House For Six

Kid's Art Gallery: In Progress

Deme Crinion2 Comments
Last Christmas my Mr. painstakingly peeled the wallpaper from our dining room, added a chair rail and painted (twice because I didn't like the first color) for my Christmas gift.  Yes, he's amazing.

This is one of the only pics I can find of the dining room in its original state.  It was our first night in the house:
 (BTW, are those seriously my babies?!?  They look squish-ably little)

After the hubs worked his magic we were left with this.
Oh that chocolatey brown goodness!  I love the depth of the color and the creamy white lower half, helps it not to feel too dark.  We have plans for a DIY molding project down the line (did I mention that to James yet?......) but for now my dilemma is how to deal with the very big blank wall.  Large colorful art?  gallery of family photos?  stencil?

I've also been tossing around idea for how to display the kids art/drawings and thought maybe this could be the place to do it.  I saw these gorgeous white frames (no glass or backing, just the frame) at Hobby Lobby and knew what I wanted to do.  I could attach some sort of clip to each empty white frame and display the kids' creations in each one for an easy rotating display.

Excited to see a 40% off sale sign I hurried over and quickly deflated as I saw the regular prices - between $19.99 and $49.99 a pop.  Ouch! Since I needed several, including a few large (i.e. expensive) ones, this wasn't going to be an option, even with the sale price.

I loved the ornate details in the Hob-Lob frames combined with the modern feel of the fresh white paint.  So I headed out looking for frames with the right size, shape and detail that I could make over with a quick coat of paint.  Goodwill, second hand stores and garage sales are great for finding larger frames on the cheap.  I didn't have a ton of time since this was a kid-free afternoon trip, so after no luch at Goodwill I headed to the Family Dollar store.  And here, I scored!

I grabbed (3) 11x14 frames ($6.00/each) and (2) 8x10 frames ($2.00/each).  Granted the price was cheap and you get what you pay for but this was fine by me.  A lightweight cheap frame would be easier to hang anyway ;)
I did grab an oval frame on sale from the regular frame section at Hobby Lobby, as well as a few other small frames.  Armed with some decent options, I began by removing the glass and backings from each frame.

Then I took them all out to the garage for a fresh coat of satin white Rustoleum spray paint (I had a ton on hand from another project).  The white paint was an instant makeover!  They came back in looking fresh, modern and cohesive.

I weighed a few options for how to attach each picture and decided to pull from my color supply of paper clips.

I let Mia choose the paperclip color for each frame, then flipped them all over.  I put a dab of hot glue a few inches in from the sides on the top edge of the frame.  I held the paperclip in place until the glue dried (to make sure it didn't dry at a wonky angle) and then put an extra dab of glue on top.

I attached two paper clips to each frame.

Here's where our room's alignment is a little off.  I measured the length of the wall, found the center and hung my oval frame.  Then I stood back and saw this:
 There is a large built-in on the wall to the left of this photo.  It cuts into the room and the chandelier was centered in the remaining ceiling space.  Our table is centered under the light, not along the wall.  We are working on a new light for this room but it will stay in the same spot.  So I just moved the frame over to be centered with the table and light.

I played around with a few different arrangements, but ended up going with a linear setup with the center of the frames aligned.

I grabbed a few of my favorite recent art creations from the kids, popped them into the frames and had our own little art gallery!

I don't know if it's because most of these paintings were done on white paper, but it seemed like something was missing.  I'm not sure if was the color (or lack of) but I felt like the wall needed something.

Enter Martha Stewart Bookplate Labels!  I LOVE these and already used them here in our boys' closet.

I thought it might be fun to mount a plate below each frame with the name of each pic and the "artist".  The best thing about these labels is they are adhesive on the back, so you just peel and stick.  And they come with little cards that easily slide in and out of the plate, so we can change them out with each new piece of art that rotates in!

Feeling more like a museum gallery!  Come take a look at the little Picasso's we have here....

Here is "Swirls & Dots" by Jack...

"A Bug's Life" by Sully and Yours Truly...

"Sleeping Beauty" by Mia....

"Ants On A Log" by Mia...maybe my favorite.

"Colors" by Sully....

I may try to rig another paperclip in the center of the oval frame, so we can hang a smaller drawing in there.  I would still like to get a few more frames and play around with the arrangement more.  I had two other frames but they were small...too small to really display much.  This layout worked best for these 5 frames but we'll see how this baby evolves.  I also want to have some fun with the labels and maybe think about adding some color....maybe through fabric on the back but we'll see.

Once we bring in new fabrics on the chairs and window treatments, this whole collection may feel totally different.  For now, these parents and kiddos both love having a place to properly display the things the bambinos create.   I love that their creations become art in our most formal room, adding a really playful and whimsical touch!  And seriously, the 1 1/2 yr old's work wielding a paintbrush and stamping a sponge around on a piece of paper is some good stuff!

What about you?  How do you display or organize your kids' art and special projects?

*I'm linked up at The 36th Avenue  & Tatertots & Jello