Get Your Kids' Art Off the Fridge and into Your Decor

Nesting on 03.17.11
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Photo Credit: Gillian Grimm/Dried Figs and Wooden Spools

It's an age old dilemma for parents of children of all ages. What do you do with all of your kids' art that they bring home from school? With two kids in pre-school, about four pieces of art come into my home each day ranging from hundreds of stamped circles on a page to well thought out portraits of our family. Like most mothers, there is an immense wave of guilt that comes over me at the thought of throwing any of it out, but keeping it all has me on the verge of nervous breakdown. There is already plenty of clutter filling our house. My fridge doors just aren't big enough to display them all nor are there really enough walls in my house to hang them all. I have learned to edit down the pieces we keep and have a lovely storage bin where the chosen pieces go. While that will be great to dig through and show them years from now, it would be nice to put their creativity on display now and have it add to the joy of our household instead of it contributing to the chaos of our daily lives. So here are five fabulous ways to proudly display your kids' art that will make your home look great too.

1. Art Tray
Sometimes the things that give us the most joy in life are the little things we use every day, and now you can add an even more personal touch to your morning coffee or tea by creating a tray (top photo) with your kids' art. These trays also make great gifts for grandparents, aunts, uncles and other people who love your kids and their creations as much as you do. Gillian at Dried Figs and Wooden Spools gives a full tutorial on how to make this art tray yourself.

2. Art Fabric
Did you know that you can have just about any image you want turned into fabric at an affordable price? At Spoonflower, an online fabric printer that will digitally print your custom designs, you can simply upload an image (you'll need to scan or take a high quality digital photo of the piece you want to print) to the site and have it printed onto your choice of fabric. Options include quilting weight, organic cotton sateen, organic cotton knit, upholstery weight-twill, linen-cotton canvas, silk crepe de chine, and cotton voile. You can order an eight inch square test swatch for $5 or a fat quarter (21" x 18") for under $20 in the fabric of your choice, or go crazy and order yards and yards of your favorite piece of your kids' talent. Then turn your favorite design into a throw pillow for a beautiful and comfortable kids art display.

3. Art Carpet
If you want something on a bigger scale and can swing a bit more cash, how about a custom carpet? German based rug company Carpettz will turn any image you want into a one of a kind hand tufted rug made from 100% New Zealand wool and will ship it worldwide. Just send them your image and in about 10 weeks, you're custom rug will be delivered to your door for about 150 Euros ($210 USD) per square meter. Not only will you have a wonderful way to put your kids' artwork on display, but your kid will be thrilled to have their custom design become a part of your home's décor, and it may inspire more creativity.

4. Art Gallery
Create your very own Museum of Children's Art with a gallery of your children's artwork. Dedicate a wall to displaying their artwork and find frames of varying sizes to suit your style. I happen to love the Lil Davinci Art Cabinets by Dynamic Frames which come in four sizes, opens easily without having to come off the wall, and each frame stores as many as 50 pieces of art! Not only do you get a lovely display, but the hidden storage means you never have to look for a place to put that new piece that comes home from school. These frames are available in three colors and range in price from $24.95 to $153.

5. Decoupage Wallpaper
The word decoupage may scare some people, but it's actually really easy to do and allows you to create the look of wallpaper with your kids' artwork. Pick a wall or an entire room and enough artwork to fill it, and affix the art to the walls in a few simple steps with Mod Podge. Overlap pieces if you want or spread them out gallery style. Either way, you'll have an inexpensive and permanent display of art that will also keep the artwork intact.   

Any of these methods of displaying your kids' artwork will show them that you really do appreciate their talent. Have your child help you choose which pieces to put on display and which pieces not to keep and displaying them in such a special way will make everyone happy. What makes a house a home is the personal touches that you give it, and there are few things more personal or precious than your child's first displays of creativity. So stop letting the piles of papers that come in the door overwhelm you and put your favorites on display in a creative way.

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