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What do you do with all that artwork?

Do you ever feel like you’re drowning in drawings? The sheer volume of art and craft that a creative youngster can produce in one month can be absolutely staggering.

I recently posed the question what do you do with all that artwork? and received responses from parents around the world who all face the same daily bind – "I don't want to throw away your artwork but..."

If your home is awash with kid's art, do not fear! Read through these great ideas from Kids Craft Weekly subscribers and be inspired.

1. Create a kid's art gallery

Establish a dedicated gallery space in your home where kid's art is displayed and admired. Replace older works with newer ones on a regular basis and use this as an opportunity to sort out which pieces will be kept and which will be culled.
  • "We string up fuzzy interesting wool yarn and clip it on with clothespins. We have three 'clotheslines' going now with art three deep to a clothespin!" – Sally
  • "We have a large front hall closet with sliding doors, and we put our artwork up there, along with a teacher-style calendar. At the start of each month, we take it ALL down, set up the calendar for the next month, and I keep a few choice pieces for the scrapbook. The rest go into envelopes and get mailed to grandmas and grandpas who enjoy them immensely." – Andrea
2. Put together a portfolio of work

Make and decorate your own portfolio (or buy one) in which to keep artwork. Alternatively, store artwork using plastic sleeves in a ringbinder or paste into a project book.
  •  "I take the best of my daughter's work (the pieces of which she is the most proud, and the pieces I adore) and keep them in a portfolio case. When we have visitors, she does an "portfolio review" with the them, sitting and proudly showing her artwork. It is a great icebreaker for her when she doesn't know the visitor well." – Susan
  • "I have a huge portfolio for each child for each year.  During the year everything gets put away at the top of the cupboard and in the January holidays we go through the pile and decide what is important and what isn’t. By doing this we have culled the portfolios to a small but impressive sample of all those drawings and writings and paintings and stories they collect." – Amanda
3. Take photographs

If you don't have space in your home to store large amount of kid's art, capture it on camera.
  • "Once things are taken down from the kitchen wall I take pictures of them on our digital camera and save the pictures on a special disc." – Angela
  • "Temporarily hang all the artwork on a wall, floor to ceiling. Then have your child stand in front of the wall and take their photo.  That way you have a record of their creations without the bulk." – Sharna
  • "I take digital pictures of everything.  I have a directory for my screensaver with all of the pictures of all possible art. When my computer goes to screensaver mode, we all get a slide show of art." – Kathy
  • "The digital camera can help save everything and with something like Picasa you can tag and organize too. You can set up beautiful shots gallery style (with or without the artist in the photos) and in 5 years you'll still have something! If you've tried storing manilla paper and newsprint objects for very long you'll know that it is not the way to go! " – Patty
4. Scrapbook it

Creating scrapbook pages can be a great way to celebrate your child's creativity and to chart their artistic progress.
  • "We have the occasional piece that is extremely impressive, that is photographed and then my children (or me) scrapbook it before it is framed, given away or filed.  There are other items of artwork that are definitely not significant (to me!!) that the kids despair of throwing away – so they are allowed to photograph it themselves, with a digital camera and then keep and scrapbook the photo." – Amanda
  • "I don't do a page about everything that is made, but the special ones do get added to the scrapbook. It has worked really well for us." – Darlene
5. Blog it

Keep an online record of your child's creative endeavours to share with friends, family and anyone else who is interested. Check out subscriber Gwyn's blog, Art and Kids, for a great example.

6. Keep it safe:

Store extra special works of art in a safe place to enjoy in the future.
  • "I try to put one or two pieces of artwork a month in to our New Year's Eve Box.  Among other things it is fun to look at what my children have created in the past year come NYE." – JB
  • "We laminate special pieces and turn them into placemats." – Gwyn
7. Re-use and recycle

Use large scale works as wrapping paper. Smaller pieces can be cut up to use in other crafty endeavours. Also, send pictures to family and acquaintances or anyone else who may appreciate it.
  • "We take our kids artwork and make it into cards to take to our local assisted care facility.  To make the cards we use craft punches to cut out shapes for adding to the cards, or sometimes use the entire page to fold into the card.  My kids love doing this!" – Sharna

Something to add? Please let me know.


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