Are you looking for a fun and creative way to display your child’s artwork without cluttering up the fridge? If so, you’ve come to right place. Let me show you how I easily created a large DIY kids art display wall.
A couple of years ago, when we were living in our previous home, our daughter (a toddler at the time) started to enjoy creating art. At home, it was mostly stickers and scribbling, but after starting preschool, she began bringing more guided artwork pieces home. I’ve never been a big fan of hanging things all over the fridge, so I decided to create a little display piece for her.
I turned an 18″ x 24″ frame into a little kids art display piece and hung it in our family room. Click here to see how I did it. It was great because I could easily change out the artwork when she brought new stuff home, and it was in a main living space where we could all enjoy it.
When we moved into our new house last summer, I didn’t really have a good place for the art display in any of the main living areas. So, it ended up being hung in the basement. I was never really thrilled with this, though. I wanted a more prominent display, especially since my daughter has become more and more obsessed with art over the past year or so.
A number of months ago, around the holidays, my husband had a brilliant idea. I’m not sure how it came up, but he said that we should turn the hallway wall outside of the kid’s bedrooms into a gallery for them. I realized that this was absolutely the perfect spot to display their artwork.
The second level of our home has only two bedrooms that are connected by a bathroom. So, it’s totally the kid’s space up there. There is a long hallway that leads down to their bedrooms, and the hallway is open to the main living room below it. So, I had 1) a large blank wall to work with, and 2) a space that was visible enough to be seen by everyone. Win-win!
Here’s the low down on how I created a large kids art display wall.
- 3 pieces of crown molding (or trim piece of choice)
- Paint Brush
- Miter Saw
- Tape Measure
- Nail Gun
- 2 wall mount wire display kits
Step 1 –
Measure your space and decide how large you want your frame to be. You will need this information in order to know how much trim to buy. We decided to make our frame 7′ wide by 3.5′ tall.
After deciding on size, I went to the trim aisle in Lowe’s and simply picked out what I liked the best. (Super technical process here. 😉 ) The pieces that I chose are technically crown molding pieces, but I liked the detail on them. At 8′ per piece, we needed 3 of them for the project.
Step 2 –
Cut the pieces to size.
Measure the pieces and mark where they need to be cut. Using a miter saw, cut a 45 degree angle inward on the end of each piece.
So, the ends of each piece should be angled inward, in order to create a frame. (And yes, I was doing this in heeled boots. Probably not recommended, but hey, what are you going to do?)
Step 3 –
Once all of the pieces have been cut, you will want to paint them. We chose trim pieces that were already primed. And since we were painting them white, it only took one coat. When painting wood, we always use Sherwin Williams Pro-Classic paint. For this particular project, we went with a latex based paint. It’s easier to work with and dries much faster.
Step 4 –
Measure and mark where you want the frame to go on the wall and start nailing.
We started with the top piece. We got it centered on the wall and at the height that we wanted. Make sure you use a level to ensure that it is straight before you start nailing!
Once it’s level, use a nail gun to start nailing it to the wall. You will want to put the nails into the thickest part of the wood to avoid any splitting. I didn’t measure where the nails went, I just tried to space them fairly evenly.
Step 5 –
Add the rest of the pieces of the frame in the same manner.
When adding the next piece on, you will want to continue to use your level, instead of simply matching the corners up. The corners may not line up 100% flush. So, it is important to make sure each individual piece is straight on the wall.
Continue adding until the frame is finished.
Step 6 –
Measure and drill for the display wires.
This past Thanksgiving, we had dinner at a friend’s house. They had a display wire strung with their kid’s artwork hanging in their kitchen. I loved the idea and look of it. Fortunately, it wasn’t hard to track down something similar on Amazon. The one that I purchased is actually marketed as an art projects display wire, but it is essentially just drapery hardware.
We made our display large enough to hang two wires on top of one another. I don’t have a specific process for how I measured these. I simply tried to leave enough room beneath each wire for a fairly large piece of artwork and placed the hardware a few inches inside the frame to give the wires a more centered look.
Once I measured and marked for the hardware, it was time to drill them into the wall.
We had an excited little helper for this part – drill and all. 🙂
Step 7 –
Add display wires according to directions.
We simply followed the directions on the packaging, and we were finished!
The great thing about this display is that it is so easy to change out the artwork. I frequently switch out the displayed pieces, and my five year old often has opinions about what she wants to hang up there.
Here is a closer look at the hooks.
And here’s how it looks from the living room below. It fills up the wall so well and has drawn comments from numerous guests.
What do you think of my kids art display wall? Would your kids enjoy something like this?
Be sure to check out my previous post 12 Must Have Tools for Beginner DIYers. It has all of the tools necessary to get you started doing DIY projects just like this.