All those art projects and other hard-to-file artifacts . . .
If your child is older than two, you’ve probably figured out that the artwork just keeps multiplying. Between coloring pages, noodle necklaces, gingerbread houses, Lego creations, Mr. Potato Head statues, and fingerpaintings, even a toddler can keep you in sentimental handiwork. Add in the more sophisticated sketches, paintings, batiks, photographs, clay sculptures, and other media masterpieces that your older children create, and you can quickly run out of display and storage space.
Here are a few ideas to keep the memories while curating the collections:
1. Make a keepsake book. You can photograph the original documents and “gift” them to grandma while using the digital files to create bound portfolio a la Shutterfly, MixBook, or others (see reviews at https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-photo-books,review-2651.html). You could even include scanned writing, work samples, photos, recital programs, and quotes or thoughts from the year, scrapbook-style, or just create a coffee-table art book. (As a grandma, I can tell you I love getting these books as gifts!). Your budding artist may want to choose a few originals to keep in a small, archival-quality storage box, maxing it out at a specified capacity.
2. Display all the art treasures on one digital frame or rotating television display by scanning the originals (or snapping digital photos of 3D pieces) and uploading to your frame or monitor. I suggest selecting at least a 10-inch frame–the bigger, the better for seeing the details.
3. Make stationery from their artwork. Our littles’ creations have become our Christmas cards, notecards, baby announcements, and more. You can upload their masterpieces to a service such as Vistaprint or KidsArt, or simply print on your home computer.
4. Select a few of your Rembrandt’s favorites to frame, then swap them out each year, storing the retired pieces in a reasonable-sized, archival-quality storage container.
5. Curate the collection and take any suitable overflow of art to a local nursing home to share.
6. If your artist still wants everything close at hand, hang a curtain-style wire or a slender curtain rod horizontally across the room and hang art by curtain clips. (If you don’t care to have it in your dining room, it could be art for the artist’s room.) Ikea makes a sturdy hanging wire and inexpensive curtain clips.
7. Have a collection of artwork preserved on melamine plates or mugs. A search for “art into melamine plates” yields quite a few options.
8. Let the artwork warm your body as well as your heart–with a photo blanket highlighting some of your favorites. I’ve used a Groupon deal from Collage.com and have been happy with the quality; many other companies offer them, as well, such as Snapfish, Shutterfly, Walmart, Costco, and more.
9. Check out these Pinterest boards for more inspiration! http://pinterest.com/harmonyfinearts/art-display-ideas/
. . . And of course, there will still be those pieces you keep around in their orginal form for the sentimental value. . .
What are some of your favorite ways to display or store your kids’ artwork?