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!

The Quick List for Back-to-School Organization

Here in Knoxville, the start of school is just over a week away for most of us. It's time to plan, shop, and prepare for another year of learning and growing. To start off the school year right, HYD wanted to share a few tips that can help make the transition more simple and efficient.

1. School Supplies

  • Obtain your child's class supply list from his/her school as soon as possible.
  • Take advantage of Tennessee's tax-free weekend August 7-9
  • Wait for discounts on items like clothing, electronics, and shoes that typically drop in price around mid-August
  • For eco-friendly options, check out MightyNest and earn money for your school while you shop.

2. Ease into School Routine

  • These last weekdays before school begins, begin waking late sleepers up a bit earlier and re-introduce school year bedtime.
  • Keep snacks readily available for kids throughout afternoon as meal times during school may differ from summer eating routines. Real Simple has a great list of snack options.
  • Remind your kids what you expect from them in their morning routine and after-school routine so they know what they're responsible for. Here is a checklist HYD likes.

3. Calendar Prep

  • Find your school's or your school system's calendar for the year and place all important dates including holidays, in-services, half-days, and report card days on your personal calendar now.
  • Create a central calendar the whole family can see with school and after school activities using a paper or whiteboard so it's easy to read and adjust like this one.

4. Prepare for Paper Piles

  • Make an effort from day one of school to fill out each form as you get them, place them back in your child's folder, and back to school before it gets lost in a pile.
  • Create a system for keeping art or school work that allows you to discard all other items the day they enter your home. In other words, go through folders each afternoon/evening, look at each piece of work, if it is an original that you would've liked to have seen as you looked back to that age and you have no other like it, keep it. Otherwise, recycle it.

5. Teacher(s) Support

  • Try not to miss any opportunity to meet your child's teacher or teachers. If you're not able to meet in person, reach out with an email to introduce yourself and offer help to make the school year successful. This is invaluable to both your child and his/her teacher. Teachers need our support, encouragement, and helpful knowledge that only we can give them about our child.

Help You Dwell wishes you and your family a safe and successful 2015-2016 school year!



Beaumont Magnet Academy Welcomes You

It's Back to School Time in Tennessee!


And what does that mean to Help You Dwell??  Well, for one it means that one-half of the HYD outfit has free childcare again.  But more exciting than that, it meant that HYD got to be part of the preparation process for Beaumont Magnet Academy on Beaumont Ave. here in Knoxville.  This summer Beaumont underwent an administration transformation to breathe life, order & hope into the teachers and students of this amazing Knox County Magnet School.  The three women leading this campaign, Dr. Daphne Odom, Ms. Missy Beltrand, & Ms. Tracy Marsh have a vision for success for Beaumont that is contagious as you spend any amount of time with them.



Ms. Tracy Marsh, Asst. Principal,  Dr. Daphne Odom, Co-Principal,  Missy Beltran, Co-Principal

Ms. Tracy Marsh, Asst. Principal,  Dr. Daphne Odom, Co-Principal,  Missy Beltran, Co-Principal

Along with the exciting change in administration came the challenge of fitting three administrators into the spaces where only two had previously been.  After much consideration & a whole lotta furniture removal, HYD had these amazing ladies ready to roll.  And many thanks to the KCS painting staff for a stellar job on the walls.

The Beaumont administration also invited HYD to revive the front office space with color, organization & a welcoming atmosphere.  Since Beaumont Magnet Academy has a Fine Arts focus, HYD decided to bring life to the front office by showcasing the students' art right as you enter the school.  Our favorite find was the 30-foot long tapestry made by students several years ago that had been hanging out of sight.  It now hangs in the front office along with several other art pieces & a new lettering making staff, students, parents & guests feel welcomed as they enter.

This job was our longest yet.  We learned so much & enjoyed the process immensely.  It brought us such great pleasure to see the eyes of teachers & staff light up as they enter the front office.  HYD thanks all the Beaumont front office staff for your patience as we moved all your stuff, the encouragement you gave along the way & mostly your dedication to care for students.  You are all doing the work that matters.  Thank you!