Thursday, January 10, 2013

Tips for Displaying Children's Artwork

If you are anything like me, you have a hard time throwing your wee one's artwork away. Being an art taecher, I savor every fingerprint, every stick figure, and every scribbly mess my kids make. I realized something had to change especially since my hall closet was filled with plastic bins of artwork...and my refrigerator was so full I was having a hard time remembering what color it actually was. Luckily for moms everywhere, displaying kids' artwork in your home has turned into a design style all it's are a few ideas and tips for displaying artwork around your house (or in your classroom!)

1. Be Thrifty:
You don't have to go crazy, even on a decoration for your home. I love this display idea featuring the Dignitet and Deka curtain wires from IKEA ($6.99-$12.99) and curtain hooks!
 2. Find Your Style:
Not all art displays need to be fingerpaints, glued cottonballs, or macaroni necklaces. I absolutely love this family portrait display! Have your child paint family portraits on individual canvases. Simple, clean, and sweet all at the same time!
photo from
3. Display at Kid-level:
Having a kid-accessible display area allows children to hang up (themselves) what artwork they feel is important. As parents and teachers, we love everything they do. Allowing them to hang it makes them feel more validated. I love this little art-making area with cork board sheets hanging on the wall.

photo from

 4. Create a Gallery:
While it's great when artwork "matches your sofa", but it's also great when it stands out. Arranging your child's art in a gallery-style will create cohesiveness while complimenting your home's decor. Use old, glassless frames to display artwork. Just like the artwork, choose different sizes, shapes, colors, and textures in your frames. You can be thrify in finding frames, too...Goodwill and Hobby Lobby often have glassless frames on the cheap.

 5. Praise the Artist:
When your child is too young to write his/her name on their artwork, use a display system like this! I love how simple and clean this looks with the clipboards under their picture! Using the clipboards also makes the artwork easy to change out, which is important, too! Though you love all your child's creations, it is important to regularly rotate art pieces in your display.
photo from

 6. Compliment Your Own Decor:
While I absolutely love this vintage door frame with chicken wire and clothespins (and it would work perfectly in my house with my decor), it may be a little too "barn-y" for some. Before you find something on Pinterest that you think it totally awesome, take a look around your house. It's important to find space for your gallery, recognize your own style, and go from there.
photo from

 7. Inspire:
I absolutely adore this inspiring, bright art nook with a peg-board display system! Check out those crayon/marker floating shelves on the wall! And the custom desk?...Don't even get me started...EEEEEEEEK! Create a gallery or art area that inspires MORE creativity from your child!
inspiration from

 8. Be Creative:
There are many ways to display artwork, so get creative with it! I love how the use of space in this room focuses on the child's artwork. If dedicating an entire wall to your kids' art is a bit overwhelming to you, try toning it down a bit by using similar-sized white frames and mats. The clean lines of the white frame will "contain" the color and create a more streamlined look that will help balance all the bright colors!

 9. Switch It Up:
Face it, we can't keep it all. As a mom and as an art teacher, this kills me. This is the precise reason why I've photographed all the artwork that has come home with lofty plans of making gallery-style coffee-table books of artwork by year. As art cycles through your display, save priceless keepsakes in a scrapbook, binder, plastic bin, or create digital collages of their work. Toss the rest and don't feel guilty. As children grow, both you and they will move on to a favorite "masterpiece".
inspiration from:

Even though children's artwork isn't necessarily the epitome of form and skill, it's meaningful. A house or a classroom full of meaningful-ness makes it a home.

Joanna Davis-Lanum is a National Board Certified Art Teacher, mom to two boys, and a photographer. She has self-inflicted "wall-pollution" in her home, and is proud of it! She is also the author of her classroom blog We Heart Art and hopes her students' parents are reading this article. *Wink. For more display inspiration, you can check out my "Displaying Kids Artwork" board on Pinterest.


  1. Great Blog! Worth a bunch of tweets and love the image of the child looking up at the rows of Artwork....simply inspiring!

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