Do you know where your children’s artwork is? Do you keep it in a folder or in a drawer somewhere? Do you photograph it? Have you thought about scrapbooking it? I have been keeping some of the special pieces and photographing the rest. Right now the originals, that I have kept, are in a drawer and the photographs are in a digital folder on my computer waiting to do something with!
Shown below is a drawing made by Lochlan when he was 3 1/2, last year. A scrapbook album dedicated to his artistic creations would be such a nice thing for him to have when he is older.
Alison MacDonald, of Lovingly Created by Ali, recently posted some layouts she has been making out of her children’s artwork. Shown below are a few examples of Ali’s layouts. Below is a layout Ali created with her son, Daniel’s, beautiful painting of a flower. He was in Grade 2 at the time.
Ali made the layout below using a drawing from her daughter Kate when she was 8 years old.
Read more about the layouts Ali made for her children’s artwork here.
Tips for Scrapbooking Your Children’s Artwork
Recognizing that you can’t keep every art project that your child makes, here are a couple of tips that may help you in organizing your children’s artwork and creative projects:
1. Make three piles. Organize the artwork into the following piles: Keep, Photograph/Scan, or Discard (or giveaway to the Grandparent’s!). It is much easier to just photograph 3D projects and then discard them once they’ve outgrown their usefulness. Now go through the piles that you plan to keep and photograph one more time. You can be more judicious here and follow the next points below.
2. Does it have special meaning? Go through the artwork and pick out the ones that have a special meaning – i.e. they were made for a particular event or occasion, such as the first project made in Kindergarten or a particularly sentimental handmade Valentine’s Day card you received.
3. Does it show a particular flair or talent? Take a look at some of the artwork that Ali scrapbooked here. She has some talented children and if the work is particularly good, keep it! Your child will be proud of it and thank you for keeping it when they are older.
4. Is it especially beautiful? The flower painting that Ali’s son Daniel made is particularly beautiful. Is there a piece of artwork that you love so much and cannot part with it? Keep it!
5. Keep a variety of mediums. Pick out a selection of drawings, paintings, cut and paste, colouring, and other mediums. Having examples of all the different mediums that your child uses will help to make lots of variety and colour in your scrapbook.
6. Journal important info on the back. As your child brings home artwork from school, be sure and date the artwork on the back as well as write the child’s name so that you won’t get it confused later on with a sibling’s artwork. It is also helpful to jot down a few points about the occasion surrounding when it was created.
7. Include photographs. When scrapbooking your children’s layouts, organize them by age so a progression can be seen. It is also a nice idea to include a photo of the child at the age the artwork was created. Ali did this with her daughter, Kate’s layout above.
8. Keep it simple. Let the artwork stand out. Don’t over embellish the layout. Select colours that complement the artwork to set it off. Add some journaling and let it be.
9. Interview the child. Ask your child some questions about the artwork. What the objects are in the piece, what inspired him/her to create it, who it was made for, etc. Include this in your journaling.
10. Include your child. If your child is old enough, be sure and include him/her in this process. You may get a lot of insight into each project plus they will be able to vocalize about the pieces that are most important to them. The child may have many regrets if a piece they are particularly proud of gets thrown out.
As you go through the art pieces, you may even decide that some of the artwork is nice enough to frame. A nice collection of framed children’s artwork can make for a really interesting display on a wall.
Don’t forget about the photos you’ve taken of your children’s artwork. You can always scrapbook those the traditional way by printing them out or make some digital scrapbooks. Another idea is to use an online digital resource like ScrapBlog to make an album that can be printed, bound and distributed to the grandparents! (See our recipe album here for an example.)