February 24, 2011

Storing kids artwork

I remember when my oldest son first started doing paintings or drawings.  I cherished each and every piece as if he were Picasso himself and this was even before he started preschool when the real arts of work were made.  I started out storing his art in the  bottom drawer of our dining room hutch, but then the papers just started piling up.  Anyone who has a child in preschool knows that your child brings home several papers home each day.  So my pile was beginning to take on a life of its own.

I knew I had to come up with some type of solution to help store all his preschool work.  I will frame some of his art but the other papers needed to find a safe, organized place to call home.  I went to Hobby Lobby and purchased an art portfolio that is acid free, archival and photo safe and only cost $3.49.  Since a lot of his work is not just on a standard 8 x 10 paper I went with an 11 x 14 portfolio. 


The great thing about the envelope is that it not only has a zipper but also a front pocket as well.  Oh, and the expanding ability of it is great!  Kind of like a great pair of maternity pants with plenty of room to grow.  I was amazed at how much fit in there and how much space I still had if I needed to add more.

The front pocket holds the end of year folder my son's teachers put together and the zipper side (open in these pictures) holds all of his artwork/school related stuff.  Plus, the size of the portfolio makes it easy to store in a closet or on the side of our filing cabinet.


To spruce up and label the front, I bought scrapbook paper at Michael's and added my son's name, year and his teachers' names.  You'll notice I blocked out my son's name because I try never to use my kids' real names as I prefer to leave some things private and for their own safety.  We can just pretend it just reads 'Andy's School Work' (we are watching Toy Story 2 right now hence the reason I picked Andy :)).


Before I actually placed the artwork and papers in the portfolio, I went through the pile of papers and streamlined a few things.  Bad, bad mommy!  Now that my son is in his 4 year old class I think I have a hang of the items I should keep and the items it is okay to trash.   

It will be fun to look back at his portfolios over the years and see how his drawings and handwriting have progressed!  Do my babies really have to grow up so quickly?

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