Practical DIY No 2: Art Display

In my very first post, Manager of Stuff, I mentioned that we throw away 98% of the papers my kids create. One life ago, before we decided to homeschool, my kids attended church preK programs and then public school.

The first few years of school are so much fun, especially for a first-time parent until you realize that you are never going to stop getting papers – tests, art, daily work, newsletters, lunch menus. ALL. THE. PAPERS.

Step back to the time when you were in elementary school and (as an adult) think about how many of those papers you would still like to have. For me, my answer would be very close to zero so we keep a very small percent of the kids’ papers. What we do keep, we display for a few weeks and then discard. For the favorite, favorites, I have a folder for each kid. My oldest is 10 and I have maybe 15 pieces in his folder, plus a few report cards and awards.

In our new homeschool room I needed an inexpensive easy way to display their art on a 9ft long wall and I needed it to be strong enough to take repeated usage with us taking down and adding new pieces often.

Problem: I needed a way to display replaceable art on a large wall. Solution: thin piece of molding + acrylic craft paint + screws + thumbtacks = Kid’s Art Display Panel

I bought a thin piece of unfinished wood molding at the hardware store (around $1/ft), and cut it down to 7ft for my 9ft wall. I wanted to center it on my wall and not run it from end to end and risk it looking like a very high chair rail molding.

Next, my daughter and I picked craft acrylic paint in various color to match the rest of the room. We used gold, yellows, navy and light blues. I always have craft paint on hand, but if you don’t they run about $1 a bottle anywhere that sells craft supplies. We took wads of paper towels and dabbed the paint onto the wood molding until it was covered. Tip: Buy a vinyl table cloth to lay on the floor for messy art projects. Easy to spray off and strong enough to use again and again.

We didn’t actually use the gray.
Close up of paint and molding. It is about 1.5″ wide. I even dabbed a little gold paint on the screw head to camouflage it.

Lastly, and this is the most important part. With a level, drill, and stud finder on hand I made sure to screw the new painted molding into the studs on my wall. It must be screwed into the studs or else it will loosen over time, even with dry wall anchors.

I’m using thumb tacks to hold up their art. I love how it turned out!

It will display 8-9 letter size pieces of art.

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