Try This: Transform Kiddo Scribbles into Modern Art

Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!If you’ve ever tried your hand at creating abstract art, you may have wished you could just turn off your brain and get your Crayola on like a kid again. Been there! But amidst my frustration, I had a fun idea. Why not actually get some markers and let Lucy do just that?

I’d love some fancy modern art for my walls, and would love it even more if my toddler created it. So I set her loose with some washable markers, and then worked a little copy machine magic to transform her scribbles into modern art.

Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Okay, so here’s how the art making process went down. I dragged Lucy’s play table into the dining room (where the light is prettier), and she started getting really excited. Something special was going to happen, she just knew it. More like something magical really. Magic markers, you see. Why are these markers magic? Well… I’ve never thought about it until I started typing it out. Maybe because they’re amazingly washable? I basically let Lucy go to town on several pieces of cardstock, black marker getting on herself and the table in the process. She became a little concerned about the marker on her hands and table, but we wiped it all down, and it magically disappeared. So that’s why they’re called magic markers! Good to know. (First time mom here, obviously.)

Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Lucy is two years old and finally interested in making art. When I gave her the paper, she excitedly sat down and then thought about what she was going to do for a second. It was hilarious to watch. She would slowly move her marker, then quickly begin to scribble, then make dotted marks, à la Georges Seurat. She’s obviously going to be a famous painter one day.

Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!When Lucy was finished, I chose my favorite of her scribble sheets and did a little copy machine trickery. Using my Canon printer, I blew up the portion of the page I liked most, then took it to a copy shop to have it enlarged to fit an Ikea frame I had on hand. I also inverted the colors for extra drama. The other pink and orange piece was made with some Photoshop layer magic— the orange layer used the “lighten” blend mode over top of the pink layer, which used the “multiply” blend mode. But if you want to do something similar, the look could easily be replicated by using colored markers and cardstock.

Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Transform your kid's scribbles into modern art— so fun and easy!Pretty fun, huh? I might try making more fun colors and giving small prints of them to family for Christmas. Of course, I’ll keep the originals because they might be worth lots of money one day. –Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine from the Signature Collection and Pearl from the Fresh Collection.

  • I absolutely love love this!!!! Phil and Chris Stupeck were telling me about this wall art transformation that you came up with!!! You are amazing!!!! These will be great gift jdeas for Christmas!!!! Thanks you!!!!

  • This is such a cute idea! I save pretty much any scrap of paper given to me by anyone, so it’d be great to turn my nieces’ and nephews’ scribbles (and one day, my son’s) into fun art for the walls! Also, I cannot believe Lucy is two already! She’s growing so fast!

  • Such a gorgeous idea! I love the idea of inverting the colours, great way to make a totally custom and unique print, they’d make lovely gifts too.

  • It’s a set of two from Overstock, and they have other colors too. -Mandi

  • Beautiful idea, I’ll be sharing this on my blog’s FB page this week!

  • Oh my gosh! That is adorable and actually looks great. I think I may try and get my little sister to do something like this for me.

  • This is such a good way to display your kid’s drawing while adding a nice deco touch to your interior.
    And the results look amazing!

  • we did this in our previous home, I just cut some of my favorite pieces and placed them in aqua ikea frames.
    yours look great! Julia |

  • My parents have similar art from us in their home! gorgeous!

  • I wish my mother new about this back in the 90s! Such a cute idea!

  • Lovely! The other day I saw childrens art framed in beautiful antique frames that were painted gold and had tons of carving. It made my heart melt a little bit. <3

  • When my son was little, I used butcher paper for gift wrapping…he could “decorate” the paper with his drawings prior to wrapping. You can even make outlines of things (party hat, Christmas tree, etc) and let them color in like a coloring book. Great idea to frame and bedazzle—that’s the diff between a house and a home! XO

  • This is seriously brilliant. What a cute way to remember that art is not defined by who made it but what we see!

  • I’ve always thought this was such a cool idea! / These are so simple, yet so interesting and beautiful.

    Growing up, I had a friend whose parents were architects and were really into modern stuff. Above their couch they had this huge really interesting modern “painting”. I remember asking my friend questions about it once and he told me that it was a blown-up version of something his younger brother made on KidPix. Even as a 10 year old I was completely blown away!

    Hoping to do something similar someday with my future childrens’ artwork.

    -E @

  • I really like how it turned out, the pictures ABSOLUTELY look like those fancy (and expensive) ones you can buy. But these are so sweet. Fantastic!

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