Children’s Artwork: solving the paper piles

If you have kids, you probably have arts and crafts in your house. Not that you necessarily do arts and crafts with your kids, but they do them anyway. Mine do arts and crafts at home, at playschool, at preschool, at friends’, at relatives’, at the library, at the museum, at restaurants… basically anywhere they can get creative, they do. And the paper pile (not to mention the feathers, poms poms, glitter, tinsel, ETC) can be overwhelming. I’m not a super-sentimental person (I don’t save everything anymore!) but I do want to remember this especially wonderful time of uninhibited creativity.

Having a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old means there is a wonder in their drawings that is pure, genuine, and special. Lil C has figured out how to control her movements enough to draw recognizable faces and sometimes animals. E draws mostly people but has branched out lately into animals, robots, buildings, rainbows, and mandalas (colour-wheels – thanks to Grandma!)

So what to do with all of that artwork? For awhile I tried saving it in a binder but every time E showed it to someone something would fall off (feathers and pom poms) or get ripped. Then I tried putting it into a box. But that got messy. Plus, when gluestick gets old it fades and looks yucky.

Then I saw this:

photo courtesy janeleni.com

And now my paper pile is being tackled. The collage above is a professionally done piece. I believe she actually photographs each piece of art, resizes it, has it printed, cut, and mounted behind glass. Beautiful, but too much work and expense for me.

So my scanner has been hard at work tonight. I’m scanning all of the creative beauty my girls have made that I’ve so far saved and then am going to make my own collages out of them. I haven’t decided how I’m going to print them yet, whether to do them at J’s office (free is good!) , Kinko’s or Staples, a local printhouse, or an online photo site like Snapfish or Shutterfly.

But seriously, how easy is that?

Artwork saved, paper recycled, space reclaimed, naked walls decorated.

It’s a win-win-win-win situation. I think the collages will make great gifts for family members, awesome keepsakes for the kids, and look great on the walls. At this point I’m not even buying new frames for them, I’m going to use up some old frames lying around and get rid of another pile at the same time.

I’m either brilliant or I’m nesting…

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