One parenting conundrum that seems timeless: the search for creative ways to display kids’ artwork. From the preschool doodles and finger paint portraits to the kindergarten collages, to the papier maché sculptures that would look just perfect…where, exactly?
I get it! While our own school year has barely begun, I’m already feeling overwhelmed by all my son’s artwork that’s coming home So I’ve been researching all the various ways to display kids’ artwork so that it looks clean and cohesive. As in, not the mess currently tacked all over my refrigerator door.
While we’ve covered all sorts of photo gifts to help you preserve one or two favorites, these are some of my favorite ideas for wrangling the entire influx of artwork. Because it never ends. (And we love it!)
Top image: Artkive
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Hang kids’ artwork, museum style
I’ve always loved the look of gallery walls, but I’ve never quite had a big enough kids’ art collection to make one myself. Well, now that my son has started preschool, I think I could make one of these awesome DIY kids’ art gallery walls in every room now. Check Design Improvised for her excellent tutorial and some really great tips.
Create a rotating gallery of kids’ artwork with clothespins
If you’re wondering how to display your kids’ artwork in a less permanent way, check out this clothesline display of kids’ artwork at Fresh Crush, which is designed to hold a changing rotation of your current faves. Once you’ve replaced one round of art with another, consider digitizing the old pictures or turnin1g them into a keepsake photo book — more on that below.
Make a collage of favorite kids’ artwork: 4 cool options
-A Collage Poster
The folks at Simply Create Kids (no longer around, sniff) designed this collage poster to be a major space saver, but it happens to look sophisticated, too. Plus, you get to pick your own layout and caption for your kids’ “collection.” So cute!
-A Heart Collage of Photos of Artwork
Similarly, we’ve been longtime fans of the heart photo collage print from Minted, which they’ve now updated with custom captions! Turn each of your child’s favorite pieces, from the scribbles to the masterpieces, into photos, then add captions like “Emma’s first happy face” to “kindergarten self-portrait.”
-A Collage that Looks Like Your Home State
While Itsy Art offers some more standard, grid-like collage posters for displaying kids artwork if you want something a little more fun and creative, check out their state collage poster.
-A Collage in the Letters of Your Child’s Name
From Itsy Art, I also love the name artwork display and thumbprint kids’ art collages which are fantastic ways to display your kids’ more abstract artwork and preserve the essence of them, if not the entire gigantic posters they’ve brought home.
Frame kids’ artwork on the fridge
© Positively Splendid
We’ve slid into a kind of chaotic-chic aesthetic at my house, which is a nice way of saying our fridge magnets are working overtime and clutter abounds. So I was happy to find this idea for making your own magnetic refrigerator art frames at Positively Splendid, which is a (much) more organized play on the same idea. In fact, I feel more relaxed just looking at it. Outer order, inner calm, y’all.
Make a magnetic display of kids’ artwork
You can also turn those works of art into mini works of art with Canvas Pop magnets. Our editor Liz has a set of these that she loves (though they’re currently lined up along a magnetic knife block instead of her fridge door, which isn’t magnetic.)
Have a professional photo book made from your kids’ art
Make a DIY photo book from your kids’ art
I really love the layout of this Shutterfly mini masterpieces photo book. It includes a spot for a picture of your child and artist bio, plus multiple idea pages to let kids add more art even after it’s printed. Choose between hardcover, softcover, and premium leather. You do the work, but the price is pretty fantastic. And of course, there are other sizes. Because, it’s Shutterfly.
But be sure to check out our comprehensive roundup of comparison of our 9 favorite custom photo book services to find whichever is right for you.
Digitize + catalog your kids artwork on your phone
If you’re really strapped for time, or organization just truly isn’t your thing, consider the Artkive app. We’ve loved the way it allows you to catalog all your kids’ artwork, sorting by child’s name and grade. And now they have a concierge service for busy parents — like what Plum Print offers. It will digitize all the artwork for you with professional photos — yay for good lighting! — and turn it into a beautiful photo book
Put your favorite pieces in the box they send you, mail it back, and they’ll send you a photo book featuring up to 200 pieces of artwork that you can help edit.
The best part is that all the work is also now saved on your Artkive app which you can save, share, download — you name it.
Embroider your kid’s artwork
I’m in awe of this embroidered memories collage featured on Pillar Box Blue. It’s such a sweet, creative way to honor and preserve your kids’ art — at least if you’re a really crafty parent. The hours of fine detailing might not be in everyone’s wheelhouse, but if you’re a creative, ambitious parent with some free time (waiting in the carpool line, perhaps?), follow her instructions and tips and you’ll end up with a gorgeous heirloom for your entire family.