Displaying and cataloging your child’s artwork

Our 3 year-old son started pre-school in the fall and I quickly became aware of the need to figure out what to do wit the artwork he brought home on a daily basis. I thought I’d share a few things we do to keep it clutter-free but still display and appreciate it.

  • Hang on Ikea curtain wire
  • We use a simple wire curtain rod from Ikea and hang the artwork in our son’s playroom. I like this because its easy to swap out the artwork. Before swapping it out we take a photo of him against the wall, standing next to a ruler to track his height and with a sign indicating the month and year. We then keep want we want and discard the rest. I plan on making a photo book each year with the collection of monthly photos.

  • Personal note cards
  • I like to have simple, personalized note cards readily available to send for Ike. One of my favorite things to do is to make a collage of his artwork and get custom cards made for him. I scan the artwork and do a simple layout in Photoshop. I then send to a card printing service (I like the image and paper quality of Artefact Studios). The cards are easy and affordable and its a creative way to share his artwork.

On the inside, I have his name printed with a traceable font so that he can ‘sign’ his name.

    Mail to a relative

    We’ll also occasionally put one in the mail to a relative. We just include a simple note, slipt it into an envelope and send it off. It always seems to be a big hit (or at least they say so ; )

[photography by Kate Headley]

  1. Great idea! My only suggestion –the wire should be at the child’s eye level where he/she can appreciate their own work.

  2. susan says:

    it is a great idea — we use that in our classroom space too – except lower and also with wood clothes pins as the ikea curtain clasps can make holes in the paper sometimes.
    i absolutely love the cards and will encourage my student’s parents to make some of their own!

  3. The notecard was a really cute idea!

  4. barchbo says:

    I love getting art in the mail from my nieces and nephews – I am sure your family loves it, too!

    Ike is getting so big! He’s as cute as ever!

  5. how cute! I posted on the same thing today! I hang my son’s artwork using old dresser knobs and some balloon ribbon and wooden clothespins.
    Check it out.

  6. Heather says:

    What an adorable idea. I actually love the idea of mailing to relatives so they can share in the child’s creativity!

  7. Hazel says:

    I love Suann, her blog and her ideas! She’s amazing. And I like Ike! =)

  8. Sarah says:

    So cute! Wish I would have started awhile ago with my older kids. I display theirs in frames on the wall. I replaced glass with corkboard and just tack ’em up and change ’em out often!

  9. lucy says:

    oh, I love the notecard idea! so clever.

  10. Erin Wilson says:

    These are great ideas. I particularly love the photographs with the date included. It can be impossible to go back later and try to guess.

  11. Kerry Scott says:

    Suann, it’s also really easy to turn some of the artwork into envelope liners for the notecards. Trace the envelope leaving some space along the top edge to seal, cut it, and slip it inside. It’s a touch of whimsy to your correspondence!

  12. these are such wonderful ideas! Ike is quite an artiste!

  13. Fabulous! Love the envelopes…the wire. It’s all brilliant.

  14. Tiffany says:

    I did something similar to the Ikea curtain wires. I used cabinet knobs and mounted it into the walls then hung a string. http://www.simplymodernmom.com/2010/01/diy-mounting-knobs-on-walls/

  15. Annie says:

    What wonderful ideas – ! I love them – thanks for sharing.

  16. jessica says:

    i love this. it’s cute!

  17. Sista Stef. says:

    Awesome idea, sis! We may do this in the living room instead of mounting some gigantic bulletin board. I wouldn’t have it eyelevel though as the wire could be considered a danger to children. And you know Jojo’s luck…

  18. bargain bex says:

    every idea is so darn cute! i can’t wait to share this with my sister dear so i can hopefully get some artwork in my own mailbox! :)

  19. Master Cruz says:

    as a professional organizer, i can’t wait to suggest this to my clients with children. i have always suggested to make their children’s artwork into photo books. i love the concept of making the art work into cards!

  20. paula says:

    brilliant. you are such an awesome mom. I get overwhelmed with it all and throw it in the trash before she see’s, yikes. Oh, I do save some don’t worry.

  21. cindy says:

    i love the idea of scanning ike’s work and making the cards for friends. kerry’s idea for the liners is a great touch. i like ike, too ;)!

  22. Dodi says:

    I like to keep a “discard” pile and wrap presents in it. Grandparents love this!

  23. Johanna says:

    LOVE this—we put up a very similar wall, but with 3 kids, mine is 3 rows tall!! I also just opened an etsy shop where I create gallery-style posters that showcase children’s artwork.

  24. TreeCookies says:

    what a beautiful way to celebrate your sons work. thanks for the great inspiration! <3

  25. SUCH fantastic ideas! I love these Suann, and do something similar with my girls artwork. And I always love to catch a glimpse of cutie pie Ike!

  26. Thanks from an artist more always looking to swap ideas. We too turn my sons painting often into letter to friends…check it out.

  27. Emily says:

    Such sweet ideas! I’ll definitely keep these in mind when I have my own little ones… many years from now….



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