Here you can see how I mixed some handprint art into other non-kid pieces.
When I was thinking of ideas for articles before officially starting the blog, I naturally came up with a list of topics to write about. Tons of ideas sprang to mind, but what I’m going to write about today never popped up when I was *trying* to think of subjects.
Recently, I was going through The Boy’s 2nd grade schoolwork and came across a picture of a pineapple he drew. I like pineapple’s in home décor and what they represent, so I have a few items here and there, especially on my porch around the front door area. When I saw the pineapple, I immediately knew I was going to frame it. This is not unusual for me. There are tons of my children’s framed artwork all over our house. So, I went to the Dollar Tree and got a black document-size frame (they fit 8.5inch x 11 inch paper perfectly—no cutting). This is how I frame all my kids' art. Then I propped that bad boy up in my kitchen.
The pineapple drawing that inspired this article. Notice the "flowers" Little Mama picked for me sitting in the glass cup.
A few days after doing this, while cooking breakfast and looking at the pineapple, the thought magically appeared in my brain to write an article about children's art in the home. I love art of all kinds and it’s all over the place in my house, but hands-down when choosing between some bought décor item or the work of my children, I will choose theirs. It’s much more interesting and personable and makes our home OURS. More importantly, by displaying their artwork in such a prestigious (to them) way, my kids receive the message that I value their work and it encourages them to keep drawing and painting. They’re happy, I’m happy.
Speaking of happy, I love this little stick figure guy The Boy drew a while back. He's in the kids' bathroom, propped on one of those Ikea spice racks that seem to be everywhere.
Ultimately, the problem of space will arise. There’s a finite amount of space in any person’s home, and ours is probably more finite than the average. We live in 1,100 square feet (plus our ginormous porch). Where do I put all this art? It definitely takes some thinking and maneuvering. Obviously, you can just put up a few pieces and change them out from time to time. That’s a great idea but it goes against my nature. I’m a big fan of the gallery wall (even before they were a thing). It’s a great way to maximize what you can put on a wall without things looking crazy.
This picture was really hard to get. This is a very tight hallway with no natural light. The kids' pictures, art work, and crafts make a big impact here.
Another tool at my disposal is the ledge. The Dollar Tree frames I mentioned earlier work great in this capacity because their low profile easily accommodates overlapping.
Another difficult shot. This is in our children's very narrow bathroom and it also has no natural light--hence the unavoidable glare. Mr. and I made these ledges with a few pieces of wood and white paint. They're much cheaper and longer than anything I found elsewhere. In case you're wondering, the grayed out rectangles on some of the pictures are due to Little Mama's need to put her name prominently on everything she creates.
So long as it doesn’t start to look cluttered, I also try to think of non-traditional places to hang things like the sides of book cases and armoires, push pin boards, in front of books that I don’t access that often on a bookshelf, the back of shelf if there’s enough space above the items on it, or propped on a desk, dresser, or counter (in the case of the pineapple). And don’t forget about the trusty ol’ refrigerator.
This is an old crib mattress frame. I was on a mission to get one of these, and I have no regrets. As you can see, I have art work on here, and this is the one place I do change it out regularly. This is also a great spot to display a lot of family pictures. Since this is low to the ground, Tres loves going over to the pictures and talking to them and pointing out who is in them. This is why most of them are bent and the arrangement is very haphazard.
Even with all these places to stuff or sneak in their artwork, I still don’t have enough space to put up everything I would like to. A storage solution that I employ has turned into an unexpected motivator. For each child, I purchased a cheap three-ring-binder. I filled them with page protectors and divided them by grade (by age before they were in school). When I come across art work or school work, that I want to keep but which I am not compelled to display, I put it into their binder. I named these their “Good Work Books”. They get very excited when something is deemed Good Work Book worthy. I didn’t plan for these binders to promote better concentration on their work, but it has produced that surprising added benefit.
Isn't it funny (by funny I mean mind-boggling) how, where kids are concerned, the stuff you plan and have high hopes for often is a bust and the unplanned, spontaneous stuff is a hit--sort of like how the box the Christmas present came in gets more attention than the actual gift?
For more display ideas, check out my Pinterest board.
Please comment and share how you address displaying children's art in your home or ways you successfully store their work.