Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Super easy kids Art Display!

Recently my husband got a wild idea to build a shed. And.. build a shed he did! He had the shed of all man sheds built in the back yard! He says it is his "cigar bar".. or something. He sold me on the idea because it meant that we would be able to move the stuff in the office out to his shed, therefore giving us a playroom! Yippee!! After a couple of weekends, I was finally able to start moving toys and shelves into the playroom. I also had to figure out how to decorate. We had one big wall and I decided that it would be awesome to be able to display the kids' art there! After some thinking I came up with the idea of screwing in strips of wood and attaching clothespins to them. It is hard to say how long this actually took me since it is nearly impossible to do anything for very long with two kids under 3! But, it is easily a project that can be done in an afternoon! :)

Supplies needed:
2 1"x2"x6' pieces of lumber

Wooden clothes pins

Spray paint

Wooden shapes
Tools needed:

2" wood screws

Electric screwdriver

Glue gun
And now, on to the project!!

Go to your local hardware store to pick up your lumber. I suggest bringing a cute helper with you! Mine took her job VERY seriously! :) We went to the blue store, but you could always go to the orange store too! I got the 1"x2"x6' pieces for less than $3 each. The ones I chose were nicely finished and very smooth. No sanding or priming was necessary!

*insert picture of me spray painting the boards and then setting them out to dry*
I did this while the kids napped and ended up leaving them overnight. They would probably be good to go within a few hours depending on the weather and temperature of where you are.

Up next: Dump out the bag with the copious amounts of wooden painted doohickey's that you picked up from the craft store. I went to my favorite place on earth: JoAnn Fabrics. These little guys go on sale now and again, but I wanted them now, so I paid full price. They were only .59 cents each, so it wasn't like I was breaking the bank there. Oh, and I guess I didn't pay full price since I got 15% off with my rad teacher's discount! I heart JoAnn's, in case you missed it! ;) The shapes have two stickers on the back of each one (overkill much?). Luckily they are easy to remove- so easy that a 3 year old and her 10 year old cousin can help! FYI: I totally guessed and lucked out with the number I bought. I just kept throwing them into the cart b/c they were ALL so stinkin' cute! I ended up with 23 and used 22 of them. I put 11 on each row and it worked out perfectly if I do say so myself! Of course, you could use less if you think it is too "busy" and "cluttered". Busy is my middle name and clutter is my game, so I went with it!

Meanwhile... get out your drill (trust me here) and pre-drill your holes. I drilled one on each end and two others, evenly spaced-ish. Get out your handy dandy level and make sure that board is straight!! Then, get out your electric screwdriver (or change the drill bit to a screwdriver head) and screw in some 2" wood screws. You don't really need to hit a stud anywhere along these boards (unless you plan on hanging heavy things, like children, from it- instead of their art work!).

 I laid out all of my wooden doohickeys in the order I wanted them (11 on each row). Then I stepped back and admired how cute they were.

I got out my HOT glue gun and QUICKLY realized that you DO NOT do this part with a child in the room, because despite how careful you are.. hot glue CAN (and will) drop off of the gun and somehow stick to your 3 year old's fingers and shirt causing her to scream in pain, blister, and make both of you cry!! Mom of the year over here!! Since the board is 6' long, it is 72". I measured and made a mark in the middle at 36". From there I made a mark every 7" from there towards the ends. That will give you 11, mostly evenly spaced, marks for your 11 clothespins.

Once you have all of the pins glued on, glue on your little things.
What in the heck are these things called anyway?!! (Oh, and because I am anal about certain things, it really bothers me that you can see the screw heads in this picture! However, it really doesn't matter in the end b/c once you put some art up, you can't see them anyway! When I did the top row, I looked at the row below and made the screws right next to the clothes pins so that you wouldn't see them).

VIOLA!! Prest-o change-o! Lookie there! It is done! :)

It is safe to say that I LOVE how this turned out!! It is cute AND functional!!

Miss Brooke LOVES it too and was extremely proud of her new art that we added to the top row!
(hello weird color in the photograph?! That wall IS gray, not barfy green!).

I hope this inspires you to make an art display of your own! Let me know if you have any questions! If you share this on your blog, please link back to me! :) Thanks and happy crafting!

TOTAL COST for this project = less than $20!!

I have added this project to many link parties, and here, and here! If you want to be inspired, check them out!


  1. Super cute! I have a similar display board just with clothespins but I love your idea to use those wood shapes. Very clever.

  2. Thanks for following our blog. I am a thyroid cancer survivor too! I was diagnosed three years ago and went through I131 radiation too, although I had a baby at the time so they made me do it in the hospital.

    I am glad to know there are other out there. It's a crazy world of thyroid cancer....

  3. Popped over from The Creative Girl.
    This is so simple & cute.
    Love it.

  4. Great room. Love the art display. I have a party every Monday. I would love for you to stop by and link up your play room and any other projects you would like to share.

  5. Awww... that is adorable. If I had something of that kind, I would paint daily to come up with new artworks :)


  6. Exactly what I want to do in my son's room,EXACTLY!! Now I can show this to the hubs!;) he,he,he


  7. Jamie- I joined! Thanks for the invite!

    Tanya- We do a LOT of art projects around here!!

    Sara- Don't show the hubs, do it yourself!! You can do it and you will feel like a rockstar when you finish!! :)

  8. Great job! Your project and your kids' art work is adorable!

    I found your site today through Tatertots and Jello. :-)

  9. I saw your post because you linked up at, and I have to say I LOVE your idea!!!

  10. Very cute idea! I'm going to suggest this to my sister - it would be perfect for her! :)

  11. I love your art rail! So cute! Thanks for linking it up for "Crafts Under Twenty-Somethings" Thursday!


  12. Love this project. I'd love to do something similar for my son's room but am having real trouble tracking down wooden shapes anywhere (even tried the website for JoAnn Fabrics). Just wondering if you had any idea where I could get some online and shipped to Australia?

  13. OKelly- I just did a search for "painted wooden shapes" and found a couple of things. I have no idea if they ship to you though, but it's worth checking out! This first one looks to be only in bulk, but maybe you have some friends who would want to split them up with you!

    I hope that helps!

  14. Thanks so much for those suggestions. Kaisercraft sell some, so hopefully I'll be able to track them down.

  15. Where did you get your cute "doohickeies", the shapes, animals, etc. that you glued to the clothespins? So cute, but i'm clueless on an item like that.

  16. Just made this today following your tutorial. Thanks!! Found our wood shapes at Hobby lobby... fyi.

  17. Fantastic! I think I will do something similar but use magnets!


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