Using dynamicFRAMES for children’s artwork

Parents often write to me and ask how they can organize their children’s artwork so that it doesn’t overwhelm every vertical surface in their homes. I usually suggest purchasing an art gallery system and rotating works through the frames.

I like this idea because it helps to honor the child’s work, grows with your child, frames can be reconfigured on a whim without having to patch holes, and it gets clutter off the refrigerator door (especially convenient for those of us with non-magnetic refrigerator doors).

My friend Elaine, who also has an art gallery system, has made the child’s artwork organizing process one-step easier by using dynamicFRAMES:

The front frame and glass swing open on hinges so you don’t have to take the frame off the wall to insert the new artwork. If the frame has a mat, it is attached to the front glass. Inside the frames are slots for your child’s artwork or photographs, so you don’t have to worry about mounting or properly centering the images. Simply close the front frame and glass when you’re finished. Each frame will hold up to 50 photographs or pieces of artwork.

At the end of the school year, you can go through all of the pieces of artwork with your child and decide which one will be on permanent display in the gallery as the representative piece for that school year. You can photograph the rest, and dispose of the originals.

All frame configurations available through dynamicFRAMES and two are available through Amazon [Medium ($25) and Large ($35)].

15 Comments for “Using dynamicFRAMES for children’s artwork”

  1. posted by Annette on

    I like this idea, but aren’t we just pushing the clutter to a future day by having to go through 50 pieces of paper at the end of the year?

  2. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Annette — I think it’s a good idea for your child to be able to make decisions about which one piece to keep at the end of the year. Remember that clutter is “any distraction that gets in the way of a remarkable life.” I don’t think storing your child’s artwork in an organized way for a few months is much of a distraction, and the process of letting your child make the decision actually helps to teach the all-important decision-making skill that is key to a remarkable life for your child. (Research shows decision-making is a key component of keeping clutter at bay as an adult.) If you’re really worried about it, do the evaluation at the semester instead of the end of the year. That way, you probably wouldn’t be storing more than 20 or so pieces of artwork.

  3. posted by Kelly on

    I’m an artist and love to hang my own art on the walls. Unfortunately, I paint a LOT more than I sell, so being able to store my 9×12 watercolor paintings in these nifty frames and rotate the displays would keep me more organized and less cluttered. I suppose my next project should be figuring out how to sell more paintings! 🙂

  4. posted by Fazal Majid on

    I would recommend scanning or photographing the artwork and displaying it in a digital photo frame or computer screensaver. The originals themselves can go into portfolio sleeve.

  5. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Fazal — The only problem with your suggestion is that digital frames require power, and power cords are not great with young kids. Plus, they waste energy, when no energy is necessary to use a regular frame. I like the idea of a computer screensaver, though, especially for 4th grade and higher.

  6. posted by Jai on

    We have painted a wall with magnetic paint. We covered the magnetic paint with the color we wanted. Now, we can put up the latest art, along with family photos or anything else. It does take very strong magnets, which you can find in nice tiny sizes that don’t detract from the art.

  7. posted by Shalin on

    Very clever – I was about to do of this, I may buy it and use my DIY time on something else…

  8. posted by Jason on

    Most non-magnetic refrigerator doors are actually magnetic but the steel is buried far enough beneath the surface that standard magnets won’t stick. I understand the desire for a clean refrigerator front but for anyone who wants to stick something to these, I like having just a thin sheet of acrylic I use as a wet erase board for grocery lists and notes to my roommates, rare-earth magnets will usually stick regardless of the facing material of the door.

  9. posted by Jane on

    I love this idea! Unfortunately, it hasn’t made its way over the pond to England. I probably wouldn’t use it as intended though; the frames would have to be mounted no higher than three feet from the floor for me to be able to reach them!

    But the idea of swapping photos/artwork easily really appeals to me.

  10. posted by Suzie Bee on

    Another way to limit artwork spread is to designate a single space – you can keep as much as will fit on one particular corkboard, or on the fridge, but if something won’t fit then either it goes or something else goes to make space for it.

  11. posted by Dawn F. on

    I took a picture of each of my son’s preschool and Sunday School color pages, crafts and projects – and then organized those pictures at Snapfish and made a photo book. We now have a wonderful book full of 2 year’s worth of his treasures. 🙂 You could make duplicate books for grandparents, too!

  12. posted by Elaine on

    Thanks for the amazon links!

  13. posted by chacha1 on

    I like the dynamic frames. They’d be a great gift for an art teacher, too … for a rotating gallery in the classroom.

  14. posted by Thrift Store Mama on

    Great idea on the frames. Children really like to see their work displayed!

    Like Dawn, I also take photos of my kid’s artwork (and throw away the original) but wasn’t sure what to do with the photos. A small photobook for the child is a great idea, too.

  15. posted by Alice on

    These are a brilliant idea! Sadly the only similar thing I can find in the UK are these ugly silver ‘clip’ frames – do you have any ideas on where I might be able to find or commission something like these but in UK sizes?

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