Loose-leaf Masterpiece

Turn your child’s imaginative doodles into an eye-catching display.
Amy Bickers Mercer

Don’t let art dealers fool you. Original artwork is everywhere, and you don’t have to be a tycoon to own it! If you have children, you probably have pictures stored in boxes, notebooks, and folders. They’re tacked to bulletin boards and hanging on the refrigerator. Give those masterpieces well-deserved gallery treatment. Walker Trumbo-Smith’s fanciful creatures come to life on the walls of his parents’ Fayetteville, Arkansas, family room.

Step 1: Unleash your young artist. Ask your child to choose his or her favorite drawings or to create something new. Keep it simple. Walker’s little monsters were drawn on loose-leaf paper with pencil and crayons.

Step 2: Supersize it! Family friend and designer Kimberly Harper took the paper to a copy center and enlarged each character. We love how you can still see the lines from the loose-leaf paper.

Step 3: Mat it. It doesn’t matter what it is, everything looks more important surrounded by a mat. Follow Kimberly’s lead and use a paint marker to add a freehand embellishment.

Step 4: Frame it. Kimberly cut out Walker’s characters so she could frame them individually and create a triptych effect. Grouping frames gives even the smallest illustrations big impact.

Bonus: Get a glimpse into your child’s mind by asking him or her to tell you about the artwork. Just imagine the stories you will hear.

Online Find
Archive your child’s precious art collection on the Web at www.artsonia.com. Billing itself as “the world’s largest art museum,” Artsonia allows art teachers and parents to scan in original artwork. Images are stored under a child’s screen name (no last names are used) and organized by school. The art can be used to personalize notebooks, T-shirts, mugs, ceramic tiles, cutting boards, and more. Invite friends and family to join your child’s fan club (I’m a huge fan of Kate248), and they’ll get e-mail notices when new artwork is posted.