10 Ways to Display Kids Artwork

As the air cools a bit and the colors of Autumn begin to come alive, our little budding artists will, no doubt, be inspired to capture it. Whether they're bringing their masterpieces home from school or creating them at home, as parents, we want to celebrate their creativity by displaying their hard work.

I have the privilege of coordinating this effort at my children's elementary school three times a year. Our school calls it Exhibit Night. So I confess, I'm a bit spoiled to have my child's school aiding in showcasing their work. But, at home, it's not quite as easy as grabbing a glue gun & adhering it to a very forgiving cinder block wall.

So, instead of just stashing all their art in a folder or adding it to "the pile," here are 10 creative & manageable ways to bring some color into your home, celebrate the seasons, & show off your kids' imagination through art.

1. Use tacks on a wall that's not front and central in your home.

So this first one's not rocket science, but it's what works in our house. Our laundry room is on the main level & has gray walls making art really pop. I (or my kids) just rotate their art 2-3 times a year in this room leaving tiny holes from the tacks. The way I look it, when the art stops coming home someday, I'll be ready to repaint the room anyway & until then, I get to be reminded of these little people I love so much while I'm trying to find that missing sock or checking their pockets before they hit the washer. 

2. Thrift frames with glass removed and cork board added.

I love this option for a more polished look that keeps it super easy to rotate art. Shannon Makes Stuff has great images for ideas. Let the kids have another art project by painting the frames themselves.

3. Have Simply Create Kids create a collage poster of your child's art.

This option is a bit more pricey, but well worth the money to have one piece that speaks for many. My kids would love how professional this art display would make their art look.

4. Create vertical art on a string.

The folks at Artful-Kids used a hanging wire to display art vertically allowing for easy rotation. Great option if you're short on wall space.

5. Use inexpensive IKEA frames in the color that work for your space.

We love how Amanda Medlin created this wall for her boys' room with multicolored frames, but all white or all black frames would be another great option to showcase your child's art.

6. Clothespins are great for art display.

Aimee of It' has a great DIY plan to create a fun clothespin line for your kids to be able to change their own art with ease. HYD helped a client design one similar to this last year & it was a huge hit with their four kids.

7. ArtKive it by photographing your child's art with your smartphone.

This is brilliant. ArtKive has designed an app that allows you to photograph the artwork, upload it, and then turn it into books, gifts, or keepsakes.

8. Mount clipboards to the wall.

HYD loves reclaimed wood projects. These from Old House to New Home are some of our favs. Of course, you could use lots of different styles of clipboards that work best for your space.

9. Professionally frame special holiday pieces.

David Alley 1983

David Alley 1983

My thoughtful mother decided to pick a couple of my brother's & my best Christmas creations. My brother's is a Santa with no arms, he's a beauty. I did a lovely manger scene that brings back memories but doesn't come close to the fine artistic ability of my brother. It's been over 30 years since we created them & every year, we reminisce & poke fun at each other when mom hangs them. I love them!

10. Keep it simple with a line of twine.

Nothing too fancy here. Just find a color of twine or string that works for your space & use clothespins, paper clips, or even colorful hair clips to hang the art. The image above is our favorite using the spools as the anchors to hang. I have a friend who uses the twine method above her kitchen sink with smaller art pieces & it's so cute. She uses her childs' art in lieu of a curtain valance.

Hope you find these ideas helpful.

Do you have an art wall that works in your house? We'd love to hear how you're showing off your kids' art.

 Thanks for reading & Happy October!

We are not created to serve our homes but rather our homes are created to serve people; to serve us

Travetta's streetview

We sat down this week to chat with our friend Travetta Johnson about the concept of making a home and her ideology on decorating. Travetta and her husband own a beautiful Victorian home in a downtown Knoxville neighborhood. 

When you walk into the Johnson's home you immediately feel like you can breathe a little easier. I've always loved Travetta's ability to create beautiful spaces that somehow feel like home to everyone that comes through the door. Walking through their house is almost like reading a book. Travetta loves art, objects and pieces of furniture that tell a story.


