growing oeuvre. Enter: DIY Coasters from Upcycled Art. DIY coasters out of kid art upcycle DIY coasters made out of kid paintings and prints

I’ve used this very technique to make photo coasters before, and it rendered equally lovely results. Just make sure the artwork you’re upcycling is sturdy (made on card stock or heavy paper), otherwise it will crinkle or tear when gluing and setting. 

WHAT YOU NEED: 

  • old paintings or drawings on heavy-duty paper
  • blank tiles in any color (can be purchased from a hardware or craft store
  • scissors 
  • Mod Podge
  • foam brush
  • acrylic sealer (optional)
  • felt pads or cork for bottom of coaster 

WHAT YOU DO:

  1. Cut your artwork to fit the tile. 
  2. Using a foam brush, coat your tile and the back of your cut artwork with mod podge and adhere artwork to tile.  
    I used an artwork on thin paper on the left and you can see that it’s bunching more.
  3. Apply a coat of mod podge on top of the artwork, making sure all edges are coated. Let dry and repeat 1-2 more times. 
  4. When dry, seal with acrylic spray (if available). 
  5. Apply self-stick felt pads or cork pieces to the corners of your coaster’s bottom. Some of my coasters are double-sided (baring artwork on both sides) and therefore without felting — I figure the paper is protection enough. 
  6. You’re done! Upcycle kid art and make DIY coasters

Do you have any unique ideas for preserving, upcycling or utilizing your kid’s artwork?

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16 thoughts on “Upcycle their ART: DIY Coasters!

  1. This is a great idea, as my kiddo comes home from pre-school with trash bag sized bags full of her art work she created over the weeks. I think I’ll be ordering the supplies for this and getting started. Great idea for Xmas/Hanukkah gifts as suggested by @thefancyelephantlife

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  2. Such a great idea!!! Those coasters would be great gifts for grandparents and such, right?!
    You can also use their art for blank Thank You cards. If you have cardstock you can fold that once and glue some art (cut to size) on the front. You could also glue artwork to cardboard and cut that into a puzzle, though I’ve not personally tried that.

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  3. Yes! Thanks for the creative ideas! Thank you cards would work great, too — hadn’t thought of gluing on to card stock. We’ve done a clay puzzle (my mom’s a professional mosaic artist), but not out of artwork yet. If we try that I’ll blog about it and thank you!

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  4. This is such a good idea! I am going to do this with my grandson for him mom & dad!! He is 3 so I am hoping that he is old enough. Any age recommendations?

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    1. That sounds great! Perhaps you do the cutting — unless he’s good with precise scissor-work. Just cut the artwork to fit the tile (you could do it collage-style as well, if he wants to cut himself and assemble together). But my daughter has been working with mod-podge for years :).

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  5. I’m not a Mommie, but I have a lot of art from my baby cousins and sister. My mom often calls me a sentimental hoarder because I hate to throw their projects away. (I have a big poster done by my little cousins hanging in my closet. My plan is to frame it and keep it forever.)

    Anyway, I love the idea of making coasters from the art.

    Liked by 1 person

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