Creating artwork during childhood is like a fun adventure where (almost) no rules apply. You can use as many crazy crayon colors as you want, get paint all over your hands, and then take your masterpiece home to your parents, who proudly show it on their fridge until a few weeks later, when it goes into a portfolio the size of about four suitcases put together, waiting to embarrassingly come out again on the day of your high school graduation party.
At least, that’s how it used to be, until these crafty parents showed up and turned artwork into timeless kid-approved home decor. Here are five ways to keep those drawings and paintings from collecting lifelong memories instead of dust.
1. Keepsake Boxes
Like I said, most art and schoolwork portfolios are too huge to be practical, so Toni uses her “keepsake boxes” instead. They’re color-coded, labeled, and stackable plastic bins that can easily fit inside a bedroom for a more engaging way to store papers or to teach kids to store their own work.
2. Clipboard Command Center
The best thing about Stephany’s art display space is that it’s incredibly multifunctional. When her kids aren’t busy being Michelangelos, her clipboards allow for that art gallery to become a command center for keeping track of appointments or after-school activities. It also has an amazing Pinterest-inspired growth chart.
3. Gallery Walls (Three Ways!)
Now this is a home art gallery! Jen used kitchen cabinet doors from a home improvement store, along with label holders and hooks that allows the artwork to be easily changed as her little ones grow. The result? Each creation looks like it’s in a frame in a real art gallery. It’s a high-end project with a low-end price tag.
If you want to use actual frame to create a gallery wall, here’s what I did in our house. Our stairway was so bare, and Noah LOVES to draw, so I bought super cheap frames from Walmart (they range from $1-$5) and hung them all the way up the stairs. He loves inviting new guests to walk through his “art gallery”.
And this was the gallery wall we had at our old house in a kitchen nook. I just used cheap frames, removed the glass, and stuck spray-painted clothespins onto the wall with sliced Command Hooks. I was able to switch out the art without even removing a frame at all. We really loved this wall, and the vinyl decal from Etsy really took it over the top.
4. Binder & Sheet Protectors
What if you didn’t just want to store or display artwork, but to read it? Laura made a shelf-friendly home for her son’s art with a three-ring binder and some sheet protectors. The sheet protectors mean that you don’t have to actually take the out the papers to look at them (Goodbye, never ending paper piles!), and it makes for a great memento for kids to pass down later.
5. Custom Made Photo Book
Or, if you’re feeling lazy like me, Shutterfly can make these photo books for you. I had one made for Noah, and he’s always happy to show it to guests when they come over. This one is his art through 3rd grade, and I plan to have another made when he finishes 6th grade this year. Then I’ll do another for 7th-8th, and a final one for his high school years.
When he graduates high school, I’ll give them all to him as a graduation gift. And since Shutterfly saves your projects forever, I can have them reprinted again so we can both have a copy.
How Do You Store Your Kids’ Artwork?
Share your kids’ artwork storage photos on Instagram using #lelaimorganizedish and I’ll shout you out in my InstaStories! I love sharing inspiring ideas for busy mamas like you, and I know we’ve all got boatloads of artwork to store, organize, and display. Bring on the inspo!