I should probably mention up front that I did not actually make this incredible acrylic painting stand myself. An amazing man at Home Depot made it for us while Gigi and I waited in the store for three hours. Ev and I just assembled the last few pieces at home so it would fit in the car. I have no idea how we got so lucky, but when I told “Leon the Builder,” as we affectionately called him, my plans for this painting stand, his shocking response was, “Ok. I’ll make it for you.” My response was something like “HOLY $@#!, are you serious?!” and I’m pretty sure Gigi threw her hands up and said “Hip Hip Hooray!” If you don’t have “Leon the Builder” hooking you up, you can still make this at home. I’ll do my best to give a tutorial from what I remember seeing Leon do in between some very creative playing in Home Depot with my girl, including sweeping the aisles, flushing all the toilets on display and climbing up and down random ladder stands about 40 times. The time spent on this project was sooooo worth it. We had an amazing play group last week and kids of all ages had a blast painting on the stand. It was magical to see them interact on either side, talking, giggling and laughing at each other through the acrylic. We used edible paint made from yogurt and food coloring so it was safe for everyone. Plus, it easily washed off the acrylic with a hose.
Who am I kidding? I can’t tell you how to do this. BUT, I can give you some tips we learned from Leon that seemed very important if you want to try this at home.
1. Everything you need can be found at Home Depot. Home Depot workers are often tradesman. The ones we’ve met have been incredibly helpful and generous with their time. If the person who is helping you doesn’t really know what you what him or her to know, try someone else. We got really lucky. Hopefully you will too!
2. Acrylic can crack easily if it’s not very thick. Make sure you don’t drill the screws right into the acrylic board. It will likely crack, which we learned the hard way when we tried to do this a week before at home. Drill the holes first and use washers to take the pressure off the acrylic.
3. Make sure you make the base long enough so it won’t tip. With kids working on it, you need it to be really sturdy.
4. If I had to do it over, I would invest in a fancy piece of thicker and wider acrylic, rather than the one from Home Depot. This way lots of kids can work on it at the same time, like 10 kids. We had about 4 or 5, which was awesome, but 10 or more would be amazing.
5. You can use this board for all kinds of projects including stamp art, nancy bottle painting, monoprinting, vegetable printing, spray bottle painting, water balloon painting…the possibilities are endless. We can’t wait to experiment.
And finally, somebody put some pants on this kid. Jeez.