If you have kids, chances are you have many of their art projects, and chances are you have wondered how to get a handle on that ever growing pile! I have struggled with this, but I finally feel like I have it under control. I am keeping and storing some of their art. I am displaying some art for everyone to enjoy. I am giving away some art for others to enjoy and I am keeping some art digitally to save space.
I don't think any of my ideas are original, I have read about this topic for years and here is my attempt to pass along some of the best ideas to you.
One of my favorite ideas came from Family Fun magazine recently. I taped some beautiful creations to the inside of my cabinet doors in the kitchen. It makes me smile every time I open the cabinet doors and I think I appreciate it more because I don't see it all the time. Our guests will see it too when we offer them a drink and open the cabinet to get a glass and it will be a nice surprise for them too. I plan to add more to inside of closet doors too!
For the kids' rooms I took large poster frames and covered the cardboard backing board with a great product I found a Michael's, a small roll of fadeless paper large enough to cover a bulletin board. I think arranged their art pieces on the solid background color and adhered it in a collage format. It looks great and they enjoy having some of the art work from years ago on the wall. Everything stays put, corners of paper stay down, and the art work is protected from the chaos of kids' rooms!
I have found art projects that have cotton balls, googly eyes, lots of glitter, popsicle sticks or other dimensional qualities do not store well. I think it is best to take a picture of theses art pieces and keep the picture, not the piece! Digital photo frames are a great way for kids to see their art work again! If you are going to photograph artwork, take a few minutes to set up and use a solid color sheet or towel on a table or against a wall and zoom in as close as possible for the best outcome. It makes the creation looks even more special. You can put all of the photos together in a photo book, check out my older post on this subject here.
If you are going to mail pictures or cards to family members, throw a masterpiece in there too! They will love it! Look at your kid's art pieces and scribbles, you may want to cut out one part of it that will fit in a envelope.
It's important to have an area to put art for the short term, as in at least half the school year. I have emptied a file cabinet drawer of "junk" for this purpose. I have used a magazine holder for this too, the kind you might set beside a chair. I have used a decorative box about the size of a paper box- TJ Maxx is a great source for pretty boxes and containers. I put almost all the artsy stuff they bring home in my spot and then later I go through it and decide what to keep and what to toss. After the school year ends and I have already done all the above, then I store what is left for long term storage. Don't forget to label what you are keeping with a name and year or grade.
There are hundreds of other ideas out there too! Good luck taming the pile!