These frames are what I'm using this year to display my preschool students' art. I originally planned to do a quilt, but then realized that the paper we use is just too large.
It took a while to work out the details, including several failed attempts, but I think I've arrived at a good final product. They're convenient because switching out the work is fast and easy. They also reduce damage to walls from constant applications of tape or staples. These are easy to make, sturdy, adaptable, and reusable - they fit all my criteria for a good DIY project!
This example will make a frame that holds both small (9" x 12") and large (12" x 18") pieces of artwork. It is easily adapted to suit other sizes.
1 sheet of posterboard for each frame
1 sheet of 12" x 18" construction paper
Velcro strips or dots
How to Do It
1. Use a ruler and pencil to mark a line about 3" in from a long edge of the posterboard. Cut this piece off.
2. Fold the posterboard in half the short way; crease well with your scissors handle. Unfold.
3. Cut 1" from each of your construction paper's four sides. This will be your template for the frame opening. Center it on one half of the unfolded posterboard. Trace and cut out.
4. Use the posterboard as a template or stencil for all of your other frames you want to make. Just trace with your pencil and cut them out. It's slightly easier to fold before cutting.
5. Place three pairs of Velcro on each frame. One in the center just above the fold, serving to prop up artwork and prevent the bottom of the frame from bulging out. The other two pairs go in each of the upper corners to hold the frame closed.
6. Staple each frame to the wall through the back part only. The folded edge is the bottom. Staple in the center and on the four corners.
7. You can slide artwork into the top of each frame, balancing it on top of the concealed Velcro above the fold. (If it won't stay, add another pair of Velcro to balance it out, or use a dab of Sticky Tack.) For larger artwork, you can undo the top Velcro for added accessibility.
Variations & Tips
• Print out the students' names onto cardstock and place them under each frame. You'll have an instant art gallery and parents will always know where to look for their child's work.
• Have the children decorate the frames, if you like. Give them gel pens if you're using black posterboard.
• Use the frames for class projects, or allow children to choose which of their work goes in their frame.
• When you staple these to the wall, attach all of them using only one staple each. Then stand back to make sure they're lined up evenly. Do not put six staples in each one and then stand back and see that they're all crooked. Trust me on this.