What a masterpiece: 8 fresh ways to display your kids’ artwork in your home

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My 3-year-old is beaming as he hands me a scribbled-on piece of paper with stickers of his favorite cheeky train engine embellishing it. Clearly these illustrations represent the creative genius that is our little guy, but so did the five other art pieces that came before it today. We’re running out of fridge space with this constant flow of artistic works, so we’ve got to be picky about which masterpieces we feature and where we put them. Sorry, trains in a cloud of crayon, but you aren’t making the cut today.


To reduce the precious-artwork clutter, here are a few thoughtful ways to present the favorites and feel no shame when you toss the rest.

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1. Feature a weekly gallery

Can’t bring yourself to do a same-day throw-away? Have a designated spot on the fridge or the wall for rotating recent art. It will support your kids’ excitement for creating and give you time to zero in on the keepers before letting go of the rest. Grouping artwork on a piece of poster board streamlines the presentation for a cleaner look. It also allows you to group artwork by the individual child, so you can organize based on who did which project.

2. Sketch. Erase. Repeat.

A chalkboard wall makes a bold statement and is a fun way to showcase the work of the little artists you live with. Since it’s a temporary display, it’s exciting to observe the creations as they grow and change. The wall will be a revolving door to what’s most important to them that day or week.

Bonus: This doesn’t require much supervision or tons of craft supplies to get kids imaginatively creating.

A chalkboard wall display is something the whole family can contribute to. Plan a family night when you all create, design and play together on the wall. It will be a fun memory, and the work of art will be even more sentimental, because it’s a snapshot of your family during the season you’re in.

3. Commission them

Kids are naturally artistic. That wonder, innocence and adventure give them an uninhibited ability to make things without expectations and boundaries. Haven’t you been to a modern art museum and overheard or maybe thought, “That looks like something my kid could do?” Well, OK, let them. Buy a canvas, then let them do what they do best with that childlike creativity. Let them explore. The result will be a priceless treasure. Once it’s complete, treat it like you would any work of art by framing and hanging it.

4. Time-tested. Mother-approved.

Displaying kids’ art on a wire with clips is a simple and clean way to feature their talents. It’s a timeless look, and beautifully displays the art while reducing the clutter. The Dignitet wire curtain rod from Ikea is perfect for executing this display in a modern and crisp way.

5. Multipurpose art

A large roll of white paper and some paint can be used to make more than a poster for the wall. Let kids use it to make artistic coverings for notebooks or binders that your keep on your desk or bookshelf. It’s a playful way to give your bookshelf some personality and show off their artwork in a practical way.

Don’t be shy about providing direction for the colors that will be displayed on the spines of your books. Since you’re inviting the little ones to help with a decorating project in the home, it only makes sense that the colors complement the room’s aesthetic. Although the spine of every book will be colored or painted uniquely, the whole collection of books will look pulled together. Honestly, this is a great project even if you don’t have kids!

6. Add an element in a gallery wall

A gallery wall is an opportunity to show the depths of your style palette and a bit of your story. A curated art wall is personal, because it can contain anything from a piece discovered at the flea market to a photo of your great-grandma on her wedding day, to the splurge you made to remember that first trip abroad. Art from your little one is a precious addition in the mix of all these memories and treasures.

How to incorporate your child’s artwork into a gallery wall depends on your style. Selecting art in a similar color palette will create a cohesive and pulled-together look. For a gallery wall like the one shown, you’ll want varying sizes and orientations. Make a big statement about your kid’s creativity by making his or her work the larger, commanding piece that anchors the collection. Use one or multiple smaller pieces for variation on the wall. This personal touch will mean so much to you and your family.

7. Everything happens at the kitchen table

The kitchen table is the epicenter of so many of our most cherished moments in the house. Those four legs have supported hours of homework, never-ending board games, delicious and sometimes exhausting family meals, late-night talks and all of the coffee. It just makes sense to frame some of the artwork around the table as a signpost to what you cherish most. Select sleek matching frames and art in similar color palettes to keep the look fresh and warm.

8. Make a coffee table art book

When there is truly no more space for any more art, creating a coffee table book is a beautiful way to present your children’s creations when you’re ready to make room on the wall for new pieces. Scan the images into digital files and create a book on a site like Shutterfly. A book that is 12 by 12 inches or larger will feel like a true art book. Be sure to include dates and the age of your child on the cover, so when you look at the book years from now, you’ll know immediately what stage of life your little artist was in.

More from Houzz—

Do It All at a New Dining Table

The Most Affordable DIY Gallery Wall Project

Create a Vignette of Masterpieces on One of These Coffee Tables

Original article by Jessica Mayfield

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Jessica Simpson's life seems perfect. She has three beautiful kids, a wildly successful career, a seemingly solid marriage...she has it all, at least as far as we can see. But recent revelations prove that no one really knows what anyone else is secretly dealing with—and Jessica, by her own admission, has been struggling with alcohol issues.

The singer-turned-business-woman recently sat down with TODAY's Hoda Kotb, and it will air on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning.

