As we were packing up Will’s room, I took a moment to revel in how much love we poured into his tiny space. One of the biggest ways we helped to make Will a warm space was to surround him with “art” made by family and friends. What started as a participatory guest book for our baby shower has become a bit of a tradition that I hope to continue – each year for this birthday, attendees help to create a new piece of art for his room! Each time, all it has taken is a little inspiration, a trip to a craft store, and a big tablecloth for the fun.

Thus far for his bedroom, we’ve crowd-created three art pieces/installations and two canvases that Mr. Milk and I individually created. I’ve loved each of these projects because I’ve been able to control the things that matter on balance with freedom for family and friends to make the art their own. I’ve chosen all the colors, which means I’ve been able to keep the art ‘on theme.’ Each time, family and friends didn’t have to have artistic skills to contribute (which is, honestly, best for ME because I really lack any skill!). Finally, each piece represents something wonderful about that time in Will’s life, which is what I hope to continue each birthday as we add to his collection.

It’s pretty simple to add homemade art to any nursery.  First up, Will’s first birthday art:


Thumbprint Blueberry Bushel: Last summer, Will discovered a LOVE for blueberries. Kid could POUND fistfuls of these berries.  So, naturally, I wanted to find a way to commemorate his first favorite food.  After scouring Pinterest for ideas, I settled upon thumbprint art blueberries spilling out of a bushel.  It was so easy to make this piece of art!


Supplies: Markers, 12×12 cardstock papertwo shades of blue ink pads, a thin-tip permanent marker for signing, and alphabet stickers for spelling out Will’s name and the date.




Stenciled Animals Canvas: Part of Will’s nursery is themed around animals, and I knew I wanted to find a way to make a centerpiece to his room that family and friends could help create.  As I wandered around the craft store, it hit me: stenciled animals! It worked out incredibly easily once I settled on the what and how, and it was so fun to have family and friend paint an animal and sign it.  Guests of our baby shower spent a lot time choosing animals that best represented them and the canvas was a big hit! Afterward, my best friend and I used some of the remaining stencils to paint in other animals to fill holes and add a fullness to the artwork.

Supplies: 20×20 canvasanimal stencilspaintstyrofoam brushes, marker for signing


Parent Abstract Canvases: To supplement the stenciled and painted animal canvas, Mr. Milk and I painted two smaller canvases to flank them on the wall.  The only guidance I offered Mr. M was to go ‘geometric’ and keep the straight lines.  Any guess which one I created and which one he did?

Supplies: 6×12 inch canvasespaintbrushes


Painted Wooden Velcro Alphabets: This has proven to be the best ‘art’ we made for Will.  Every guest at our baby shower marker-painted and decorated a letter, which I then used 3M velcro tape to attach to the wall. Presto, an ABC wall in which letters can be pulled down, manipulated and put back up again!  Some people were SO creative – Mr. M’s cousin turned the E into an elephant! – and others kept it simple (like me, with one color and some polka dots on the “M” for Mama).  Will LOVES his letters and they are light so if they fall, he isn’t injured at all.

Supplies: Wood letterspaint markersvelcro tape


Did you create art for your kids’ rooms? Share your ideas below!