The good news…my kids went to a Montessori preschool where the director was an amazing art instructor. They came home each week with dozens of keepsake-worthy projects that, quite honestly, were way beyond my preschool creations of pipe cleaners, finger paints and popsicle sticks.
The bad news…I had more artwork than I knew what to do with. And even though in theory I would love to show it all off, I am just not that mom that wants to have it covering every square inch of my home.
If you are drowning in school clutter – be it artwork or creative writing projects – here are a few ideas for displaying it in style:
- Create a Filing System: On a daily basis, I go through their backpacks and make a decision – keep or toss. I only allow myself to keep 2-3 things per week. What I keep goes into a basic accordion file (one per kid, with name and school year clearly marked) that I divide by month. I also add a section for announcements. At the end of the year, go through and further purge. The folder then goes into a filing cabinet (a large storage box also works). Super simple – but very streamlined and effective.
- Create One Dedicated Space & Use Magnet Paint – Find one area in your house – for me it is between cabinets in the nook – and use that as your creative gallery. To eliminate holes in artwork and on the wall, paint the area with magnet paint. If you’ve never used this stuff, it is just like regular paint, but it makes any surface magnetic. In my experience, you need at least 3-4 coats of this to get magnets to stick, but it goes on super quick. Magnet paint is just a primer, so paint over it with your favorite wall color or with chalkboard paint.
- Frame the Keepers: If done right, your chidlren’s art can compliment your decor just like a fine painting. Use a gallery framing method (all white frames, same size, from IKEA) in a playroom - this method is perfect to showcase bright colors. For Mother’s Day / Father’s Day projects, frame pieces side-by-side in a dual mat. Pick frames that accent the project, i.e., for a sand-based piece use a bamboo frame or for a Monet sunflower use a distressed French Country wood frame.
- Order an Art Collage: For just $85, Simply Create Kids can make a custom 16X20 collage of your tiny’s masterpieces.
Create a Photo Book: At Shutterfly or any of the other photo book sites, create a book using scanned pieces of your child’s artwork. I also incorporate scanned pieces (as well as their writing or scribble-scrabble) into our yearly album.
Here’s to a creative and clutter-free school year!