Kid, craft, trash: My son fights boredom

My 13 year old gets bored, so he makes stuff. Or he reads and writes in his journal. Since the reading and writing make for rather low-excitement photos, I’ll share his creations. They’re more fun to look at.g's carved wooden tiki pendants The one interesting note that I have as a home school mom is that we haven’t spent much money. Many people think of spending money for craft kits and supplies, but we really have not spent a lot.

Last summer, my four kids participated in a wood carving class. We bought a basic tool from the instructors (second-hand tools that get the handles replaced/upgraded into first-class tools). Last week, “G” took branches from the backyard pile and made tikis. He makes and gives them away upon request. We already had the tool and the wood came from the yard waste pile. He added black spray paint, which we have in abundance for some reason.


scraping the barn off a log

Out in the garage, I found this log mid-process. It’s yard waste. “G” and his brother have been using a draw knife to remove bark from sticks. The knife came from a garage sale. They probably used their own sharpening stones that they bought for their own knives. I’m not sure what the plan for this log is. The goal may just be to have no bark. Or it may get carved into a large sculpture, because their grandpa gifted them some wood carving gouges for the class they took last summer. The bark and shaving sometimes get saved for starting fires at future campouts.

Do you see what’s behind the log? No? Well, take a closer look. It’s a painting and cans of spray paint.

“G” has ideas, and he has to get creative and solve the problem of few supplies. For this painting, and all of his graffiti art, he scavenges around for scrap wood. Using what he can find, he assembles frames to the size he wants. For the canvas, he scrounges around for fabric. I believe he used the muslin and burlap from a trashed-out couch sitting out for clean-up day (my FIL calls it “junk day”). With a staple gun, “G” stretches the fabric tight and fastens it to the frame he made. He has small (5″ x 5″) and large (2′ x 1.5′) works around the house, mostly to “turn the basement into something awesome.”


graffiti artMost of the canvasses become graffiti art. With a cutting blade and cardboard (from the recycling bin) or duct tape, “G” makes stencils. They are used for mass production with spray paint. He has bought different colors of paint on his own at the neighborhood hardware store (by bike or walking).

For the Pollock-inspired drippy painting, “G” asked to use some unused paint (dh bought the wrong color) that we keep.

My son has done little this summer but uses resourcefulness and keeps himself entertained.

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