Part 2: Storing Children’s Art Work

April 14, 2011

what to do with kids art work

Look at all the happy faces! I love surrounding myself with my children’s art, craft and drawings. However, there is a question of number: I don’t have enough walls in the house to display all my children’s art work. The masses of artwork my children’s produce can turn into quite of a nightmare actually, with art coming home from school as well as as work produced at home. So here are my tips for throwing out storing kids art work.

If you missed the first post in this series, you can read it here: Creating an Art Space (when you have no space). 

1. Fridge & Cupboards

Storing children's artwork

The kitchen is an obvious place to display art work, being the place where my kids constantly hover around waiting to be fed.

Fridge:

Use blu-tack, not magnets.  Believe me, magnets just don’t work well (the art work falls off and drives me nuts). Kids can use blu-tack as a moulding material too {read post: We Play Blu-Tack}.

Cupboard:

Use Blu-Tack to attach pictures to the pantry cupboard or other kitchen cupboards.

2. Removable Wall Frames & Decals

Use stick on frame decals to surround art work so they become a wall focal point.  My absolute favourite is this wallpaper from Graham Brown. You could use it on an entire wall or only a section and fill the funky frames with chilren’s art work.

frame wall stickers / wall decals for children's art

Corner Frames are cheap and ideal for pictures of any size.

Storing children's Art

Wall frames (below right) are a fun, eye catching option.

wall decals frames storing children's artwork

If you have a dedicated art space in your home, you can paint frame shapes directly on the wall like the ones featured here: Childhood 101: Sharing our Kids Art Space.

3. Notebook Cover

I adore this idea from Quince & Quire: Using and Storing Children’s Art. Sarah sewed her daughter’s picture to a moleskin note book to create this beautiful cover. Doesn’t it look adorable? Read more…

Storing and Using Children's Artwork

4. Bulletin/Memo Board

I searched high and low for a nice looking (large) bulletin/memo board which would be ideal for the kitchen or living area. Then I came across Rachael’s blog  A Room for Everyone. This is how she put her family art memo board:

1.Visit the The Frame Shop and decide on a frame size/colour/material.

2. Choose the cork board as the base option.

3. Hang and enjoy!

memo pin bulletin board

5. Hanging Line

My sister uses an Ikea curtain line to hang her children’s art work. This makes it easy to remove old artwork and replace it with the new.

creating an art space for kids

1. Ikea Curtain Wire with Clips $9.95

2. Ikea Bygel Rail $1.99

3. Ikea Kroken Cutlery Caddy $3.99

6. Framed

Colourful frames are a cheap and fun way to display artwork. This is an ideal way to brighten up a dull room.

ikea framing children's artwork

You can buy frames like this at discount shops, Kmart, Target, Big W or the pictured frames from Ikea.

7. Feature

Professional framing:

My daughter produced this piece of art when she was 8. It’s incredibly special and I wanted to have it professionally framed so I can enjoy looking at it everyday.

I asked her if the self portrait had a meaning and she said:  ”I’ve got my own personality. I have my own style.”

Good for you girl. x

storing children's artwork

Mini gallery:

The Art Eater preserves and frames children’s artwork into a mini gallery of up to 30 pictures! This is a great way to feature many pieces of art work into a stunning feature you can put anywhere in the house.

displaying children's artwork

8. Art Book

Here are 4 ways to turn children’s drawings into art books:

1. Gather a pile of drawings and staple down one side to make a book. Ask the child to tell a story with the pictures and add words to each page.

2. Buy a display folder and fill the plastic sleeves with drawings. It’s easy to add/take away pages and move them around.

3. Purchase a large scrapbook and glue artwork in to make a book.

4. The Art Eater  can turn children’s art into professional art books.

9. Laminate

For the Wall:

Laminating children’s art work is a wonderful way to preserve and protect special drawings.  It also allows the art to sit flat on the wall.

For Toys:

After laminating the drawing, cut out figures for children to use as toys. Read more…

10. Picture/Plate Stand

Canvas and laminated pictures can be displayed using a picture stand on a dresser.

children's canvas art

11. Computer

Take pictures of the children’s artwork and set it as a screen saver or use in a digital frame.

12. Clothes Hangers

In our playroom, I use clip hangers to display artwork on the wall.

organising toys -- artwork

13. Recycle Kids Art

I can’t keep everything my kids create; I admit to sneaking a lot into the bin. However, I do try and recycle as much as I can. Below are two ways to recycle children’s art:

1. Keep one-sided drawings in a box so the children can come back and draw on the other side.

2. In part 1 of this series, I showed you my useful box. Old box crafts, along with other useful household items, often end up here to be recycled into a new creation. My children sometimes pull this useful box out and utilise the items to  play cubby house.

the useful box

How do you store your children’s art work?

