Turn an Old Board Book into a Kid’s Art Journal #junkplay

kids art journal

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I’m participating in the 60 Day Junk Play Challenge, in which a bunch of bloggers from all over the world are sharing their ideas for using old stuff in new ways. You can learn more about the challenge and see some of the other materials that are being used over at Best Toys 4 Toddlers, and join in the fun by using the hashtag #junkplay on social media. how to turn an old board book into a kid's art journal

Today is Day 4 and the item of the day is books or book pages. This is actually something I’d been wanting to try for a long time: turning a board book into a kid’s art journal. It’s been a fun process.

What You’ll Need

board book to art journal
This book was a party favor from a birthday; I think it cost $1.
  • an old kid’s book (a board book is a great idea because it’s sturdy)
  • gesso and a foam brush
  • items for art journaling including paint, markers, crayons, paper, whatever your child wants to use

Making a Board Book into a Kid’s Art Journalgesso board book art journal

Before you can use your board book as a journal, you’ll need to prepare it. I painted over the pictures with gesso (some storebought and some homemade) and allowed them each to dry before proceeding.

Depending on the length of you book this could take a few days to get them all covered and dried.

The gesso didn’t completely cover the pictures, but you could add a second layer of gesso if you like. It didn’t bother the girl so I left it with one layer.

Using Your Art Journal

Once it’s dry, explain to the child what it is for. Most kids aren’t used to the idea that they can draw and paint in a book, so you might have to show them what to do. painting on board book art journal

The girl got right into it, though, when I told her it was an art journal and that she could decorate it any way she liked.

She started with the cover and ended up making a pretty striped pattern.

Over the course of a few weekends she’s gone back to it several times, drawing or painting a little at a time. It’s been fun to see what she does with it, what colors she chooses and how she wants to paint or decorate it.

kids art journal
Pages painted with paint and glitter gel.

The other day she decided to add glitter gel to the paint, which is always fun. I can’t wait to see how the rest of the book develops.

Have you ever made a board book into a kid’s art journal, or maybe one for yourself? Do you ever craft with books or book pages? I’d love to hear what you’ve made!60 day junk play challenge

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