Canvas Sketchbooks

For gifts this year, the kids made personalized journals for their teachers.


I picked up a few of these canvas sketchbooks from Blicks. I LOVE them and can't wait to get a few more to play around with. The inside pages are not lined, which I love (though nothing beats graph paper for me!). And the canvas cover can be customized with basically any medium you can come up with - markers, crayons, paints, stamps,  etc. 



We thought about using paint, but Chartpak markers seemed like a fun choice.


I taped off the paper edges to protect against stray marks.


The girls and I talked a little about what they were going to draw, we did a little sketching first and then  I let them do their thing. They drew the outlines first with fine point sharpies.


And then colored in with the Chartpak markers. The markers bled a lot outside the sharpie lines, but it was fine. Who wants a perfectly-in-the-lines coloring job anyway?



Evie made one too and it ended up being a very pretty, dreamy abstract. I think Heather is going to keep it.


The notebooks were such a hit with the teachers. The kids drew stories and pictures of what each teacher will be doing during the summer.


Claire's pre-k teacher, Al, is also a film maker (he is seriously the coolest, nicest teacher). He's making this super hip indie film this summer about a man that leaves his wallet and his phone in his office building late one night and gets locked out. He has to walk all the way home to Brooklyn with empty pockets and he has lots of adventures along the way. I can't wait to see it when Al's finished. Claire drew a picture of him filming on the streets of NYC, and she and Evie "just happen to be walking down the sidewalk" and they get filmed too (Claire's words - that kid!)


Gracie also had a really special teacher this year, Miranda, who we will love forever. It's crazy how involved these lovely people are with our kids and then, bam, one day it's over and they're done. That can be hard to digest for kids, teachers and parents alike.

Miranda is summering in Spain and Morocco, so Grace drew a picture of her teacher taking a cab to the airport (Grace is waving goodbye from our building). And on the back side, Miranda is riding a camel in Morocco by the beach.




I made one for myself and used a blender marker to add in some water marks. Looks sort of like tie dye, right? I like it. The back side (with the bright orangey red, below), is my favorite.


Anyway, I feel like the possibilities are endless with these canvas-bound sketchbooks! I'm going to try some patterns next. Maybe like a Les Touches-esque stylized leopard print? Or a faux bois... or malachite... Tortoise shell...

66 comments:

Shannon said...

These are WONDERFUL!

I think you could sell the girls journals, for sure people would buy them...they are so charming, and the style/bleeding markers is pretty much the best thing ever!

Seriously? You should write a few stories and let them illustrate them...I bet you could find a publisher! (Not that I know anything, but I am thoroughly charmed!)

(Eileen) a creative day said...

Yours is gorgeous! I LOVE this idea and how personalized and wonderful for the teachers!

xoxo
eileen
www.acreativedayblog.com

Mel & Liza said...

I love this idea for Sunday school. I am taking it!!

iLa said...

Genious!
I like the idea to entertain the kids in this way, creating something creative and fun and making something useful and personal for someone special.

iLa

Erika at BluLabel Bungalow said...

Such a great gift idea. Though I'm not a teacher I'd love to receive something customized like this. Looks retail, but better!

pve design said...

You better open up a shop for you and your talented gals. Little Women would be a nice name.
I bet all the teachers fight over your daughters.
great gift.
pve

HannahJ said...

Amazingness!! Love these- this is must do project- and I had never heard of those markers- gotta check it out! what a special gift for their teachers!!

The Mom said...

This is probably one of my favorite posts ever..such creativity abounds in your family! Looks as though you have some budding artists there. I agree that there could be a market for these lovely journals. In the meantime I am inspired to do something of this nature! Blessings!

MeMoBaby.com said...

The Little Watercolor Notebooks. Love them. Looks like the girls had a great time making these with you too! Good job, Mama.

HollowSquirrel said...

I used to LOVE get a blank bound notebook like that when I was in middle and high school. One I filled with torn pages from my Seventeen, Teen, YM and Sassy magazines -- others I filled with lines from my favorite movies. I kept lists of trips my family had taken. I still have these books. Fantastic idea!!

Elizabeth Downie said...

Great idea! The art work is so fun and unique!

And ps, your girls are beautiful!!

Brittany said...

Love everything about this post! Such a great idea! And my PreK little one does not draw like that! Amazing!

Janika said...

This is the best idea. Too bad we just finished school and didn't have a chance to make these for our wonderful teachers. Next year for sure!

charmaine said...

What a great idea! Love them!

J. Lewis said...

Not surprisingly, your girls are as fabulously talented as you! These are beautiful!

Elizabeth @ The Little Black Door said...

Genius! And a great gift idea!! Thanks for sharing.

Twelfth Street Vintage said...

So sweet! The illustrations are awesome...such a thoughtful gift. Two thumbs up for the girls. :)

Cherri @ SmartyPantalons said...

I think this is a fantastic idea. Putting the teacher's name on the spine might be an option.

Kirsti said...

Amazing! This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

My Interior Life said...

How cool are these journals?! Your children's teachers are going to treasure these forever. I'm in awe. Love your tie-dye effect and your future journal ideas. Your creativity is boundless!

eLIZabeth Floyd said...

How very creative!

All of them turned out wonderful, how very thoughtful to give such personalized gifts, I am sure the teachers will treasure them :)

Liz

Amy said...

This is SO sweet. Getting a gift like that would probably make me cry, especially the fact that they drew something personal to the teachers. And they look really great!

Rachel said...

I love absolutely everything about this! And I am super impressed with the kids' drawing abilities! I'll bet those teachers were thrilled.

Julia said...

I LOVE this! Thanks for sharing - my kids are going to enjoy making books... I'm thinking Grandma gifts at Christmas :-)

Jillian at The Pink Chalkboard said...

