FAQ's - Art Projects for Schools
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FAQs: Everything you need to know

If you have a question or just require further information, you’re sure to find your answer here. If not, simply call our experienced team of advisors on 0800 027 1939.

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General FAQs

Do the projects cost the school any money to complete?

NO! In fact the project will give you the opportunity to raise substantial funds for your school. We provide you with all the forms and leaflets needed to complete the project and ideas and technique sheets to get you started.

Can the project be run with just one class?

We strongly recommend that the project is run with the whole school. The schools that have been most successful with the enjoyment of the project (yet alone the money raised for funds!) have all run the project with the whole school. APFS was started up with the thought of 'Art for All' - a chance to raise the self esteem of each child who participates. It would be such a shame if this opportunity was only offered to selected pupils in the school. It is worth noting however that the minimum order for the whole school is ONE so if the whole school participated but only a few orders were submitted then there would not be a problem.

Do we have to create artwork especially for the project?

You can submit artwork already created/selected from the child's portfolio if you wish, although please bear in mind that for the Christmas card, Leavers, Create a card and Schools Art Project, our equipment will not scan artworks larger than A4 in size.

For the Children as Designers project, The Art of Sport, and the Calendar project, templates are already provided and it is recommended that these templates are used.

For the Leavers Project, we ask that you create landscape artworks on A4 paper.
A lot of schools who participate hold an 'Art week' to produce the artworks in but there is no reason why the project cannot slot straight into your current lesson plan: e.g. If the children were studying the Egyptians you could use their illustrations for the project.

Can we postpone the project to another term?

Yes - just let us know when the project would be more convenient to you.

Can parents/teachers/relations of children submit orders too?

Yes! The more orders submitted the more money the school will raise (there is not a limit on the number of orders that can be submitted). Anyone can submit an order providing there is a relevent order form attached to the reverse but if the order is being submitted via a school, please note that during our production process the class name on the order form attached to the artworks is used to locate the artworks on our system, so even if the order is not from a pupil, please make sure that the class name on the form corresponds with the class name of the envelope it is placed in.
Finished items will be returned direct to the school. Please let us know if you require any extra order forms or leaflets.

Does the school pay for postage and packaging?

No. APFS pays for postage on the sample pack and project packs sent, on the collection of the artworks/orders and they also pay to send the finished items back to the school. APFS currently use the courier company FedEx for collections and deliveries. Organisations in Europe & Eire will be subject to a delivery surcharge.

If the project is really successful how soon could we do it again?

The next term would be the earliest. You may wish to try another of our projects- take a look at our Projects Page to see what is available.

Do you provide a resident artist?

At the moment this is a service that we do not provide. Some schools have used the money that they raised with the project to provide an artist in residence at a later date.

Are the projects open to anyone else other than primary schools?

Yes! Playgroups, creches, nurseries, Sunday schools/church groups, scouts & guides, community centres, summer clubs, secondary schools (recommended for lower year groups) and other groups have all participated in the projects. The projects are open to all and can be adapted to suit the group.

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Artwork FAQs

Can any art materials be used to produce the artworks?

Yes, although please observe the following points:

  1. Please do not use GLITTER as this can contaminate other artworks and damage machinery used in the printing process. We also strongly advise against the use of pearlised paint, metallic or reflective materials and fluorescent/highlighter pens as these do not always reproduce as vibrantly as they appear on paper. This is due to the lack of depth of colour with the highlighter pens and the fact that the pearlised paint, metallic and reflective materials will bounce light back during the scanning process and this may distort the colour of these materials.
  2. Please ensure that any pastel/charcoal drawings have been fixed (with either fixative or hairspray) as they may smudge during the production process.
  3. All faint/pale pencil crayon lines/shading are difficult to reproduce. Bold colours will work best.
  4. Dark colours on dark colours (e.g. dark blue on black) do not reproduce particularly clear.
  5. Any colour paper or thin card can be used for artworks however we advise that coloured sugar paper can be difficult to colour match.
  6. We recommend using paper with a minimum weight of 100gsm. This is because thinner papers are more likely to crease and therefore may produce shadowing.

