I expect my friends’ houses to be untidy when I visit for coffee. Depending on how big the mess is, I find it kind of endearing and comforting when a home isn’t immaculately organized. But just like everything else, there are limits.
Moms and dads, of course your darling is cute and talented, but how much of your home are you going to sacrifice to foster this kid’s budding painting habit? It’s true, as a parent you must encourage your child’s creative side in order to build their confidence, develop their motor skills, and allow them to explore their artsy interests. But take a hard look at your home: Have you fallen prey to kid-art hoarding?
If you can’t possibly find another blank square of cupboard to tape the newest purple duckie onto, don’t give up. You’re one of the good ones. All you need is a little creative thinking of your own to display your kids’ art in ways that honor and encourage them while preserving the beauty of your home.
Letting Kids Add Personal Touches to Everyday Spaces
Allowing kids a little freedom to put their stamp on items the whole family uses or sees on a daily basis will make them feel loved and included. There are a lot of products out there that allow you to safely give your kids free artistic reign over tablecloths (and tables, for that matter), placemats, plates and even their own bedspread. Coloring on paper is so passé.
If your kid likes drawing with sidewalk chalk, why not give them places to make chalk drawings on the walls with chalkboard paint, tiles, or decals? The chalkboard paint is a great place to assert your own artistic side, since it’s fun to decide which surface in your home would be enhanced by a little chalkboard-izing. I know I said to forget the fridge, but what about a chalkboard fridge door? What about a chalkboard art table? You could even make your own chalkboard-paint-covered plates.
Just pick up the paint at any home improvement store and get chalking.
Want to get even fancier? Why not get your kid’s art made into a high quality custom-designed plushie or piece of jewelry? These may be a bit pricey, but a picture’s worth a thousand words when that giant Mommy-loves-me grin lights up your little artist’s face.
Technology and Art
When I was a kid, all of the crappy (but beloved) crayon art my cousins and I used to churn out at my grandma’s house was taped, layer upon layer, on the back of her dining room door. Art displays have come a long way since then, and digitizing your children’s creations is a great way to avoid wall clutter. Professional artists and museums have begun to explore new digital art horizons, so there’s no better time than now for your family to embrace the digital art age.
Your kids are digital natives, and technology will be a more important part of their lives than we can even imagine. Why not get them started with some digital art apps, programs and devices? You can also use hardware add-ons to make the devices you already have, like your iPad, into digital canvases. Give them photos to edit with kid-friendly photo-editing software or tablets to draw on, and they will never have to choose between art and technology.
So what do you do with all of those precious paper paintings you’ve been keeping all these years? The same thing you do with all your other precious images: digitize and store them. Once you have digital photos of your child’s art you can order any number of innovative photo products online. Publish your favorite masterpieces in a big hardcover book or on a thick coffee mug or colorful throw blanket.
Still want to display your kid’s art on the wall? Just order prints and make an eye-pleasing frame collage. For those special originals that you couldn’t possibly throw out, try using a rotating display like the Li’l DaVinci Art Cabinet. You could even make your kids’ original drawings into a smartphone cover.
Think about all the ways you can display a digital photo and apply that to your kids’ art. Snap a pic of the most recent spikey crayon dinosaur and display it in your digital frame, in a slide show with other drawings on your HD flatscreen or as your desktop background.
Why stop there? Get that camera into your kids’ hands; it’ll amaze you to see what they see!
Love getting your hands dirty doing art projects with your kids? Then you are well on your way to a collaboratively decorated home. Grab some of that colorful old artwork (or make some new pieces) and make a surprisingly stylish paper chandelier. You can also use old art to make paper flowers or hearts to add constructed room accents. For another bright idea, take a plain, boring lampshade, give the kids some paint, and let them go nuts.
To come up with your own upcycling ideas, just look around for some objects that need a little spicing up and Modpodge a collage of your kid’s old artwork onto them.
Are You Your Kid’s Biggest Art Fan? Prove It.
If you REALLY want to go hardcore about displaying your kids’ artwork, you could always use the most permanent of art display methods: