South Bend Museum of Art Education Blog

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Archive for Make Big Kid Art

Make your own art table

Quick and Easy Art Table

by Cheryl Ricks

A great idea for every home, this amazing art table was designed by mom and local graphic designer, Cheryl Ricks.  Designating a space in your house for art keeps you organized and makes a great “discovery” station for your kids!

What you need:

• A coffee table (old or new)

• Chalkboard paint

• Dowel rod and hardware to hold the rod on (curtain rod hardware was used in the table pictured)

• Roll of paper

• Plastic containers to hold art supplies

• Long, narrow wood board to attach the containers to (see picture)

• 2 wood spacers to raise the long, narrow board up off the table so the paper can slide underneath it (see picture)

• Art supplies: chalk. crayons, markers, watercolors, popsicle sticks, stickers, stamps, playdoh/clay, glue, pipe cleaners. etc.


  • Sand the top of the table.
  • Paint the top with chalkboard paint.
  • Attach the hardware at one end for the doll rod and paper roll.
  • Nail the long narrow wood board with the spacers at each end of it to the opposite side of the table than the paper roll.
  • Nail, screw or super glue the plastic containers to the long narrow wood board so they can’t fall off the table easily. This is a great place to store some of the art supplies. Other supplies can be stored in containers underneath.


Michaels sells great paper rolls. You can get plain white and you can also get some that have activities and coloring pages on the roll. My 3-year-old son and I use this table all the time for art projects. Everything that is on the table is appropriate for his age, so he has full reign to use his creativity to the fullest!


Soap Opus

Our galleries were a-flurry for the snow soapmen!

Our last Kids’ Night Out event was a huge success – we were thrilled to host dozens of families here in our galleries and to watch our young guests create art.  One of our most popular activities that night was sculpting soap snowmen.   In fact, our staff could barely keep up with the demand for Ivory soap shavings!  We ultimately ran out of supplies and had to promise some of our guests that we’d share the instructions for the project on the blog so that they could try it out at home.  Trust us when we say this will be one of the cleanest, most fragrant ways to make a mess you’ll ever try!  To LEARN MORE about HOW TO DO THIS PROJECT, CLICK HERE.

Found Object Art

Creative Reuse Art Making

by Amy Keenan Amago

The United States produces more trash than any other country in the world. The average citizen produces 4.4 pounds of solid waste each day, which adds up to almost a ton of trash per person, per year. While these statistics are staggering, there has been a growing movement to stop this disturbing trend by finding new uses for the plentiful trash our country produces. Creative reuse or “upcycling”– the act of taking objects that would otherwise be discarded or recycled and transforming them into artful, decorative or utilitarian items – has gained popularity among artists and educators in recent years as budgets tighten and concerns for the environment mount. As an artist and art teacher, I have found great value in working with recycled or rescued items both in the classroom and in my studio. Working with non-traditional art materials poses unique creative challenges and thrills, as it stimulates my intellect in a way no other art medium can. I find the rationale compelling for working with theses Learn More…

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