A New Kids’ Art Display Wall

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A Kids Art Display Wall with Thrifted Frames

We have a new kids' art display area in our living room. We've tried various ideas over the years, from matted and framed art hung among the "grown up" art, to a hanging wire with clothespins and, of course, the good ole fridge display. Each has had their pros and cons and I imagine we'll continue to do each a bit.

But…

I am LOVING our new kids' art display solution! It looks great and yet is so easy and quick to add new artworks as they are created.

Childrens Art Display Wall with Frames 1

This art display wall is inspired by a few I've seen around the internet, including these frames painted directly on the wall by Christie Burnett of Childhood 101 and these frames with clothespin clips by Ruth at Living Well, Spending Less

I collected a variety of frames from yard sales, thrift stores, and my own stash, removed the glass and backing, then hung the empty frames on the wall. Using removable wall putty, I adhere the kids' artworks directly to the wall, within the frames.

I like this solution because:

  • It's quick and easy to change out artworks and to add new creations
  • The display looks professional (so much better than the fridge!)
  • The variety of frames accomodate a range of art sizes easily, from miniature to quite large
  • It allows us to cluster more than one artwork together into a frame, especially good for small artworks and for series (see photos above and below)
  • We can prop additional objects or notes on the bottom rim of the frame (see the love suncatcher and the sticker note below)

Childrens Art Display Wall with Frames 2

Here you can see a grouping of Maia's candle drawings in one of the red-painted frames and one of Daphne's abstract drawings in the other.

Kids Art Display Wall 3

Maia's starry night collage is paired with a beaded love suncatcher in a simple wood frame.

Childrens Art Display Wall with Frames 4

And Daphne's drawing of a person is paired with a love note to the family from Maia (made with markers and alphabet stickers on blank notecards) in another.

Childrens Art Display Wall with Frames 6

Besides attaching works on paper to the wall, as in the other examples, we're also using the display wall for hanging works on canvas. This is a large (16 x 20") canvas painting by Daphne that I hung on a small nail. When I'm ready to change out the artwork in this frame, I can either hang another canvas on the nail or remove the nail and fill in the tiny hole with spackle. Easy peasy.

Kids Art Display Wall 4

Maia's even larger rainbow painting on foamcore is also tacked onto the wall with tiny nails because the removable wall putty wouldn't support its weight.

What do you think? Do you have a kids' art display solution that's working for you? If so, I'd love to hear about it!

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  • earleyml
    September 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

    Showed this to my husband and we are going to work on our own wall of art soon. I just need to run to second hand store to see if I can find any cool frames. Thanks for the suggestion. Our kids bring so much art home from daycare that most of it ends up in the trash or in an art portfolio that I started. Now it can be displayed before hitting one of these locations.

  • Lori N
    September 24, 2013 at 10:26 am

    Love it!

  • Andrea
    September 24, 2013 at 10:32 am

    What a great idea! Thanks to a gift from a friend, my girls are very much into post-it note art right now. I love how the frame pulls several of those mini-pieces together! I think we may try something similar.

  • MaryAnn F. Kohl, art book author
    September 24, 2013 at 11:41 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE

  • molly
    September 24, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I have a large frame outside waiting to do this. I think my husband is ready to pitch it. Need to get moving before that happens! :)

  • Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Great!! Hope it works out for you!

  • Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    :)

  • Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Yes! A frame would pull those mini artworks together beautifully!

  • Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    :)

  • Jean Van't Hul
    September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    Perfect!!

  • Steve Barr
    September 30, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Jean, this is absolutely fantastic! I’m going have to share it with a lot of my friends who have kids. What a great way to decorate a room, and show your children that everything they create has value.

  • systemia
    October 3, 2013 at 8:52 pm

    A few cans of spray paint will spruce up thrifted frames (especially the fuggo cheap fake wood kind!) MATTE (non-shiny) black or white spraypaint looks fantastic and can diminish flaws in finish that normal enamal may not. Also, for metallics, try shades in the Bronze or even Copper range–look much richer and less chinzy than the typical Gold/Silver paints do. Once dried, you can also take a bit of sandpaper and scrub out a bit of the metallic for an “antiqued” look!

  • stacey
    October 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    looks great! you can also add your family name above “The Smith Gallery” or a cool quote–that one from picasso comes to mind about children and art.
    finally, i took pics of my kids’ artwork and then put together a photobook (on kodak but now shutterfly) for each child with his/her artwork. Worked especially well for those 3d glitter/macaroni pictures! I’ve got to make a BARBIE one for my middle girl who makes new outfits, hairstyles, house designs regularly and has documented her work with the camera.
    Such photobooks make for great bday or end of the year gift. :)
    thanks for being such an inspiration!

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    August 11, 2014 at 4:25 am

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