How to organize kids artwork and school work / papers during your kids’ creative years
I called this “The Motherboard” for many reasons. First, I was going crazy with all of the forms/papers/artwork that seemed to have barfed all over my fridge. I needed a place to put them that was organized AND decorative – I needed a “control center“.
Another reason why it is called “The Motherboard” is because all of the papers on it relate to my mothering requirements. Whether it’s permission forms for swim lessons, scholastic book orders, beautiful crayon artwork or a cute snapshot – this board will display it all AND look damn good at the same time!
(and I apologize for the less than stellar photography, this was before I got my kick-butt camera and learned how to use it!)
Step 1 – Find the perfect frame. Easier said than done. I wanted a humongous frame – something with some personality and visual interest. After many afternoons scouring thriftstores and online sites I found it at the Recycle Depot. IT IS AMAZING in it’s 5′ X 4′ glory! It had an interesting floral painting in it which was actually quite beautiful and tragic at the same time – so out it came and it was donated back to the Recycle Depot (like I’ve said before, it’s kind of a cycle).
Step 2 – Spend 2 hrs removing the staples that hold the artwork in. There were approximately 118 staples (and yes I did count). The frame is really skookum so the staples were really well settled. A flat headed screwdriver, needle-nose pliers and a glass of Bailey’s on ice did the trick.
Step 3 – Make sure I don’t drop any staples in the carpet for Tim to inevitably step on and curse me for.
Step 4 – Hang the frame on the wall where I want it to be. Once I did that, I took a pencil and traced around the inside edge. This line would provide me the framework to apply my background. Once I took the frame off the wall I knew I had to paint 2″ outside that line all the way around so that I couldn’t see any wall peeking out.
Step 5 – I bought Magnetic Paint from Home Hardware. This is essentially a grey/black primer like product that you apply as a base coat so that you can paint the colour you like over top of it. It is super thick and it really sprays when you paint it, so make sure to use drop cloths (I now have black freckles). It also smells worse than Tim’s hockey gear.
I applied 3 coats – as per the instructions and well, I’m finding it a little lacking in the “hold” category. I mean it does hold magnets with a paper underneath them, but I walked by it creating a bit of a breeze (not due to gas) and 3 of them blew off. I googled this problem and it seems like I am not the only one finding it kind of pathetic for holding things on the wall.
So, while the magnetic paint sucks, the black colour of it actually looks pretty cool. I’m going to leave it this way for now and when I get bored (so like tomorrow) I will paint the background a colour or maybe apply WALLPAPER!!!! LORD knows I have enough random gallons of paint tucked away that I can choose virtually any colour under the rainbow.
Now I figured if I’m going to be anally organized I may as well really nail it, so here’s my layout….
- Top Row: The girls schoolwork – spelling tests, worksheets and all that kind of jazz
- Middle Row: School forms to be returned, upcoming events, fun stuff to do
- Bottom Row: The girls’ artwork. This is for limited edition pieces as we have our large artwork board down in the playroom for the everyday pieces.
Supplies and Cost
- Frickin’ cool frame – $25 – Recycle Depot
- Magnetic Paint and roller – $30 – Home Hardware
- Sorting Baskets – $20 – Home Sense
- Clipboards – $8 – Thrift Stores (still need to find 1 more)
Total Cost: $83
So there you have it, my sanity – safe and sound…for now.