Arts and Crafts Solutions {Spring Cleaning}

Spring Cleaning{Click image above for more posts in this series!}

This past August marked the beginning of our first child’s “school” days, but if you know anything about me, you know the arts and crafts have been going on for quite some time. In fact, I feel guilty because I’m fairy certain we started handprint crafts at around 10 months with Wyatt, and I haven’t so much kept up with John. We are getting there slowly; he’s just a much more on-the-move kiddo.

Regardless, we craft several times a week around here. Whether you are crafting at home or your kids bring it home from elsewhere, dealing with their masterpieces most likely puts you in one of these categories :: the hoarder, the purger, the displayer, or the organizer.

I personally love hanging them up around the house. I want to show my kids that I value what they create, and it’s nice to have up for conversations with Daddy. I’ve kept my favorites in a box for a while now.  Knowing I have clutter tendencies combined with the fact that I can’t duplicate the sheer amount of paper year after year and have a place to store.

I once again consulted with our great contributors, and together we are here to offer 5 storage solutions for kid masterpieces.

5 Storage Solutions for Kid's Masterpieces

Weed Out

1606873_10103151190041925_1116957401_n

We don’t come up with as much artwork as some who go to school daily, and Wyatt’s teachers are pretty good about decorating  their classroom with their work, so our weekly accumulation isn’t so bad. Our working mom contributor Sarah showed me what her children come home with weekly though and offered a few suggestions for avoiding a paper overload.

  • Grab a few highlight items of the week for the fridge {perhaps holiday related}.
  • Talk with your child about the pieces and hang up one that he/she gravitates toward.
  • Throw out {or mail to grandparents!} leftover pieces before they suck you into the must-keep-me vortex!

 

Give Away

Especially around the holidays, I plan lots of our crafts around cards that we can send to grandparents, Godparents, and even our service men and women overseas.  This way we accomplish a bit of learning through “Preschool at Home”, but also keep our walls a bit less cluttered. And we all know how much family and friends love getting mail from our littles.  Outside of holiday crafts and cards, I love cutting up freestyle paintings or colorings and creating homemade notecards to send for birthday or Christmas gifts and passing on the art of sending thank-you notes.

giveitaway

Display

Pinterest has given me idea after idea for creative ways to display art around the house. As I mentioned, I love having it up as a representation of our family and times spent together.  Months ago I actually “pinned there, DID that” and created these burlap frames to hang a few pieces in our breakfast area. The three frames very quickly became too little in space for our work, so I recently purchased the popular wire hanger for our play area where I can hang more. I should have even considered layering several wires! Both Tiffanie and Sarah hang art this way as well, and it seems to be a great go-to method.

wall hanging.jpg

Box Up

Both Kelly and Meagan suggested these portfolios for long-term storage. I recently went through the boxes {and boxes} of my own masterpieces that my mom was ready to pass along. I can’t see my boys wanting a ton of their own work in the future, but there’s definitely something about looking back at the work you did as a child. These seem like a great way to hold on to just enough instead of keeping everything. As children grow, a fun end of the year activity would be pulling out their favorite masterpieces for storing.

Arts & Crafts Storage

Repurpose

I’ve taken to this last category as the one for our family in terms of artwork storage. While I might keep a few pieces here and there, I think our best bet is to hang onto these memories in the most downsized fashion possible. Before I get into how I plan to do that, let me also suggest a couple of other options.

Consider laminating a few favorite pieces and use as placemats for meals or even Play Doh mats. This would be especially fun for seasonal art. Another option might be to create a keepsake box to store artwork, pictures, your favorite mementos.

An alternative might be using Shutterfly, Snapfish, or your favorite photography service to create a calendar to use at home or give as gifts. Once the images are scanned, you will always have them to repurpose however you choose.

I’ve recently started the process of creating a photo book from the favorite pieces of artwork I’ve collected over the last three years. In researching I’ve come across an app called ArtKive that streamlines the process of creating a photo book from your child’s art from the convenience of your phone. I personally prefer to exercise my own creative muscles and plan to use Shutterfly to create our first book. This way I can group pictures as I want and use several images per page. I’m even eying the Mini Masterpieces theme just for this occasion.  I plan to take a note or two from these sites in putting our book together:

With materials gathered and a few minutes of snapping pictures each afternoon in the sunlight coming through the windows, I’m ready to tackle the pile of kid masterpieces we have created so far and stay on top of it in months to come.

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Hopefully I can create photo books yearly and keep a few special pieces. After all, when your kids are grown and in houses of their own, you’ve got to have something to pawn off on them for storage right?

What are your favorite ways to keep the clutter at bay yet hold on to these precious pieces of your child’s life?

[hr] Please Note :: We are so thankful to have Kid to Kid Houston Galleria sponsoring our ‘Spring Cleaning :: Out With the Old, In With the New’ series!  As you are deep cleaning and decluttering your house this spring, we encourage you to check out their amazing resale store down in the heart of Houston.  While there, you can sell all of your unwanted kid’s stuff…and then buy the things that you need!

Kid to Kid Houston Galleria

1737 Post Oak Boulevard

Houston, TX 77056

713.622.2545

Previous articleStart NOW for Some Mother’s Day Fun in Houston!
Next articleAccepting Help
Jenn is an English teacher turned stay at home mom to boys Wyatt {2010}, John {2013}, and Abram {2014}. South Louisiana born and raised, North Louisiana educated, and Texas “polished,” she has found Houston to be home with her husband for the past ten years. After infertility struggles, in 2010 she traded in A Tale of Two Cities for Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site and has since been busy discovering ways to learn while playing, maintaining a semi-scheduled family life, and integrating both Texas and Louisiana culture into her family. Besides making memories with her boys full time, she enjoys reading, running, crafting, cooking, and football. Y’all stop by When In Doubt, Add More Salt to read more about family adventures with the boys and Jenn’s thoughts on hot summers and Pinterest pin attempts, and her love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great article…super cute ideas. Thanks Jenn L! Love the idea of scanning this stuff and using it in multiple different ways!

  2. Ok, LOVE-EEE this post! I especially like the idea of mailing stuff to the grandparents. Total win, win, win across the board. My kids are obsessed with the mail (I blame an episode of Bubble Guppies) and always want to stuff envelopes – so win. Grandparents LOVE getting mail from grandkids – WIN. My house is more clutter-free – WINNING! 🙂 But the idea of laminating for placemats or playdoh mats is brilliant. Never would have thought of that. Thanks, Jenn!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here