Creative ways to display your children’s art
Parents of young kids know the drill… almost daily your little one(s) are bringing their new artistic creations to you to be displayed. Tiny backpacks unzip to reveal crumpled stacks of construction paper, paste, crayon scribbles, and glitter.
We love our children’s art. We do. We want to encourage their creative spirit and delight in their masterpieces. There’s just… so MUCH of it.
As an interior designer and personal organizer, as well as the mother of two smart and creative daughters, I know this dilemma well!
To help my clients out, I have developed a few philosophies, as well as some strategies, to address the art issue. Here we go…
PRAISE THE ARTIST, Appreciate the Art
More than anything else, your children are looking for affirmation when they bring you their masterpieces. The message that their work matters, and that it is of value to you. Too often, we get caught up in preserving the artwork, instead of praising the artist.
When a young person you love presents you with one of their creations, stop, look, and listen. Give their artwork, and them, your full attention.
Point out what you love about the piece, ask their questions. Take their efforts (and them) seriously! Often, it’s that undivided attention and affirmation the child is looking for.
Involve Your Child as a Curator
Your house has limited space to display things. Allow your child to have a voice in what they want to preserve and highlight! Oftentimes I advise my clients to set 1-3 spaces in your house as a ‘gallery’ for your kids’ artwork. Allow THEM to choose what goes up, and when something new is hung, the old piece comes down. Some children will hang onto a particularly special coloring page or painting for months, while others will curate a space that changes by the day- even the hour!
Preserve the Memory, but Not Always the STUFF
Keeping up with all your child’s creations can be impossible, and often the stuff you treasure can get lost amongst all the other piles of papers, ornaments, and macaroni necklaces.
Find creative ways to preserve memories of creations, while not always the item itself. This could include taking pictures and keeping them in a special photo album on your phone, choosing artwork to give extended family members, friends, and neighbors, or even choosing a set number of items each month to preserve and keep.
As we said above, setting aside just a few places in your home to display your family art pieces is a great strategy. This could include:
The place of prominence for generations, let the fridge display ONE creation per child! They can decide what comes up or goes down.
Have a hallway or stairwell that could use some personality? Arm yourself with some scotch tape and go to town! Having a revolving ‘gallery wall’ can give your kids a sense of pride, and also a sense of growth, as they see the art displayed grow from a toddler’s crayon scribbles to elementary art projects! Your kids room can also be a fun place for this gallery wall.
When you don’t have room for a full wall, or your design aesthetic can’t handle the clutter, try out a display space for art! This could include a board or string with clothes pins to hang pictures, or even a kid’s art display frame that swings open and can hold stacks of artwork!
Keep it Forever
Every once in a while, a truly special piece comes home that you want to treasure forever. When this happens, don’t be afraid to incorporate it into your interior décor!
It can be remarkable how a well-chosen frame can elevate kids art into a conversation piece! Or perhaps a clay bowl or statue can become a permanent jewelry holder or decoration on your mantle. Seeing their own art valued and elevated can be great for your child’s self esteem and acts as a precious time capsule for you.
Coloring pages can be a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean they are worthless. There are endless ideas on Pinterest for ways to transform things into permanent keepsakes.
Cut coloring pages up to Mod Podge into mosaic canvases, snap photos of them to make into keychains or keepsake books, use them as stationary for letters, cut them into strips to fill glass Christmas Ornaments, the ideas are as endless as your time and creativity!
What’s YOUR favorite way to display your child’s artwork? Comment below!