Not sure how to save your child’s artwork? Been there, done that.
Actually, I’m still fighting that battle on a weekly basis, but I have discovered some really cool digital apps and other hacks along the way that helped me figure out how to save my kids’ artwork without completely getting rid of the memories and progression of their skills.
First, I love to display my kid’s artwork, at least the best of the best and the pieces that make them the proudest. Then, what is their fate? The recycle bin?
Give yourself other options for saving your children’s artwork without creating more clutter! You can go digital or save the best pieces in an organized way, and you can do it without a lot of effort.
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We live in a new digital age
When your child brings home the most ridiculously cute pieces of artwork, day after day, it can become really hard to know what to save and what to send to the recycle bin.
Sure, those cute crayon scribbles which are a “picture for mommy” are precious, but those are easy to part with.
I’m talking about the precious little paint footprints. OMG. I can’t help myself.
However, unlike our parents and thanks to the digital age, we have a lot more options. Thankfully, these options don’t include giant plastic containers with piles and piles of old papers our kids will never want to look at again and we don’t want to have to store.
What to save?
OK, so you want to save some of your kid’s artwork, but you don’t have to save it all! What is a mama to do?
Decide what is important to you, but I recommend not saving everything. That’s just silly.
- Food crafts. Food crafts over 30 years = gross
- Worksheets. Your child did nothing creative to fill out a worksheet and earn a smiley sticker. Unless it marks some huge accomplishment, no need to save it.
- Crafts really completed by an adult. You know which crafts I’m talking about. They are super cute, and your child is super proud, but you know they did not make it.
- Coloring sheets. Yay, Jr. got it in the lines for the first time! That’s awesome. Trust me mama, there will be one bazillion more coloring sheets over the years. Let them go.
How to save your child’s artwork:
These ideas will help you find a way to save your child’s artwork after they have been curated or displayed, if that’s something you want to do.
OK, this post is about saving you kids’ artwork. Let me tell you mama, you DO NOT have to save everything their sweet little minds create. In fact, you probably won’t miss most of it.
When you curate and display your kid’s artwork, let them decide what gets saved. If they choose to recycle something to make room for the next, embrace it!
You can do this too. Maybe save the top pieces, little handprints, etc, but please do your future self and kids a favor. Don’t save every piece.
Digital ways to save your child’s artwork:
The Keepy app is an app designed to preserve your child’s artwork digitally. The best part, it is FREE, my favorite kind of cool app.
You can take a picture of the artwork and even record your child describing the piece. You can also record the date and your child’s age when the piece was created.
Keepy allows you to create different profiles for each child, and you can share the files with grandparents or other family members.
You can also use the app to create photo gifts for family members.
If you need more storage space than the free plan, you can upgrade to a paid membership.
I am a huge fan of Shutterfly, and I’ve been using it for years. Create a folder for each child and title it something like “Child X Artwork”. Take a photo of the masterpiece and upload it to the folder.
You can do this all on your phone with the Shutterfly app!
Once a year, or maybe for all of preschool or all of elementary school, you can add the artwork album to a photobook. Shutterfly will even upload the pictures for you in chronological order and format the book for you if digital scrapbooking isn’t your thing!
The Shutterfly app also gives you the option to automatically upload your photos, so they are never lost. Storage is unlimited too. Seriously, I love Shutterfly.
Mixbook is another great way to digitally save photos and add them to a digital photo album.
Mixbook is formatted a lot like Shutterfly and Snapfish. Mixbook is also known for its high quality of items.
Artkive is a paid app. At the time of this article, 2019, you can get a paid membership for at little as $3 per month, as a way to save and organize your child’s artwork digitally.
What’s super cool about this service? They take all the work out of saving your kid’s artwork.
Want them to do it for you? You request a box for $39. Artkive then sends you a box to put all the artwork in and a pre-paid shopping label.
Then, they upload the artwork for you into a digital cloud and help make an art photobook for you. The box service includes a year of membership and digital storage.
Use your phone to take a picture and save it to Canvsly. It will store the photos for you in an organized fashion and allow you to easily share your child’s artwork with other loved ones.
Canvsly also helps you create thoughtful gifts, using your child’s artwork as inspiration.
Non-digital ways to save your child’s artwork:
If you child creates some serious masterpieces, you may want to invest in an art portfolio. Use it to store and view the treasures you can’t possibly let go of yet.
Use an expandable file folder
If you want to save your child’s artwork in an organized fashion, you can put them by age in a cute expandable file folder.
One expandable file folder should be able to save the absolute best pieces of your child’s artwork for many years.
Turn your child’s artwork into a gift
If you are short on room to save your child’s artwork, try mailing it with a note to a relative. All of our relatives live far away from us, and nothing brings them joy like a surprise piece of art in the mail they can hang on their fridge.
The best part about mailing a piece of artwork? You have no idea when they decide to recycle it, and you don’t have to be the one to make that decision!
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There you go mama, my favorites ways to save my child’s artwork.
There are tons of services out there, but these are my favorites.
Don’t fall victim to artwork clutter. Find a way, even if different from these suggestions, to save your child’s artwork without stuffing them into giant bins and storing them for years to come.