Hang It Up! Displaying Children's Art

Posted Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Contributed by Cindy, of coopercreations

School is in full swing which means lots and lots of creative works coming home each day.

If you are anything like me, you give loads of praise to the construction paper, painted and glued masterpieces and then place them in a pile for a few weeks until they start to cascade onto the floor – you then move them into a sacred file or box never to be seen again.

Now, while giving praise to any and all artwork your child creates is VERY important you can’t look past the importance of placing those “most favorite” works of art on display. This doesn't mean setting it on the mantle for a week or two then moving it aside as a new piece replaces it. It also doesn't mean hanging it on the revolving refrigerator door. What it does mean is elevating the work of art to a level your child perceives as “important”. Yes, it means placing it in an actual frame and hanging it on your wall with an actual nail!

You will not believe the complete and totally aw that comes from your child’s face as they gaze upon their very own artwork being displayed next to art and photos of the utmost importance in your home. I would not have believed this if I hadn't seen it for myself.

Despite my praise and encouragement, my son had always lacked confidence in his artwork. He wasn't terribly interested in painting and drawing. Being an artist myself, I was sad for him. Creating art is a wonderful process I wanted him to share in it. So I did something so simple that changed his art world - while he was out playing one afternoon, I took 5 pieces of his artwork, framed and hung them. I specifically took down works of art and vacation photos that hung in key spots in the house and replaced them with his.

I can’t describe the look on his face when he saw his framed creations hanging in their place. It was a look of pride, delight and complete accomplishment all at once. It was so heartwarming.

Now my son proudly points out all of his masterpieces to our guests and has been sketching and painting with zeal ever since.

Who would have thought!? Something so simple could make such a big difference. Here are a few tips I found to be helpful when hanging artwork.
  • Buy frames on sale and keep a stash handy. (Ikea has very inexpensive frames)
  • Set up a collage wall of frames. It is easy to add more frames without having to search for fresh wall space.
  • Look for discounted, tacky artwork that has been matted and framed in bargain bins. Pop out the outdated prints and pop yours in. It will look like you spent big bucks for it.
  • Place scrapbook paper behind artwork that is too small to fill a standard frame. It gives the illusion of a mat and is most often of archival quality so it won’t fade.
  • You can’t possibly hang all of their artwork so choose their favorites and place the others in a hope chest specifically for artwork. Don’t hide it in a closet never to be seen again – flip the lid open on rainy days and peruse through the masterpieces. You can have a custom box painted to match your d├ęcor. I keep mine in the family room. 

Cindy Cooper is a Huntersville, North Carolina artist who specializes in painting everything and anything.    You can find her handpainted toy boxes and children's room themed painted canvases in her Etsy Shop, CooperCreations.  If you live in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, Cindy is available for mural work.  Visit her website, for more information and to schedule a consultation.  Cindy is also on Facebook, stop by and say, "Hello!"

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