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Consider creating a special display zone somewhere in your home to  proudly display your child’s artwork.

My husband and I love art. But, the only artworks we seem to be collecting are the painted scribbly things and crayon scrawls of our toddler. Five years ago we’d never have dreamt our home would have a toddler’s artworks haphazardly displayed on our fridge. Who knows what our house will look like when he starts primary school.

This got me thinking that perhaps it’d be better to create a dedicated stretch of wall to hang some of our little artist’s “masterpieces” in a more permanent  fashion.

Five ideas for organising and displaying art

These are the five ideas I’m toying with. Perhaps one of these will also inspire you to create a permanent spot in your home for displaying your child’s art.

1. Pockets of creativity

Mount one of those see-through plastic magazine storage pocket systems on an open wall. The ease with which you can change what’s on display makes this an attractive option, particularly if your offspring will be in charge of rotating what’s on exhibit. Since the pockets aren’t a lot larger than A4, you might like to photograph their oversized drawings (or 3D items) and pop a print into a pocket.

2. Frame it

You’ll need a selection of picture frames. Hang the frames so that they work as a group. Choose frames that are identical (if you like symmetry) or choose a variety that work together as a collection – perhaps different size frames with various mouldings, but all in the same colour.

3. Hang on tight

Buy metal cable (like that used for balustrading or low-voltage track system lighting) and mount it flush against the wall – you could put up say two or three rows, one below each other. Hang your child’s creations with binder or bulldog clips. Different colour clips can be used for different family members.

4. It’s a corker

Glue cork tiles to your wall in a strip, square or shape of your fancy; or create an art panel down each child’s wardrobe door. Paint the tiles if you prefer a more exciting colour than cork au naturel. (If your children are young, ensure the tiles are out of reach, or else tiny fingers may be injured by the drawing pins you’ll need to use to put up the art.)

5. Magnetic attraction

If you’ve ogled magnetic walls in overseas decor mags, like I have, you may be disappointed to know that magnetic wall primer seems to be pretty much unavailable in SA. I did track down two litres at a paint store in Johannesburg – but they’re not planning on getting in any more. It is apparently possible to order it online, but it’s pricey. If you do manage to get your hands on some, here’s what you’ll need to do: mark up a block on your chosen wall and apply as many layers of the magnetic primer as stipulated on the tin. Apply a topcoat in an interior wall paint of your choice. The other way to create a magnetic art wall is to use metal cladding – a panel of mild steel, available from steel suppliers, works well and can be painted if you don’t like its dark colour.

Tips for curating your collection

Let your child play curator and choose the pieces that will be on display each month/term.
Buy a large folder or flip-file so you can store your child’s other artwork for future exhibitions or for safekeeping.

Elaine Eksteen