Recently, we needed a few thank you presents for family and I am not good at sending thank you cards, presents, or other follow-up tokens of appreciation. I don't know why. I'm just not.
I realize this is not my most charming quality.
In this case, though, I was determined to best my own flawed nature. I doggedly searched high and low for ideas for a great gift. I needed something small, something that Beep could help create, and something that would ship well. With our crazy schedule I needed something quick, simple, easy, and still heartfelt. Nothing I ran across seemed quite right, so eventually Beep and I came up with our own project: little canvas masterpieces.
I purchased pre-stretched, primed canvases at Wal Mart for just a few bucks per 2-pack, and sat Beep at the kitchen table with an assortment of washable markers in (carefully edited) colors. After a slow(ish) start Beep got the hang of it and took a lot of pride in her paintings. And by "pride" I mean "diva attitude" with a lot of marker-grabbing and "No me do it!" toddler attitude. They weren't done until she said so, she insisted on coloring on the back of the stretcher frames, and she specifically informed me about the theme for each picture. It was a whole thing.
When the madness was over, we had several customized paintings color-coordinated for each recipient's home. I wrote the title, artist's name and date on the back and cleaned up marker smudges with a damp paper towel.
Wrapped, packaged, and mailed, each one cost just a couple of bucks in postage but made a big impact with each of the recipients. Granted, they were all family who would probably like anything Beep did, but hey- this is at least somewhat decorative.
I made sure we also had one extra to keep for our house, and I love that abstract little gem. This is such a fabulous little project for a toddler and I could easily see repeating this during any rainy day, trying it with other media (finger paints/cray pas/glue and torn construction paper), and even staging it at regular intervals until we have a nice little assortment of canvases hanging in a hallway gallery.
I hope you try this project and enjoy it as much as we did!