Children are prolific artists, producing treasures at school and preschool every day that they bring home for you to admire and display.
By the end of the first few weeks of school, bookshelves, fridges and walls are overflowing with creative output of all shapes and sizes.
Come the end of the year, it’s usually time for a good tidy up and cull, whereby you keep only the most precious or impressive masterpieces to make room for next year’s creative crop. If you’re still looking at an overwhelming gallery after wrenching yourself away from the lions share, what’s the best way to store these keepsakes?
First, sort through what you’d like to keep. Be ruthless – only keep significant pieces. It may help or hinder the process to do this together with your child.
Make piles to:
1. Hang it
Get creative with a coloured garland and sparkly pegs, double up several rows in your kids’ room if you have the wall space. Line your walls with cork tiles for an ever-changing gallery.
2. Frame it
For the Peoples’ Choice pieces, invest in framing so they’re kept safely forever. Alternatively, even a more affordable frame from IKEA or Kmart will suffice for some time.
3. Make placements
Laminate and use at the dinner table or craft area. These are a great way to use art every day and they wear and age naturally with use, ready for the next lot!
4. Store it
Folders & binders – this includes certificates and reports. Use plastic sleeves to slip in A4 and smaller artworks. These can be popped on the shelf and enjoyed by you and your children in years to come. Don’t forget to cover the binder in a particularly fetching piece of art!
Large folio books – available from art stores in large formats, these have bound protective sleeves and can be stored flat.
Store chronologically or, if you’re a keen scrap booker or super-organised, you might add tabs with events or date dividers.
5. Digitise it
Phone apps such as Keepy allow you to organise, save and share your kids’ artworks in digital form. Memories, artworks, photos and mementos can be stored and features added such as timelines, narration and web galleries.
Look online for companies who provide a service where you can send your selection to be made into a hard bound book, or scanned and saved digitally.
6. Send it
To relatives – use a postal tube if needs be
7. Use it
As wrapping paper (larger pieces) or cards (smaller pieces)
8. Toss it
Your child will bring home more in the coming years so keep handy a large box stylishly covered box for storing day-to-day treasures in the meantime.