Have you got children? Do they bring home page after page of pictures, colouring in, and other art work? No matter how devoted we are to our children, and no matter how talented they are, there comes a stage – usually a few years after they begin school! – when we start to hesitate when we are presented with yet another work of art (especially the bulky ‘things’ made from cardboard boxes, egg cartons and lashings of glue!) Some parents are cruelly brisk with pieces of art, binning them after one week on the fridge, while others are softer-hearted and keep a box or file growing ever fatter as the children grow up and produce more and more paintings, collages, mosaics and montages!
If you are one of those who kept everything, not wanting to throw any of it away, you are in luck! There are several projects that you can try out, making good use of those pieces of work and creating unique and unusual objects d’art that will make perfect gifts or ornaments for your home.
Always keep the best
First of all, go through the entire body of work and pick out two or three pieces that show real talent, or commemorate a special occasion. These pictures are ‘keepers’ and should be kept in a portfolio as mementos. The rest can be scanned digitally like SnapFish, Shutterfly, Kizoa are few names that facilitate storage of pictures and paintings, that can then be shared with family members all over the world and the originals disposed of or set aside for some of the projects detailed below. The act of keeping the best works may seem harsh, but will teach your child that you value pieces of work that they have worked hard on and the ones you keep will gain greater significance in their eyes, inspiring their creative urge!
Frame and hang the cream of the crop
The very best pictures should be framed and hung in pride of place around the house. Even if you have a very formal décor scheme children’s artwork can be made to fit in. Professionally framed pictures always assume importance and gravitas and this will have multiple benefits. The first is that your child will feel appreciated as an artist, especially if they have to deal with the sting of having a mass of pictures and paintings thrown away! Secondly, children’s art adds a delightful touch of whimsy to the home, the bright colours and clear, forthright message livening and lightening the atmosphere. Finally, the art in a room completes it, so if you have bare walls as you an unable to afford a professionally painted picture, get framing and see the difference that your child’s art can make to the room.
Involve the family – indirectly!
Use small pieces of work to create greetings cards. Trim the edges of small pictures, glue them onto greeting card blanks and carefully letter in a personalised greeting to create a wonderful and memorable message for your loved ones, especially if they live far away.
Decoupage the Furniture!
Larger pieces can be trimmed and used to decorate trays, dustbins and pieces of furniture. Maybe upgrade your furniture; have a look at shop4furniture.net to see their fabulous range, or dress up your old pieces of furniture with cut-outs of your child’s work. Decoupage is the art of using layers of pictures and varnish to build up a distinctive and unique item.
A lot of your children’s art can be used in these projects and thus preserved for years.
Choose four, six or eight pictures that follow a theme if possible, or even just a good range of pictures that you like, and laminate them for a quick and simple set of wipe-clean placemats!
More durable, long lasting placemats can be created by mounting the pictures onto chipboard mats. These can be designed and created for you or for friends, neighbours and the family.
So you see, you do not have to feel guilty for resenting that space gobbling untidy stack of art that is stealthily growing and growing in the cupboard! Put it on display, use it imaginatively and incorporate it into the home! The more masterpieces your child brings home, the more raw materials you have for fun, design and creativity, so encourage them to get the paints out today!