Like many families right now, we are still hunkering down at home following the rules to avoid contracting Covid-19. Every day I am looking for new activities to keep my three kids – ages 4, 6 and 10 busy and engaged. I read about making Vision Boards and thought my kids and I (because let’s face it – it’s a hell of a lot more fun if it’s actually fun) would enjoy making them. Spoiler – I was right.
What is a Vision Board?
I wasn’t really sure what a vision board was, so like any good person living in 2020, I started googling around. I found out there is a local store called Vision Works NY – whose main mission is to teach people how to make vision boards! I immediately reached out to the owners for some advice.
What supplies do I need to make a Vision Board?
Unlike many people who have jumped into the 21st century, I still get several paper magazine subscriptions. Lucky for me, that was pretty much all I needed to get us started. I began saving them and truth be told – I ended up not needing as many as I expected. Surprisingly, even with making four vision boards, we only used a handful of magazines. In short – this means you can probably make a great vision board with only one or two old issues. I also tried to think outside of the box with the types of magazines I saved. I had great luck finding images and words from my alumni magazine, US Weekly, InStyle, and even the Cambridge Pavers insert from The New York Times (it had awesome background pictures – especially if you like fire pits, pool scenes and sunsets. It was THE perfect vision board magazine for me! Who knew?)!
Once I had my magazines ready, we sat around the table and wrote out a list of things that makes us happy – to create some inspiration. We also included things we wanted to see/do/accomplish this summer.
Next, I told my kids to close their eyes and I read them the notes from Liz at Vision Works NY. My goal was to set their mood for finding the right images and words for their vision boards. This was a great step and really resonated with them.
Time to start cutting!
Now it was time to get to work. We each took a magazine and started cutting out pictures and words. We cut out big things and we cut out small things. We cut out background images and we cut out random things we liked. My kids were SO into this I could not believe it. I knew my 10-year-old art obsessed daughter would love this, but my six-year-old son went to town! Even my four-year-old was engaged and loving it. Because all three of my kids were into it, I could get into it too! Since that doesn’t happen very often, it truly was a gift!
What is the best background to use?
The next step was figuring out the heavy duty background for our vision boards. My initial thought was to recycle canvases from painting birthday parties, but I soon realized we needed a bigger space. I ended up flattening out the cardboard from cereal boxes and making a custom size for each of us.
Covering your vision board background
I took a few pages of “background” and glued them to the cardboard using a regular glue stick. School glue would also work – especially if you use a paint brush. I would just be careful of the amount of school glue you use so the magazine doesn’t pucker. Next, I covered up the words on my background pages with color blocks and images.
Let the collaging begin!
I took out all the words and images I cut out and placed them on my vision board. Finally, my last step was to glue them all down one by one. If you’re the kind of person who likes to throw caution to the wind, you can glue as you go. However, I wanted to make sure everything fit first before committing to a location.
OMG! A collage of all the things I love makes me happy! #Duh
For me, when I am in the inertia of an art project, I get into the zone and don’t really see it as a whole until I am done and take a step back. This is one of my favorite things about creating art. Once I finished my vision board I took a step back, looked, and I just felt so happy. Now, the funny part is – OF COURSE I’m going to feel happy – I literally just made a board of everything that makes me happy! It SHOULD make me happy! Since I completed my vision board, I can’t stop looking at it and smiling. I don’t know if I made a text book “vision board” or simply a really pretty happiness collage, but I love it either way. I can’t stop looking at it and sending it to my friends!
One day or multi day project
Another thing I loved about this project is it took us a few days to complete. We worked on it for an hour a day over three days. You can absolutely do it in one day for instant gratification, but I wanted something that would take longer. I also didn’t want my kids to get bored and lose interest in the project, so I fed it to them in pieces.
It all comes back to the unsung hero of self-isolation – toilet paper
My kids had so much fun cutting out the most random pictures – including the Geico gecko, Lin-Manuel Miranda, elephants, rainbows, and many, many others. Funny enough – we all cut out the Charmin Ultra Soft bear – without even realizing it. So, in conclusion, no matter what we are doing, five months later, we are still thinking about toilet paper (and clearly very loyal to Charmin!)!
This is a great project to do with kids (or adults!) of any age, it helps recycle things around your house, and it costs nothing! I hope you enjoy making your vision boards as much as we enjoyed making ours. I would love to see them when they are done and share in your vision board happiness!