What a wonderful idea and special little works of art. I'll definitely be doing this with my kids. Thanks so much for the inspiration!

amber wallace said...

What a great idea!!! I love that for presents, great for grandparents too! And yours turned out so, so pretty. I love it! Thanks!

Kyla said...

This is such a lovely idea. Thanks for sharing. I like that it's original.

Sierra said...

So fun, what a wonderful gift!!

Bre Wenzinger said...

Fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing!

Erin said...

Yes to graph paper!! I'm hooked on it, and I don't even use it for drawing! I love the idea of making personalized notebooks, I bet their teachers are going to be really touched by the gesture! xo

Kate Galston said...

What a wonderful idea! Thank you so much for sharing. And, I love to see the creativity in your budding artists!

How2home said...

What a lovely idea! Its such a beautiful "keep sake" item to have. Can you do a tutorial on how you did your notebook with the water color markers?

Tara Celeste said...

These are amazing! I'd love to make my own... yours with the watercolor tie dye effect is beautiful!

Reshma said...

These will be beautiful gifts. Your girls are as talented as you are. And beautiful.

Lindsay @ Me, Ed and Pea said...

Your daughters are such artists! This is such a personal and creative gift. Great idea :)

Sarah {Lacquer and Linen} said...

What a thoughtful gift idea! Your girls are adorable and inspiring artists! I especially love your notebook-I would pay for that!

Katie Muncie said...

This is fantastic, what I found the most adorable was to see how your girls drew big tall buildings. It's a testament to the fact that kids are a product of their environment. My kids have never spent much time in big cities so their drawings are of beaches and flowers or surfers.

I love to see how kids become who they are and how their characters and dreams are shaped.

Sarah Bradley said...

Oh my gosh, these are amazing! I love them and yours is so perfect!

Caroline said...

Love, love, love this crafty gift idea! And your daughters are amazing artists! I am so sad right now that they closed down the Pearl Art center that was forever on LI otherwise I'd run there tomorrow for some of these journals. Thanks for the great post :-)

VivaCindy said...

same as everyone else, i love this idea. im sure the teachers were blown away by these thoughtful creative gifts. and yours? wow, i must make one of those. my little notebook just got soaked by water, so i need a new one:) would love a detailed tut about how you did this!
cindy

Amber Lee Corp said...

These are beautiful! your little girls draw so well! Great idea!
:)

Angela said...

so adorable! i wondered where my teachers got these when i was in elementary school. it was one of the things that made me want to become a writer when i was younger and wrote/drew in these! such a great experience for kids.

happilysmitten said...

I adore your children's drawings! such artist! :)

riverdaughter said...

Holy snot, what a great idea! I was just thinking about how to customize some plain white magazine holders from ikea. I could use the markers and blender to make a watery blue and green patterns on them to go with the waterside colors in my office.

christine {bijouandboheme} said...

Um...your kids are AMAZING artists- those notebooks are the cutest ones I seriously have ever seen- they honestly could be sold...so cute. And can we talk about yours...gorgeous!!!

Splendid Little Thrills said...

This is adorable. I am a pre-school teacher and this would be the best gift ever. So thoughtful and creative!

Lisa said...

Such a thoughtful gift for teachers.
I also like the fact the markers ran a bit,very pretty.

Anonymous said...

These are super cool. Your daughters' designs look like something whimsical that would be sold at Target. Your watercolor-y version was beautiful too. It made me think of that watercolored wallpaper that I've seen on Pinterest. Beautiful gifts, all around.

Lynn said...

These are amazing, like everyone is saying. But I'm wondering if the paint becomes waterproof after it dries, or if these need to be taken a little extra care of.

nicolebvintage said...

This is so wonderful and creative! Thank you for sharing this. I love the idea of allowing children to create their own drawings from their creative minds. What a truely special gift.
Good job mom!

meagan said...

Evie was just a chunky baby girl when you left DE. Can't believe how grown up she is. I guess it has been 2 years. Love keeping up with your family.

meagan said...

Evie was just a chunky baby girl when you left DE. Can't believe how grown up she is. I guess it has been 2 years. Love keeping up with your family.

Things That Inspire said...

Excellent idea! My kids' school has gotten into the mode of a group collection for teachers, but the school has decided that it is getting over the top, so now we will be back to individual end of year gifts.

The best gifts, I have found, are the ones where a person really thinks about what their recipient is interested in, and who they are as a person. These definitely fit the bill for your kids and their teachers!

- Holly

elissa said...

love this idea. such a great memento!

Brittany Simmons said...

such a cute idea!!! your kids are mini artists (they obviously take after mom!) loveofinteriors.blogspot.com

rebecca said...

COOLEST IDEA EVER! This is going to be a fun project I can do with my god kids this summer. Yours is beautiful and the girls' books look AMAZING!

Erin said...

What a sweet idea! I love it for kids but I also would totally make one for myself just like you did. So creative!!

xoxo
Erin
peacelovedecor.com

Patty Palmer said...

Brilliant! I just have to do this!

Bridget said...

What a lovely, thoughtful gift. I am sure they will absolutely love them!

x

http://i-should-coco.blogspot.com

EDYTA & CO. INTERIOR DESIGN said...

Love this! How creative and fun!!

Carolyn said...

What a completely fabulous idea!!!
Carolyn
http://sillyhappysweet.blogspot.com

Ann Porter said...

I love this idea - super creative and personal.

Heidi said...

These are amazing! They look so good. Definitely using this idea. Nice work.
-Heidi
www.therusticmodernist.com

Cheryl G. said...

Those are seriously the cutest things!
What treasures!
LOVE them!

The Salvage Snob said...

Those are absolutely beautiful!!

The Salvage Snob said...

Those are absolutely beautiful!!

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