What To Do With All Your Kid’s Art

by Gillian

My daughter comes home from school every day with at least one new “masterpiece” and like any good mom I ooh and aah over how magnificent it is.  Some of the pieces I have framed gallery style in my hallway outside her bedroom, and most just get stuffed into a box which is currently overflowing. I can’t bring myself to throw it out but I also don’t have the space to store every single thing she makes.

Several months ago I was watching HGTV and I saw an artist named Jan Eleni who makes these incredible collages with your child’s work. You send her the originals, she shrinks the image down and then hand cut and mounts 112 images in a 60 x 40 frame, and sends your originals back with the completed product.  I think the end result looks incredible and modern and would look great in any room, not just in the kitchen or hall.

The problem is that commissioning a piece like this is very costly. I have been trying to think of ways I can recreate this for a fraction of the price. So I have started photographing all the drawings, paintings & collages that my daughter brings home and uploading them to an “art” file on my computer. When I have enough images my plan is to create a poster collage using an online photo sharing site and then purchase a ready-made frame for it. While each individual image won’t be a 3D cutout (which I think is an amazing effect) I think the overall feel of my homemade piece will be quite similar and at a much better price.

If you don’t have the wall space for a larger piece of art like this you could always use fewer images and a smaller frame, or you could create a photo book with all the scanned or photographed images. My daughter would LOVE to have a book of her very own artwork. Plus you could create one book per child per year and I’m sure it would be something they would cherish forever.

3 Comments to “What To Do With All Your Kid’s Art”

  1. Hi, I made a jan eleni inspired collage of my husbands children artwork 🙂 It was a Christmas present for his mum, she was so excited 🙂 and me too :-))) How I made it: I scanned all his pictures (most of them A4 or A3 size) on a high quality scanner, then edited them in photoshop. At first I wanted to have it all printed in a big poster, just like you are planning. But then I thought without the 3D effect, it would not be “it”. So I decided to print each picture in a business card size and then I sticked them one by on a on a thick paper (I made a grid). And then I had it framed. Original jan eleni collage of this size costs up to 3800USD, mine was about 100EUR. But it was very time consuming – scanning and editing pictured took me almost 3 monts (I was slowly working on it in the evenings…). However, it was worth all the effort! 🙂 I have just made another one – for my husband´s father – in black frame, it looks very nice too, I think it is more “masculine”. I am going to make one more – to have in our home. The advantage of this is that we have all the childhood artwork digitalised, in case the originals get lost etc. Here is my collage: http://pinterest.com/pin/173318285629743949/

    • Hi Adriana,
      I just saw your piece on pinterest. It’s fantastic!!! I agree that it is definitely a time consuming project but I’m sure it’s something you will treasure forever.

  2. just to add… I think 100EUR means it is a pretty costly DIY project. But, it looks so great, it is literally a piece of art (we have it framed with glass…). So fot me, it definately is worth the money 😉

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