Super Easy DIY Birthday Present for a Toddler

17 Feb

 

It was a bit of a whirlwind of first birthday parties last year. I met quite a few friends from a local playgroup (love this group of women!) and a few of our other friends also had babies around the same time that I did.

Usually, I like to give books as gifts to children (yep, I’m that “auntie”!), but recently I thought of a great (well, I think it’s pretty good, at least!) idea for a friend’s daughter’s first birthday party.

My friend had stated that gifts were not necessary on the invite, but I wanted to at least make something small and useful for her adorable little girl anyway, because we’ve had such a fun year hanging out on our mat leave year.

This girl painted for the first time at our house, so I thought it would be meaningful to make her a yearly art portfolio. This would be a sketchbook for her to draw or paint in each year, so that by the time she’s an adult, she’ll have a neat, all-in-one package of samples of art from every year of her life.

I know that parents accumulate a lot of artwork over the years and that organizing and storing it is a challenge already, so this would be one way to keep some of her art together that would represent each year of her life. I also thought it would be nice for them to look back to see how her art skills have changed and developed over the years. It would be fun for the child to look back on her own progress as well.

 

How to Make a Yearly Art Portfolio for a 1-Year-Old (or 2, or 3…)

What You’ll Need:

  • A high-quality sketchbook with at least 20 pages
  • Photo(s) of the birthday child for the cover or your own creative spin
  • Instruction page for the inside cover
  • Glue stick
  • Clear glue sealer (i.e. Mod Podge) & brush or sponge
For the cover, you can just do a simple title (“My Yearly Art Portfolio”) with the photo of the child, a photo collage, or decorate it however else you please. I made a cover for the book by using Word Publisher. I had a photo of the bday girl painting at my house and changed the look of each photo to give it an Andy Warholish feel. I used the Mod Podge to seal and protect it…because I’m assuming that it will be saved and treasured as one of her most prized possessions for years to come! Ha!

 

On the inside cover, I used a photo I took of the child painting with her mom and just included a message to explain how the yearly art portfolio works:

 

My First Art Portfolio

(Child’s name, date)

How to Use

Happy 1st Birthday!

This is a yearly art portfolio for showcasing your (future) masterpieces created during your life as an artist. 

Every year, draw or paint a beautiful picture on one of the pages. Don’t forget to sign and date your art!

You’ll have a great keepsake of your artwork throughout the years to look back on and enjoy! 

Love from, 

MM, Biker, & Freestyle 

What I like about this gift is that it’s budget-friendly. Depending on your budget and the child’s age, you can include one or a combination of the following art materials/accessories: crayons, pencil crayons, watercolour set, paintbrushes (shorter, thicker ones for toddlers), art smock, non-toxic paints/fingerpaints, etc.

Et voila! A very simple, inexpensive, and useful gift that will (hopefully!) be enjoyed for years to come!

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