Children’s crafts map a child’s development and skills. This journey through childhood deserves to be stored carefully or proudly exhibited in colourful displays. There are many simple and effective ways to build beautiful showcases for children’s crafts.
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Start a fabulous and ever changing display by designating an area of your home as a showcase. Watch your children compete to produce the latest addition. It beautifully charts the changing seasons and various celebrations. Create a craft showcase in a nursery or playroom, string a length of line or rope across the room, making sure it’s out of reach. Use the line to create a ‘washing line of art’. Attach the artwork to the line using wooden or brightly coloured clothes pegs.
Cool by Design
Children’s crafts can be turned into stunning interior design features of your home. Use a ‘canvas block’ to create a permanent form of craft storage for your children’s skills. Even the youngest child can produce a brilliant piece of art using little more than paint, chosen to co-ordinate with your colour scheme, to produce lovely hand and footprints. Alternatively, children can make abstract or trendy art using simple techniques like blow-painting. It’s easy to create unique and priceless designs for your home. Select your favourite pieces of children’s art and laminate them to make fabulous place mats or coasters.
Make simple frames for children’s crafts. Mount the drawings or paintings on a stiff piece of card. Then make the frame from twigs or old lolly sticks glued firmly together. The resulting frame can be decorated and finished by attaching a length of ribbon or coloured string for hanging.
Don’t throw away old pictures and portraits; involve children by recycling and adapting the frames and mounts to accommodate personal masterpieces. Re-hang the results and you have a new piece of art.
Top Tips for Storage
The best way to store children’s crafts, long-term, is in a cardboard box. This is a craft project in itself. Cover the box in wallpaper or create a mosaic using scraps of brightly coloured paper and glue. Young artists can then embellish it with stickers or inexpensive mock ‘jewels’. Stuff the box full of your children’s crafts and in years to come you will rediscover a treasure trove of memories.
Children can mass produce artwork. You could end up with a mountain of paper and models. If you can’t bear to dispose of anything at all, create a medium-term craft storage system. Select a large box or container that can be stowed somewhere accessible, for example, under a bed or in a spare room. Make a regular date to sort through the box every few months. With a little bit of time and emotional distance, you will be able to identify work that deserves to be kept and items you could dispose of.
Preserve paintings and drawings by spraying them with a mist of hair spray. This makes a simple and effective seal. Make sure you test a small corner first to ensure colours won’t be affected.
When an item is completed, mark it with the child’s initials and the date the it was finished or create a set of sticky labels with the same details.
Art on Record
An enduring method of preserving children’s crafts is the scrapbook. Use an A4 ring binder to house pictures and collages stored within polythene pockets. This system allows you to rearrange and add to the collection. It’s much cheaper than bound scrapbooks. Reuse art by scanning it digitally and storing the results on a computer or CD. The digital files can be viewed anytime you wish, or you could use them for computer-based craft projects. The files can also be sent to proud grandparents of course!
The great thing about making your own showcases for children’s craft work is that it becomes a craft in its own right. Together with your children you can organise, store or display the creations in the way they deserve.