Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Displaying Children's Artwork

Many parents have asked me about interesting ways to display children's artwork. Displaying children's art shows them that we value their work. Children feel proud of their creations when they see them prominently displayed around their home.
I like to take two different approaches to children's art display. First I choose a piece of work that I want to have up as permanent art (I chose Karuna's first painting for sentimental reasons as well as for the colors and design). Canvas paintings are great because they look good unframed. Otherwise, I buy a nice frame that will go with my home decor (or a very simple frame to showcase the art) and hang it up with the other art around my house.
Karuna's first painting is displayed in a glass clip frame, which was under $15 at a framing store. It hangs alongside two Scott Healy originals (my brother).
The second approach is for rotating art. Children can make numerous amounts of art and it is important to update rotating displays often to encourage new creation. Here are some ideas for displaying rotating art:
Box Frame
This frame may look like a permanent display, but it is actually a box that opens from the bottom and allows you to store up to 50 sheets of paper inside, displaying the one on top. To rotate the art, simply pop in a new painting and give a fresh look to your display! It can be hung on the wall, but I decided to prop it up on a picture ledge for easy access. I purchased this "Kids Keepsake" frame from Aaron Brothers for $45 - a bit pricey, but the storage is great. It also comes in a smaller size and two other colors.
Karuna helped me set it up and place it on the shelf. Then when her dad came home, I asked her "where is your artwork?" and she ran over and proudly pointed up at it.
A cork wall or board is a fun way pin up rotating artwork in a contained area. In this playroom, the family has installed cork into the wainscoting for a more formal look.
A bulletin board such as this one is another example of pinning up children's artwork in a simple, stylish way. You can make one yourself or find them at places like Pottery Barn or the Container Store.
In the studio, I hang artwork up along the wall, fastened to a string with clothespins. I screwed 2 small hooks from the hardware store into the wall and then tied a long piece of twine tightly to each hook. Mostly I use this for drying paintings, but it is also great for displaying art (and it won't damage the artwork with pinholes).

Or if you'd like to get fancy, you can buy a set with fun clips like this one at The Land of Nod for only $13.
When all else fails, take a Photo.
If your child makes 3-D art that is going to be tossed at some point (or even when they build something out of blocks or toys) you can capture this in a photo and keep it forever!
Image via Cookie

I hope this was helpful!

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