Making Signs

What room is complete without a name sign to accompany it?

For this art project, we had the kids collect some small sticks outside, and use the paints and materials we had on hand, plus some cardboard that I pre-cut.

If your kids are older, they can cut the cardboard themselves. If you have wood on hand, you can use wood! It doesn’t matter (like, at all).

This project works because there is a wild amount of room for creativity. Kids can create intricate designs or pictures, or just go with textures or solid colours. Depending on the age, experience, comfort level, and mood of the young artist, they can go as intense or low-key as they feel like.

How we did it:

First, we pre-cut the cardboard. To make them look neat and tidy, I used a ruler and an Exacto knife.

Then, they collected sticks. Since the kids are under 5, I broke the branches down into the letters they would need for their sign, to ensure the sizes would fit. Older kids could do this independently.

Next, since we had glow-in-the-dark paint on hand, the kids painted their branches with it. Disclaimer: it didn’t work after it dried. Sigh. But, your kids could try if you have some, or they can paint the branches in a solid colour, or create sections or stripes, or other designs. Remember – creativity has no limit! (Note: try not to “suggest” too many things, or it becomes your creativity and not theirs. A prompt here and there is great, but try to limit that all-knowing-adult-voice that seems to appear once we have our babies. I know, I know – it’s hard!)

Decorating the sign is the supreme fun part! Our Wild Things are 5, 3 and 1, so they each took a different route. Kingsley opted to create a “crystal design” (his term); Magnus and Jude covered theirs in mostly-solid colours, but each took a different route to get there.

As they dried, the kids decided to add some extras to their signs. Magnus wanted cars, and he decided they should go in the corners. Kingsley wanted to use a paint brush, and I noticed we had 4 paint jar caps left from finished paint jars. I asked if he’d like to use those, and his eyes lit up (of course), so he chose to place them in the corners as well. We left Jude’s as it was, since he can’t yet make any of those choices on his own. We can always add later!

When everything was dried, I hot-glued the pieces to the signs, and voila! Bedroom signs!

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