I asked Travetta to tell me about how she decorated and chose the pieces in her home.

I love mixing old and new styles. I'm drawn to items that have history. There is something really sweet about your grandchildren being able to use the highchair that you used as a child or reading the same books over the span of generations. Pairing the older more antique items with more modern, clean lined pieces creates a really nice contrast. One concept that I have found really helpful when decorating an eclectic home is to mix things from different time periods keeping in mind that pieces that were made at least 50 years apart tend to be more cohesive. In general I focus on simple beauty by using things that invite people in, like flowers from the garden, a bowl of fruit, a photograph. To keep things interesting, I consider contrasting texture, color and shape when I curate a space. Establishing a natural flow between our home and the outdoors helps create a comfortable feel throughout the house. There is something nostalgic about porches, open windows and the hum of house fans.


Tell me about what roles your home has taken on in various stages of your life.

I read a book when I was in my 20's that changed the way I thought about my home. The book focused on the difference between entertaining versus hospitality. I want my home to be less about making impressions and more about making people feel welcome. Home is a place for people.

I've found that the role of my home has changed in different seasons of life. In early marriage our home was based around that concept of hospitality. We often hosted potlucks, game nights, and bible studies. When we had young children, home evolved into more of a place of retreat and nurturing. As our kids got older the hospitality theme resurfaced and now with grown children, grandchildren, and aging parents our house has served as more of a care-taking and provisional refuge again.


How do you find the balance of creating beautiful spaces without becoming obsessed with the appearance of your home?

The phrase "Man was not created for the Sabbath but the Sabbath was created for man." comes to mind. In this same way, we are not created to serve our homes but rather our homes are created to serve us. Homes feel ordered when they revolve around people and not vice versa. I've found that my taste and style has developed over time. I no longer feel the pressure to constantly redecorate in order to stay on top of the trends. There is a really sweet balance of creating beauty and comfort in your home and yet being content with it once it is settled.


5 easy ways to spruce up your living room

I have found that sometimes it's the little things that transform a room. Because many of us have a budget that doesn't allow for frequent redecorating, knowing a few tricks of the trade can be a great way to change up a room without breaking the bank. If you find yourself feeling like your living space is a bit drab maybe these tips will help. 

1. One of the best pieces of decorating advice I've ever received is to "shop your own house". Take a walk in and out of every room. Notice what your favorite things in each room are and mentally note whether or not your would be willing to rearrange.  Because a living room is a common area, a place where many entertain, and usually the most trafficked room in a house, I encourage people to display their favorite things in this room.

2. Often we have a hard time really seeing our own home because we live in it. Invite a friend over and ask them to take a look at your space. Sometimes friends can help you see if a room feels too cluttered, too minimal, too matchy-matchy, or is clashing. This can leave you feeling a bit vulnerable but I've had great results when I've had an extra set of eyes viewing my space and offering suggestions.

3. One way to add dimension to your living room is to layer neutrals or colors in varying tones. Using creams and grays and browns with a little minimal pattern thrown in can make a room feel so much more interesting. Often times stores sell sets of matching items like throw pillows, blankets etc. Try mixing a few different patterns and shades of colors to your existing pillows or throws for a more eye catching effect.

4.If you have collections of things, try displaying them all together rather than placing them in multiple rooms throughout your home. If you love vintage camera's try staging them all on a shelf or two. If you love glass bottles, group them together  etc. Collections offer a focal point and will spark conversation.

5. If you have a mantel in your living room think about painting it. Rather than repainting the entire room, painting your mantel can change the ambiance of the room without having to embark on a major paint job. You may want to add a pop of color if your living room is mostly neutrals or maybe you want to bring depth into your room and paint it black. If painting is out of the question, try a new mantel arrangement. A collage of different sized framed photos will soften a formal mantel. You could add an arrangement of potted plants or framed art in varying sizes. Change things around and sit with it for a few days. If you don't like it then keep playing until you find something that works for you.

We would love to see  before and afters of your own spaces!