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Repurpose Your Old School Work Into Art

repurpose your old school work

When you or your kids spend a great deal of time on school work, it can be heartbreaking to throw the documents away. But what if you didn't have to? Here are three ways to repurpose your old school work into art masterpieces.

Photo Mat Board

What better way to showcase your hard-earned diploma than with a photo mat made from the thesis paper that earned it? Begin with a plain photo mat that fits your chosen frame. Use your PIXMA printer to print the document you'd like to feature in your custom design, then cut it into strips that are slightly wider and longer than the photo mat they will be covering. Use glue to secure the strips of the document to the standard mat, taking care to position the document so it's straight. Fold over the excess and secure the edges with glue or tape on the opposite side of the photo mat. Smooth out any bubbles and let the mat dry completely. Then, simply tape your diploma (or a photo of yourself in cap and gown) into place on the back side of the mat, and hang!

Paper Lantern

All of that hard-earned knowledge will illuminate your future endeavors — and now it can illuminate your bedroom, your patio and your graduation party! You’ll need an inexpensive paper lantern as a base (check the luau section of your local dollar store), some glue or tape, and 50 or 60 sheets of your school work printed from your PIXMA printer. Using a mason jar or a roll of masking tape, trace circles through the text on each page and cut out the shapes. Place a strip of double-stick tape or a dab of glue at the top of each circle, then attach the circles in overlapping layers to the paper lantern, starting from the bottom and working upwards until the whole sphere is covered. Simply suspend the lanterns from the ceiling, doorway or a tree.

Custom Trinket Box

A display-worthy collection of bins and boxes can be pretty pricey if you buy them ready-made from the home decor store. With just a few sheets of PIXMA printed school documents, however, you can turn a boring box into a stylish storage solution for all of your knick-knacks. A cigar or shoe box works nicely and is easy to store on a book shelf or counter top. To cover the box, simply turn it upside down and arrange your documents across the bottom and sides. Glue them in place one by one, taking care to smooth out any bubbles. You can align your pages straight along the box’s edges, or create an artfully chaotic collage, gluing pages so they overlap slightly. Be sure to trip any excess paper that sticks out from the edges of the box. Let it dry completely before filling it with trinkets. Art Without Borders Ready to take that collage concept to the next level? These ideas might be your cup of tea if you prefer bold and modern to shabby chic. By filling a wall with a series of large-format, album-cover-like prints on borderless canvas, you have limitless backdrop options. Start with a canvas that matches the size of your photo, like 8.5x11 or 13x19. By changing the settings on your , print the photo in reverse so it will transfer onto the canvas correctly. Cover the photo in a thick coat of photo transfer medium, which you can pick up at the local craft store. Place the image face down on the canvas for 24 hours, then gently remove the photo backing by rubbing it down with a clean, wet sponge. This method gives the photo a stylishly faded look once it's transferred to the canvas. When you’ve finished transferring all the photos you want to display onto canvas, mount the canvases to form patterns on the wall. The trick to making the finished product look like art is to insert a few pieces that aren't photography, like a bright, solid-colored tile or bold pattern. Once the whole series is mounted, step back and enjoy your work — you've just turned your space into an art installation.

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