21 Creative Ways to Preserve and Display Kids' Artwork
BY JO MCCARTHY - INTERIORS EDITOR
Imaginative kids deserve to have their creations displayed and its fun to think of interesting ways to weave their work into your home decor.
We've rounded up some great ideas to stop the dreaded pile of artwork collecting in the corner of the lounge.
EMBRACE THE CREATIVITY
Don't be too rigid about where you put the kids artwork! Let it permeate naturally and organically into the home design.
1. I love walking into homes where the vibrance and creativity of the children is clear to see. My lovely friend Michelle, along with her Designer husband, have this kind of space in their South London home, where the artwork of their three young boys forms an intrinsic part of the decor.
Michelle, who in her job as the Head of a primary school has great tricks up her sleeve for displaying work, has used magnetic backboard paint around the home to quickly get paper off the floor and on the walls. She has used OSB wood in the family room where pictures can be attached with wash tape or push pins.
The fridge doors are covered in school work and the children are encouraged to draw and paint and create in their own bedrooms. In this picture, she has laminated her son's painting of a bus and snuck it in her husband's office! Maybe I'll talk her into a home tour one of these days and we can see more of her ideas.
2. This playroom has been designed to actively promote creativity. Use blackboard paint as Michelle suggests to control the scribbles and use a plank of wood with clothes pegs attached as a changeable gallery wall.
3. Devote a whole wall in a room to your kids pictures. Use tape or blue tack to allow pictures to move around easily.
4. Buy a roll of brown craft paper and use a strong rod to make a version of this, as seen at Remodelista.
5. You'll be more inclined to display artwork - even the not so amazing stuff - with this cool washi tape from Paperchase.
6. A classic way to embrace the creativity: this split gallery idea with an easy-to-reach blackboard at the bottom. This idea could squeeze into even the tiniest of London flats.
7. Use a variety of crates on the wall to create a display area that can house all the different things your child makes at school or on rainy days. Go crazy with hanging things, sticking things on them and make it a really fun zone for your kids to enjoy.
TURN DRAWINGS INTO TOYS
I love watching a child create a detailed drawing: colouring between the lines, wondering what expressions to use on a face or counting the fingers to make sure there are five. When a masterpiece has been created, a wonderful way to preserve it is to turn it into a soft toy.
1. Custom Cuddlies can turn drawings into keepsakes. The testimonials include one from a mum who turned her daughters drawing of grandma's deceased cat into a toy for grandma to cuddle!
2 and 4. Child's Own is a studio that supports fundraising projects for not for profits, schools and fundraising organizations as well as helping parents to create soft toy interpretations of their artwork. You can also buy gift certificates.
3. Check out this fantastic guide from Martha Stewart can help you on your way to making your own soft toys based on your kid's drawings - maybe a good rainy day project?
5. Trootoys in the Netherlands has some brilliant interpretations in their gallery on Etsy and seem to really enjoy the backstories behind the artwork.
SCAN, SHRINK AND DISPLAY
This is a practical way to display the work of a prolific artist!
1. I love the way the artworks seem to pop out of the frame. Use a bit of blue tack on the back of the picture to make it easy to change the artwork around. Also check out the wonderful Articulate Gallery which produces fantastic slot-sided picture frames for you to use as a changeable gallery.
2. This is such a great statement for your home. Follow this tutorial on Apartment Therapy to create this display yourself.
3. In this idea, a mum has organised the artwork into an annual collection. What a super mum!
CLAD YOUR WALLS WITH CORK
Some time ago I worked with Michelle, mentioned earlier, to design the learning spaces in the school she leads. We decided that cork tiles would be a fantastic way to warm up the classroom space and provide an easy way for teachers to change the displays regularly. This eco-friendly option can also work brilliantly in the home as these pictures show.
1. Create a workspace and noticeboard above it using cork tiles, from the genius parts behind the Young House Loves blog.
2. This throwback to a 70s kitchen is such a brilliant way to use cork in the home, from Martha Stewart. You might have to be slightly picker about what goes on display if space is limited but its a great way to brighten up the space.
3. A display at Michelle's school in South London. We used tiles from Wickes. They are really easy to cut so they can fit into all the nooks and crannies.
4. Use cork tiles in strips like this to create interest in a reading or craft corner.
5. This cork wall in a sunny Los Angeles home makes a great gallery space for kids work. Also check out the separate playroom with its huge blackboard walls. Via my favourite blog, A Cup of Jo.
6. Dwell features some truly amazing family homes and in this case, cork has been used to create a cool retro looking gallery space in a kid's room.