Every parent loves the drawings, paintings, and crafts that their child makes, but it can quickly become overwhelming. Between preschool and other activities, I probably accumulate 5-10 pieces of art per child per week. That adds up quickly after a few months, not to mention years! If you’re feeling overwhelmed like me, here are some ideas for both displaying and storing that artwork.
Displaying the Artwork
I’m a big believer in displaying selected pieces of artwork, even just temporarily. My kids get a kick out of seeing something they created hanging on the wall and are so proud of it.
Large Bulletin Board
A couple of years ago, I created a large bulletin board to hang in the hallway off my kitchen. I love this board because of the quantity of artwork it can display along with birthday invitations, thank you notes, etc. It was pretty easy to make and a relatively cheap project. I’ll post more on it next week if you’d like to create one yourself!
Another neat solution for displaying artwork is using curtain rods. This particular idea uses Ikea wire curtain rods. I have a friend who displays artwork similarly in her house, and it’s really cute! A bonus is that you don’t put any holes in the artwork with pushpins.
Whether you frame artwork for more permanent display or use frames that open in the front for easy switch-outs, frames offer a polished look to display art. Plus, some children’s artwork could pass for abstract art!
Storing the Artwork
Once artwork is done being displayed, I store it in a large file folder in the closet. I have one file folder per child, so when it’s time to cull through it, at least that first level of sorting is already done.
Every 6 months – 1 year (the folder is really bulging by 1 year), I go through the art and discard the majority of it. I hate this process, but the artwork will be more meaningful to me and my child if it’s not in a massive quantity. I keep the special pieces that really involved effort, hand prints, and pieces that show the strides they’re making in their fine motor skills.
Once I’ve culled through the pile a couple of times, I store the selected artwork in a hanging file folder in a box by year. It’s not pretty, but it gets the job done.
Here are some other ideas to really get you inspired!
I love these cute color-coordinated boxes from abowlfulloflemons.net. The bins are from Office Depot with vinyl names on the front. Then there is a folder for each year of school as well as cards, school photos, and report cards.
To really personalize each folder within the box, consider adding a photo and a label with grade, teacher, and year information. See the example below from iheartplanners.com. The labels are available for download on her blog as well.
Art Photo Books
If you want to go completely paperless and avoid storing boxes of artwork, digital is the way to go! You could create this on your own using any photo book site.
To make it a bit easier, you could use a photo book site intended specifically for children’s artwork. Artkive and Shutterfly Mini Masterpieces are a couple of examples. Artkive has an app, so you can upload the artwork photos to their site directly from your phone or tablet.
The easiest option is to send the artwork into a photo book company, which photographs/scans the art and creates the book for you. Plum Print and Artkive both offer this option. All you’d have to do is select the artwork to send and proof the book they create!
If you photograph the artwork yourself, here are some great tips on taking the best photos from snaphappymom.com.
Whatever method you choose, there’s no time like the present to start. I promise that the sooner you begin, the less intimidating that pile of art will be! The keepsake bins have me inspired, so I’ll post more once I’ve set them up.
Please share – how do you display / store your children’s artwork?