Updated: Jun 30
We’re currently spending more time than ever at home keeping our families safe and healthy. Our children (and Mums!) are being entertained by Joe Wicks PE worksouts first thing in the morning, followed by some school work and then an afternoon of craft inspired by CBBCs Art Ninja..... at least we're finding a use for all those used toilet rolls!
Encouraging creativity helps to pass the time and keep children busy but it can lead to a production line of masterpieces!
How are you keeping on top of this constant flow of creations? Are you secretly disposing of some of them once the kids have gone to bed or will you have you enough paintings to hold an exhibition at TATE Modern when it reopens?
“We should be choosing what we want to keep, not what we want to get rid of.” Marie Kondo
Many of the families I work with struggle to let go of their children’s artwork as they believe each piece of art, just like a photo, captures a moment in time. Lots of homes have children’s craft or art projects stored in piles around the house, stuck on the fridge or shoved into drawers. Quite often the paper is bent or slightly torn so, whilst you’ve kept it with the best intentions, it’s won't be in great condition if you ever get round to displaying it.
In true KonMari fashion I believe that we should cherish the things that we love and display them so we can enjoy them everyday – you're not able to do this if they are stuck in a pile in a corner.
Marie Kondo's Advice
Marie Kondo recently gave the Wall Street Journal the following tips about organising children’s artwork:
You should make the decision whether or not to keep the item based on whether it Sparks Joy (I appreciate this is difficult as many people would say that every piece is special in some way).
Designate a specific area for displaying children’s artwork, keep to this space don’t let it overflow – (see my ideas for this below).
Rotate the artwork display – choose a piece to replace when you add a new piece to the display .
So.. how do you decide which pieces to keep?
Involve your children in this. Ask them to choose their favourite paintings or drawings with you – which are they most proud of or what would they like to see displayed this week?
Top tip – if you are keeping a piece you might want to write the date on the back of it along with the child’s description of what the drawing is (this is always fun to look back on).
I encourage the families I work with to just to keep the notable landmark/developmental/first time pieces of art. Such as the first time they coloured inside the lines, Mothers Day / Fathers Day art, first picture of Mummy etc.
Ideas for displaying Children's Art
The following are my top tips for displaying the artwork your decide to keep - just remember to keep rotating on a "one in one out" basis.
1. A weekly washing line
My personal DIY favourite is to display your favourite pieces of art like clothes on a "washing line".
This is so simple and can be set up in a few minutes.
You just need some pegs, a bit of twine or string and some hooks to attach it to the wall.
If you want to make it a permanent display why not consider getting a vinyl wall sticker like the "Every child is an artist" one shown here (this is from Stephen Edward Graphics on Etsy).
2. Picture ledge display
You could rotate the artwork on a picture ledge. These are really popular at the moment and can also be used for displaying books or framed art. Ikea have picture ledges in different lengths and colours starting at just £5.
3. Gallery wall of Children's Art
The current trend for displaying art on gallery walls is perfect for displaying your favourite childrens artwork (photo above). You can either go for a structured look with all the frames the same size or mix it up a bit with different size frames. IKEA's RIBBA frames are great value for money for a project like this.
4. Wallpaper with printed frames
I love this wallpaper from Graham and Brown!
It's the ultimate solution f you want to go all out for a permanent solution - you can turn one wall or a even a whole room into an art gallery - perfect for a play room or little ones bedroom.
The different sized picture frames printed on the wallpaper are perfect for you to fill with your own artwork.
You can either glue your art into each frame or stick it in place with blue tack so you have an ever changing art gallery.
Another way to get on top of the piles of paintings is to take photos of them so you don’t then need to keep the original but you'll still have a memory of it.
1. Apps for storing Kids Art
ArtKive is the leading app for this.Once you’ve taken a photo of the artwork you can name it, tag it and then share it with friends and family.
2. Collage Board
You can also use the photos you take of your children’s art to make more permanent memories such as collage boards.
The DIY way to do this is to take your own photos, get them printed and then mount them in a frame. This is a bit fiddly and takes a bit of time - but you may find it's something to do during lockdown.
There are several online photo printing companies (such as Photobox) that you can upload your photos to and then design your own collage boards which they print and send to you.
If that sounds like too much hassle then Doodle Nest have a great service that does everything for you.
You send all the original piece of art to them in a box (which they provide).
They photograph, edit and layout your collage board. Once this is done they'll send you a digital proof of the collage board to approve.
Once you've approved the proof Doodle Nest make a lovely collage board which is sent back to you along with the original artwork.
3. Photobook of your Childrens Art
Loads of people make photobooks with their holiday snaps but have you ever thought about turning your childrens art into a photobook? It’s a really simple way to keep a record of all those special masterpieces without them cluttering up your space - you could even be really organised and do one per school year! Doodle Nest can do this for you if you send them your photos or you can do it yourself by taking photos and using a service like Photobox.
Make a Memory Box
Once you’ve displayed your art and rotated it there may still be a few extra special pieces that you want to hold on to – I suggest that you keep these in a memory box with other momentoes for each child. We keep our memory boxes in a plastic tub in the loft as they don't need to be kept close to hand.
If you'd like to know more about the KonMari Method or would like more information about decluttering and organising your home do give me a shout!
m: 07740 782575