DIY Kid Art Gallery | Use Shadow Boxes to Display Kids’ Artwork


There are a million and one ideas out there on creatively displaying, saving and memorializing kids’ artwork. Bottom line: it’s impossible to preserve every last preschool glitter project or finger-painted masterpiece. Here’s just one idea I stole got from a friend and used for our family.

The Problem:

The preschooler in our house is constantly presenting her daddy with artwork (some more attractive than others) that she wants him to “take to work and hang in his office to show his clients.” And the truth is, he does meet with clients frequently and has created a beautiful office space with lots of photos of the kids. Preschool artwork isn’t out of the question – it just needs to be tactfully displayed.

The Solution:

Shadow box frames on the wall that open from the front and use straight pins to elegantly display the latest masterpiece. Once they are hung on the wall of his office, my husband will never have to take them down – just open the hinged frame door and replace the artwork whenever he wants to!


Do It Yourself:

  1. Purchase front-opening shadow boxes (also called ‘collectible cases’). I got mine at Michael’s on sale for $9.99 each. I know my friend got hers at Target. I chose a pretty brown woodgrain look to complement my husband’s office decor. Make sure they have wall-hanging hardware already attached if you plan on hanging them.
  2. Select your artwork. I took a large painting that both kids had worked on and cut it down into two equal sized sections – one for each frame. The shadow boxes allow for plenty of 3D depth, so all those macaroni noodles and crafty puff-balls will fit just fine.
  3. Use the straight pins to secure the artwork in place. I liked the look of the linen mat a the back of the frame so I cut the pieces small enough to show that. Seriously, this is the best part of this project – the pins make it as easy as hanging something on a fridge or cork board – no matting, taping or glass-removing…just pin it up!
  4. Add a caption or your child’s name and the date. My style is more “Sharpie pen and a piece of scratch paper”, but you could do something more creative too.
  5. Hang on the wall and admire!

My friend uses this idea to display holiday-themed kid art in her playroom (this time of year they display Easter crafts from preschool and Sunday school, for example, and just a few weeks ago they were St. Patrick’s Day themed). For my husband’s office we chose two shadow box frames, but you could arrange more in a gallery style to show off even more kid art. The key to this project is how EASY it is to swap out the artwork (if it weren’t you can bet that I would never get around to changing them out).

What stylish and easy ways have you found to display your kids’ artwork?