Turn Toddler Canvas Art into Wall Décor for Your Home
Our playroom has nothing on the walls, so I thought, why not let the little man decorate his own canvas art? with help from Momma of course! This DIY was a project for me and an activity for our rambunctious toddler. But a good time was had by all and I’m super pleased with how this turned out in the playroom.
Here’s the grand artist himself. This picture was only made possible by the Little Tykes food on the carpet. They are a key piece to our willingness to participate in this photoshoot, obvs.
Watch Our Video: Toddler Canvas Art
The Toddler Painting Activity
- Canvas Roll or Pre-finished Canvas
- Washable Paint
- Age appropriate objects to paint with (we used sponges and a dump truck)
- OPTIONAL: Mod Podge and Gold Leaf Foil
Before you get started, have some towels on hand. Clean up always goes smoother when you’re prepared for it. If I ever need to make a fast exit on our activity it’s always significantly less dramatic when I have everything I need right next to us to clean up.
My strategy here was to make this fun for little man, but also to have it look somewhat nice. I selected the colors for our project and let him do his thing from there. I didn’t want to offer him too many colors because I was afraid it was going to turn into a huge brown mess.
Blue is his FAVORITE color and I knew if I included blue that it would entice him to participate. I wanted a secondary color that would pop. Orange and blue are complimentary colors, but in all honesty, I can’t have Blippi jumping out at me around every corner of my life. So I chose red as the secondary color. If your child is addicted to Blippi, you know. If you don’t have any idea what I’m saying, count your blessings and skip right past this.
While we were painting we talked about the colors we were using. Strawberries are a favorite food right now, so he was shouting about berries while holding the red sponge 🙂
You can use almost anything to paint with! I cut up kitchen sponges for a lot of our painting projects and keep them on hand to reuse. But this time I also incorporated the wheels on his dump truck. I used the red sponge to paint the wheels and then I let him push his truck around on the canvas.
I also painted the bottom of his feet to catch some toddler magic as he walked across the canvas. See that big red foot?
So here I am with the most beautiful thing he’s ever made. I’m also the kind of mom that puts everything he makes on the fridge for a month. How it turned out actually far exceeded my expectations.
To add a little elevation to this canvas art, I added some gold leaf foil after the paint dried. I used Mod Podge and a paint brush to apply it to the canvas. The gold leaf breaks very easily, which I got the hang of after the first few applications.
If you like this kid’s activity and want to read more, check out more of our Kid’s Projects!
How to Make a Frame for Your Canvas Art:
Cut your wood with the miter saw to the desired length. I wanted a large rectangle. The cross supports are important to provide integrity and stability to the frame. It will be wobbly without them.
I used a simple box design to create the frame. Since this will be hidden behind the canvas art it doesn’t need a mitered frame.
I assembled the entire frame using just the nail gun.
Once the frame was finished, I laid down the canvas face down and placed the frame on the back. I secured the canvas to the frame with a staple gun.
Pull the canvas tight around the frame and staple along the back. I stapled the canvas art to the frame about every 2 or so inches. The corners are just like wrapping a present. Pull tightly and make crisp folds at the corners to get the cleanest look for your canvas art!
I made two more canvas art pieces to flank both sides of the toddler art! I used the same colors so they would look like a set, but the design is much different so it adds a little interest to the gallery.
All three pieces also feature the gold leaf foil. I think the golf leaf really pulls all the pieces together and unites them even though the strokes in the paint are vastly different.