Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Displaying Kids Art - or what am I supposed to do with all of this artwork???

So Lately we've had some Holiday time in Israel, and I found myself looking for things to do with the kiddies. We spent a lot of time coloring and doodling - although my daughter is only two, she seems to have found her calling. She fills page after page using her crayons, and they keep piling up. But it's nothing compared to the amount of pictures my son brings home from Kindergarten.
If you have children - you know what I'm talking about. I often find myself buried under yet another pile of "art" - wondering what would be the motherly thing to do. I'd love to help my budding Picasso's, but how do I do that without having my house look like a Kindergarten? A lovely reader asked me just that (thanks, Michal) so here are a couple of ideas for displaying kids artwork - while still maintaining an esthetically pleasing home.
Every parent has there own point of view. Some have folders and binders filled with there children's laminated artwork, others chuck it all out while their kids are sleeping - I'd like to suggest a middle ground:) Go over the Art with your child - decide together what you're keeping and what you can throw away. Once you have chosen, here are a couple of ideas - and why they work.

1. Artwork Poster:
This photo is taken from the house of Designer Jan Elen - she takes pictures of her kids drawings and sets them up on a poster sized file in a neat grid, then has the poster printed and framed. The expressive artwork organized so severely gives this poster a modern feel, meaning it  could easily be hung in the living room. (And a digital catalog also take up a lot less space)

 picture taken from here

2. A photo wall:
Get a wallpaper like effect  by hanging the pictures in simple identical frames (these were purchased ad Ikea). Choose a bold color and many frames.
Why? Because it makes all of the eclectic pictures seem more like a collection,  which make the wall look modern and not cluttered. And what boy or girl would not get super excited to see a wall like this made from there own masterpieces? Every once in a while you can refresh the display with their more current work.

picture taken from here

3. A changing display:
Use a couple of clipboards to make an ever changing display of kids art. You can hang one picture every time, or a couple. I would recommend using at least 4 clipboards. Why 4, you ask? Think of just one clipboard on the wall.
Hmmm, nothing special.
But a couple of them - well that makes a clear statement. When working with something so colorful and eclectic (in our case, children's drawings) you need to find a way to let your eye rest and take it all in. Keeping a neat grid with even distances between the boards will do just that. You can also set aside a clipboard or two for each family member.
Cute, right?

photo from here

4. A Handmade Card
The idea for these handmade cards came from one of my older designs - wooden wall decor for kids (you can still purchase them here), and it works best with the more, ummm, abstract children's drawings (my personal favorite - we call them dancing colors). 
So how do you make them?

Fold a piece of cardstock in half. Draw the image you'll be cutting out with a pencil (you can also trace something you've printed). It could be anything - a simple heart shape, an animal, you get it. Use an exacto knife to cut the image out. (You could also use a fancy whole punch. Just remember the bigger the shape is the more artwork will be seen).
Open the card and and glue your kids art inside (you may have to cut off the edges depending on the size). When the card is closed the cut out image fills with the colorful details of your child's art, and when it opens you have a small surprise. 

My kids really loved this. I think it made them feel included and useful - and super proud.
I hope I sparked some new ideas for displaying kids art. And truthfully, you could use these ideas for displaying lots of other forms of art - postcards, doodles, pretty papers - you get the picture.
So what do YOU do with your children's artwork? Share your ideas in the comments!
Until Next Time - 


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