Be A Fun Mum Links

Part 1: Create and Art and Craft Space for Children

Paper Clip Crafts & Activities

Make a Flower Head Wreath

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{ 41 comments… read them below or add one }

Zoe GarnerNo Gravatar April 14, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Love the mini gallery!

i have started photographing all the art works and saving them in their own folder on the computer.. That way even if the real art gets wrecked we have a digital copy to keep forever.. :) One day I might make a photo book out of them..

Zoe

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:40 pm

Yep, great idea Zoe! Nice to see you here. :D

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PhilippaNo Gravatar April 14, 2011 at 1:45 pm

We like to turn some Art into other things ….
Our Easter Egg art was turned into Easter Cards by writing a message on the back
I have turned abstract free art into framed pictures by cutting it into shapes (animals work well) and then framing it …. Nanna loves the one she got for Christmas
We also have a display folder full of our Letter of the Week crafts which has made a great Alphabet Book
and Neevahs favourite place to display her Art is on her bedroom door although our pantry door and fridge is also covered
hmmmm I think that covers it for us LOL

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:44 pm

Can always count on you Philippa for heaps of creative ideas…Loving all these.

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BookChookNo Gravatar April 14, 2011 at 4:41 pm

Wow! What artistic kids you have! I absolutely adore the self-portrait in 8. And I love Zoe’s idea (above in comments) of taking photos of them. Digital art can then be your screensaver, your wallpaper, an image for a blog post if your child blogs, basis for a slideshow…. so much creative potential and no paper!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:45 pm

I just love the self portrait too… I look at it everyday and never get tired of it! We are so fortunate to live in this digital age aren’t we?

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JulieNo Gravatar April 14, 2011 at 4:42 pm

Hi Kelly,

Love these ideas and your first post on creating an art space. We store our kids’ art work in folders (one for each of our bigger kids), then at the end of the year, or when the folder is full, I take photos of all the art to create a photo-book. 3-d artwork usually hangs around for awhile before I take a photo of it and toss it (when no-one is looking!).

I wrote a post on different ideas for organising artwork awhile ago. hope you don’t mind if I add the link:

http://worksformehomemaking.wordpress.com/2010/09/03/kids-artwork-organising-and-storing/

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:46 pm

Of course I don’t mind you leaving the link!!!! Love it… I’ll pop over now and read… xx

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TaraNo Gravatar April 14, 2011 at 8:03 pm

Another fabulous way to recycle their artwork is to use it for wrapping paper for family members i always take a photo first but the grandparents love seeing their creations and its something quite personal x

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:48 pm

Gorgeous idea Tara. Thank so much for sharing.

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SheriNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 7:27 am

These are great ideas, Kelly! Thanks for sharing. Oh, and I am with you on the wall paper! I LOVE LOVE LOVE it!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm

We are two peas in a pod Sheri. xx

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kimNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

wow these ideas are great…
however when it is time to change art on the wall what do you do with the old? do you throw it out ?
Yes and No… I keep some to put in memory books but I take pictures with my camera and up load them to a folder on my computer and when i have enough to make a disk i simple print a disk at home and put in my daughter school folders so that if she ever wants to know what she used to make she can see.
If you have a screen saver on your computer use the art work. Your children will love watching their art work … or use a digital picture frame in their room or to send to grandma with all their art on a sd card… ( I did this when a family member was in the hospital and included some pictures too the nurses were so amazed )

Have fun share their special work…

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm

Hi Kim

Like you, when I change the art work I either throw it out — yes — or I keep it for these things:

* I have a large memory box for each of my children so special drawing I want to keep go in there.

* I’ve begun taking pictures of artwork so I can remember it

* I’m saving up some art work to make a gallery/book.

How gorgeous re hospital. I wish I thought of that when my sister was in hospital for a longer period.

It’s so special sharing their work isn’t it?

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Gail LeopoldNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm

Beautiful artwork and great ideas. We can only save so much kids art work before it gets to be too much ! What I did was save my most favorite creations from my son (usually the Mother’s / Father’s Day specials and sentimental paintings or drawings!) and I keep those in an art potfolio. Then after displaying his art for a while I would take a photo before disposing of it. This went all the into college when he took an Art Class. We can still look at and admire his beautiful creations but storage is not an issue!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:53 pm

Yeah, I’m so with you here Gail…the art work gets to be mountains very quickly!

I’ve only just begun taking photos…such a great idea.

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Sarah @ Catching the MagicNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Love those wall frames and the ‘Art Eater’ link sounds very worth while checking out. Fabulous post – will tweet and share :) Thanks for putting this together. Really wonderful.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:55 pm

So glad you enjoyed the post Sarah. Thanks for sharing it around. Lots of kisses for you xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ;)

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DebNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 6:44 pm

For school work last year we put it on the fridge for a week, then at the end of the week she chose her favourite to put in a folder and keep.

