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child hands drawing

Childhood is a time for art and self-expression. But, it can be a time of clutter, too. Here’s how to honor the art and your space, too.

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If you have children, you know they are creative machines who turn out an amazing amount of artwork. But how do you get from a stack of original creations to an attractive display that looks great and is easy to change as your child’s—or children’s—skills change and mature?

In the past, children’s artwork was best displayed on the fridge for a week or two, and then retired to a box in the attic. Today, however, parents  have many innovative options for showing off the artwork made by their children. Here are a selection of them.

1. Floating shelves

Simple wooden shelves painted to match your wall colors are the perfect vehicles to display children’s artwork. Choose a central wall and install either narrow floating 6-inch wooden shelves or shallow framed two-inch shelves, then prop your child’s drawings and sculptures upon them. Floating shelves are the perfect showcase for paintings, drawings, 3D sculptures, and renderings.

2. Digital photo frames

Take photos of your child’s artwork and send them to a digital photo frame such as those from Nixplay or ViewSonic. These digital frames can hold hundreds of unique drawings and paintings and display the artwork in a digital slide show.

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As an added benefit, your child’s creations are stored forever in digital form, allowing you to access and view them whenever you want.

3. Mobile apps

Artkive, one of the most popular kid’s art apps, lets you photograph your child’s works of art with your smartphone and tag them with dates, locations, and subject matter, so you can call up a favorite piece with a simple search. You can also order up a photo book of your favorite artwork for use on the coffee table or as a gift with the push of a button.

4. Removable wall decals

Purchase a set of removable picture frame decals that you can apply to the wall of your breakfast nook, living room, or study. Use masking tape to attach your child’s artwork to the wall within the frame decals. Switch out the artwork and arrangements to suit your decor.

5. Magnetic paint

Choose a display location, then apply a coat of magnetic paint beneath a coat of chalkboard paint. Use miniature magnets to attach artwork to the wall and use chalk to write down the date of the creation and a few comments about its provenance. A chalked comment such as “Max, 12/10/14, portrait of our cat,” gives guests guidance about the subject of the artwork and its inspiration.

6. Clip and wire systems

clip and wire childrens artwork

(image: ɹǝʇǝd)

 

Home decor stores such as Ikea offer simple wire curtain rod systems that easily translate into artwork display systems. String curtain wire across an exposed wall and use clothespins or clips to pin artwork to the wire. Clip systems make it easy to change out the artwork whenever your child creates something new.

7. Media transfers

Give your child’s artwork a bit of permanence by transferring them to metals, magnets, posters, and even blankets. Today’s technology makes it easy to turn your favorite photos into a designer piece you’ll be proud to display.

A valuable addition

Your child’s art is a valuable addition to your home decor, whether it becomes a cherished family heirloom, or simply a temporary celebration of your child’s imagination in the moment. Another valuable addition is your way to display it, to celebrate the artist, and maintain your space at the same time.

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.