Organizing and Storing Children’s Art

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storing maia’s art

I am just back from the doctor with a croupy little Maia and we have been making banana bread with our over-ripe bananas.
I wanted to share my current big organization project that I’ve been working on over the weekend. I opened up the overstuffed and ripped portfolio that I talked about here, and sorted all Maia’s artwork into two big plastic bins.

Flat storage is a lot better for art on paper, especially long term, which I knew but I still didn’t get around to putting together a flat storage system until now.
So for now I have one bin per year, but I imagine that I’ll consolidate at some point–maybe have one bin for ages 1-3 and one for 4-6, etc.

I loved going through all her old artwork (most of which I hadn’t seen since she first made it!) and took pictures of my favorites and also framed several. I’ll probably post more about them soon, especially if I can figure out how to use those cool flickr montages that I’ve seen on other blogs.

As for progress on the rest of the studio organization project, there is some, but not too much. I’ve cleaned up the studio and started using the new bins I bought at Target. I decided I want to install shelves on one of the walls and so need to wait for our tax refund before heading to Home Depot for brackets and wood. I’ll keep you posted…

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  1. says

    The boxes are about 16 inches wide by 22 inches long and 6 inches deep. I bought them at Target–I think they were $3.99 each. They’re actually not big enough for her bigger drawings and paintings, but I cut a few done to size (shhh!), folded a few, and kept a few in the paper portfolio until I figure out what to do with them. I might just hold onto the portfolio for the bigger pieces.

  2. r8ermom says

    wow, that’s great. i was just wondering this weekend what to do with my son’s accumulating artwork. thanks for the tip about storing art horizontally rather than vertically because i was about to buy a kids’ portfolio on lillian vernon but hesitated at the $20 price tag. but while shopping for something else at aaron brothers this weekend, however, i came across a very cool clear plastic canister for pens, pencils, brushes, etc. it’s a two-piece canister that you separate to place photo/artwork in between the two. i’m planning to cut down some of my son’s paintings and place them in there. i hope cutting the artwork isn’t a huge faux pas!

  3. tif says

    i’d love to know more about an inexpensive, relatively easy way to frame kids artwork – or other display ideas. I have many i’d like to frame, but the matting and framing seems like a huge hurdle. A little voice is telling me you may have written something about this, but my memory fails me.

  4. Mrs. Bear says

    That’s funny that you posted this. It must be morning of storing/showing artwork. Was changing out the art on our doors this morning, then saw this at Cookie Magazine (am thinking of doing the top)….but have been having issues trying to figure out what to do with the rest. Surely, everything isn’t frameable!
    Do you save everything or just a portion?

  5. Andrea McMann says

    Good for you! I keep my kids’ most special artwork in their own file folders in my file cabinet. It’s easy to stash them away, and since I already have the cabinet, it keeps the clutter to a minimum.
    Funny story: I do the crossword in my local paper as often as I can, and one of the clues yesterday was “Artful.” It was a three letter word, and I couldn’t for the life of me, figure it out. I was remembering your blog, and I was thinking of anything art-related, but couldn’t come up with a word that would fit. Finally, when I filled in the words around it, I discovered what the word was. It was “sly.” Duh!

  6. says

    So far, I’m saving everything for the most part. I was just dating them and tossing them in a portfolio, but will now be putting them in the boxes. I imagine I’ll stop saving everything eventually and may also go back through older stuff and just keep my favorites. My mom thinks I’m crazy for keeping everything.

  7. says

    I just found a link to this through your Facebook page. I have a huge drawer of art, waiting to be filed away safely, and this is just the solution. Thanks for all your great posts, Jean.