There hasn’t been much coming home this year so it’s mostly home stuff. Now they have a playroom I’m looking for the frames to use, I love the idea of painting onto a wall!

I’m a great re-user, they get put back in the paper tray, or last week’s marble painting will become this week’s collage scraps. And this week we went through them to find brightly coloured ones to use in our handmade paper easter baskets.

I like having a purpose to art at the beginning as well, making calendars was good because they produced 12 pictures on particular themes and then they were put together into their own calendar. Then there’s no storage problem!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm

Love your Easter baskets Deb. I’ll have to do that with some of our leftover paper. I think the kids will love it!

So for the calendars, did you get them to draw 12 pics in December? Love that idea too. Did you blog about it?

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renee @ FIMBYNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I just wrote about that on my blog a few weeks back:

http://fimby.tougas.net/childrens-art-gallery

We mostly use a wall gallery.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Thanks for the link Renee. I’m sure it’s an article my readers would enjoy too! It’s brilliant!

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AliceNo Gravatar April 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for all these fantastic ideas Kelly!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 17, 2011 at 10:15 pm

No worries Al. I really enjoyed putting the post together.

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Melissa TaylorNo Gravatar April 17, 2011 at 9:07 am

Wow, this is the best round up of art ideas I’ve read. I’m going to try a few, thanks!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar April 17, 2011 at 10:17 pm

I’m so glad it’s helpful Melissa. Let me know what works for you! I’d love to know.

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jo ( mrs_kan)No Gravatar January 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm

so great :) so handy as mrstr 4 is in kinder this year!!

thanks kel:)

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 17, 2012 at 11:32 pm

Welcome Mrs Kan x

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rebecca wildeNo Gravatar January 16, 2012 at 3:29 pm

I have used art work that has “had its time on display” and been replaced by new artwork into a large art folder and keep to use as wrapping paper…but dont use tape instead use ribbon to secure as receiver (grandparent or aunt etc) may wish to put on fridge themselves.

Saves money..recylces and redistributes the “Master Piece”.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 17, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Rebecca, that’s a lovely idea!

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SoniaNo Gravatar January 16, 2012 at 3:41 pm

Thanks so much for putting this together Kelly, now that I have a son in kindy and my eldest starting year one this year, it’s certainly more applicable to be creating some of these options :)

Another way to ‘share the love’ of artwork, and one that I’ll be doing this year, is to have three scrapbooks on the go right from the start of the year – one for us (the parents), and one for each set of grandparents, and as the artwork comes home each piece is placed into the scrapbook, and hey presto, instant coffee table book as part of their Christmas presents!! Now, just hope that I can stick to it …. ;-)

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 17, 2012 at 11:42 pm

That will be fantastic Sonia.

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AnwenNo Gravatar January 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I keep my daughter’s artwork when she’s worked hard at it, or she’s incorporated a new skill (even the cardboard she cut slices into the first time she used scissors!) in a scrapbook.
Sometimes I take photos of the creative process, and often in the scrapbook I include the story behind the artwork.
My mum used to take photos of our artwork/block building etc, even back in the days of film. Now digital makes that even easier and cheaper, it’s fantastic!
Will definitely be keeping this post in mind in a year or two when we need an art corner!

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 17, 2012 at 11:43 pm

I really love the idea of including the story behind the artwork.

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JacindaNo Gravatar January 16, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Hi, I currently use it for wrapping paper and when we run out I just give miss 4 paper and pens and tell her to draw a beautiful picture for whomever then present it for. Nice way to share around with family and friends.
I have made sure I kept the very first picture and a small piece of each from kinder last year and placed in a frame.

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Kelly Be A Fun MumNo Gravatar January 17, 2012 at 11:44 pm

Lovely ideas Jacinda.

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sylviaNo Gravatar June 5, 2013 at 3:33 pm

i have a box and put the ones my son is really proud of in it after it’s had a week on the fridge. i think i’ll start taking photos and loading to computer for later use :)

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sylviaNo Gravatar June 5, 2013 at 3:38 pm

i’m planning on framing the ones i like the most in the mean time

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NickyNo Gravatar July 25, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Hi there,

If you are time poor and would like someone else to scan and compile your kids artwork into a book for you, visit http://www.treasurebooks.com.au.

Cheers!
Nicky

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MimeNo Gravatar October 7, 2013 at 9:34 pm

I slice up some of my daughters more abstract works and match the pieces with some funky scrap booking patterns. Stick them on a square, then on a blank card. I save a fortune on birthday cards, and everyone seems to love getting a bit of homemade .
Feel a bit bad cutting them up tho;)

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