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13 Practical and Creative Ways to Get a Handle on the Art and Craft Clutter
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: How to store kids’ 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.
How to Store Kids’ 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.
1. 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!)
2. 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.
Update: I did end up buying some art wire for the playroom, and my husband was able to easily hang it up. When we moved, it was pretty easy to take down and re-hang in our daughter’s new bedroom.
It came with clips for hanging the artwork, and you can move the pieces around as needed. Sometimes, the papers start curling inward after hanging for a while, especially if it’s thinner paper. Cardstock and construction paper hold up a little better over time.
The good news is that it’s easy to swap out older pieces for fresh art as often as you like. And, problem solved!
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
Do Amazon boxes pile up at your house, too? These fun kids’ crafts using a cardboard box will keep them busy for hours.
6. 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.
7. 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!
8. 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.
9. 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!
10. 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!).
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
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Kids’ Artwork Storage Ideas
I hope these ideas have helped you to figure out how to store your kids’ 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.