Thursday

Inexpensive Kids Wall Art Collage

This post was originally a guest post over with Kristin at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia,  back in the olden days of summer of '12.  When I had been blogging but a mere 6 months.  Seems like forever ago actually.

Today I received an email question about this art so I decided to just do a post about it.  
Heather G., this posts for you!


My kids are not exactly little anymore.  For the most part they have quit blessing me with art made in elementary school.  13 years ago we had company coming and empty walls with emptier wallets.  I needed something to fill space that I didn't have to take out a loan for. 

Like FREE was what I was thinking. 

With six kids the one thing I have is kids art.  They wonder why I saved the stuff, but I see not only their memories, but my memories when I look at the crayon drawings, tissue paper butterflies, and self portraits.

At the time there was no internet for me to get any great art display ideas, I had to use what was on hand.  I told my husband I needed something BIG that I could make a collage on and fill the walls.  He returned with large pieces of sheet rock from the garage.  I sat on our bedroom floor surrounded by my kids art making collages, 5 big boards of years worth of art. 

13 years later I can't bear to take them down, although I need to add a sixth board somewhere since the youngest couple of kids don't have any art on the walls. 

Stairway Wall Art
This hangs in the stairway.  There is no rhyme or reason to the way the art is arranged, other than it had to cover the sheet rock.  If it hung over the edge I trimed it off.  As each piece of sheet rock was filled my husband screwed the rock right to the wall and then attached some trim around it while it was already on the wall. 

No rocket science involved, and nothing drastically creative, we had to be quick, remember?.....company was coming!


As the years went on these paper mache masks started to appear.  My kids all had the same elementary school art teacher and she never deviated from what she had them make.

I think the green one must be a mouse, but I have no idea what the one below is.  A purple pig?   A purple bald clown pig?  With white furry eyebrows?


One by one I started adding the masks to the wall.

Deep, Dark Hallway between kids rooms
 Look at the bottom left of the photo above, that is a dog butt!  This photo bombing of Mo's is really starting to be distasteful.   You can also see towels folded in the distance which is an improvement over the photo I used for Kristins post - she got a sheet hanging up to dry!  

You all know I am such a princess I never do laundry right?  HA.... wrong.  

Family Room
This collage ended up becoming part of the wall in the family room.  One daughter made all her people with heads shaped like hearts and the other daughter always gave her people belly buttons.  My oldest son was a Ninja Turtle fan.  He also colored a picture of his daddy's new truck when he was 5 years old.  It looked just like it and we thought it was pretty good for a kindergartner.

#3 kid, (#2 son) made a self portrait in 2nd grade.  
Rather disturbing that he was an armless jail bird.


The hall way between rooms is long and dark and I've never even considered taking their art down to hang something else.  I guess I should thank our company for planning a trip when they did.  If they wouldn't have been coming to vacation with us, the walls might still be empty, or worse yet, not have my memories hung to admire every day.

The frames below are made from inexpensive cove molding around the sheetrock. The cove was mitered and attached right on the wall after the sheet rock was hung. 

I see there is one paper mask among the others -  must of been a substitute teacher or low funds at school for that kid.


The paper mache masks have all fallen off the wall a time or two.  Not because my kids ran willy nilly down the hall wielding swords or throwing balls or anything like that of course. 

All the frames have a piece of plexiglass over them to preserve the artwork and that is what makes them look like a giant frame.  We used plexiglass instead of real glass for the same reason the masks may have fallen off the wall a time or two!  We had to protect the whole thing from any Superman, Spiderman, or Hulk that might pass by.

Yes my kids were allowed to run and play and at least the glass in these frames could never break!




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22 comments :

  1. this is such a fun idea and great way to condense!

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  2. I remember this post from before !
    It's the best kind of gallery wall ever, because it holds such great memories for you and Brawn and I bet the kids have fun looking at their old artwork.

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  3. I love this...you are a tenderhearted Mama, for sure. Those are a wonderful trip down memory lane...and you can take a trip everyday. Back to the toothless grins and grubby hands of long ago. You have the Keeping Wall. I heartily approve. Now I know what you keep, my friend. ;)

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  4. I love this idea, I had finished with the kiddy art but it's just started again. I tend to put it on the fridge until it eventually falls off and then gets lost or ruined...Bad Mum I know. I love your son had great aspirations of being a crim LOL

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  5. Such a great idea...if I had kids and artwork to display I would definitely be doing this.

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  6. This is the cutest wall are I have ever seen...of course it is, made with LOVE and no pressure LOL! I love it Bliss.

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  7. It's beautiful artwork and beautiful sentiment behind it!

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  8. What a wonderful post for someone who is just beginning to collect artwork. I love that you saved the originals and displayed them all together. What great memories to look at and reflect upon.

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  9. You have long hallways! This reminds me of a school hallway gallery. Love it!! I do love kids artwork and have a ton of it --it can get overwhelming but I try and 'curate' enough pieces and then exchange/circulate pieces to keep it fresh.

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  10. I love this idea! The clever masks are my favorite. :)

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  11. I love the purple bald clown pig. Will you make me one?? I also love the dog butt...mine seems to sneak into my pictures too. :P

    -andi

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  12. This post just makes me happy, Bliss...I love the jailbird! And the dog butt photobomb is pretty funny! Hope you have a great weekend!

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  13. This is great post, Bliss. Very creative way to save things that are treasures. Your children's art must bring back some great memories for you and it is a good to hold on to that. The dog butt photo is cute to me. Have a great weekend!!

    Cynthia

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  14. This is awesome!! I have so many art projects from my girls already that I can't seem to find it in me to throw away (& I am by no means a hoarder). And, that self portrait? Armless jailbird with an orange head.... Hmmm wonder what was going through that mind at that time :) Fun stuff Bliss.

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  15. I'm so impressed by this. All my kids artwork was saved in a box for them to take when they became adults. I must remember to ask if they still have it. This is great inspiration for me to do with my grandchildren. Thanks so much for sharing this!

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  16. Kids art is by far the best art in the world. Heart shaped heads and the importance of a belly button, if we could only continue to see the world through the eyes of a child, how much better it would be :)

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  17. It's a good thing you have wall space for all the little talented artists in your family! :)

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  18. What a fun way to display kids art! Colorful too!

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  19. This is so great! Little Mr. Junior has been coming home with beautiful artwork that so far is sitting in a pile. Yay for good ideas!

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  20. I LOVE this! We're just starting to collect art from Weston's preschool and it's already clear my house will be covered in these sheetrock collages in no time.

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  21. Fun, fun, fun...love it :)

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  22. If I didn't know better I would say that was a wall in a very uppity contemporary art studio. You are so creative and so are your kids. Those masks are adorable and fit perfectly among the collages. What a delightful wall.

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