It’s estimated that Andy Warhol created roughly 10,000 artworks during his career. Sound like anyone you know? A child can be prolific, and parents — über-supportive curators that they are—keepers of all the artistic output.
If you’re proud of your little artist(s) but at a loss when it comes to dealing with the sheer magnitude of their artwork, here are some creative ideas for decluttering the fridge, preserving the most cherished works of art, and sharing your children’s masterpieces with family and friends.
Choose the ‘Best’ Art Pieces to Make Placemats!
Simply choose your child’s “best” larger art pieces and laminate. Make special placemats for holidays and switch out every so often.
Create an ‘Art Wall’
You can make your own art display with simple items from the hardware store: choose string to wire and hang up along a convenient wall then attach your child’s masterpieces with clothespins. Hang it anywhere you like: your child’s room, an empty hallway, the kitchen… and rotate the art as often as you like! When it reaches capacity, have your child pull one down for every new project going up on display. You can keep prized pieces in a weatherproof box. !
Decorate a Column
If you have a column in your home, why not make use of it? A four-sided column is perfect for exhibiting the artwork of up to four children, each with his or her own side. To avoid making multiple pushpin holes, consider coating your column with magnetic paint (by using a magnetic latex primer under your paint or mixing in a magnetic paint additive) and attaching art with strong magnets.
A simple frame can turn scribbles into home décor. These Dynamic Artwork Frames hinge on the side for easy access. You can display one piece of art at a time and hold up to 50 more behind it for later display.
For a more affordable DIY solution, you can buy affordable frames (re-use by purchasing from a the thrift store), remove the glass, arrange the empty frames on a wall, and easily rotate your kids’ art with a simple pushpin.
Save the Best in a Scrapbook
If your walls have reached capacity but you still have precious artwork that you want to preserve, purchase a simple three-ring binder and some plastic sheet protectors. Have your child decorate the cover, and store the art binder with the rest of your family’s scrapbooks and photo albums, ready for you whenever you want to reminisce!
Make a Puzzle
Help your kids exercise their brains by turning their artwork into puzzles. They’ll be proud of both their art and their puzzle skills. Plus you’ll save money on puzzles! Simply glue a piece of art to a sheet of thin cardboard and cut into an age-appropriate number of shapes. For a double-sided puzzle, recycle the cardboard box from one of your children’s toys to use as your puzzle backing.
Make Original (and Free!) Wrapping Paper and Cards
Save bigger artwork pieces to use as gift wrap for grandparents and close friends. If your kids consider themselves muralists, roll large artwork (and coloring pages from oversize coloring books) around a cardboard tube and use it for unique and economical wrapping paper.
Turn smaller artworks into homemade ‘thank you’ cards and have the kids write a little something on the back! Simply fold a page in half, write a greeting on the inside, and use for birthday cards and other special occasions. No more running to the card store at the last minute!
Create a Digital Display
Scan the drawings into your computer and use them for laptop screen savers, digital photo frames, or to make digital cards. It’s always good to have digital copies! Check out Keepy, a creative website that lets you organize, enhance, share, admire and save all your child’s awesome stuff forever and ever.
Displaying your kids’ masterpieces in your Cozi Collage is a great way to make sure they’re seen and appreciated by the whole family. Make sure their artwork is stored in the My Pictures or Shared Pictures folders on your computer, and Cozi will display them.
The family journal is a perfect tool for sharing your kids’ scanned masterpieces—and the stories that go along with them—with friends and family. Simply click “Jot down a moment,” upload the artwork, and share a story if you wish. From there, it’s simple to share it on your own family web page, via email or a monthly newsletter, or even on Facebook.
Put it in the Mail
Yes, it’s a nice exercise in staying connected and grandparents, aunts, uncles, distant cousins – everyone loves to receive something in the mailbox! They will cherish it as much as you do and surely give it a place of honor in their homes.
Online photo services, like Shutterfly, provide a huge variety of photo products to choose from, many of which are just as suitable for scanned artwork as they are for photos. You can preserve your children’s creative endeavors indefinitely in custom photo books, mouse pads, calendars, note cards, stickers… the list goes on and it doesn’t cost much.
Purge and Store the Rest
At some point, all parents have to face the fact that we can’t save every single piece of art created by our children. Once a month or so, go through everything and choose to let a few go. If there are still more that you can’t bear to throw away and don’t have room to display, store them in plastic bins—one for each year. Now that’s organization!
What other ways have you found to save, share and display your child’s artwork? Let Chipper know!