Displaying Kid Art

by Cate on November 30, 2009

Art Gallery

When we moved back into this house (Oh, I didn’t tell you.  When we moved back in August, it was back into our old house.  Funny how things work out.  Oh how I love this house.  Moving back here was like coming home.), I wanted to make one end of the kitchen an eat-in area, primarily for the kids.  A place to eat a snack and do homework while I’m cooking dinner.  A spot to keep me company while I’m making cupcakes.  A spot for them.  Who am I kidding?  They have many, many spots to call their own in this house.  But you get my drift.

So anyway.  On one of the walls in this area, I wanted to use it to display the kids’ artwork.   Ever since he could hold a crayon, Nick has been passionate about art.  Any medium will do.  Madeline is quickly following in his footsteps.  “Color?  Color?  COLOR!”  Art, and the pursuit of it, is important to us.  That rainbow on the right side of that picture up there?  Nick painted it, freehand, completely on his own.  When he was four.  I couldn’t wait to get that back up on the wall, and that was the first picture to go up on the new art wall.  The house to the left of it he drew when he was 5.  When their babysitter first saw how many crayons we had amassed, she was sure we had too many.  I personally don’t think there is such a thing as too many crayons.  Now that she’s been with us nearly a year, she sees how much they get used.  She’s come over to the dark side a bit.

One by one, I’ve been hanging up some of the “better” kid art.  I’ve been mixing up the frame colors and styles, because I think it lends itself well to what that area is all about.  Art.  No rules.  But I wanted more.  I wanted a spot where I could switch out the art easily for some of the more seasonal stuff.  That’s when the idea of the art strip was born.

Last weekend, when the kids were with The Husband, I set to work on my little project.  I bought a strip of MDF from Home Depot.  It’s a little over five feet long.  I purposely chose one that was already primed to make it easier.  I also chose one that had a little bit of a beveled curve and was similar to molding, as opposed to something more plain jane.  It was a whopping $5.50.  Then I stopped at Staples and picked up large bulldog clips.  I never knew they had an official name.  I always thought they were called binder clips, but now after my little project, I know that binder clips refer only to the ones that have black on the clips.  I was looking for ones that were all silver.  And those would be the bulldog clips.  And those bulldog clips are harder to find than you might think.

Art Strip

Once home, I nailed the MDF strip to the wall, even managing to get it straight without using a level.  I have to say, I was pretty proud of myself.  When attaching it to the wall, I didn’t put the screws all the way in.  I left a little bit out so I could hang the bulldog clips from it.  Now with the clips, we can hang some of the more seasonal art that we don’t want to frame and put up.  When something new comes home, then I’ll swap it out and store those art pieces in the appropriate grade-level box.

Turkey Art

Full View

Nick noticed the new addition to the art wall as soon as he home, bringing The Husband into the kitchen to show him.  He called that area their “art gallery.”  I loved that.

Kid Corner - Art Wall

Just pretend you don’t see that Christmas tree in the corner of the picture. It went up a few days before Thanksgiving.  We have a strict one-holiday-at-a-time rule, but I just unpacked it, and since this past weekend is when we started digging out the Christmas decorations, I couldn’t bring myself to lug it down to the basement, only to bring it back up a few days later. I’m sure you understand.  Besides, I don’t think starting the magic of Christmas a little early, just this once, will hurt.  Not this year.  I love the little glow the lit tree cast on the art.  The kids’ art gallery.  Love that.

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

Cynthia November 30, 2009 at 8:44 pm

The art is beautiful and what a lovely way to display them on a dedicated wall.


FireMom November 30, 2009 at 10:17 pm

I have been so meaning to do this for so long. This is inspiring. Great job!


Patsy November 30, 2009 at 10:26 pm

What a wonderful idea! I love the clips you used so you can display the more “seasonal” art work. Fabulous!


Kalynskitchen November 30, 2009 at 11:03 pm

It made me smile when I read that you moved back into your hold house. Love it. The art gallery is wonderful too. What a great mother you are; they are lucky kids.


Kalynskitchen November 30, 2009 at 11:03 pm

Okay, that should say “your OLD house” not your “hold” house. Typing too fast as usual!


pamela November 30, 2009 at 11:19 pm

I didn’t know that you moved back to your old house! No wonder it feels like coming home, huh? Nice idea for the art work. I’m sure they are both proud and excited to see it out there, on display! Nice job.


Claire November 30, 2009 at 11:35 pm

I love this!!!!!


mandy November 30, 2009 at 11:46 pm

I think this is such a great idea! I love that your son called it the art gallery. Brilliant!


Velva December 1, 2009 at 12:42 am

I have over the years framed my children’s special art pieces. A few pieces have been professionally framed, which really add something special to their artwork. My 20 year old son is still amazed that an art project that he completed in the 6th grade is a center focus in our dining room.

Your idea is wonderful! This is a great way to preserve their work and become family heirlooms.


Joanne December 1, 2009 at 7:15 am

This is awesome! My parents still have some of my first artwork hanging up in our house – and I’m 22! It definitely makes it nice to come home to though.


The Sister In-Law December 1, 2009 at 8:06 am

Love the Art Gallery – great job!



Nancy December 1, 2009 at 9:47 am

Wow…I love your blog. Thanks for paying mine a visit!
I love your art display. Kid’s projects/creations are true one of a kind pieces. So colorful. Always a story. Fun to see their interpretation. A wall has been calling its name… going to get on that! Thanks for the idea… Nancy


Cathy December 1, 2009 at 10:18 am

Great idea Cate! I can imagine how excited Nick would be to have his art displayed like that!


Casey December 1, 2009 at 10:39 am

Really cute……we copied PBK’s version years ago…..and loved it!


The Neighbor (Wife) December 1, 2009 at 11:05 am

Love it! We have one in our kitchen. I love the clip idea. I might have to steal it.


Ramona December 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Very cute. It shows how proud you are of your children. It makes them proud to have it displayed too.


Debbie December 1, 2009 at 12:18 pm

What a great idea…I love the “hand” art…..so cute!


Laura December 1, 2009 at 2:50 pm

i love this…i am totally stealing it too…that way I can stop hanging pictures in the pantry


Rebekah Williams December 1, 2009 at 4:35 pm

Love how you showcase their art in the kitchen. Bet everyone who comes over comments with enthusiasm! People appreciate putting kiddos first.
I think I see some “bulldog clips” in my future…


Cate December 5, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Thanks everyone! It totally makes me smile every time I walk into the ktichen.


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