What do you do with your kids’ art? Do you keep each precious scribble? Do you treasure each painted paper? Have you ever thrown anything away? (Gasp!!)
I will be the first to admit that I have and still do ‘recycle’ my girls’ papers. It is impossible to keep it all without ending up on a reality TV show about hoarding. So if you have stacks of papers on counters and drawings popping out of cabinets and boxes- then keep reading. I have found a few ways to manage the ‘art’ and not feel guilty!
First, I think it is essential to realize that not everything is ‘ahhh-mazing’. Some pieces are merely practice. You can pop those into the recycling bin and never look back. (A word to the wise, make sure you bury those papers way down into the bin, my daughter has been known to pull out her work from the trash can and bring it back in the house. Eek!)
Second, choose pieces that meaningful and find a way to display them. In our house we have several ways of showing off our girls creations. These ‘handmade displays’ are aesthetically pleasing and practical. The best part is, anyone can make them at home without spending much money!
I have framed some of my very favorite pieces and added them to our gallery wall. You can find inexpensive frames at resale shops and garage sales.
In my oldest daughter’s room, I screwed two drawer-pulls into the wall. Then I tied yarn to each end and added clothespins. This is a great way to enjoy a large of work and since it is down low, my daughter is in charge of hanging up her work.
In my youngest daughter’s room, I painted an old frame and then add two lines of sisal twine. The twine is attached to the back of the frame with hot glue and a staple. Her display also uses clothespins, but since she is so young, it is up and out of reach.
In my craft room, I used another large old frame, which you could find at Goodwill or on sale at a crafty store, and added chicken wire to the inside. I used a staple gun to attach the wire to the back of the frame. And once again, I added clothespins! This display works as an inspiration board and it allows me to hang up all the cute things my girls make.
Now that you know how to display your pieces, the third rule for enjoying your children’s’ artwork is to rotate those creations. Every month or so, we go through the displays and change them out. My daughter picks what to keep and what to discard. We like to keep it fresh and interesting. A few creations, that I am especially sentimental about end up in a keepsake box. Or sometimes, I take a photo of the work and add to our family blog. I print the blog out every year and have it bound in a book, so by taking a photo of it and adding to our site, I know that I can essentially ‘keep it forever’.
If you need a little more inspiration or a few more ideas, check out my pinterest board “Display It- Kids Artwork” (http://pinterest.com/craftytexasgirl/display-it-kids-artwork/) I have pinned images of some beautifully framed children’s art work, modern clotheslines from Ikea, and other cool ideas like scanning art to create fantastic collages. Also, remember that your child's drawings can make great birthday cards and thank you notes for family and friends. Simply choose a piece and write a personal message on the back. It's a great way to share your child's creativity and save money too!
Now it’s time, take back your fridge and loose the ‘art guilt’! Displaying your kids’ work gives both you and them a sense of pride. All of their hard work can be enjoyed in fabulous, meaningful ways. And there is no better, or more affordable art, than what your little ones create for you. So don’t be afraid to recycle, display and rotate!
**Come back tonight for Cowgirl Up--- it's my turn to host and I am featuring a ton of your posts!
*** Linking up my ideas on Children's Artwork at these great blogs: Home Stories A to Z , Tatertots and Jello, The 36th Avenue, Serenity Now, Be Different, Act Normal