Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Saving Kids' Artwork

It's very nice to pretend that I am organized and neat and tidy...but when it comes time to find things (like shot records, for example) that's when the pretending ends and reality hits:
THERE ARE PAPERS EVERYWHERE!

I have attempted to save my kids work in a variety of ways in the past.  Take for example the ever popular 'toss in a box method.'
I did try to improve on this by using the 'shove it in a pocket folder' method...but let's face it, that's not really the way to showcase artwork.  So, I thought this particular area might be a good organization project to work on this month.

Before I show you my solutions, check out my "stashin' the art stuff" pin board to see some seriously cool ways people have scanned and saved their kids artwork!  It's fantastic!! (Oh, there's art supply storage on there too.)

Anyway, I decided to go a different route because (a) I want to save writing pieces as well and create more of a schoolwork scrapbook kind of thing and (b) I'm a complete technological doofus and I have no idea how to scan things! So, here's what I got:
I really wanted 12X12 because a lot of oversized projects just can't be made to fit in a regular sized binder.  I found these with the photo albums, not the binders...though depending on the store I think they could be either place.  The ones by the binders would probably be cheaper, if you're lucky!

I also got 12x12 black and white card stock to put behind all the work, now everything looks so much more special and polished-- even the sheep with feathers...
Speaking of sheep with feathers, lets talk about deciding what to save.  First off, I'm definitely a less is more girl in this particular area (except when it comes to books).  But here's one important tip that I think everyone can use: 
DON'T DECIDE RIGHT AWAY IF SOMETHING IS A 'SAVE FOREVER' PIECE OF WORK.

You see, right after your child has made a beautiful painting or spent a long time on a collage, OF COURSE it is going to seem important and valuable and like something to keep FOREVER.  

Do keep it, for now! Hang it on the fridge. Enjoy it! Ooh and aahhh, and then when the novelty wears off-- that's when you decide whether or not to save it for all of time.
Lilac is getting older and has more written work we want to keep. With the writing we're saving, I'm going to make photocopies and put the copy in the album instead of the original. That way we can still see her penmanship without the worry of the pencil smudging over time. 
As you can see, I'm not afraid to trim the work (or even cut it in half if necessary) to show it.  I think this snowman looks much better spread across two pages than he would if he were folded in half and stuck in the sheet protector. (Maybe that's just me though.)

Although I am nowhere near the bottom of the piles of papers, I'm excited about the direction we're headed.  Here are just a few other ideas I'm thinking will make the books special.
OH-- and I forgot to mention how super-duper smart it would be to get a date stamp! (Thank you Vanessa!!) Then you can mark when things are made and you aren't left wondering...like I have been while searching the papers.

Do you have a good way of saving your kids' important work? I'd love to hear about it! 
Whitney

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