9 Crafty Ways to Display Kids' Art

   By grandparents  Jul 07, 2010

With the summer camp in full swing, it won’t be long before grandkids stop by with artwork in tow. Whether their works are paper collages, watercolor prints, or robots made of shoe boxes, the big question is, what to do ? and where to store ? those masterpieces?

Here are nine savvy ways to preserve artwork, befitting the effort of the grandkids who created them.


1. Organize It

Allocate a big binder for each grandkid and store that artist’s work in plastic sleeves inside the binder. To organize extra-large papers, use a three-hole punch to make holes in the actual artwork (you may need to fold it) and place it directly in the binder. Use tabs or dividers to separate the artwork for each grade the child completes. Display the album on a coffee table or a shelf.


2. Magnetize It

If you love to use magnets to hang kids’ projects, but your refrigerator door is full, create a magnetic wall by applying four coats of magnetic primer paint (Magic Wall, $36 for 32 oz., kling.com). Once the magnetic primer is dry, cover it with a coat of wall paint. With strong magnets, this custom-made magnetic surface will provide all the space you need to display the kids’ artwork.


3. Reuse It

Laminate sketches, watercolors, or collages and use them as place mats when the grandkids come over. Turn oversize pictures into drawer-liners by covering them with contact paper. When the kids sleep over, surprise them by placing the drawer-liners in the guest room dresser, or just hang them on the wall.

Use kids’ art to make great personalized birthday or holiday cards. Fold drawings and other pictures in half and write messages on the back of the designs.


4. Photograph It

To eliminate bulky items and to minimize clutter, photograph the artwork with a digital camera. Displaying the images in an electronic picture frame is a thoughtful gesture, but when the grandkids visit, nothing tickles them more than seeing their work in print and being able to flip through an album time and again.

To eliminate bulky items and to minimize clutter, photograph the artwork with a digital camera. Displaying the images in an electronic picture frame is a thoughtful gesture, but when the grandkids visit, nothing tickles them more than seeing their work in print and being able to flip through an album time and again.


5. Display It

Make a gallery by creating a designated display area. String a clothesline on a wall and use clothespins or curtain hooks to hang the artwork. Rotate the prints as the grandkids create new ones. To save space, roll up the leftover drawings and paintings and store in cardboard tubes.

For a less-cluttered and more-controlled look, you may hang the pictures on the wall or tack them to an oversize bulletin board. Swap the pictures, storing previously-displayed photos in an album.


6. Archive It

Create an archival gallery: Slip photos of the artwork into “foto" pockets, two-sided panels that can hold up to 40 four-inch by 6-inch photos (20 per side); you can easily update with new photos.

Want to display the originals? Make your own archival gallery by storing drawings and paintings, 12 inches by 9 inches or 18 inches by 14 inches, in plastic archival sleeves; you can hang them in groups on the wall. As more artwork comes in, rotate the pictures in the sleeves.


7. Hide It

Tuck flat pieces of artwork, notes, and sketches in places where you ? and the grandkids ? will be surprised to find them. Not only will this reduce clutter, but when the grandkids visit, they will find a surprise where they least expect it ? in a children’s book, for instance.

File the artwork in random reading materials, like cookbooks or magazine, so that you, too, will stumble upon unexpected memories.


8. Preserve It

Send select pieces of artwork to companies that preserve the images by turning them into useful objects.

Artimus Art (artimusart.com) digitizes artwork and binds the prints into high-quality hardcover books. As a bonus, the art becomes accessible online in the form of a "web gallery" that friends and family can access.

Jan Eleni (janeleni.com) reproduces images of kids’ artwork in a 60-inch by 40-inch framed print. This personalized and modern archival collage poster features up to 112 images of artwork.

If you prefer the computer, you can memorialize some artwork into useful items, such as calendars, mugs, and photo books, through photo-sharing websites like snapfish.com and shutterfly.com.


9. Wear It

Send your favorite piece of the grandkids’ art to Analiese, an Etsy seller who specializes in custom-photo products. She will create a beautiful clay pendant which you can put on a necklace and proudly wear around town.


What do you like to do with your kids’ works of art?


Make a Comment

meliwoe by meliwoe | Santa Rosa, CA
Jan 11, 2011

these are great ideas!! we use a bulletin board and a corner wall and leave art work up for a few weeks until something else comes in that is ready to be displayed. I've also framed and matted artwork for fathers day and mothers day for daddy and for the grandparents. We don't have alot of money so I get something from the thrift store remove the artwork and put in our daughters' peice. it usually works great! also, for the everyday stuff... like completed homework and less than wall worthy art peices, I use one of those plastic portable filing cabinets then, when it gets full, I go through and figure out what's being kept for future enjoyment and what will be recycled.. usually without the kids because they want to keep every peice of paper they ever wrote on.. :)

hotfrenchy78 by hotfrenchy78 | Clarksville, TN
Nov 16, 2010

Great ideas . I have so much work saved and really would like to display more so thanks for the ideas!!!

queendoreen by queendoreen | Coram, NY
Sep 18, 2010

These are really good ideas, I have so many picture's from my grandson already, and he hasn't even started pre- school yet. Thanks for the tips!!

ndabrk by ndabrk | Fresno, CA
Sep 15, 2010

great ideas, will have to try a few.

jean60 by jean60 | swannanoa, NC
Aug 16, 2010

you can go to creative arts and have them put it anything for a few dollars. our preschool uses this as a fundraiser and its works great.

lughead13 by lughead13 | SCHWENKSVILLE, PA
Jul 26, 2010

great ideas...thanks for sharing. Perfect to do with children on a rainy day...cull through the artwork and decide on which ones are keepers.

texasmomma by texasmomma | Bee Cave, TX
Jul 15, 2010

Great ideas....I have tons of my sons artwork that have yet to find homes. Now I am motivated to get them organized, displayed, and stored!

msfriendly by msfriendly | MONROE, WI
Jul 07, 2010

Love, Love, Love these ideas!