Displaying Kids Artwork – How to keep on top of the piles of paintings!

If you’re the parent of a creative child then you’ll know just how prolific an artist they can be, and you’ll also know that this raises the question of how best to display their art work. So here are four suggestions for dealing with kids’ art overload. They are ideas which, I think, realistically address the problem.

I’ve been there myself. Stacked sheets flapping on the fridge door, a pile of larger pieces on the kitchen table, a bulging box file in the cupboard, and another, and another… And none of it being displayed and enjoyed – which is what art is for, right? After all, not every child grows up to be an artist, and these creative years of paint and glue might be just another of those passing moments in the parenting journey.

Hopefully there’s something here that you can use: something which will brighten your home and create a proper place and purpose for all those pictures and paintings.

1. Space Saver: A Digital Art Gallery If space is an issue this is a great option. Don’t panic. I’m not suggesting you create a back catalogue – this is all about finding a way forward! Photograph the art as it arrives in the home – your child might be able to do this (any excuse to play with your phone!), then save the photos in a dedicated folder so they can easily be found and scrolled through. If you have computer, tablet or digital photo frame you could use it to set the photos to scroll through automatically. 

2. Stacking: The Magnetic Fridge Frame It’s so unbelievably easy to make a magnetic fridge frame. Just take an A4 photo frame, discard the glazing and backing, and stick adhesive magnetic tape all around the back edge. The tape comes on a roll and can be cut to length with scissors. It really is that simple. These frames can hold more than a single sheet, so you can keep a fair number of works in just one frame, and they’re held flat to the fridge so they won’t be flapping around every time you open the door. 

3. Collage: Classic Pin Board The obvious solution is the classic pinboard, but where many parents fall down is on size and quality. Choose the biggest and the best possible. The bigger size means you can easily curate an ever-changing arrangement. One picture can be layered over another to build up a dense collage, and you can include other things like special birthday cards, certificates or medals, to make a really vibrant memory centre. Getting the best quality you can afford should ensure that the pins won’t be constantly falling out (ouch!). It will also mean the noticeboard looks good in its own right, so you’ll be happy to use it for other purposes later on. Of course, you can also create a pin wall by sticking cork sheet up, but that is rather trickier to get rid of later on.

4. Studio: An Artist’s Space If space allows, then you could go all out and create a little art studio area. You’ll need a table or desk, some wall space where art and inspirational images can be pinned or taped up, and an accessible place for storing all the art supplies. Perhaps some protective flooring that you don’t mind getting paint-y might be a good idea… Then, to fully address the art storage and display issue, you could invest in a print browser so finished work can be flicked through. Professional!

To finish, here are some other great ideas that aren’t about display, but are too lovely to overlook:

5. Choose 12 favourites each year and have them printed into a wall calendar. (Great gifting for the extended family!)

6. Create a memory book or scrap book, either get gluing with your child or use an online printing service.

7. Cut the pieces down and glue on to blank cards from the craft store, to make special gift cards for family and close friends. But, be careful, you might end up with a total melt down on your hands!