Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday: Ten Art Clean-up Tips

If you've looked around my blog, you've noticed that my kids love to do arts and crafts. I don't like to stifle their creativity by worrying about making messes, but neither do I want all of my furniture covered in paint, glitter and glue. So, here are a few tricks I have learned for avoiding messes and quick clean-up from art projects:

1. Q-tips are great for spreading glue. They can be thrown away afterward, eliminating the need to clean out brushes.

2. Excess glitter can be picked up with a lint-brush roller, and the kids will have fun cleaning up.

3. Often, I just let M paint in just her diaper, rather than worrying about her clothing. An old towel with a neckhole cut out makes a quick, free paint smock for older kids.

4. Whenever possible, I have my kids do their messiest art outside. A quick rinse of the deck with the hose and you can't tell where they spilled their paint.

5. When painting inside, I use a disposable plastic tablecloth under the table to protect the floors from drips and spills. It is large, it can be folded up and re-used several times, and I can often find a pack of them at the dollar store.

6. We purchased large plastic craft mats at Oriental Trading Company. For about $1 apiece the re-usable mats keep glue, glitter, paint, clay and other supplies off the table, and can be shaken off over a garbage can and wiped down quickly. Old newspapers or a disposable tablecloth can serve the same purpose.

7. Old playdough jars with holes cut in the middle of the lids make free, less-mess water jars for rinsing paint brushes.

8. Baby wipes are great for getting ink off of stamps, stamp pad lids and nearby surfaces.

9. Old t-shirts, receiving blankets, towels and burp rags do not get thrown out at our house. Instead, they are cut up and re-purposed as art cleaning rags. Providing a rag to wipe up spills and wipe hands or a paint brush off on avoids J grabbing my kitchen towels when a mess does occur. It also helps with the tendency little ones have to wipe their hands off on their clothes.

10. I am very blessed to have a dedicated craft storage closet in our house. However, no matter the size of your space, organization is the key to putting items away quickly. I have small plastic tubs with handles that I found at the dollar store that are filled with supplies - glue and glue sticks, crayons, scissors, markers, feathers and pompoms, and watercolor paints. I also have small jars that hold items like googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and paint brushes. Everything has its own place so it is easy for the kids to return the items when they are done with them. (Having the supplies easy to find helps with a quick set-up, too.)

These are just a few ideas that help keep messy art projects under control at our house.

For more great ideas, see Works For Me Wednesday at We Are THAT Family!

1 comment:

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate it!