Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Preserving Children's Artwork

I've mentioned before that my kids love arts and crafts and nothing thrills me more than to help feed that creative side of them.  What I don't love though are piles and piles of art strewn all about and so a few years back I started making art journals for the kids.  Starting at about 2.5 when the art actually started to become intentional creations, I began saving their creations in a large box.  Every few months I make myself go through them and hang onto pieces that were sentimental or where I could see progress in a skill being worked on and made, i.e., cutting skills, stick figures versus just scribbling, etc.  Everything else I force myself to flush out.  As we go, I try to write the month and year on the creations and anything specific I remember about that project.  It's fun to look back and see progress and remember where they were at a certain age.   

When I first had the idea to create these journals I didn't really know where to start, so I visited our local Art Supply Warehouse and sort of just walked around and asked a few questions.  What I came up with was a clear artist type of plastic cover that would protect the cover art from fading over time.  The plastic sheets are sold in large poster board sizes.  The back of the journals are a heavy poster board available in a variety of colors.  There is a large artist paper cutter and hole punch on site so I cut the plastic covering and poster board right then and there.  The body of the journal is 12x18, the size of a standard artist's sketch pad.  Artwork that was made on smaller sheets of paper is simply glued onto 12x18 sheets of artists paper.  Larger pieces of artwork are simply left as is or cut down to 12x18.  
I love the clear covers because it leaves the artwork easily visible and it's fun choosing a special piece to feature as the front cover of the book.
The heavy poster board backing gives the journals a nice and weighty feel.  I just use cute ribbon ties to hold the journal together.
The journals are kept under their bed in a box and every now and then they enjoy sitting down and flipping the pages of their old artwork.  This week I'm trying to get caught up on Syd's journals, but unfortunately I seem to have misplaced a whole years worth of artwork from preschool.  Oops, I guess I am not nearly as organized as I might have you think ;)  It's my mission to find the missing artwork this week.  Wish me luck!  And tell me, do you have any special ways to preserve your child's artwork?  I'd love to know!

Linking up to Today's Creative Blog for Get Your Craft On Tuesday &
& Beth at Tutorials & Tips Linky Party


  1. I have a folder in my file cabinet but I really need to upgrade to something else. This is great!

  2. Oh geez, these are so darn cute. Our "art" is jammed in a box! I love this idea...might be time to organize!!

  3. Thanks ladies :) It’s a pain, sort of like organizing digital photos. But it is nice to have it done & all in one place :)

  4. Just found your blog through Say Yes to Hoboken... love your blog. Seriously. You've got some darling ideas on here. Newest follower!

  5. I was JUST thinking about this! I have so much of Charlotte's art just sitting in a box. This seems like something I can actually do myself. Great idea!

  6. super great idea! we already have a little art collection going, so i am diggin' this ;)


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