Art Journaling with a Tween Boy



Note:  This is more of a story than a tutorial, but it’s a fun thing to do with kids 🙂

I’m not sure if it’s tween boys or just my son, but to get him motivated to do anything at all is like trying to take out 10 inch nails out of concrete with only your fingernails. Now that it’s Summer, it more so. My oldest son is a very smart boy, makes good grades, he’s almost a black belt in Kung Fu and is going to try out for the Football team next year in Middle School. But at home, he just wants to play video games or sit on his laptop watching silly videos.

He is actually very talented too. He loves to write silly stories and they have silly drawings. So, I had this extra blank journal that I gave him (probably should have used one of his 20 journals instead) and said, let’s create an art journal cover for your book. Then once in a while we will get together and create some art journal pages. He seemed quite motivated to do so. He really does like art, but I think sometimes he doesn’t always know what to do. I think that will change now that he’s allowed to take art class at school next year. That’s exactly when my artistic side started to thrive.

We headed over to my craft table, pulled out his journal and some Gesso.  I had him Gesso the front and back of his journal (I did mine as well while we were at it…his is the smaller one).


I then pulled out a stack of magazines that I have saved for this very purpose and told him to spend some time looking through them and cut out any images he may like.   He sat there for a bit going through one of my National Geographic Travel magazines.  Like most boys, his patience is limited.  Were it me, I would probably spend at least an hour getting all the images I want…but, not him.  He spent maybe 15 minutes lol.  But, that’s OK!  He really liked his images.

We set those aside and I had him choose some acrylic paint colors.  He chose a light blue, a light green and an orange…totally boy colors.  He first stamped on a bunch of green circles then covered most of it up with the blue.  You can see at the top of the image below his selection from the magazine.


Next, I pulled out my Decoupage and had him decoupage the front and backs of the images and put the images on his cover where he thought he would like them to be.




Next, he grabbed the orange and just painted around the edges.



That’s it!  He’s done.  I asked him if he wanted to do anything else to it…add more colors, stamps, stencils…anything.  He drew a little mustache on the man with the bow and arrow, then said ‘nope’ and walked off into the sunset to sit in his room, back to his laptop.  Well  it was fun while it lasted!

After his journal dried, I sprayed it with Mod Podge Clear Acrylic Sealer to help keep everything in it’s place and gives it a nice gloss.  Next step is to fill in all those blank pages.  It was a short art event with my oldest boy, but then we are talking about a Tween boy.  Maybe when he’s an actual Teen, he may never want to do this with old Mom again, so I am living it up!


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