Children are such wonderful little artists, aren’t they? Their creations are bright, colorful, and always one-of-a-kind, and the way they smile when proudly displaying their latest work of art is truly one of parenthood’s greatest joys.
However, as beautiful as their creations are, the daily artwork starts to pile up after a while and parents often find themselves making the dreaded decision of what to keep and what to toss.
Here are some creative ideas for your kids’ artwork that will make their best projects even more special – while saving you a ton of space at the same time.
- Coffee table book. Scan or take pictures of your favorite artwork and order a keepsake book. You can add pictures of your kids to make it even more personal. Most picture sharing websites, like Shutterfly and Snapfish, will do this for a reasonable price.
- Digital frame. Simply upload the scanned artwork to a digital picture frame and display an ongoing slideshow anywhere in your home or office.
- Jewelry. Turn your kids’ art into art for your body. Create a necklace, charm bracelet, or even earrings that you or your child can show off for years to come. KidzCanDesign and Formia Design are popular websites that will do this.
- String a clothesline. Run a strand or two of clothesline across a wall and secure projects of all shapes and sizes with clothespins. This is a great way to decorate kids’ bedrooms or playrooms.
- Clipboard gallery. Neatly affix a series of clipboards to the wall in a square or rectangular shape, spacing them apart equally. Then clip the kids’ most recent artwork to each one, easily switching projects out for new favorites every few months. Click here to see a finished one.
- Shadowbox. Not all artwork is flat or can be scanned on a home printer. Purchase a shadow box picture frame for three-dimensional projects to display on a wall or shelf.
- Placemats. Take the artwork to Staples and have it laminated, or purchase self-laminating adhesive sheets and laminate it yourself. Then use the laminated art as fun placemats for mealtime.
- Artwork mail. Turn artwork into special greeting cards by asking your child to write a message on the back to a grandparent or other family member. Then send it in the mail for a nice surprise!
- Homemade puzzles. Adhere the artwork to a piece of cardboard and cut it into puzzle pieces for a fun, homemade puzzle kids will be proud to complete.
- Start a blog. Start your own website using WordPress or another free blogging platform where you can post the kids artwork every day. You can email your “blog” posts to friends or family whenever you upload new artwork.
- Stuffed animals or plushes. Forget that old teddy bear – now you can turn your kids’ creations into an friendly stuffed animal to snuggle with every night. Go to budsies.com or Child’sOwn.com to make your plush.
- Create a photo album. You probably have a bunch of photo albums already, so why not create one just for artwork? Scan pictures of the art and print or order the photos, then slide each photo into an album. Record the child’s name and age under each photo and store with your other photo albums as a precious keepsake.
- Bulletin board. This is arguably the easiest way to display artwork. Pin art projects to the bulletin board, then switch out the old stuff for new as the year goes by.
- Floating frames. A floating frame will allow you to display images between clear sheets of glass or acrylic. Hang the frames on the wall and create an elegant mini gallery of artwork that can be changed often and easily. Click here to see examples.
- Explore picture sharing websites for new ideas. Many picture sharing websites offer a variety of unconventional methods for displaying pictures. You can turn your kids’ artwork into fridge magnets, coffee mugs, key chains, mouse pads, blankets, calendars, canvas photos, clothing, pillows, cell phone cases and more.
- Smartphone Apps. There’s an app for everything, and kids’ artwork is no exception. There are several apps available that will store your children’s previous projects for free. Try Keepy, Canvsly, Artkive, or Art My Kid Made.
By Jeannine Cintron, whose six-year-old draws the meanest T-Rex in all of Staten Island.