The end-of-school ritual has begun. My kids stumble into the house after school each day with armloads of bags overflowing with "stuff" that was crammed in the bottom of their desks and lockers the past nine months. Artwork, poetry and spelling tests are stashed haphazardly between crayon stubs, dried-out markers, a never-opened box of colored pencils and odds and ends of classroom projects the teachers want to get rid of.
We sort, toss and save. Then we make room for art. Here are my favorite ways to make a house of kids' art:- Create an attractive frame for "quick-change" art. Center a drawing or painting behind an inexpensive precut mat board (available at craft and discount stores). Clip the art and matting together at the top with two colorful spring clips. Set the matted art on a plate rack for displaying on a mantel, coffee table or bookcase. The picture may be easily removed when a new drawing takes its place.
- Color-copy original art at your local copy store for about $2. The art can be reduced or enlarged for framing. Use extra prints for stationery and gift wrap, or ask to have a few laminated for making one-of-a-kind place mats.
- Make a family gallery. Collect bargain-priced frames in all shapes, sizes and styles at garage sales. Large poster frames are perfect for kindergarten easel paintings. Look for a fancy gilded frame for a special drawing. Once the frames are dusted and cleaned, mount the art and arrange on one wall for an eye-catching gallery. If you don't have the space, make a mini exhibit of unframed art on a bulletin board. Or, for a quick splash of color in your child's room, hang a clothesline from one corner to another. Clip artwork, mobiles, awards, etc., to the rope with colorful clothespins.