Can collages be reproduced?

Yes - In fact they can look stunning. Please ensure that everything is stuck down firmly and there is nothing sharp sticking out. Glitter and foil will not reproduce as well as they look in real life. The bolder the better - tissue paper reproduces extremely well.

Do you provide any resources?

Yes - Each term we produce an Ideas & Techniques booklet. This is full of inspirational ideas and techniques for creative art projects. Ideas are included for foundation through to key stage 2, giving you detailed method together with materials needed and how to expand the ideas further. The ideas included in the booklet are not specific to an individual project. The first time you take part in a project each teacher taking part will receive a copy of issue 1. As you then take part in subsequent projects you will receive the next issue. These booklets are provided free of charge and for teachers to keep as a resource to use in the classroom all year round.

Our website also carries more detailed suggestions for cross curricular work relating to each issue together with National Curriculum programme of study elements covered by each idea. Also you will find clickable links that will take you straight to images relating to the ideas and techniques shown in the booklet by suggested artists.

Does lettering need to be reversed for any of the projects?

No - In fact the reversal of lettering or pictures is discouraged as our equipment is already set up to do so and will not provide the desired outcome. We do however advise that lettering is not placed to the edge of the artwork as up to 5mm of the image can be lost as part of the production process. We always try to replicate each artwork exactly where possible.

How should the order form be attached?

Make sure the order form is securely sellotaped to the back of the artwork and has been placed with the arrow facing to the top of the artwork. We will print the artwork to the orientation of the arrow unless clearly another orientation. Please DO NOT staple the order form to the design as it will show on the final print. Please check that the school name has been written at the top of the order form and that the name and class of the child is clearly written in the space provided.

For the projects where templates are used such as Children as Designers, The Art of Sport, Calendar and Academic Calendar please ensure that the order form is completed on the reverse. We recommend that this is completed in soft pencil rather than ink or biro to avoid bleeding or indentation showing through on the image.

Is it a good idea to place each artwork into a plastic wallet?

No- There is a danger of damage to artworks as we will need to take the artworks out of the wallets during the production process. Please ensure that any charcoal or pastel drawings are 'fixed' before sending. If the artwork could smudge please place a sheet of paper in between each artwork- do not place into plastic wallets. We cannot guarantee the return of plastic wallets.

Can we submit any sized artwork?

No- Each project has different rules:

  1. The Schools Art Project
    • The best size for artworks is A4 (210mm x 297) as this is the maximum size the picture will be printed at. They will be printed at 100% size unless otherwise required. We strongly advise against artworks larger than A4 - these make our production process difficult and mean that we cannot guarantee your items will be sent back on the estimated despatch date.
    • Artworks smaller than A4 are acceptable and will be printed at 100% size unless otherwise required.
    • Artworks can be any shape (e.g. circular) as long as they fit within A4 size.
    • Designs can be landscape or portrait
    • Please keep any lettering away from the edge of the image as up to 5mm can be lost during the production process.

  2. The Children as Designers Project & The Art of Sport
    A template is provided with this project. The template has been designed larger than the final print to allow ease of 'creativity' within the borders. If you would rather design at the size it will finally print at the artwork must be designed within a 70mm high and 180mm width rectangle. Drawing beyond the edges of the template may not print. Please keep any lettering away from the edge of the image as up to 5mm can be lost during the production process.

  3. The Christmas Card Project, Create a Card Project & The Leavers Project
    Due to the equipment we use, we cannot accept any artworks larger than A4 (210mm x 297mm).
    Please keep any lettering away from the edge of the image as up to 5mm can be lost during the production process.

  4. The Calendar Project
    A template is provided with this project. Please keep any lettering away from the edge of the image as up to 5mm can be lost during the production process.

  5. The Leavers Project
    Art works must be landscape and produced on A4 paper. Please keep any lettering away from the edge of the image as up to 5mm can be lost during the production process.

Will the background/colour of the paper print?

