Even though your children's artwork is already adorably cute, you can make it look even more special with the correct hanging techniques. You can hang these masterpieces without mistreating your walls or turning your fridge into an art gallery in the process. Repeated use of pushpins can have the effect of darts on a dartboard, and the wrong tape leaves residue and seems to eat wall paint. Avoid wall damage and mess while discovering cute, smart ways to display treasured art rendered by your most precious treasures.
1. Quick Change Frames
Admit it. You can’t keep every piece of their artwork -- not on the walls, anyway. But when your kids come to you beaming with pride over their latest worthy-of-Picasso masterpiece, you’ll be ready to give it a place of honor inside interchangeable frames. Use simple 9-by-11-inch -- or larger -- picture frames with the glass replaced by a sheet of cork or piece of sheet metal. Use pushpins or magnets to mount the pictures accordingly. Use principled good judgment to decide what to do with the previous "priceless" works of art that you will be taking down.
2. Colored Paper
Thick, colorful construction paper or poster paper is not just for coloring on; use it also as artwork backing for masterpieces created on flimsier paper. Cut it at least an inch or so larger all around than the art that you plan to glue to it; the excess acts as a border. Use paper in a color that complements the art, a glue stick to apply it, and wall-safe adhesive putty to hang pictures on the wall, or magnets to mount them on the fridge.
3. Wall-Safe Tape
You’ll be touted as nothing less than genius by moms picking up their kids after a play date when they discover that you hang colorful scribbles or pretty-darn-good family portraits created with non-toxic markers, using wall-safe painter’s tape. Not only will the best-quality brands not leave residue, or, worse yet, leave bare patches stripped of paint, these tapes come in a handful of child-friendly colors and various widths. As with all products, read the instructions for use and cautions; you may only be able to safely leave the tape in place for a week or so. Hang art using 1 or 2 inches of tape at each corner, or a length of tape on each side as a border.
4. Hanging Paintings
Although you can hang painted art as you would sketched or crayoned designs or vise versa, why not create a cute display that doubles as a drying rack for damp papers. Use hooks to extend a clothesline-like ribbon across an area of wall dedicated to children’s paintings. Wooden clothespins -- hand-painted in pastel or bright colors -- look adorable while suspending the art. Or hang paintings from wooden hangers with clasps, such as the type used for hanging pants. Mount a curtain rod at lower-than-your-eye-level on which to hang a row of pant hangers; turn the hangers' hooks to face the art toward the room. For the big stuff, such as a painting on jumbo poster paper, keep an inexpensive poster-hanging kit at the ready. For those true keepsakes, regardless of the art media used, hang them out of direct sunlight, protected behind glass, inside picture frames with properly sealed backing; years from now, you’ll be glad that you did.
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