How to store, reuse and repurpose children’s artwork

It’s wonderful to have creative children – but where to go with all those masterpieces? Some of the artwork you will want to display, at least for a while. But then …? Especially as a fist time mum, most of us struggle to throw out anything that our babies have created. However, eventually we do have to make those tough decisions since we simply run out of space to keep it all.

Drawing smiling person

In our household we handle it like this:

  1. Artwork comes home and is either
    • displayed
    • put into a storage box for the current year (one per child)
    • repurposed or
    • recycled / thrown out
  2. At the end of the school year I empty the storage box for the current year. I then sort into three piles:
    • photograph and keep – I normally use these photos to create a calendar for christmas gifts for grandma and godparents and then store the artwork in a portfolio (one per year and child)
    • photograph and discard
    • pile to discard

This simple process works well for me because I do it at the end of the school year. This means I am less emotional in the decision making because in most cases some time has passed since the creation of the artwork.

As always, discarding doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to throw the stuff in the rubbish bin. Let me share how you can repurpose and reuse artwork instead:

 

 

Gift Wrap

Use drawings and paintings as gift wrap. If the gift is bigger than the artwork, use other paper to wrap it and use the artwork to decorate one or several sides. Or make a collage of several artworks big enough to wrap the present in.

Gift wrapped in children's artwork

 

 

Lolly or gift bags

Personalise your party lolly bags or gift bags by using neutral bags and gluing a drawing on them or fold bags with bigger drawings.

Gift bag decorated with kid's artwork

 

 

Cards

Make gift cards or thank-you cards out of the artwork by gluing it on neutral cards in a matching colour.

Picture source: www.thecraftycrow.net

Cards decorated with kid's artwork

 

 

Surprise someone

Why not send one or two to grandma, grandpa, aunts and uncles, or other people that would love to receive an unexpected gift? Try to send it to people who don’t already have a house full of children’s artworks.

Watercolour painting

 

 

Photo book

Take a picture of the work in question and create a photo book. If you can part with the originals or at least most of them, it saves you from storing a lot of paper. To create a photo book you can use your photo camera or an application such as “Artkive”.

Picture source: www.artecontusmanitas.files.wordpress.com

 

Photo book with children's artwork

 

 

Keep them

You’ve decided to keep some of the artwork but don’t want it on display anymore. All flat creations can easily be stored in an art portfolio or another art storage folder, maybe one per child per year. The advantage is that it puts perimeters on it for you. The 3D work takes up a lot of space and, realistically, only a few if any at all can be kept on display. Therefore, keep it preferably in a clear storage container that also sets limits.

 

 

Have you got any other ideas about reusing and repurposing artwork? As always, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and share your experience.

Happy organising!

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