If you’re an Italian farm-wife, you may toss out your kids drawing the day after they come home with it. It burns the stove. (I know; it shocked me.) But, if you’re an average American mom, you’ll probably honor your kids drawing with a favorite spot on the fridge. Or, if it’s really good, on the TV. But when those spaces are ‘taken’, what to do?
Today I want to show you that there are other, out-of-the-box ways to display your kids artwork that integrate well with your overall design scheme, and that will make your kids feel treasured and stimulated to be creative.
Have a look at these ideas here:
How to Display Your Kids Art Idea #1: use it as embellishment
When Emily Pink came home with a mini- tapestry artwork of a river and some bushes on the river banks made from fabric scraps, I hailed it as GORGEOUS and show-off worthy right away.
To take advantage of its 3-dimensionality, I sew it onto a throw pillow for my sofa. The bright colored tidy stripes of the pillow cover complement the freeform nature of the artwork perfectly.
This is a bit of a close-up here, but with the whiteness of the sofa and the square nature of the pillow, the freeform nature of the artwork becomes the feature. I love her stitches for the water…
A few weeks later, at a sleepover birthday party, Emily created a smallish work of flowers*. Again, it was pretty bright colored. The cheery brightness was contained and complemented by the white of the HOME sign I received from friends upon my arrival in England. I feel they perfectly blend together. Nice, hey?!
Then, there was the art homework to make Victorian houses. She spent hours and hours on this mixed media artwork and loved all the pieces of lace that she got to incorporate in her work. The result was delightful. Rather than placing it in a thrifty Ikea frame, I framed it in a high-quality, double-layered, wooden Crate and Barrel frame that allows the 3-dimensions of the work to be seen.
And there’s more kids art. On the other side of my Tibetan singing bowl is one of Emily’s paper napkin decoupage eggs.
This glass vase filled with green beans so explains how I decorate. It WAS filled with coffee beans and a tea light so that the house smells like coffee, during the cozy Christmas season. Then, swapped the coffee beans for green beans as a subtle statement for St. Patrick’s day. I had lots of those little touches around. Then for Easter, I placed an hand-embellished Easter egg by Emily in it.
It’s just a simple paper napkin decoupage egg, but its cheery colors matched the frame, pillow and sign artwork, so I’ felt it worked great.
See how these art projects work together when grouped:
Everywhere is a Good Place to Show-off Kids’ Art
As is typical for kids art, Emily’s work is all very bright colored and cheery. Which contrasts nicely with my off-white colored home.
While grouping kids artwork can be a great idea as it will be similar in style, particularly if made in the same year or so.
But, in our home, Emily’s art is not just in this one corner… It’s everywhere… I don’t even think of it as ‘hers’. After a while, all these art objects become a layer of homeyness in the patina of our life.
Emily just made this glass coaster in a local workshop. It’s in my knitting corner (that rattan cube is my yarn storage). I use it every day. With so much of her artwork honored by our daily use and display in prominent places, Emily has become a confident artist and artisan, who dares to take on creative projects, with anyone at anytime. Wonderful.
Managing the Color Challenge
Emily loves that particular color green of the coaster. It’s more of a bright green rather than a ‘blue green’. And, it can be a bit of a challenge to match it with things I own. But I make it work.
Here her 3D riverbank artwork is flanked by two other artworks which also feature greens.
The Buddhist double-Varja painting is one of my works, the Jesus painting on the right is by my Italian friend, Silvano Moretti.
All three works are perched up on a ledge in the staircase going to the second floor of our home.
Another obvious place to show off kids art is in their own bedroom. But that goes without saying…. Having said this, I find that the art on display in the living room carries more ‘parent appreciation’ in the child’s mind than in his/her bedroom.
The good news is that art is to be moved around. So that her best artwork pieces also eventually make a trip into her bedroom for her to enjoy when she wakes up.
It all works out.
Let me summarize my approach:
How to Display Kids Art in 1,2,3 Steps
Here’s my simple step by step approach. I highly recommend immediate action. This will motivate your child to be creative. It works.
STEP 1: when an artwork arrives into your home, RIGHT AWAY, mark all the good points about it, tell your kid that you love it and would love to ‘hang it up somewhere’.
STEP 2: also, right away/later that day, walk through your home and see where that art piece could work. Sometimes you need to put a particular kind of frame around it, or a shadow box, or a table cloth, or a contrast-colored paper behind it, a pass par tout around it, or whatever… to make it blend well with the rest in the room.
STEP 3: as soon as you have time, but for sure within the week, hang it up or put that piece in position so that it works.
** Tip How to Make Art Bloopers Work out Well
When a craft project hasn’t turned out exactly as envisioned, what to do? It can a bit messy, lopsided, or whatever….. Or, if you can not find a place where it would look wonderful, then talk to your child about the artwork. You might find that there are bits of the artwork that he/she is quite proud of, and that there are bits that other kids did, or a teacher did. This might be an opportunity to take just out his/her part of that artwork and place it somewhere. That is in fact, exactly what I did with the flower drawing in my HOME frame. It was part of something that wasn’t great. However, when picked apart, it became great. Now I love it as a vignette within the frame. Perfect.