Staying organized is a constant struggle in our house. I don’t know about your kids, but mine are mass producers of artwork. When we do art projects at home, the girls go through pages and pages of drawings and paintings before they are finished. Add to that what they bring home from school and we have a major clutter situation. Some of the artwork is easy to throw in the recycling bin but a lot of it is hard to throw out.
Over the past few years of receiving art, I have come up with a few solutions:
1. Use art as art is intended: Frame it!
As we have small children and lots of expenses, when we started decorating our house we found that we had a lot of wall space and no money or inclination to purchase expensive ‘art’. When I was in Grade 4, my parents framed a pastel drawing I had done and to this day it still hangs on my wall. It’s a great keepsake and I am proud that my parents thought it was special enough to frame. When decorating Ainsley’s big girl room, I went through the pile of art we had accumulated and picked out three of her drawings and framed those using inexpensive Ikea frames. I love the look of them and Ainsley is very excited every time I remind her that she drew those pictures. I will do the same for Juliet once we have a collection to choose from. What a great way to boost self-esteem by showing them that what they have created is special.
2. Art as a Gift
To take the framing of art one step further, I have given framed pieces to my parents and in-laws. I find it very hard to shop for them as really, what do you get your parents let alone your in-laws? Whether they hang the art on their wall in the office or at home, it’s a really nice thoughtful gift that is an Original piece of artwork that is priceless. This is a great way to save the art that you don’t want to throw out but at the same time, make room in your house for new art.
3. Art as Fundraiser
This past year at Ainsley’s nursery school we did a fabulous fundraiser for the school using the children’s paintings. Both girls created a painting and it was sent to Acorn Custom Cards, a company which took the art and made cards and placemats. This was a great idea as it provided a fun art activity for the kids, earned money for the co-op school and parents were able to have cards made that showcased their child’s skills and again, the children would get a self-esteem boost by seeing their art used in a new way.
4.Art as wrapping paper and cards
Another great option is to reuse your children’s artwork as wrapping paper and as cards. I love getting home made mother’s day cards and my girls love making cards for others. This is a great use of artwork that would otherwise be thrown out and save you from buying overpriced cards and wrapping paper!
5. The Memory Book
Glow Baby has a unique new Memory Book called My Story.. A Book of Memories that has 12 gusseted pockets big enough to fit art! This album is designed to help parent store the art pieces they want to keep in a beautiful place. As there are no dates on the pages, each pocket can be used for as much as a family needs. If your children are major art producers like mine, you may have one pocket per school term. For the younger set you could use one pocket for each year. All in all, a great solution to the problem.