The design problem: Displaying your child’s art

An expert offers tips for showcasing a multitude of handmade treasures.

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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon
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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon
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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon
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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon
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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon
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Wish Craft

Photo: Megan Carreon

Over the years, your kids gift you with countless presents of precious paintings, pottery and crafts. But what are you supposed to do with umpteen custom-painted piggy banks, watercolor portraits and brownish ashtrays/candy bowls/jewelry holders? Candice Blansett-Cummins, owner of Wishcraft (2312 W Roscoe St, 773-348-9474), a workshop for wee artists, shared some tips for displaying mini masterpieces without having them take over your stylish abode:

1. Attach a ledge that’s a couple of inches wide to a wall for pottery and other 3-D art. “This is an awesome way to elevate the projects to ‘fine’ art,” Blansett-Cummins says. Another option: Smaller crafts can be displayed in glassware, like hurricane vases.

2. Make a frame shape on a wall with patterned duct tape and use ticky-tacky to affix art inside and swap in new art when it comes home. If there’s so much stuff that even regularly rotating in new pieces doesn’t put a dent in Junior’s inventory, it’s time to pare down. “Keep one piece from every developmental milestone ” Blansett-Cummins says. (The handprint stage, the stick figure stage, etc.)

3. Hang some twine, wire or fishing line between two hooks and clip on paintings, drawings and more with clothespins for a dangling art display. Showcasing kids’ art in a playroom or family room—a casual space that gets lots of foot traffic—tells them their work is important. (And won’t clash with your pricey art.)

5. Designate one wall in a playroom or bedroom for your child’s “gallery” and paint it a different color than the rest of the room. “Let them curate their art collection and display with no rules from you,” Blansett-Cummins says.

6. Use poster tubes to store additional art. Ask your kids to help you label each tube so they know how much you value their work (even when it’s out of sight). Write a note on the back to help you both remember their significance.

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