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Best Artwork for Children’s Rooms: Artwork for kids– clever distraction.

By Melissa Summers

Sometimes when you find youself spending each and every day getting your house ready to sell in a very soft market where your margin of profit (or even just breaking even) is practically nothing, you might find yourself thinking of how you’ll decorate your kids rooms in the next house.
When you’re in your basement cleaning up and everything you clean leads to 2 other jobs you’ll have to do just to break even on your house, sometimes cute illustrations pull you through. Sometimes, that’s all you’ve got.
I’m going to share the artwork I’ve bookmarked as potentials for the new rooms our kids might get to have if I can figure out a way to only paint that one corner of the basement floor that’s kind of dirty and dingy looking and not all 1200 square feet of it. Because if I have to paint 1200 square feet of floor, I just…I’m going to…let’s move on.
canvas_monsterthumb.gifJeeto, home of cute t shirts for kids, offers several matching hand silk screened images on canvas. Each of the canvases come in 12″x9″ and 24″x18″ sizes and are signed by the artist. At one point my son would have loved all the animal prints, especially the elephant. But now, just so you know, he’s over elephants. I think at this point he’d like the Monster Truck, the Motorcycle and the Fire Engine.
tintin.jpgWe already have one of these prints in Max’s room, but I love it so much and it’s on sale I feel duty bound to point you in this direction. When he was growing up Logan’s family had a French foreign exchange student for a couple of years. After she left, she sent several TinTin books in french to my husband over the years. The books bring back good memories for him and, since he couldn’t read a word of french, the pictures were especially important to him. Even if you don’t have a Tin Tin fan in your house, perhaps you have a space fan.
monkeystripedshirt.gifI love these paintings by Margot Curran of Oopsy daisy, Fine Art For Kids, particularly this monkey in a striped shirt. These canvas reproductions are glass free and require no frame for hanging. You can see all of Curran’s collection here. [via coochicoos]
mamabird_l.jpgThis piece isn’t a painting or a print, it’s textile art and it’s also quite expensive. But I love the birds and the fact that it’s handmade, also if I limited my search to things I’m willing and able to pay for you’d be looking at a blank page quite a lot of the time because I am cheap and my money tree isn’t growing well in that basement I mentioned earlier in this post. You, on the other hand may love this piece enough to buy it as an heirloom.
Iggy_Bunny_ARGR.jpgYoon Kids is a beautiful collection of customizable wall art for kids. They offer a line of girl characters from princess to snowboarder (boys coming soon!), a line of Yoonies which are wobbly stuffed animals and my favorite, the Silhouette series which includes butterflies, lovebirds, trees and peace signs. All these pieces can be customized with your color choices and hung on the wall without a frame. I love the tree with the birds added for my daughter’s room. [link via Apartment Therapy : The Nursery]
rockscissorspaper.jpgA few years ago I went to Nashville and visited the Hatch Show Print and brought home a few prints for my husband. He always wanted to incorporate them into Max’s room, but I resisted for the most part. I love the look, but wanted something that represented our kid and not as much us. I was thrilled to see these quite similar posters at The Land Of Nod. These hand-carved, hand-inked and hand-cranked letterpress posters advertise make-believe events like the Rock Paper Scissors Invitational or the Simon Says State Finals. I’m pretty sure I must own these.
shareyourtoys.jpgThese illustrations from John W. Golden are reminiscent of the Rock, Paper, Scissors Invitational. A little brighter and more colorful, but the sense of humor is the same. You can get this set of 8 with ‘Orders Of The Management’ like, ‘Go Ask Your Mother’, ‘Keep your elbows of the table.’ and this one, great for kids but also would-be date rapists, “No Means No”. You can also find them in a set of 4 or individually. I’m actually going to recommend you browse all of Golden’s Etsy offerings. [link via some very kind soul who’s name I’ve lost in my mail-eating inbox. Thank you!]
map.jpgMy son loves looking at maps. I love looking at maps as well, mostly because I am always lost and always believe if I prepare by reading the map I will stop getting lost all the time. Surprisingly, this never works. I’ve been eyeing this colorful map and think it would look right at home in a kid’s room with it’s bright colors and great illustrations. This map comes with stickers to mark where loved ones live or places you’ve visited.
mapartplate.jpgAlong lines with the map theme and also on sale (!!) is this map made of license plates printed on canvas. My husband used to collect license plates and make picture frames from them, I wish I could convince him to recreate this piece out of real plates. This is doubtful, since we have that basement I talked about before, so a print may just have to work.
bowlingpinart.jpgSince we’re at the Pottery Barn Kids sale area anyway, I love these great vintage look bowling pins you hang on the wall. 3d wall art. I love the worn look and the red accents. They come in a set of two for $40, which is a decent price. But I think I have a new item to watch for on my next flea market trip.
elephantsafariprint.jpgI’m sure brown with light blue is totally ‘out’ by now, but I still love it. So…I also love these great animal prints from Annie Wilkinson’s Etsy shop. The set of 3 is just $24.99 and includes an elephant, a giraffe and a monkey all white on blue silhouettes with a brown and blue polka dot trim. While you’re there you should definitely browse Annie’s other work.
trike custom.jpgI keep coming across canvas art I love (because I’m too cheap for frames perhaps?) and this is a great one for a kid’s room. This classic trike in bright red and blue wrapped on a wood frame with your child’s name would make a statement in a kid’s room. These canvases come in 12″x12″ or 24″x18″. HipKidArt offers 2 additional designs for $75 each.
camillaengman.jpgI added Camilla Engman’s shop to my bookmarks a year ago and in that time the beautiful prints she is selling have sold out. I truly love this print for Maddie’s room but it’s sold out with no indication there will be more. In fact, I hate wall paper but if I could have wallpaper made from the lower part of that print I would gladly wall paper my daughter’s new room. I am still linking to these prints because there is a note on each of these webpages that Camilla “will try to make new ones as soon as possible. but I can’t tell you when or if they will be back.” Let’s all click a vote for a reprint on Listen or Red Hood. At the very least keep your eyes peeled for new designs.
Now let’s all hope I have a new rooms for the kids I’m able to decorate soon. Also a new kitchen, bathroom, living room, walls, roof and maybe even a garage….

