Friday, November 11, 2011

More Family Art

Here's a new family art project we've just about finished.

It features self-portraits of all of the kids.
Left to right, top to bottom, they are as follows:
Jake - 19, Nick - 17, Emily - 15,
Julia - 12 (at the time), Josiah - 9, Sam (complete with four-wheeler scar)
Ben - 5, Mari - 3, Gabe - 12 months. (Julia drew Gabe's.)

Sometimes projects take us a looooooong time to finish.
(And that would be a huge understatement. Ha Ha.)
But hey, when you're trying to collect self-portraits from busy college-students
right on down to toddlers, that can simply take a long time. I wasn't sure we'd ever complete it -
but we have, and with one more coating of mod podge it will be hang-worthy.

We started with a piece of foam display board from Walmart. If I were doing it again, I'd go
with a slab of matted board from Michael's or Joann's or Hobby Lobby.  The foam board wants to bend a bit when you apply the glue.  (I counteracted that by mod podging the back, too - but if you try this project do yourself a favor and go with matting.)
The foam board is approximately 2 ft x 3 ft.
(I'm eyeballing it.  No - I'm not going to go rummage around in the toolbox to find a tape-measure.  Just buy the size you want and need.)
When we began eons ago, I measured out how much room each portrait could take up.  I needed nine spaces.  I was really grateful to need nine - it made the math much easier for me.  What would I have done if I had ten kids?  :)  Your math will vary, depending upon the spaces you need.

I then cut white paper to the allowed specifications, and gave everyone a sheet and asked them to draw themselves.  Once they had handed me their originals, I made a copy.  (I've learned the hard way that someone will mess up and mourn their first drawing.  Better to copy from the beginning.)

After that, I outlined their picture with a skinny black Sharpie, and handed it back to them to color.
Some of the kids used oil pastels, others - crayons, some colored pencils, and a few used markers.  I didn't set the specifics, I wanted their pictures to reflect their individuality - even in chosen art mediums.

Once they were finished and collected - I mod-podged them onto the foam board.
I wanted to separate each picture in order to put a kind of "modern" twist on the composite, and that took me a little bit of thinking.  I looked for a black paper tape, but did not locate exactly what I wanted (for less than $8 for a small roll.)  I looked a little further, and decided to buy the .88 cent roll of decorative satin ribbon (black, 1/4") and mod podged that right in between the sections.  (Kinda looks like the Brady Bunch, now that I think about it.)  I lapped the ribbon over the back so that it wouldn't gap when dry in front, then finished it off with a couple of black satin loops for easy hanging.  A final layer of mod-podge over the entire "face" and I am ready to call it finished.  :)  It looks a little curved still in the photographs - but it's not really like that when you see it in real life.

I like it.  The kids like it.  They stand and look at it and giggle at themselves.  I think it would be fun to make a new one every few years, to see how their artistic styles change.

If you decide to make your own family portrait collage, be sure and let me know.  I'd love to see what you do with it and how it turns out!

Here's a link to our first Family Art project


  1. That is awesome Holly! What a treasure. I love Gabe' cute!!!

  2. What a great idea... the family will value that for years!

  3. Thanks. :) You shouldn't encourage me. That means I'll just do more "are" and less laundry. :)


  4. Ahem. "art." *cough*


  5. What an awesome idea, I love it!

    I also love big sis helping the baby with his portrait, lol.