Crayon illustrations, family portraits in brightly colored marker, and masterpieces painted at the school easel—all created with excitement and care—often hold within their carefully drawn outlines a sense of pride and accomplishment for their young makers. While parents may treasure these works of art as well, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the volume of work children create. Parents with artwork piling up around the house have several options for preserving and displaying their children’s early masterpieces.
Some simply purchase large cardboard portfolios from craft stores and store most of their children’s artwork neatly in a closet. However, many parents of prolific young artists wish to consolidate the amount of artwork they store in their home. Scanning or photographing the work is a great solution for these parents. It also ensures that the art is preserved before it fades, wrinkles or tears while hanging on the refrigerator or lying around the house.
These scanned or photographed images can be organized into PowerPoint presentations with captions telling when and where the artworks were created. PowerPoint makes it easy for parents to share their children’s artwork with other relatives and family friends. Digital files can also be printed to make postcards or holiday cards.
Another way for families with relatives in distant locations to simultaneously solve some of their storage problem and share their children’s creations with far away relatives is to collect some of the artwork and mail it to distant grandparents or other relatives.
In addition to storing artwork or saving digital images, parents may wish to display some of their children’s art. Framing a few pieces of a child’s artwork will not only brighten a space in the home, it will allow the child to feel pride in their creativity. Just as many parents frame and display their child’s school portrait each year, parents can choose a particular piece of art each year to frame.
In addition to thinking about which artwork is the favorite in terms of color, subject, or level of artistry, parents should think about what will look best in their home. The pink princess may be cute, but it might not be the best option in a living room with burgundy couches and taupe walls. For those wishing to keep their living room a little more formal, hallways are great places to display children’s artwork. In the hallway parents have the freedom to hang bright and contrasting colors without worrying that they will clash with furniture and other decor.
One option is to purchase several identical frames so that each year the pieces will be framed uniformly. This method will limit the choices as they will all need to be the same size. However, for a more whimsical look, parents choose a unique frame for each particular work of art depending on its colors and size.
Matting the artwork will give it more of a formal or finished look, but it is not always necessary. When choosing a matte for a piece of art, it is best to choose a color from the artwork. Choosing a color that is less prominent in the work will compliment the overall work. Sometimes choosing a color that is prominent throughout the work will detract from the work and diminish its impact. For example, a child may draw a scene with a lot of green grass, green tree leaves and a few small red flowers. Choosing green for a matte may make the picture appear dull and monochromatic, but choosing red will add a stark contrast to the green and bring attention to the little red flowers.
Creating wall of children’s artwork in the home will brighten and personalize a home while showing children that their parents value their creations, and parents can then be free to clear some of the clutter of artwork resting on dining tables and covering the refrigerator.