Friday, December 5, 2014

Reader Space: Organizing Kids' Artwork

A reader asked for help when it came to organizing & storing her son's artwork. And because he's only 2, you KNOW he is bringing home a masterpiece with handprints or doodles!!
As a mom of two kids (age 5 & 7), I can sympathize. Luckily, there are oodles of ideas out there and here are a few of my favorites:

-Create a "brag board" (made out of an bulletin board, cork tiles, etc) for each child. These could hang in either a playroom or kitchen. Only place items on these boards that your child is *super* proud to show you. So... you might be changing them out every day :) But if they are tacked up with a pushpin, no big deal, right?!

-A similar idea is to either make a DIY "Masterpiece" board like the one shown below, or hang a magnetic strip (from IKEA) with just a few favorite pieces displayed.
(This would also but cute done with clipboards or cork tiles).

Again, these two ideas are mainly for "favorite" pieces. So what do you do with the other 105,834 pieces of artwork that come home with your child!? Well, if you want to get fancy, here are two options that I adore:

-You can purchase a collage made from your child's artwork! See the Etsy listing here.

Please look at how cute this is! It could easily
serve as artwork on the wall in your child's room.
 -Through, you can have your child's artwork turned into a coffee table book!!

......But, I must get back to my reader's original question :) 
She asked about two solutions - to hang a few favorite art pieces in frames, and then file the rest. To that I say: Bravo! That is exactly what I do, and it's been a great system for me so far.
In fact, here are pictures of my kids' "brag boards" in our playroom:

(I covered the backing of each frame with burlap, took out the glass, and hot-glued a clip}
....And our craft room:
...And then my daughter has a display in her bedroom, because she colors & draws 24/7:

{I got the frames at Michael's when they were on sale}
Those 3 places are where I display their most favorite pieces, as soon as they bring them home.
With the rest, I put into a double wall pocket, similar to the one shown here.
{This one is from IKEA, but there are other cute options at
Target, Amazon, Pottery Barn, and Hobby Lobby}
At the end of each week, I go through the wall pockets, and do an initial purge. (Again, I keep things that the kids seemed really proud of, or ones that demonstrated a new skill, like writing their name or perfectly their addition facts). Then, I file the "keepers" in a tub like the one shown below. 
(I purchased 2" expandable hanging file folders, and designated one for each grade. And I made the labels using Microsoft Word.)
{I found both the file boxes & hanging files at Office Max}
At the end of the year, the folder will be overflowing, so you will have to do a second purge. Believe me, at the end of the year, not every single thing with a handprint will deem necessary to keep. And....I'm gonna say have my permission to throw away some of your kids' artwork!! It does NOT make you a bad parent to do so. Most likely, they will never know the difference anyway :)
So, Becca, I hope that answers your question and that you can find a good solution for your son's endless supply of artwork. I would love to see what you come up with.
Good luck!

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  1. Oooo! I like the brag board idea! It makes it kind of look framed while being able to switch out easily! Cool! I might have to try this...after Baby #3!

  2. I just love you! Such great ideas. I will be hiring you for a work/vacation if we ever build a house!