I won’t be offended if you finish this blog post and call me I “hoarder”. I fully admit that I am.
Case and point: My coworkers think that its nuts that I save every SINGLE email that I get. My college roommate had dreams that she lost my shoebox of every receipt that I saved (I don’t do this anymore). And my husband think its insane that I save ALMOST every piece of art work from my kids.
In all of these scenarios, I will say that I have: found an important email from 8 years ago to prove a point to someone at work, I used the receipt to submit for a free repair under warranty, and this last one is a doozie – I can now decorate my entire house for the seasons! Today, I’m going to expand upon that last point on how to use kids art to decorate your home (as well as tips on how to organize them throughout the year).
For those of you who have kids and want some ideas on how to decorate for the seasons, this post is for you. Kids, specifically daycare and preschoolers, do a lot of art at school based on holidays or celebrations that are coming up. What better way to incorporate their work around your house on display for the seasons! Every interior designer I have ever spoken to always says this phrase, “You should use a piece that ‘speaks to you’.” Um..okay crazy.
And then, a lightbulb hits. My family is my whole world…that speaks to me. And my little preschoolers coming home with their handprints on paper should be treasured, better yet, showcased. As they get older, they may not do these handprints anymore, BUT that makes them even more valuable and “showcase-able” (I know, that’s not a word). And you know what? They ARE conversation starters! (e.g. “Whose hands are these?” “Wow, you were pretty good artist back then…” … you get the picture. No pun intended.)
If you love this idea, then make sure you start saving and stocking up on picture frames (preferably in 8.5″ by 11″ since that’s what most of their art comes home in). For me, not only am I a hoarder of their art (which I will tell you how I manage that here in a second), I am also a hoarder of picture frames. DIY Tip: Even if you THINK you hate your current picture frame and are on the edge of throwing it out, get a box specifically for these and store them in there. You might one day get an itch to paint them to your liking! That’s what I did. I had a ton of random frames from COLLEGE that I kept. Ten years later, I’m using them for my kids artwork. Who woulda thunk it?
I know what you parents are thinking. Parents are typically too busy after a day’s work to organize their kid’s art into piles while also trying to get dinner done and taking kids to practice. Let me share with you how I do this:
1. Pick them up from school and gather up all their art work and school work.
1B. Optional. I like to take daily photos of their art work with them holding it that morning for memory/scrapbooking purposes. Note that if you do this, you might get weird looks from other parents. Taking a picture does two things for me: reminds me of how little they were when they finished the art and allows me to throw away any of their art guilty free.
Just look at this photo – They are SOOOO little. And all the hoarding now allows me to have decor for spring, Independence Day, Halloween, fall, and Easter!
2. Throw their art in a pile by kid. In our garage, there are plastic storage baskets with each of their names. That night, I throw any art they made in there when I get home and then forget about it.
3. When you have downtime, go through their art work and sort into hanging file folders, organized by season.
4. Depending on your hoarder tendencies, you can either KEEP the art work you plan on using OR you can throw it away. If you plan on keeping all the art (even if you decide not to use it to decorate), get another plastic bin and transfer it for long-term storage.
5. Cut down the art work to fit into the frames as needed. Keep track of what frames you used for each holiday. Easy tip: Just keep all of the art INSIDE the frame year round and rotate when the seasons change. No need to refile in the hanging folder file.
6. Next, just decorate! How awesome is that? Yes, its August and I’ve already decorated for fall. Don’t judge.
This is on our secretary desk in our living room:
Our living room mantel. Kind of subtle:
Everytime I look at this, I smile:
How do you use your kids’ artwork? What do you do with the artwork when you get home?
Pin any of the images below to save this idea. Check out more popular pins on my Most Popular Pins board.