Displaying & Preserving Artwork

Displaying & Preserving Artwork

Macaroni necklaces. Tissue-paper bouquets. Magic Marker masterpieces. Nearly all children express themselves through art, and each treasure deserves an audience. But after the initial oohing and aahing is over, what do you do with each piece of artwork? Some kids are truly in the moment, moving onto the next project before the paint dries on the last; others are more attached to their pieces. Work with your child to display and keep the best of the best.

Get Framed

Think one of your child's pieces is museum-quality? Show it off in a frame. Wood frames are available in every size and finish; for a painting or drawing that has special meaning, you might want to choose a silver frame that you can personalize. Colorful mats and frames will complement the bright hues of the crayons, paint or stickers.

If your child has created a series of paintings or drawings that capture one particular interest, look for a frame with multiple openings so you can display them together. For those that capture the essence of your child, print the image on professional-grade cotton canvas, then stretch it over a wooden frame for a gallery-ready look.

Create a Display

Displaying artwork and photographs at your child's eye level helps them feel proud of their creations, and allows them to rearrange and update the pieces easily.

Some display frames have a hidden pocket for changing pictures quickly; others have a linen-covered tackboard back for easy attaching.

For very casual displays that are easy to add to anytime, hang corkboards so they can tack up anything they want to. Other ideas for displaying artwork include clipping pieces to a cable or clothesline, setting them up on an easel, or mounting a magnetic square to showcase a collection.

For Keeps

For the best of the rest, protect artwork and photos from light and humidity by storing them in archival-quality or acid-neutral storage boxes, albums and scrapbooks. Large-format pieces do well on long, flat shelves or architect-style drawers.

Occasionally clear out your storage bins by turning paper artwork into functional household items.

For example, scan a favorite drawing into the family computer and use it as the screensaver. Or laminate four or six complementary pieces to be used as placemats. Tuck drawings into gift wrap and note cards. Using one of the many online photo sites, arrange digital images of kids' artwork to create a hardbound coffee-table book or calendar.