You are standing at the school gates, waiting to collect your child and out they run with a happy little face and clutching an artistic masterpiece. Let’s not beat around the bush here, sometimes this piece of work can be awful. I mean isn’t “junk modelling” just your recycling returned to you covered in Sellotape?! But amid the Rembrandt misses can be some very beautiful Picasso hits. They mean the world to your child and to you and they should be celebrated. It can be the most meaningful art that ever enters your house.
However, it can be hard to know how to display children’s art work and mementoes without your home starting to look like a nursery school. Yes, it is your family home, meaning you want to celebrate being a family, but it needs to represent your grown-up style as well as your family’s achievements. It’s hard to relax in the evening after lights out with a glass of wine, if star charts are blowing off your walls. To help you with this dilemma I have a couple of great ways to celebrate the creative genius that is your child without losing a sense of your own home style.
Mounting and framing anything lifts it to being something special. This is especially true for children’s art as it can quickly turn from splodges on a page to something colourfully abstract. To say to a child “I love what you did so much I have framed it”, is really testament to how much you value it. It is also a way to celebrate the art they have created. You don’t need to rush to have everything professionally framed. I recommend keeping a collection of IKEA RIBBA frames to hand. Also, cheap black and white frames are available from The Range, Hobbycraft or Wilkos. Luckily we have all three in Tunbridge Wells. Most school art is done on standard sized paper of A3, A4 or A5 so a collection of standard frames should be just the job. To display it you can add them to a gallery wall, mixing their work alongside family pictures and professional artwork. If you are over the gallery wall, one of my favourite ways to display art at the moment is the “propped” picture where pieces can be casually layered on a table top, adding in vases and ornaments to the display group.
I want to look at my child’s art work, I love it and it means a lot to me but not every piece can be framed; some of it is funny notes like “I luv my mumy!” or weird sizes. As an alternative to the fridge display, which can get pretty messy pretty quickly, I use the inside of wardrobes and kitchen cupboards as noticeboards. I have this in my own wardrobe. It means every morning I get dressed I can see the stuff that means a lot to me, but when I close the doors it doesn’t affect the look of the room. It’s private and personal to me. I think of it as the furniture equivalent of the locket. I also use it in my sons’ rooms to display their achievement certificates. They can get a hit of personal pride when they open the door but it doesn’t need to be yelled from the roof top that they got their 100m swimming badge.
The Sketch Book Scrapbook
If you like it but don’t want to display it, then there is nothing better than the scrap book for saving pictures. I know one person who even scans sketches and paintings onto the computer to build into a digital book later on. If you haven’t got the time to be so organised then a memento box works really well as you can file stuff away in here as a keepsake.
You know some of it can go in here. Forgive yourself, the kids know you love them!