Yes. If white paper is not used, then the colour of the paper (including off-whites and creams) will be reproduced. Everything that is visible on the design (e.g. staples, anything on the reverse showing through, crinkles in the paper, smudges etc.) will be reproduced (unless it can be avoided). Please do not stick/write the child´s name on the front of the picture unless it is wanted as part of the design. Coloured sugar paper, due to its texture, can be difficult to colour match.

Will the artworks be resized to fit on to the finished products?

  • The Children as Designers Project
    Artworks on the CAD templates will be reduced by:
    - 41% to fit on a large mug.
    - 58% to fit on to a small mug.
    When producing your artworks please consider that fine details or wording may appear smaller on the final product.
  • The Schools Art Project
    A4 artworks will be scaled down to fit on to mouse-mats, and t-shirt sizes 3/4 and 5/6. Larger sizes and shopper bags will be printed at 100%. When producing your artworks please consider that fine details or wording may appear smaller on the final product.
  • The Calendar Project & Academic Year Calendar Project
    Artworks done on calendar templates will be scaled up from the template size to fit onto the calendar.
  • The Christmas Card Project, Create A Card Project & Easter Card Project
    A4 artworks will be scaled down to fit onto an A6 card. When producing your artworks please consider that fine details or wording may appear smaller on the final product.
  • The Leavers Project
    Landscape A4 artworks will be scaled down to 38% for mugs, and down to A6 for autograph books. When producing your artworks please consider that fine details or wording may appear smaller on the final product.
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    Administration FAQs

    Can a child submit more than one design?

    Yes. Please treat it as a separate order on the class envelope to avoid confusion and make sure that the order form has been clearly filled in.

    Can you print two different artworks onto a single item e.g. a shopper?

    Yes. Please paperclip artworks together with a note stating what is required. We charge an extra pound for this service.

    Can I change my collection date once I have confirmed it with you?

    We will always endeavor to accommodate any changes you may need to make regarding your collection date during the spring & summer terms. However due to the volume of artworks that we deal with during the autumn term it is unlikely, due to our strict production schedule that such changes can be accommodated.

    Please note that towards the end of term if artworks have not been collected by our cut-off date then the finished items will not get back to you by the end of term. Therefore it is advisable to have a collection date as early in the term as possible.

    What is the best way to fill in the children's names on the class envelope?

    Please can only the names of children placing an order be filled in. Make sure that the names are in full, that they match the name on the order form (e.g. do not write Nicholas on one and Nicky on the other) and are written clearly. Lastly, if a child wants to submit more than one artwork or if siblings have submitted different artworks but are paying together, please enter them onto the class lists as separate orders

    Will we get the finished items back by the end of term?

    Yes - guaranteed as long as your artworks are collected by the official cut off date. When you confirm to take part in a project we will discuss and agree a collection date with you for your artworks and we will then give you your estimated delivery date. For the majority of the projects we offer we work to a 2 week turnaround. Please notify us if your end of term date is different to other schools in your area or if you would like the items back before a specified date. It is worth remembering that the earlier your collection date is, the more time you will have to distribute the items and put in for additional orders.

    Who do we make cheques payable to?

    Please make cheques payable to 'Art Projects for Schools Ltd'.

    Can we claim the VAT back?

    This depends completely on your local county council - please ask them direct if this is possible. Some schools have been able to claim it back in the past - however in some counties it is not allowed.

    Can we pay by credit card?

    Yes you can. Please contact us on 0800 027 1939.

    Do you accept late orders?

    Yes we do. Please visit our late orders page for more information.

    What do we do with the left over paperwork and samples?

    Please box them up to be sent back with the artworks, so we can recycle them.

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    Product FAQs

    What are the washing instructions for the T-shirts?

    Please wash them at 40 degrees, tumble dry on a low heat. Image will appear faded after washing- it is important that you iron DIRECTLY over the print after each wash, this will bring the colours back up. DO NOT DRY CLEAN!

    Can you wash the shopping bags?

