A photo gallery wall is one of my favorite things to see in a house. If done well, it speaks loads about the homeowners and their likes and interests. Lately I've seen a few pictures of great gallery walls done in nurseries or kids' rooms and just love them. I like the idea of buying the frames that you can switch the art in and out of easily. Here are some more ideas about what to do with all of those little pieces of artwork that you don't know what to do with.
Family activities expert Dr. Bra Vada Garrett-Akinsanya looks at various ways to create, store and display children's artwork.
- A great way to store children's artwork is to make a three-ring binder as a personal art book for the child. After you take the artwork off the refrigerator, put it in the binder. Be sure to label and date the artwork.
- To show your child how much you appreciate their artwork, have some of the favorite pieces framed and hang them in the office or at home.
- To clean up that cluttered refrigerator look, cut mats (the cardstock used for borders in frames) with openings slightly smaller than the standard sheet of paper. Attach magnetic strips to the back of each mat. Put on the refrigerator for an organized look, whereby the focus is on the artwork, not the clutter.
- Place artwork and photos under glass on a chest of drawers in your child's room.
- Mount a piece of flat trim molding on the wall at eye level. Every eight to 10 inches, attach one leg of a spring-loaded clothespin to the trim with small nails or screws. Then you can just clip the top edges of the artwork into the clothespin. It's easy, and the display can be changed often.
- Making a collage is another way to hold onto your child's artwork. Glue the favorite parts of random artwork onto a piece of poster board. Laminating it will be sure to protect to work forever.
- Make magnets to give to grandparents and family members. Cut out various items (flowers, dun, kites, clouds etc.), and have pieces laminated with hard plastic. Trim off excess plastic, then glue pieces to small magnets. Give the magnets away to family members as gifts that remind everyone that they are all connected.
- Create an in-home art gallery by purchasing several inexpensive frames from discount stores. Find a wall or table that can be dedicated as the "gallery." Help older children come up with titles for their artwork, and label their drawings. Otherwise, younger children can simply identify what they’ve drawn with a word or two (a bird, a dog etc.). When guests visit, your child can treat them to an in-home exhibition of his/her artwork.
- You can also make laminated place mats from your child's artwork for a wipe-able surface that family member can enjoy for years to come. Try to collect six to eight pictures, and glue the pictures onto an 8-1/2 x 14-inch sheet of heavy cardstock paper. You may also glue pieces of cloth to the back of the paper for a reversible effect. Have the mats laminated in medium or heavy plastic.
* Note: If cloth is added, be sure that the plastic is cut at least 1/4 inch beyond the matting to prevent the edges from fraying.
- Have your children's artwork turned into a calendar.
- Gifts for family members and friends can be made by your artistic children. Have your children paint on flowerpots or rocks (these make great paperweights) or have them make personal stationery.