How to Make Your Own Picture Frame Wallpaper for Kids Art

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper for Children’s Art

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper for Kids Art

I made some quick and easy picture frame wallpaper for my kids and their art yesterday by taping up some wide white butcher paper and drawing an assortment of frames on it.

Maia, Daphne, and our friend Marlise all had lots of fun drawing pictures inside the frames, decorating the frames themselves, and, in some cases (mostly involving the toddler) drawing all around the frames.

It was a hit!

And all I needed was paper, tape, and drawing tools.

We’ve done this before on the chalkboard, but I thought I’d try an even larger version with paper this time. I was inspired by some commercial wallpaper I had found online (unfortunately, the link no longer works) but wanted something easy, inexpensive, and not quite so permanent.

I love how it looks, though, and plan to leave it up for a while…

How I Made the Picture Frame Wallpaper

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Hanging butcher paper on the wall for kids drawing

First I hung the butcher paper on the wall with masking tape and some moral support from Daphne. I trimmed the paper off near the baseboard and taped the bottom to the wall as well.

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper

Then I drew a variety of shapes and sizes of frames with a black sharpie. This was Daphne’s nap time but she took a shorter-than-usual nap yesterday then directed my frame drawing, telling me to “draw a little, little frame here, Mama.”

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper 6

When Maia and Marlise came home from school, they started right in with their drawings…

DIY Frame Wallpaper for Kids Art

They collaborated on some of the drawings and also worked on their own pictures.

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper 6

The girls had a new box of oil pastels to use. I thought they’d be a good choice for this project because they go on so smoothly and vibrantly. Also, you can use the side of the pastel for filling in larger areas. While I demonstrated using the side, though, they stuck to drawing with the tip.

DIY Frame Wallpaper for Kids Art

Daphne’s scribbles and marks were all over the place, of course, both inside the frames and out.

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper

I’m not sure why the kids drew drew only portraits, but we now have a wall of smiling faces in our living room. Plus a rainbow inside a sun, which I LOVE (see lower left).

DIY Picture Frame Wallpaper

This picture frame wallpaper was so easy to set up as an art activity—I recommend it! I really like how frames make kids approach their drawing and art a little differently. Sometimes it’s good to think inside the box. Heh.

DIY Picture Frame WallpaperDo you have butcher paper? If not, you could also use easel paper and maybe just tape two sheets side by side.

Or you could use the big brown contractors paper that you can get at mega home stores (cheap!). With the brown paper, you could either use white paint to paint inside the frames first (I considered doing this, just because I thought it would look cool), letting the paint dry before letting the kids draw or paint their pictures. Or, you could just let them draw on the paper as is. Oil pastels are vibrant enough to show up pretty well on the brown.

More Frame Drawing Ideas for Kids

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How to Make Your Own Picture Frame Wallpaper for Kids Art

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34 Comments

  • Reply
    Kimberly from vogelJoy
    March 1, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Really pretty — I like it! The kids look like they had a lot of fun too.

  • Reply
    Sarah M
    March 1, 2012 at 2:34 pm

    I absolutely LOVE this idea. A little bit of parent prep for a whole bunch of kid creativity. Wonderfully executed and thank you for sharing with us!
    Sarah M

  • Reply
    Dani Wenzel
    March 1, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    How cool is this? great idea ! will totally put this on my “to do list”… so much fun ! thanks for the post !

  • Reply
    brandy C
    March 1, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    This is so cool! I just set up a smaller version for an after school activity and my kiddos are so excited about it!

  • Reply
    Georgine
    March 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Love this idea so much I just did it for the girls. I didn’t do the whole wall but about half way up. I also pieced paper together. I have a huge roll of brown paper but it is in the basement. Too lazy. I cannot wait unt the kids see it. Thanks so much!!!!

  • Reply
    heather @ life, gluten free
    March 1, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I love, love this idea too! I am setting it up to surprise Sophie after her nap! Thanks for the inspiration :)

  • Reply
    penny
    March 1, 2012 at 6:04 pm

    Oh I lOVE this idea…..thanks for sharing :)

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Wow, that was quick, Georgine! I’d love to know how it works out for you and your girls!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Thank you! :)

  • Reply
    rachel
    March 1, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    totally doing this w/my easel paper tomorrow! (all 4 will be home, will be glad to have some projects set up-thx!)

  • Reply
    Darcy Troutman
    March 1, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    this is a wonderful idea. i’ve seen the wallpaper about one hundred times and never thought to create my own.

  • Reply
    Georgine
    March 1, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    I had a chance so I went with it. The five year old did it do I made another for my two year old. Best idea. They both loved it. Thanks !!!!

  • Reply
    Pia
    March 2, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Wow- totally inspired me. I just set this up for when my eldest gets home from school and younger wakes up from nap. Only q is my younger daughter is 2 so still likes to “drill” holes in the paper with whatever implement she is given… how to encourage her to not drill into this???
    still I am looking fwd to it- thankyou!

  • Reply
    Carly
    March 2, 2012 at 9:03 am

    This is awesome. We have ugly brown wood panelling in the basement. I’m going to cover the lower half of the basement walls to brighten it up. There are always crayons and markers around so it will be an ongoing project. And, being a bit of a clean freak, I won’t get upset if they write on the wood panelling by accident (versus writing on their bedroom walls!).

