Before you had kids, you might have assumed that you’d cherish every piece of artwork that they presented you with. You might have seen kids’ pictures on your friends’ fridges or watched your favourite television show characters rejoice with glee upon receiving a hand-drawn picture from their offspring. Then, you have kids, and you learn the truth. They start presenting you with their artwork early on, with lines and scribbles on a piece of paper, and it doesn’t stop for many, many years. They’ll bring their early offerings home from nursery, proud of their achievements. In the later years at school, things might slow down, but you’ll still receive the odd precious picture. Chances are, few of them (if any) will be particularly good.
Which leaves you in a difficult predicament. Your children have drawn these pictures for you. They’ve worked hard on them. They are proud of their designs, and you should be too. But, frankly, there’s not enough room on the fridge for all of them, and if you’ve got more than one child, by the time you reach their fifth birthday, you could probably wallpaper your house with them all. Which, you almost certainly won’t want to do. So, instead, let’s find some cool things to do with all of that artwork.
Perhaps the easiest and most effective way to show off your kids’ artwork is with a simple frame. Check out this company for a range of frames which could help you show off your kid’s work while fitting in with your home décor.
Of course, you won’t be able to frame absolutely everything. Select a few special pieces that bring back happy memories for pride of place on your walls or sideboards. The best thing about a simple frame is that it’s easy to take a picture out and swap it for something new later on if you wanted to.
Create a Gallery
By creating an art gallery, you are adding to your décor, creating something unique for your home and showing your kids how proud of them you are. This can be great for their confidence and self-esteem, which is essential as they grow and develop.
Your gallery could be different frames on a feature wall or up a stairwell, it could be in the form of a large collage, or it could be hanging their work from the ceiling, either loose or in frames.
Start a Scrapbook
A scrapbook or photo album is a great way to keep as many pictures as you want to, without them taking over your home. If you want to keep work, but don’t want it absolutely everywhere, save a few to display and then move the rest into a scrapbook that you can look at or share whenever you want to.
Get them Turned into Homeware
There are many companies now that will turn your photographs and drawings into other things. Your kids’ pictures could be printed on canvas, mugs, cushions, keyrings, Christmas decorations, blankets and almost anything else that you can think of.
Bunting always looks cute and cosy and can be a great way to add some fun to your children’s bedrooms, or to relatively dull parts of your home, perhaps the hallways. You could have your kid’s pictures printed on material, cut them into shape or shrink them down and stick them to shaped card, then string them all together with colourful ribbon or material.
Shrink it Down
If you want to keep a record of every piece of work that you are given, but can’t see how it will all fit inside your home, why not shrink it down? Scan it into your computer, or just take a photograph on your phone, use a photo editing program to shrink it down to a fraction of its original size and print it out again. You’ll be able to fit more than one picture on an A4 sheet of paper, and you’ll then be able to either display more in a smaller space or keep more in an album.
Once you’ve printed them out, you don’t have to delete the original. You can keep the file on your computer, utilising cloud storage to save space on your device. This way, you’ve always got access to them if you want them.
Remember, just because you don’t want to see all of these pictures every day, doesn’t mean that other family members won’t. Most grandparents love nothing more than getting a homemade gift from their grandchildren. Have their pictures turned into something special, frame them, use them to make cards and gift wrap or just present them with a folder of your child’s favourites for their birthday or another special event.
Throw Them Away
Awful as this may sound, it’s absolutely ok to throw some of your kid’s creations away. Maybe keep the special things, like Mother’s Day cards. But other work isn’t that important. It isn’t likely that they drew it as a thoughtful gesture, it might have just been a bored scribble that they gave to you just to have something to do with it. They might not even remember that they have created it in a few days’ time.
You might feel a little guilty putting it straight into the bin, so why not stick it up on the fridge for a few weeks, keep anything special, and then throw the rest away when you get something new to put up. They probably won’t even notice, and it certainly won’t make you a bad parent.
There is absolutely loads that you can do with your child’s artwork, and a combination of all of these things might work the best for you. Where you can, try to involve your child, make them feel as though they have created something special, and give them some form of control over their own work. Just keep reminding yourself that it may seem like a deluge of semi-rubbish pictures now, but you’ll miss them when they are too old to bother anymore.
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post.