    Yes - please follow the instructions given for the T-shirts (above)

    Can you iron over the print?

    Yes - in fact you should iron directly over the print after each wash. This will bring the colours back up.

    Are the mugs dishwasher friendly?


    Are the mugs microwave proof?


    Can the school name/logo be printed onto the items?

    Yes. Yes. If this service is not already included in the project additional requirements can be accommodated for your school. Please contact us prior to booking to discuss any additional requirements on 0800 027 1939 or email info@apfs.org.uk. Please note that all additional requirements incur a set up charge of £10.00.

    Can an artwork be printed onto the back of the T-shirt instead of the front?

    Yes - please include a note paper-clipped to the artwork stating this is what you would like done.

    What are the chest sizes of the T-shirts?

    Age 3/4 = 24" (child extra small, size)
    Age 5/6 = 26" (child small)
    Age 7/8 = 28" (child medium)
    Age 9/11 = 30" (child large)
    Age 12/14 = 32" (child extra large)
    Size Small = 36/38"
    Size Medium = 38/40"
    Size Large = 41/42"
    Size XLarge= 43/44"
    Please note that sizes are approximate to 2 inches either way subject to the manufacturers labelling. If in doubt it is advisable to choose the next size up.

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    After the project FAQs

    We received our items back but there was an order missing

    Please check the class envelopes to make sure that the childs name was entered on the list initially. In most cases the artwork and order was not sent into us in the first place. If it was and the order was missing on return please call the Sales & Marketing team on 0800 027 1939. Each childs order is checked at least 4 times during our production process so we will be able to trace the missing item and look into why it went missing in the first place.

    We received our order back and there was a class missing

    Nearly everytime this question is asked we discover that the box was still in the office/was in the right classroom but left unopened/the teacher was unaware that the box had arrived earlier/had been distributed to the wrong class. If you have checked that this is not the case please call the Sales & Marketing team immediately on 0800 027 1939 who will prioritise finding the missing box for you.

    The print on the T-shirt has faded- What do I do?

    The first thing to try is to iron directly over the print. In nearly all cases this will bring the colours back up to their original colour. If this does not work, please send the T-shirt back into us for a replacement or refund. We will then look into why the fault has occurred to try and ensure that it does not happen again. (Note, if a replacement is required, please include the original artwork and order form).

    There is a fault with the product what do I do?

    Please return the product to us so we can investigate the problem. If you would like a replacement item please also enclose the original artwork with a covering note. If you prefer, we will issue you with a refund. If it is outside of term time please do not forget to include the address(es) of where you would like the item(s) sent to. Faults with the actual products are rare as we have a strict quality control system however we do occasionally have printing errors - we will replace or refund no matter who is to blame.

    We would like to order some more!

    For the Christmas card project, please visit our re-orders page at http://www.apfs.org.uk/reorders.php For all other projects, please send the artwork you would like reproduced complete with an order form attached (or a covering note sellotaped to the reverse of the artwork providing the details of child name, class, school name, APFS ID, item required, quantity and contact phone number) and send into us with a cheque for the money owed. You can look up prices on our project pages. If it is outside of term time please do not forget to include the address(es) of where you would like the item(s) sent to. Please note that due to the additional administration costs, each reorder will incur a £2 administration fee.

    I have already paid but I have just received an invoice- why?

    Please check the invoice at the bottom- if it says 'thank-you for your payment' then we have received your payment okay and you do not need to take any action. If it does not say this please contact us on 0800 027 1939 and we will be happy to help with your query. You will be invoiced for everything - first for the non-vatable items and later for the vatable items.

    We made a mistake and paid you too much! - what do we do?

    Please give us a call on 0800 027 1939 to arrange a refund.

    Important notice about copyright

    Please note that due to copyright APFS cannot reproduce pictures from books, magazines or the internet without permission from the owner of the image(s). This also applies to photographs with a photographer's watermark. Collaged artworks made from pictures cut from magazines are allowed in most circumstances. If in doubt, please seek advice from APFS before sending in the artwork.