Saturday, January 5, 2013

Display Kids Art with Clothes Pins in Old Frames

This is a common and decorative way to rotate art on your kids walls with some easy-to-come-by materials:

-Jewelry Wire
-2 Thumb Tacks or nails about the same size
-A hammer 
-2 clothes Pins
-Standard sheet of paper that your child draws or paints art on
-A picture frame without glass or a backing.  Make sure the frames are at least several inches larger than the standard sized paper that your child is drawing or painting on.  I like the look of old frames that you can find at yard sales or thrift shops.
-Jewelry pliers (Diagonal cutting jewelry pliers work well, if you need to buy some)

Step One: Center the paper within the bare frame on your work surface.  Have the frame faced down.  Get your paper and add 2 clothes pins to the top of the paper and lay it down inside of the frame to figure out how much space you will need to give (so that the clothes pins are also within the frame).  
Step 2:Take a yardstick and line it across the mouth of each clothes pin to figure out where the wire will need to be stretched.  Make your pencil marks where the yardstick lays across the back of the frame, making sure that everything is even.
Step 3: Cut a piece of jewelry wire with the pliers after stretching the wire across the frame where you made your marks.  Be sure to leave at least an inch of extra wire hung off the sides of the frame on either end.  
Step 4: Twist the excess amount of wire from one end around a thumb tack about 2 times, and then twist the excess wire around the loose wire like in the photo below.  (You will repeat this step on the other side of the wire, but first do Step 5...).

Step 5: Press the thumb tack in the center of one of your pencil markings.  If the wood is firm, you may have to use the hammer to get the tack in.  Of course, you can always use small nails if the tacks just won't do the job.  Pull the wire across to the other side and repeat Step 4.  Make sure your wire is tight enough for the art to hang on it.  You may have to twist more wire around the thumb tack to tighten it.

Step 6: Hang the frame on the wall like you would a picture frame.  You may need to use the ruler to add some nail holes if you just want to hang the frame off of two nails.  In my case, I had a cinder block wall to work with, so I added more jewelry wire with tacks to hang it from a ceiling beam.

I added several of these random frames on the walls of my art studio where I teach art to children ages 2-6.  I rotate the work, and I also started hanging them to dry by pinning a ruler to the bottom of the art with extra clothes pins.  To get a visual on what I mean by this, check out my post from my artist blog here:
Drying Watercolor Paintings on Display

Thanks so much for your support by checking out my blog!  I hope you learned something practical and simple!

~Angelique Buman

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