Did this happen to you throughout the school year? Several times a week your child comes home with piles of art and other paperwork for you to adore, compliment, and select which pieces you’ll hang on the fridge. Later that evening, you sift through the entire mound of paper and decide which pieces make the cut for a future keepsake and which ones get tossed. You think you have it all figured out, and then the next morning your child discovers his masterpiece in the trash. Oops. You apologize profusely, dust off the coffee crumbs, smooth out the wrinkles, and add it to the last remaining spot on the fridge.
If this happened to you as much as it did me – and if your house is now overflowing with your child’s artwork – then keep reading. I discovered 10 really cute ways to keep and display your child’s art without cluttering your home.
1. Hang the art on curtain wire. This is an idea submitted by Marybeth Barrett with Addressing Spaces. She found this set from IKEA. “It’s actually made to hang drapes but it makes a great place to hang art too. The complete set is $14.99. Hang it within arm’s reach so your child can pick and choose the art they want to display. If you don’t feel like making the trek to IKEA, you can make your own with 2 cleats or hooks, rope, drapery panel clips or clothespins and some anchors and screws. You can hang art or cute baby clothes you can’t part with. That would cost under $10.00,” she says.
2. Hang the art on a clothesline or fishing wire. This is an cheaper option which looks cute if you use the big art clips or clothespins to secure the hanging art. See a pic from my playroom artists to the left.
3. Put the art in frames. Not only will it really make the art look fabulous, but your budding Picasso will feel really proud too. Another spin on this idea is the Dynamic Artwork Frame which opens to store up to 50 pieces of art. What an easy way to switch out the art!
4. Group your frames. Find several matching frames in different shapes and sizes. Try plain black or white frames with opposite mats. Michaels and AC Moore carry inexpensive frames like these. Hang them together on one wall and let the colors of your children’s art pop!
5. Try magnetic paint. This is one thing I have been dying to do in our playroom. You can create a whole art wall or just a special area, and be sure to use strong magnets to ensure everything stays put. Home Depot sells this type of paint for $20.
6. Tape it in. If you child happens to draw directly on the wall (happens all the time in this house!), don’t panic – embrace it. Surround your child’s art with Do-Frame tape. Of course try this in areas of your home that you aren’t so picky about! You can get this really cool tape for about $15.
7. Create a calendar. Marybeth Barrett of Addressing Spaces also suggests taking photos of the art, scanning it, and using it to create a calendar. You can see her son’s artwork featured in their new 2011 calendar to the left. They make great gifts too!
8. Create a digital scrapbook. Along the same lines of a digital calendar, scan the art (or photograph it), upload the images to a site like Shutterfly or Snapfish, and create memory books of the art. By going digital, you know the art will be preserved for ages unlike paper scrapbooks.
9. Create a hanging mobile. Make a fun and whimsical mobile from simple wire hanger and thread, and then have your child choose art that she can cut up and add to the mobile.
10. Make trading cards. This idea comes from Allyson Bright Meyer, a scrapbooking expert and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Scrapbook Projects. Resize your child’s art on a printer or computer (after scanning) to 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches, the same size as trading cards. Print on heavy stock, and cut. For extra durability, laminate them. Encourage your friends to do the same with their children’s art, and have your kids trade cards. They’ll have a blast!
I love all these ideas and cannot wait to incorporate them in our home. One small organizational tip I have is to store your favorite art in plastic bins if you’re not ready to display them. I’ve been doing this for years. The bin is in my attic. It’s getting really full so it’s a perfect time for me to break out the bin and start displaying these masterpieces.
What other ideas do you have?
Ideas listed above were found on the following web sites: