Well no more!!
You can proudly display your kid’s creations, AND still maintain a put-together look in your home. (And take back that drawer and counter space!)
The first thing to do is to come to the harsh but true realization that about 95% of what our children make is worthy of the trash can. I’m not saying throw it out right away, but designate a spot that is out of sight from the rest of the house (like the child’s bedroom) and have a bulletin board or other means to display the mediocre stuff. When you’re handed a scribble on notebook paper, stick it up in that spot. A day or two later you can replace it with something else they’ve made that isn’t exactly display worthy, and they’ll never notice. This is probably the most important part of this whole post, because before you can start stylishly decorating with your children’s art, you have to be able to get rid of the stuff that isn’t their best work. You may feel bad trashing the things that they make, but by displaying everything, you also devalue everything, including what’s actually good. Now on to the fun part!
Every so often, in the midst of the mediocre, your kids will bring you a gem: a piece of art that is more than worthy of being displayed. But before you throw it up on the fridge, think about how you could give it a more permanent place in your home.
Try displaying their art:
· IN A FRAME-
Kids artwork looks amazing when it is framed, and works with any style of décor. You can create a gorgeous gallery wall of pictures that your kids have made. To keep the look cohesive, keep the frames all one color, and then use mats in different colors that match the picture that you’re framing.
If you want to display lots of pictures but don’t want to put a ton of holes in the wall, get a couple long shelves to display them on. This makes it easy to change out the pictures as your children make new things, and will take up less space on the wall.
Instead of a photograph of your family above the couch, try a large family portrait drawn by your child. Frame and mat it as nicely as you would with a photograph and it will become a piece of art.
If your kids have hooks by a door where they hang their backpacks, coats, etc, hang each child’s self-portrait above their individual hook(s). It’s a cute and personalized way to show whose stuff goes where.
· ON A CANVAS-
Make a collage on a large canvas by covering it with pictures your kids have made. Use Mod Podge to glue the art down, and also to go back over the top as a glosser/sealer.
· ON A COASTER-
Buy tiles in a shape and color that match your home’s décor. Cut out small pictures that your kids have made and use Mod Podge to attach them to the top of the tile. You could even make coasters for each person in the family by using a labeled drawing of each family member.
Buy cork tiles (you can find them at Wal-Mart and Target next to the bulletin boards) and cut out pieces of cork to fit the bottom of your tiles. Use glue or the adhesive strips that come with the cork to attach to the bottom, and you’ve got totally personalized and unique coasters.
· ON ITEMS AROUND YOUR HOME-
Don’t go crazy with this, because just like the rule with editing the art to be displayed, going over-board with the decopage will cease to look “cool” and instead start looking “over done”. But, if you keep it to only an item or two, you can give a new and interesting look to otherwise plain-jane décor.
Find an item around your house that could use a little extra somethin’ and Mod Podge a small piece of kid’s art to it.
I did this on a whim when my son brought home this speech-bubble with the word “Like” on it.
· HUNG CLOTHESLINE-STYLE ON A CABLE OR STRING
This is actually what I did in my son’s room to keep all the “mediocre” stuff at bay, but this style looks nice almost any where in your home, especially in transitional areas, like a wall between rooms, or in a hallway.
You can use different styles of cords and clips to match the style of the rest of your home. In my son’s room I used two long pieces of hemp cord, and hung the pictures using clothespins that he and I had painted.
I hope this has given you a few ideas! I think that the very best homes reflect the lives of the people who live there, and since our kids are our lives I think that our homes should show that. But, I also believe that we can do that in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, so that our homes ALSO represent the stylish Mamas who decorate them!