  • Reply
    rachel
    March 2, 2012 at 2:02 pm

    ok, had to report!
    the boys watched me hang up some easel paper. they were very curious. when i got a pen out to draw the frames, they shouted in agreement “STOP!” they did not want frames and wanted freedom to just free draw. interesting. so they brought up crayons and markers and promptly divided up spaces among them. no collaberation here! they did admire and comment on each other’s work though. justin,6 1/2 drew a dragon and wrote his name, nathan (5)doodled spirals and drew a rocket, and joe (almost 3) drew “water” with a red marker- lots of fun scribbles. desmond watched briefly but then did his own thing. i was certain he would try to rip off the paper but he didn’t.
    fun project! thanks so much. will definitely do again. i think if i want to try drawing “starts” (frames or whatever), i think i’ll have to do that part if they aren’t here. watching me do that made them feel like i was messing up their space.

  • Reply
    Ann
    March 2, 2012 at 3:21 pm

    great idea – I just gave a big roll away. I would suggest finding out if you have any architect friends (or ask at a local firm). I am an architect and often have old sets of drawings that are 24″x36″ or larger that you can use the back of. I can only take so many home. If a roll of paper arrives damaged and can’t fit the plotter as just happened then it is either give it away or recycle it.

  • Reply
    molly
    March 2, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Oh Jean, I just love this. I know my guys would love it too — we have enough regular drawing on the walls to know they like drawing there. :) I might have to bust out the brown contractors paper tonight after they go to bed! (Also, I love Ann’s idea above — might be cool to actually draw over old architectural drawings as well. I have some naval architecture drawings that my sister did, might have to pull a couple out and let the kids have at it.)

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 2, 2012 at 10:29 pm

    Hmm. I know an architect! I’ll have to ask about old sets of drawings. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    That’s so funny! I love how they took complete ownership! And yes, if you did want to make frames, maybe you’d do it when they are asleep or out of the house.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 2, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    What a great idea for transforming your basement!

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Well, perhaps a softer drawing implement is in order for the younger child. It would be just about impossible to drill holes with an oil pastel, for example.

  • Reply
    Jean Van't Hul
    March 2, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    Let me know how it goes!

  • Reply
    danielle
    March 3, 2012 at 7:21 pm

    I love this idea! I wanted to let you know that I featured this today in my “What I Bookmarked This Week” post – stop by and see.

  • Reply
    Sandra A
    March 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    Absolutely awesome. I have yet to set it up because I want the same huge paper like you, Jean. You said it was butcher paper?! Was it on a roll or folded… it’s so wide. I love that. I know my daughter will love it too. And I wanted to say , the photos you took look fantasic. especially the first one with Daphne in front of the drawings – looks like inside an art gallery!

  • Reply
    ashley parks
    March 4, 2012 at 7:50 am

    I ordered a sample of that wall paper from the company years ago to show to teaching staff to inspire them while they inspire children. I ended up putting the wallpaper up in my office and had the coolest wall place for pictures. I love love love your amazing frames you drew and the pics are awesome!

  • Reply
    Tracey Wilson
    March 4, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    This is such a cute idea – off to share!

  • Reply
    parenting toolbox
    March 25, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    brilliant idea, Im out first thing in the morning to find the paper. You have so many wonderful idea’s, i see myself browsing your site for hours. thank you.
    ive added this to my new facebook page “parenting toolbox” which i created to act as a library for all the amazing articles i find on parenting. thanks again. you have inspired me immensely

  • Reply
    Nicole from Mudpies & Sunshine
    October 21, 2012 at 7:36 am

    I love using large pieces of paper for art. It seems as if the paper is oversize their imaginations seem to grow with it :)
    I hope to do this one soon – I have two girls who will love it. If I use it as a blog post I will link back to your lovely lovely site, thanks so much :)

  • Reply
    Debbie
    December 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm

    Such a great idea – I’d love to try it with the chalk board too.

  • Reply
    [email protected]
    January 15, 2013 at 11:04 am

    I haven’t read every comment, so this may have already been mentioned, but we use the back side of a roll of inexpensive wrapping paper to draw on a lot. I love the little bit of gloss it has and we buy a ton of it on clearance after the holidays. I sometimes roll it out on the floor and tape it down with painters tape (comes up easier when it’s time). I am going to try taping it to the walls and doing this project with it. Love it. It works best with markers.

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    February 19, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’m going to try this with my K-2 students this week, but I’m going to create a page that has frames on it and give them each their own “mini-wall” so they can create. I will hang them in the hall after they finish.

  • Reply
    Lindsey
    February 21, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    I did this with my K-2 students today, but created a “wall of frames” on 11×17 paper (one for each of them) and let them go. My 1st & 2nd graders thought they were picture frames and mirrors and drew great pictures accordingly, but my kindergartners were much more creative. They ended up seeing the frames as frames, mirrors, rugs, carpet, pillows, beds, tvs, and windows. It was fantastic! Thanks for the great idea!

  • Reply
    Cecilia Ko
    March 3, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    I was looking for art activity to occupy my son so I stole your idea and wonder what my son would come out with!!! What creative way to do drawing in picture frames!!

  • Reply
    Clare
    April 18, 2013 at 10:32 am

    Hi, thank you so much for sharing this wonderful idea. We have got it ready for the children when they come back to school on Monday and I know they’ll love it!

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