Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DIY wall display for kiddo art projects: #IPinnedItThenIDidIt

That’s right, ya’ll! Check it out. I pinned then I did it! What.

*drops mic*


*picks mic back up again because I'm not done telling you about this!*

I found this idea on Pinterest a while ago, and I’ve been dying to create a wall just like it for Q’s art projects. Now that he’s in preschool, the kiddo brings home about seven projects a day. I mean, what the heck am I going to do with all this painted construction paper? I can only send so much to Grandma’s house!

Plus, we had an enormous, empty wall space in the family room that has been driving me crazy for the five and half years we’ve lived in this house. We have a slanted ceiling in that room, so one side of the wall is ~10’ high. I’ve tried a few art pieces in that space over the years, but always ended up returning them. Nothing felt right. So when I saw this idea for displaying kids’ art, I knew I had to try it.

My free time is pretty limited, so this project has been in the works for months. But when I had two whole days in the house all by myself (which I will totally explain later), I decided it was the perfect time to finish a few projects (including Q’s train wall decal).

I had a lot of fun creating this. Baby Reid and I scoured numerous Goodwill stores looking for interesting frames while Q was at school. Once I found several that I liked, I removed the backing and the glass and sanded them down just a little. Then I painted them white and two shades of blue-gray. (And you know how much I love painting stuff!) I precisely arranged the empty frames on the wall exactly how I wanted them, and then I hung binder clips from nails within each frame. This way I can easily swap out the artwork.

(PS: Please don’t tell Hubs how many holes I hammered into the wall. Although, he’s probably already counted and is too smart nice to say anything. He knows I tend to get a little craft-project-crazy when he travels, so maybe he’s used to my shenanigans.)

The only two exceptions to the hanging binder clip thing are the corkboard and chalkboard frames. On one if my thrift store hunts, I found this mega ugly framed corkboard. So I painted the frame and covered the hideous corkboard with pretty scrapbook paper. Now I can pin Q’s artwork in this frame with thumb tacks just to mix up the display a little.

I also loved that the inspirational photo on Pinterest had a framed chalk sign that read “Home is Where the Art Is.” So I painted a piece of chipboard (which is thin particle board used to make the backs of picture frames) with chalkboard paint and wrote “Exhibit Q” in white chalk. See what I did there?

The hardest part was arranging the frames on the wall. I positioned them on the floor, and then repositioned them, and repositioned them some more. Then I measured the wall space, and then I measured the exact inches between each frame… Eventually, I drew up a whole schematic on scratch paper and then recreated it in Power Point. Then I used measuring tape, a level and a pencil so make sure I hung the frames exactly like my drawing. The whole display is approximately 50 inches high and 54 inches wide and required a lot of brain-exhausting math with fractions.

There’s a chance I’m a bit of a perfectionist.

Anyway, when Quinn came home and saw the frames, he was SO EXCITED! He remembered when he created every piece and how he did it.*** He explained each one to me in great detail, like a true artist. Then he said, “I have more pictures, Mommy. Why didn’t you hang up more frames?”

Because then we would need to buy a much bigger house, son.

***Check out these fun craft ideas for wee ones! The middle frame in the top row has one of Q’s favorite projects. Have your child take a car or truck – anything with wheels – and dip it in paint, and then roll it across the paper. Q chose orange paint because the dump truck he used was orange.  In the middle frame on the bottom row – the corkboard frame – Q dipped a potato masher and a circular whisk in blue paint and stamped them on paper. I didn’t come up with these ideas. That’s why I send Q to preschool.