"I had started a spiral and I couldn't catch up with myself…and that was with alcohol," Jessica explained. "I would say it openly to everyone. 'I know. I know, I'll stop soon. I'll cut back'," Jessica continued when asked if she realized things were getting out of control. "For me to cut back, like I'm an all or nothing girl, and so I didn't know it was a problem until it was...I completely didn't recognize myself…I always had a glitter cup. It was always filled to the rim with alcohol."

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She's hardly alone. The rise of #winemom phenomenon is well documented and many parents struggle with substance abuse problems. But Simpson's story proves there is a way to get your life back.

Simpson quit drinking in 2017 after she found herself unable to get her kids ready for a Halloween party. She says she'd started drinking before 7:30 in the morning, before accompanying her husband, Eric Johnson, to a school assembly for their oldest daughter. Later that night she was unable to get her kids dressed in their Halloween costumes. The next morning she was so ashamed. Feeling like she had failed her kids she slept until they left the house, then got up and drank some more.

That episode was her tipping point. She quit drinking (as did her husband, Eric Johnson, who supports her in her sobriety.)



As parents, we know how overwhelming the demands can be...and how easy it is to sink into habits that don't ultimately serve us well. For Jessica, the way to heal was to sever her relationship with alcohol.

"I had to give [drinking] up," Jessica said. "I'm not going to miss another day. I'm not going to miss another Halloween. I'm not going to miss another Christmas. I'm going to be present."

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Babies come with a lot of stuff. And when you're out and about, a roomy, comfy diaper bag is the place for everything you need to be prepared for whatever the day throws your way. But is a cute, trendy diaper bag that doesn't scream, well... DIAPER BAG, too much to ask? It's not, mamas.

We've rounded up our favorite diaper bags that don't actually look like diaper bags, but instead like the cute, super stylish bags you might have carried before the days of finding crushed up puffs at the bottom of your purse.

These bags prove you can get the job done, mama—and look darn good while doing it.

Freshly Picked City Pack

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Vogshow Waterproof Bag

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Are you off to sit on the beach for a few hours, or taking your toddlers to the zoo? No one will be the wiser, mamas. We love the quilted look, padded straps, and roomy interior.

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With a water resistant exterior, wet clothes pocket and a main compartment that completely opens up, you'll love having this to tote around.

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As stunning as it is functional. It has 15 pockets and a removable liner on the inside so you can easily clean up messes in no time.

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Frustrations and emotions were at an all time high for both us. I was worried that my lack of patience would get the best of me, leaving her feeling let down and frustrated with me on her new journey of becoming a “big girl." And selfishly, I was tired of washing wet underwear. For her part, my daughter was tired of being asked for the hundredth time if she needed to use the potty.

We both were feeling a little defeated in this new adventure.

I have found too often as a mother that I expect my child to respond new things, like to potty training, as fast and as close to the last blog post, book or opinion I heard or read. What I have learned is that no two children are alike and the moment I release my expectations for where mine should or should not be, we are both brought back to peace and patience.

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So maybe a break was all we needed to start fresh the next day. We headed to our favorite spot by the lake and had a picnic. My daughter munched on popcorn and chatted away about the weather and pinecones, and listened for the sounds of helicopters—which you hear quite often living on an aviation military base.

Sometimes in the daily struggles of motherhood I have noticed that I can forget who I am and the strength we possess as mothers. It may not come easily at first, but I grow with each new day. Even potty training—this mundane human activity that is emotional and (quite literally) messy, teaches me much about the meaning and purpose of motherhood.

Potty training has taught me a huge lesson on patience. Patience to be present, to pay attention to what is right in front of me. To be encouraging, to not rush the process, to not place expectations on timing or play the comparison game we often play as mothers.

Patience is needed in every area of parenting and potty training is just one way where we can see as parents where our patience is wearing thin.

I have found that it's when I come from a place of patience and presence that I can then glean wisdom from those messy, mundane, time-consuming tasks of potty training, and find that the waiting, sitting and hours of time spent in the bathroom gives me an opportunity to be present in my child's world.

Whether it be the grocery line, a traffic jam, or cleaning up wet bedding, I learn the art and joy in the small and big moments in motherhood. Giving our children space to fail and try it again as many times as it takes encourages them that they too can cultivate the gift of patience in there own tiny lives.

My daughter speaks to me everyday, inviting growth that sometimes feels really hard and frustrating, she provokes patience to be felt and sensed through every minute of the day. And for this I am grateful. Because to truly live and be present in my child's world means “I learn from her, and she learns from me." Even in potty training.

Our children have so much to offer to who we are as individuals and they have so much to teach us. In fact, I have come to live for these exhausting, beautiful, and downright messy moments in time. When I push myself to embrace them, rather than just find them frustrating, I stretch and grow and evolve. I become the mother I hope to be.

And to you mama, whether in the midst of sleepless newborn nights or toddler tornados or the midst of potty training, may you find strength as a mother, as a wife, and as a person to let go of any expectations or judgements you place upon yourself.

May love and gratitude fill our hearts and peace be with all of us on the journey that motherhood is.

Life
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