The homes of many who have children are overflowing with art projects everywhere! As homeschooling mothers, we struggle with maintaining some degree of order and displaying the precious artwork that our talented children create. We also look for ways to preserve the artwork for a longer period of time – perhaps for portfolio reviews at the end of the year or for long-term storage.
I have three children (13, 11, and 8) who create quite a few art masterpieces. Over the years, I have found many ways both to celebrate their art and to preserve it for portfolio reviews or as treasured keepsakes.
Years ago, my husband installed a fabulous display center for artwork in our hallway. Basically, he simply fastened eye screws to the wall in intervals and strung wire through the eye screws. The wire created a “clothesline” in our hall for displaying artwork. I simply attach artwork to the wire lines with clothes pins and switch it out every so often. I love the ever-changing art display in our hallway!
Since my children are a bit older now, I don’t have quite as much artwork produced on a daily basis as I used to here at home. Preschoolers can create a lot of art, for example, several finger paintings in one sitting!
When your home is overflowing with art, it is sometimes hard to remember that the homes of others may have absolutely no children’s art in them. Children’s artwork is wonderful and is very much appreciated by those who love your children. We used to regularly send big envelopes full of art to grandparents and great-grandparents. Big paintings produced by preschoolers also make fabulous gift wrap.
Throughout the school year, I take pictures of all completed art projects that the children do as part of our weekly art class. I also take pictures of any art projects that they complete on their own that they have worked on for an extended period of time.
I use Shutterfly to organize my pictures so I simply upload the pictures and create an album for each child’s artwork for the school year. When I am preparing portfolios for review at the end of the school year, I can quickly have each child’s artwork album pictures printed. Then I put them in an inexpensive 4” by 6” photo album and I have documentation of their work in art as well as a treasured keepsake.
I purchased a whole bunch of these little albums in the $1.00 section of Target. I did not want to use the cover art included in the album, so I slid it out and flipped it over to add my own graphics and title.
While taking pictures of a child’s artwork works well, I have another strategy for storing small three-dimensional art. My middle son is an avid creator of Sculpey clay figurines. He makes clay figures with a passion and he has well over 1,000 little figurines now. To keep his growing collection in order, I purchased a plastic drawer storage unit for his clay creations. One of these storage units would work well for any small three-dimensional art form such as beaded creations, Perler bead constructions ,small painted ceramic pieces, etc.
One last suggestion for artwork that is not oversized – store in a three ring binder. Three ring binders and page protectors are a great way to store carefully done coloring pages, drawings, and any flat art that will fit in a standard-sized page protector.
Taking the time to display and preserve our children’s art projects shows them, in a tangible way, that we think their artwork is worthy of decorating our homes, sharing with others, and precious enough to become a keepsake.
How do you store or display your children’s artwork?
Samantha can be found writing at To Be Busy at Home.
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