Thursday, March 1, 2012

Children's Art Displays - Part 1: Creating a DIY Collage

Art is something I always want to encourage in my kids. It is an amazing way for them to express their emotions, creativity and develop fine motor skills. That being said, I have to admit that I was once the mama who filed a lot of the kids art under "R" for "Recycle Bin" before ever leaving the pre-school premises.

Part of the reason for my 'recycling' effort was just the sheer amount of artwork they created. While some of them were true masterpieces, others were what I would call 'rough drafts'. Living in a small bungalow, we just don't have room to keep it all and I hadn't yet figured out a system for displaying/keeping the best pieces. That set me on the search for the ultimate art solutions.

The Art Collage:

Image: OhDeeDoh

This amazing collage above was made by Jan Eleni and has been featured on several design shows. She takes you children's artwork, scans it and creates these amazing collages. The price tag however is pretty steep. It wouldn't be hard to make one of your own though. 


  • artwork
  • scanner/printer
  • photo editing software (Photoshop or other)
  • Frame


I would suggest starting with a size that you can actually print at home such as an 8.5 x 11. Scan each piece of artwork onto the computer.

Use your photo editing software to create a multi-picture layout. In Photoshop I selected "create" then 'photo layout' from the navigation bar at the top. That gave me the screen below.

From there I was able to drag my pictures that I had scanned one by one into the spaces laid out in the program. Because I had chosen to use their grid layout I didn't even need to size or space out the artwork, the program did it all for me.  

Now it is time to print the collage. I found that it looked much better when printed on photo paper.

All that is left is to frame your masterpiece!

Here is what mine turned out like.

Another program I have used that is free and downloadable from the internet is Picasa. It has a collage feature that makes this process just as easy so don't worry if you don't have Photoshop. Once you are comfortable with the process you can choose a poster size layout and have it printed at a copy shop. 

Here is a sample of the collage using Picasa to do it. (I literally spent about 4 minutes on this)

The results of a little scanning will astound you and make those pint-sized artists proud! Imagine doing one a year and grouping them together in a family room or playroom. What a tribute to your little artist!

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