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What to Do With Children’s Artwork When It’s Time to De-Clutter

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Practical and Creative Ways to Save or Re-Purpose Your Kids’ Art

Kids are notorious for creating piece after piece of art. And you can’t keep ALL of them — yet, on the other hand, you feel guilty getting rid of them. Thus ensues the great dilemma: What to do with children’s artwork.

Not to worry! I have a few ideas that will help you with the de-cluttering process AND save as many of your kiddos’ masterpieces as you’d like. 

That’s right — you can keep them all, or just a select few. Let’s find out how.

 

pin this graphic to pinterest so others can find out what to do with children's artwork

 

What to Do With Children’s Artwork

With the following ideas, I’ll help you save and display your children’s artwork in creative ways. I’ll also help you figure out how to cut back on the paper clutter — even if you want to save ALL of them.

And if you don’t? Choose your favorites to keep and give away, and don’t feel guilty about tossing the rest into the recycle bin.

Of course, if your child is particularly attached to some of their artwork, please don’t sneak around and throw it away! Just save it. Use one of these ideas to preserve or display the original copy.

 

Rotate artwork in a frame

The walls in our new home are pretty bare right now! So I’m looking for creative ways to display my children’s best artwork on them. 

There are a few different “easy change” frames to choose from, but these Macro Gallery Four Way frames are one of my favorites. As soon as I figure out exactly where to put it, I’ll probably end up getting at least one of these frames. 

(I’m thinking either the kids’ playroom or the dining room — or maybe both if I can’t decide!)

 

Display it on a hanging display wire

This is another option I’m considering for the playroom. 

I love the idea of being able to rotate my kiddos’ artwork and change it out on occasion! And, like the easy change frames from my last point, a picture hanging wire with clips is a wonderful way to do just that.

 

Print a photo book

Rather than saving ALL of the original artwork, snap photos of your favorites. Save the photos in digital folders. And when you have enough, use a printing service to turn them into a photo book.

 

Use it as wrapping paper

No wrapping paper to be found? No problem!

If you have some cute drawings lying around and you simply cannot find a spot for them, but can’t bear to throw them away just yet, use them as wrapping paper. 

 

Turn it into a gift

While you could absolutely frame a drawing or painting and give it to a loved one as a gift, that’s not quite what I’m talking about here.

Rather, take a photo of the artwork (natural lighting is best!) and have it printed onto a notebook, mug, or whatever you think the recipient might like. 

 

Mail it to distant family members

Who doesn’t enjoy getting something in the mail (other than bills, of course!)? Especially now, when we’re not traveling as much to see distant friends and family. 

Ask your child if it’s okay to send one (or a few) of their many masterpieces to their grandparents, aunts and uncles, or anyone you think would like to get something in the mail. 

 

Use it to decorate their rooms

Your kids’ bedrooms are the perfect place to display their artwork! 

First of all, it’s free, so you’ll save money decorations. And it’s an awesome way to inject some of their personality into their personal space. 

Sounds like a win-win to me!

 

Turn it into a card

Need a birthday card? Have some of your kids’ artwork sitting around?

There you have it: Two birds, one stone, and all that. 

 

Save it in a binder

An inexpensive 3-ring binder is the perfect place to store your kids’ drawings and paintings. It’s nothing fancy, but such an easy way to tuck them away for later. 

Start out with one 2” binder (like these) for each child; you can always grab more later as needed. 

I like to slip my children’s artwork inside protective plastic sheets to keep it safe. And that way, we can flip through the pages anytime we want without tearing the paper. 

You can even slip smaller, odd-shaped pieces of artwork into the sheet protectors!

 

children's artwork in a binder

 

Create a gallery wall with up-cycled frames

I’ve seen some really cute ideas in my quest to figure out what to do with children’s artwork, and a gallery wall is one of them.

You can either take a random assortment of old photo frames you already have, or go buy some from the thrift store. They don’t even have to match. In fact, a variety of designs and sizes works best.

Next, grab a few cans of spray paint and get to work. Spray all of the frames in one cohesive color such as Satin Aqua — bam! 

Now, all you have to do is figure out how to arrange them (and, of course, which of your kiddos’ masterpieces make the cut!).

 

Hang it on the fridge

Simple, but effective. One, or a few, of our favorite pieces always end up on the fridge. 

Of course, you have to cycle them out pretty frequently to keep clutter to a minimum, but the ol’ artwork on the fridge is a classic.

 

Show it off in a digital frame

Here’s another idea for those of you who want to enjoy your kids’ art — yet hate cluttering up the house. 

Simply photograph it and you’ll be able to appreciate it for years to come on a digital photo frame like this one.

 

Take a photo and then toss it

My final tip for the day? If it’s a really nice piece of artwork, but you’re simply running out of places to put them, snap a picture and be done with it. Toss it into the recycling bin, guilt-free. 

Store it in a digital folder so you can find it later if you decide to turn it into a photo book or a coffee mug for the grandparents.

 

I hope these ideas have helped you to figure out what to do with children’s artwork. It can be reeeeally hard to get rid of them, but if you do, honestly — you don’t have to feel bad! Especially if you’ve saved a digital copy to enjoy later.

 

Read more:

21 Must-Have Arts & Craft Supplies for Toddlers and Preschoolers

5 Craft Subscription Boxes that Busy Moms Will Love

7 Fun Learning Activities for Toddlers at Home

 

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8 Comments

  1. These are some clever ways to display your child’s artwork. Many of these I wouldn’t have thought of! I like the 4-way frame. I checked it out and it looks pretty cool. I also like the idea of a binder because it keeps everything in one place and it’s easy to show people.

    1. Yes, I love that frame! I’ll have to update this post once I get around to ordering one or two for our house. 🙂

  2. I love the binder idea! Our fridge is completely covered with my son’s drawings because he gets so proud and wants us to display it somewhere lol so we got him a sketchbook to keep them in instead but he still wants to rip them out! lol maybe a dedicated binder would help, thanks for the ideas!

    1. Oh absolutely! I got that idea from my daughter’s former daycare — they put all of her artwork into a big binder, and we are still adding to it all the time.

  3. These are really great ideas. I’m always feeling bad. I have so much artwork and colorings in a bin in my basement. Not only are these creative and great ideas, but they also encourage creativity and build confidence in your kids, that you are taking the time to keep and cherish what they put work into. Going to pin this and start doing some of these.

    1. I totally hear ya! We haven’t had our own home in a while and now we’re still getting settled into our new house, so our walls are still pretty bare. We haven’t had family photos or kids’ artwork on the walls in sooo long! We’ve been working on it, though — you’re right, it’s such a confidence booster to have their handiwork on display. 🙂

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