• 12 Creative Ways to Display Artwork

    In this article, I’m giving you a little tour of different ways my mom and I display artwork in our respective homes. From using music stands to creating frame groupings, we utilize several techniques to incorporate our favorite pieces into our décor!

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork

    I love all of the display-worthy art tutorials on TPK, but all of those tutorials beg an important question: how do you display the artwork you’ve made? In this article, I’ll show you photos of my house here in Colorado and my mom’s house in Kansas to show you creative ways to display artwork.

    1. Display a Collection of Framed Artwork on the Wall

    To make this framed artwork collection, I raided the thrift store for frames. Then, I painted half the frames a yellow tone and half the frames a gray tone. Next, I DIY’d mats. I put the artwork and mats in the frames, and I laid everything out on the floor until it looked just right. I took a photo of my layout and used that photo as a reference to hang everything up on the wall!

    TPK Collage
    You can learn how to make DIY frames and mats in this tutorial.

    2. Make a Propped Floating Frame Collage

    To make this collage, my mom used a combination of floating frames and tasteful black and white frames. The floating frames in the center have a clear, light look to them, which keeps the display from feeling too busy.

    How to Display Artwork
    My mom is the master of combining sentimental items with things that are fun to look at! This college features photos of my great-grandfather, grandmother, and great-aunt. It also includes Remy’s birth certificate and an energetic watercolor painting.

    3. Use Clamp Pant Hangers

    My mom has displayed this simple piece of calligraphy — a remnant of my beginner days — on a pant hanger for years! The hanger has a permanent location on the knob of a linen closet. The calligraphy may not have a polished look, but there’s a charm to it. I suspect that my mom likes seeing the quote every day, which is a good reminder to keep your cool.

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    Hanging a piece on a clamp pant hanger results in a casual, unique look.

    4. Display Artwork on Plate Stands

    As long as you’re using a fairly heavy paper (110 lbs+), it will stay rigid if you prop it up in a plate stand! This lily illustration — created on handmade paper — holds its own beautifully on this stand. It lives in a china cabinet with overhead lights at my mom’s house.

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    I love how my mom surrounded this illustration with pieces that have gold accents, like the vase and the gold and black coaster.

    5. Use a Cookbook Stand or Book Holder to Display Artwork

    If you’ve got a cookbook stand handy, consider displaying a framed piece on it. My mom uses this vintage cookbook stand to showcase a pencil sketch of my great-grandmother.

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    Keep an eye out for fabulous vintage book stands like this one at flea markets and second hand shops!

    6. Pin Artwork Up on a Bulletin Board

    I keep a bulletin board in my office where I display items for their sentiment and beauty. Bulletin boards are great because there’s no commitment: you can change its look whenever the mood strikes!

    12 Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    My two favorite items on my current bulletin board are the Paris map (from this eCourse) and the cardboard fish that my seven-year-old niece made.

    7. Use Washi Tape

    Washi tape probably isn’t an artwork display decision I’d make for my kitchen or living room, where I’m shooting for a refined vibe. However, I like to keep things pretty playful in my office, where washi tape is welcome on the walls!

    How I Organize Art Supplies
    I started with a framed artwork/photo grouping in my office. As the years have gone on, I’ve used washi tape and thumbtacks to add to the visual interest and the utility of the space.

    8. Rest Framed Artwork on a Music Stand

    My grandmother used to rely on this music stand while she played the flute. My mother also could play the flute at one point, but she hasn’t in years. As a result, she has repurposed the music stand to display an art piece. This is a display technique that takes up a fair amount of space, but it makes for an eye-catching statement!

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork

    9. Put Artwork in a Simple Standalone Frame

    When I see standard picture frames, I immediately think about using them for photos. Over the years, I’ve learned to challenge that traditional inclination and use them to display artwork. In that way, you can display the work on a shelf or among photos of your family to accent your décor.

    Calligraphy Ampersand Art Tutorial
    This calligraphy ampersand art is a great piece to frame! It’s a treat to look at and has sentimental value.

    10. Prop Your Artwork Up On the Wall or a Shelf

    My mom has this fabulous built-in shelf in her house, and she uses it to display a variety of significant items. From favorite books to my grandmother’s candle snuffer, everything has a story. All of the artwork on the shelf is propped up, including the illuminated letter “D”, which has no frame. The letter was created on heavy handmade paper, so it holds its own quite well on this shelf!

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    You can learn how to make an illuminated letter like the “D” (pictured above) in this tutorial.

    11. Organically Incorporate Art and Calligraphy Into Your Furniture

    My mom found this industrial metal file cabinet at an auction and immediately saw its value as an organizational tool for her kitchen. The only problem? She didn’t have any labels. I set out to create pretty Janet Style labels with Bleed Proof White ink and black cardstock. Now, the furniture is both a piece of art and a highly functional piece!

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    This furniture happens to have slots for labels. If you don’t have a piece like this, think about how you can incorporate this concept into your home. We’re redoing our kitchen, and I’m considering calligraphing labels to affix to the shelves (behind the cabinet doors).

    12. Showcase Your Favorite Pieces With an Art Lamp

    If you’ve got a fairly large art piece that you want to shine a literal spot light on, consider getting an art lamp! My mom uses hers to illuminate a vintage ink painting of a stallion. You can have an electrician wire the lamp into your wall, or you can do what my mom did and let the cord hang discreetly down the wall.

    Creative Ways to Display Artwork
    Art lamps can be expensive! My mom was lucky enough to snag hers at a rummage sale for a fraction of the price.

    No matter what your personal style may be, I hope that seeing these examples gets your creativity flowing! To me, there’s nothing more interesting than a home that features plenty of art and photography. Display that art and photography creatively, and your home will tell a story that delights both occupants and visitors.

    Thanks very much for reading, and enjoy the rest of your week!


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