One of My Favorite Ways to Display Artwork and Pictures

posted by Andrea | 06/14/2017
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One of the questions I get most often (outside of clothes clutter questions) is how I display kid’s artwork and snapshot photos.

Both types of paper clutter seem to multiply quickly — and they both fall under the “emotional clutter” category, so they are often difficult to purge!

Over the years, I’ve personally tried many different ways to display photos and artwork, but time and time again, I always end up reverting back to my most favorite (super simple) way…

Magnetic boards!

I love how simple and easy it is to add something new, remove something old, move things around for a different look, etc. etc.

Plus, it’s SO easy for kids to hang up their own artwork or photos (which means one less thing I’m required to do!)

We’ve always had several smaller magnetic boards in various places in our home — specifically on the refrigerator for the kid’s play kitchen and a on one wall of their play area under the stairs.

The kids love both of these magnetic areas — and so do I!

Recently, I added two more, much larger magnetic areas to our home… one in my office, and one in our kitchen.

Both magnetic areas are roughly 2 ft. x 6 ft. and offer SO much display surface for our kids’ favorite pieces of art and for all the “gifts” they want me to hang by my computer. 🙂

Where did I get the metal?

I’ve looked at hardware stores, craft stores, Amazon, and more — but the only place I’ve had good luck finding the specific sizes of metal I need for my various projects is to call up our local heating and cooling company and order the specific sizes of sheet metal. I also asked them to “crimp” the edges a quarter of an inch so they aren’t sharp (that stuff is SOOOOOO sharp!)

Their office is just down the road from our house, so I can easily stop by and pick up my order. However, this past time, the 6 ft. pieces were so big that the company simply delivered them when they came out to add another heat duct to a bedroom upstairs.

I use heavy-duty 2-sided mounting tape to hang the metal on the wall… the whole process usually takes me less than 10 minutes.

I realize it might look a little cluttered to some of you, and you’re right, it IS a little cluttered. However, it’s such a simple, easy, practical system for our family right now that I’m willing to put up with a little bit of clutter.

The kids know that once the magnetic boards are filled up, it’s time to purge. Although they don’t love tossing their beloved art projects or pictures, it’s always fun to make room for new pieces, so they willingly purge on a regular basis to keep the magnetic boards from getting too full.

What about magnetic paint?

Honestly, I’ve tried this stuff a few times with ZERO luck. I’ve stirred and stirred and stirred, painted several thin coats, and not even our strongest magnets stick to it.

NOTE: If you have successfully used a specific brand of magnetic paint, let me know in the comments!

Plus the paint seems more “permanent” to me (it’s really hard to paint over black magnetic paint). I like that if we ever wanted to remove our magnetic boards, we can just scrape it off with a putty knife and use a little goo-gone to clean up the sticky residue.

What about your refrigerator?

Ironically, I do NOT like stuff on my refrigerator (at least not the front!) Plus, we wanted a stainless steel fridge and true stainless steel is not magnetic.

Previously, we used poster putty to stick drawings and artwork to the side of the fridge, but apparently my children go crazy with poster putty and it always ends up in the carpet 🙂

I REALLY love how the magnetic board looks on the side of the cabinet surrounding our refrigerator. It seems more custom to me!

What’s my next magnetic project?

Last week, I found three 18″ x 24″ solid wood, matching frames for $1 each at our local thrift store. They are amazing — and will look so great painted. I’m planning to paint one for each kid and already have sheets of metal cut to go inside the frames. Then they’ll each have their own little space for a few pictures or art projects (the perfect addition to their “new” bedrooms).

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Of course, there are many other ways to display artwork and pictures (here are a few more of my ideas), but they all require ME to hang the new drawings and pictures up.

When I use magnetic boards placed low enough that my kids can easily reach them, they can do it all themselves — and they get so much satisfaction from that!

What are YOUR favorite ways to display artwork and photos?

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13 comments

  1. Kristen

    06/17/2017

    Can you show a pic of the crimped edged?? Can’t visualize, but would love this for my older daughters room!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I don’t have pictures right now — but it’s literally just folding the edge over 1/4 of an inch. You wouldn’t be able to do this by hand — you’d need a machine to do it. It’s nice and smooth this way.

    [Reply]

  2. Lori

    06/15/2017

    Hi, I love reading your blog! I have used oil pans, I purchased them at Walmart in the automotive section. They are 4″L x 25″W x 0.5″H. They aren’t that heavy so they are easy to hang with command strips. The have a lip so there are no sharp edges. I also painted them with chalkboard paint, so they can draw on them or hang their pictures or artwork on it. I think they were like 8 dollars or something. My 2 younger boys have them in their rooms. I also have one in my Kitchen that we use as a command center of sorts.

    Have a happy summer!

    Lori

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    ah yes — I’ve heard of people using the oil pans too. Thanks for the reminder!

    [Reply]

  3. Katie

    06/15/2017

    A friend of mine made me a custom size chicken wire frame that I have hanging in our kitchen. I use the mini clothes pins to hang the kids’ artwork and a few current photos. Sometimes I hang seasonal crafts on the closet door in our front hallway. I use the blue painter’s tape and then it doesn’t damage the paint.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yeah, we have a huge chicken wire frame holding lots of pictures above our bed. I love it!

    [Reply]

  4. Tami F

    06/14/2017

    Our favorite way is cookie sheets. I buy them from the Dollar store. My husband puts a hole in one end and I hang them on a nail, bottom side out. My little one can change as needed. I have one hanging next to my stove and hang up my recipes while I’m cooking. We’ve made a cookie sheet collage in another room and all our random photos hang up there.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    my cousin does this too — she spray paints the cookie sheets though and it looks really cute 🙂

    [Reply]

  5. Karen

    06/14/2017

    I love it! It matches your farmhouse decor as well!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks! Yes, the “industrial” feel sort of seems to fit right in with all the rustic farmhouse stuff!

    [Reply]

  6. Shelly Smith

    06/14/2017

    I agree about the magnetic paint… it never worked for me either! Do you mind if I ask how much the large pieces of sheet metal cost? (Like the one on the side of your fridge)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    They were around $30 each — including the “labor” fee to crimp the edges The smaller ones were only $5-10 — but I do think I got a better deal on these because everything was cut at the same time out of one 4 ft. x 8 ft piece of metal. Plus, we’ve done LOTS of business with this company over the years so I’m not sure if they gave me any type of discount.

    [Reply]

  7. Ann

    06/14/2017

    I agree about magnetic paint! Too expensive & it didn’t work well 4 me!

    [Reply]