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Garage Gallery

My mode of preserving, distributing, and displaying my children’s artwork seemed to work fine until my oldest, Henry, asked me why his pictures couldn’t be hung on the walls like the artwork in the living room and front hall. I couldn’t tell him his four-headed monster and stick-figure superheroes just didn’t fit my style or décor, so instead I promised to find a way to show off his creations beyond the confines of the kitchen.

I thought about buying cheap frames and hanging the kids’ artwork in their bedrooms, but with all their pictures, it would cost a fortune and put more holes in the walls than I was comfortable with. Luckily, while hauling a bag of trash to the garage one afternoon, I looked up at the blank walls and realized it was a gallery waiting to be filled with art.

The following Saturday I enlisted the help of my husband and kids in gathering supplies – paint, rollers, brushes, drop cloths, pushpins, and rectangular border stencils of various sizes.

First we covered the walls in a light base color (getting cans of “oops” paint that others had returned to the hardware store made it really affordable). After that dried, the kids went to work picking out their favorite drawings to be displayed while my husband and I painted frames on the walls using a darker paint and the rectangle stencils. Wanting to mix it up a bit, we freehanded some of the painted frames and even added our own art to the walls with stars, curlicues, and other simple embellishments.

By the time our kids decided on which of their artwork to hang, the garage walls were covered in empty frames waiting to be filled. We pinned up the 4-headed monster drawings, the stick-figure superheroes, the flowers and sunrises, the kitties and the turtles. Our boring garage had become an art gallery, and the kids’ art was properly displayed—frames and all.

Some of our neighbors have copied the idea on one or two walls in their garage, mudroom, or laundry room.

As more masterpieces come my way, we take down the older drawings to make way for the new, keeping our art gallery fresh and the kids proud of their creations.

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