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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  • slouching mom

    February 22, 2007 at 12:53 pm

    I have been really impressed with the kids’ artwork at IKEA. Bold, bright colors, simple lines, sometimes pre-framed, and just cute. Jack has a print of a cow, pig, and sheep, and another print of a dinosaur. And like everything else at IKEA, the artwork is dirt cheap.

  • kaleigh

    February 22, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    A cute map-themed thing we’ve planned to do in my 7-year-old son’s room (he’s obsessed with maps) is to take a map of our city, cut it into 8×10 pieces, put each piece in a frame (the cheap plastic ones) and hang them on the wall as an “installation”. Not expensive at all, and much more visually interesting than just tacking a map to the wall.
    Making frames from license plates? I want to know more!

  • veg4me

    February 22, 2007 at 4:49 pm

    That’s weird. I saw the topic of the post and went and copied the website for John Golden to post here. Good thing I scrolled down through the rest of the post or I would’ve looked moronic!
    I was in downtown Wilmington today at his gallery and picked up those exact prints (before even seeing your post!)
    I had about 20 in my hand and had to whittle it down to a more affordable amount.
    Thanks for sharing some great ideas!

  • Michelle

    February 24, 2007 at 1:28 am

    I love those!
    One thing I used for my sons’ room was antique postcards from ebay. I framed them and they look fabulous in a series.

  • melissaS

    February 26, 2007 at 10:01 pm
  • Melissas

    February 27, 2007 at 9:39 am
  • katie

    February 27, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Melissa, you can have a map made of license plates — for a mere $3500.
    I love it so much — especially the separate bit with Hawaii. I wish I had a spare couple of thousand bucks just burning a hole in my pocket.