Wowzer! One thing I wasn’t prepared for when our big guy started Prep was the influx of artwork that was to come! I’m not talking regular kids colouring and doodles on paper here, some of these artworks are real masterpieces (no bias of course).
I have a deep appreciation for art and am envious of anyone who can draw, paint and create something visually pleasing. Despite having some very talented artists in my family, that gene somehow skipped over me! I’d love to see it pop up in one of my boys and do what I can to encourage their creative side.
So with all these masterpieces flooding in my organising dilemma wasn’t just which ones to keep and how to store them (that’s a post for another day) but how to display them and give them the airtime they deserved.
I’m not a big fan of artwork on our kitchen fridge. In my experience, any artwork on the fridge ends up looking a little worse for wear. When the boys were younger, I created a space in our office to display their artwork. I had thought when planning this space that this would be our long term art wall. We mounted the Dignitet wire curtain line from IKEA and I sourced one of my favourite quotes “Every child is an artist ~ Pablo Picasso” in a wall sticker.
It wasn’t long until this line became two lines due to the quantity of work produced by our little artists. This space is still sort of working for us and if this wall were in our playroom, it would be perfect. But this is our home office and I’d love to have a command centre on this same wall so it was back to the drawing board!
Pinterest to the rescue with oodles of inspiration. It is easy to get lost in the pinning world and I was soon overwhelmed. If you find yourself feeling the same, get back on track with a plan of attack. Work out what you want for your space. In my example I had a few key criteria in mind.
- I wanted this gallery to showcase a number of pieces at a time.
- It had to be somewhere the boys would want to hang their work and inspire them to feel good about their creations.
- I needed it to be easy to change and rotate pieces regularly.
With all this in mind, I hit the op shop to see what I could find. I was on the hunt for a variety of frames and possibly some cork boards, I managed to score a large selection at an op shop seconds store (who even knew these places existed). I took a few pieces of artwork with me just to gauge sizing. This helped me decide which frames would hold what and what wouldn’t work. Bargains tend to excite me so scoring my haul for $20 gave me a little thrill.
On the way home I swung into my local hardware (which was Masters at the time) and grabbed a few other supplies, a roll of chicken wire to put in the back of a few frames, hooks and wires for hanging and some spray paint. Now I’d be lying if I said there was a lot of options when I was looking at spray paint. I had no idea what brand or finish would be best so I relied on a very helpful sales lady. I based my choice mostly on colour but I chose the same brand and finish for each colour. With two little boys we have a strong blue-green theme happening so the final choice was Plasti-kote Rustic blue in a satin finish and Plasti-kote Pistachio also in a satin finish.
I’m defiantly a visual learner so laying the frames out on the floor helped me decide the best layout and then determine what colour each frame would be and what backing to use. There was no rhyme or reason to my plan; I just went with what I liked the look of. Once I had the plan in place, I called in my main assistant aka The Husband to give me a hand with the handyman stuff and hanging them on the wall.
Because each of the frames is a different shape and size, we didn’t fuss too much over ensuring they were evenly spaced. I had him move them into position on the wall, and I directed him to either move it higher or lower or left or right.
All that was left to do once they were in place was to choose which pieces to hang! I called in the experts for this and left this totally up to the boys, after all it is their space. I knew they would like the art wall but was super surprised at how much they loved it. Their art looks so good hanging on the wall, and it’s so cute to see Leo pointing to each frame and saying who made each picture.