It's all about the money, money, money... Or is it? {DIY cereal box art}

Todays happy little project is brought to you by one of my favorite things-trash. 
Here's how my brain works: I see something that's going to be thrown out, or just sitting around (like on the farm) and my mind instantly thinks of a new purpose for it.  I don't try to make the gears in my brain work this way, they just do naturally.  Let's pretend this is a "gift" and not a sign of hoarding, ok?!  So I have this "gift" for keeping cereal and cracker boxes.  For starters they're a great material to tape down on your table and let the little ones color with markers or paint on.  They're sturdy enough to hold the paint, without it sinking into the table.  Plus the boxes cover a lot of area so you're not worrying about a mess as much.  Or I don't at least. 

Cardboard boxes also make great canvases for your own art too!  For this project I cut some circles out of an old cheerios box and squirted some cheap acrylic paint (found in the little bottles at Hobby Lobby) into another old container I'd saved from the trash.  
And then I began to paint layer after layer, color after color.  I used many things to stamp and stencil the paint on with too, which you can see below.  Last I sketched on top of the DRY paint with a white pen.
These are the materials I used for stamping and stenciling!  If you are creative and look around your house with an open mind I think you'd be surprised how many regular items can be used for art!  The flower stencil is one of my favorites and I bought it at a crafting warehouse that's near my house, where everything is 70% off.  It's a dream in there.  

I've also found that the inside of cardboard, the lines on a fork, and the top of a spice container (with the holes) make awesome stamps!  For the cardboard you can press it into the paint and then onto your project, using it like you would a regular stamp. 

For the fork, simply lay it down flat on the paper and dab paint in between the open lines!  

And last, my favorite homemade stamp EVER, for the spice container insert, lay it down flat on your project (cardboard, canvas, paper, etc.) and dab paint into the holes! 

I've used all of these methods on my last few canvases I've painted and the spice container insert turns out awesome every single time.  

I may turn these little circles into a garland, or a framed piece of art.  They'd also make awesome gift tags or napkin holders.  Or you could hang them from branches! 
The possibilities are endless with this project!  And friends, that's my heart.  It doesn't take gobs of money to be creative.  Even though there are many affordable online art classes (which I would love to take more of) you don't have to take them to learn.  You can teach yourself and stretch your learning and imagination and ideas just by challenging yourself to do so. 

Let me explain.  I took the She Art online art class and instantly fell in love with the process of creating a mixed media canvas.  And instantly wanted to purchase a truckload of products and buy more online classes.  (this feeling WASN'T coming from the class instructor by the way, just me!)  At first it frustrated me that this was another thing on the list it seemed that I didn't have the money for.  Add to that all the neat conferences I keep seeing for christian women or bloggers....and all the art retreats that seem to be popping up.  These are all good things, mind you.  I think it's ok to desire what each of these set out to deliver-connection, creativity, hope.  

But somewhere in all the excitement and inspiration of growing as an artist ,I began to just focus on the money, not the ministry.  When I'd read about so and so going to a 2 day conference sans kids and having shopping money even, I'd immediately think of my local friends whom I know are in need of hope and encouragement and who are nowhere near the point of having this kind of time and money.  And I'd think "What about them?"  

When I'd read about art retreats costing hundreds of dollars, I'd think "Isn't there another way?", once again seeing faces of people in my own life who are desperate for replenishment but can't come close to affording such a luxury.   And so, through these thoughts God is starting something new in me.  I don't know what yet.  It just feels like so many things and places and blogs are about the money.  And I catch myself wanting to be too.  Thinking that I need payment for what I do, when at the heart of the matter I just wonder what happened to my ministry?  

Our creativity, our brilliant minds, our hearts for Jesus...
don't all need a price tag.  
Gulp.  This is hard and heavy on my heart.  Please hear me fully, I do think God uses our gifts and talents  in a job setting!  Getting to do such awesome work for Holley Gerth is exactly how I was able to buy my new camera.  There was no one else that could have orchestrated that relationship but Jesus. If another "dream job" so obviously falls into my lap such as that one, you bet I'd take it!  In a heart beat. 

I just mean that my focus lately is changing from "I can't, I don't have..." to "I CAN be creative, I do have the resources I need to grow as a mama and artist".  We can do this friends.  We can be creative using what is right in front of us in the most beautiful of ways.  And then on the days we DO have a bit of extra money for a new art supply or to take a friend to coffee we can rejoice in that even more.  Because we'll know we've been more about the ministry instead of the money. 

Will you agree to join me in choosing ministry over money?

And absolutely rejoicing when God provides for our needs?
Because He always, always does.  I have still, never ever, seen the righteous forsaken. 

{Something I am VERY excited to announce is that I'll soon have a new section on the blog with free photo downloads just for you!  I'll be making the Holley Gerth "You're Going to Be Okay" photos available, as well as one photo from the blog (with a quote most likely) per month!  You will be free to print these at your leisure!}


  1. Hi Sara! I love your ideas about your art being a ministry and a place where you meet Jesus. I feel the same way about my Holy Yoga ministry! I love your ideas about creating art on the cheap. I have been intentionally trying to plan an open ended art project to do with my children each week and this painted cardboard idea fits the bill perfectly! I know my little ones will love it! I am thinking to cut the cardboard into egg shapes and use spring time colors for and Easter garland!

    1. Hi there! I admit, I haven't heard of Holy Yoga before but it sure sounds interesting. :) I'm interested to hear what kind of open-ended projects you've done with your kiddos! I'm always looking for new ideas. :)


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