Child artists are the real deal! As Picasso stated, ‘It takes a very long time to become young.’ As parents and carers it is important to nurture seeing the world through a child’s eyes. In addition to supporting this, how do we preserve children’s artworks without it piling up at home? Whether it consist of artwork created at home, in preschool or out in the glorious outdoors, surely at some point you’ve thought to yourself ‘What shall I do with this all?’ or ‘How shall I declutter?’ If this sounds like you, then please find 8 Tips for Preserving and Storing Children’s Artworks.
As a side note, in line with Marie Kondo’s strategy of decluttering known as KonMari and whether the item sparks joy or not, as parents it may be hard to take this approach. All of your child’s artworks may spark joy! You may need to navigate the process using a combination of your feelings and your wonderful thinking cap!
Whatever works for you… but I gather some organising system should be adopted, unless you want a mountain of artwork sitting around in your place!
8 Tips for Preserving and Storing Children’s Artworks
- Let’s start with my fave – a handy DIY solution, in honour of the Build-her in me. Using a stainless steel wire rod and hanging clips, selected artworks can be put up beautifully on display. This method can also help dress up the walls! Here is an option from Ikea which uses stainless steel curtain wire. You may want to get your little ones involved and ask which artworks they want to put up on display. This may help if you find the decision making a little tricky.
2. Artwork garland. Similar to Point 1, create an artwork garland. Use hooks and some string with pegs to hang selected artworks. Use adhesive strips behind the hooks in order to avoid using nails or creating holes in the walls. This gives you the flexibility to move the artwork garland around whenever you wish. The garland can also be decorated however you like.
3. Frame selected artworks. One of my favourite artworks is a rather memorable one from a family trip to Croatia. It was created at the Festival of Salt…
FESTIVAL OF SALT!
As part of the Festival of Salt (Festival Soli) in Ston, children were asked to get creative with salt from the oldest salt pans in Europe. To date, it is one of my favourite pieces due to the sentimentality attached and a gentle reminder that art can be created anywhere and with gifts from Mother Earth. The salt in Ston that was used has been produced in the same way for centuries, with only the help of the sea, sun and wind.
4. From artwork to wrapping paper! This is a brilliant way to make the most of the artwork’s use. It is also a lovely way to gift the receiver with the artwork itself. If this is the case, it is best not to use sticky tape in order to avoid damage. Please use some jute twine to hold the substitute wrapping paper together instead.
5. Ah the beauty of keepsake books! Compile the artwork together and create a custom made book for your child to keep forever in the one place. The bonus of this is that it is easily accessible to view. This wonderful option is from Jimmy Half Penny.
6. Store the artwork in an art portfolio. Organise the work by keeping tabs depending on the age. Having a filing system like this in place helps retrieve work and assort at ease.
7. Select artworks to put up in other environments such as the workplace.
8. Store any objects such as paper mache in a sturdy box that is air tight in order to avoid potential mould. If you manage to give away a great number of older toys, you can reuse the toy storage boxes for artwork storage.
Hopefully your approach helps nurture the child’s creativity whilst complementing the home environment. I use a combination of the above points. As for the artworks I’ve held onto at home, I always ask my child for a story about his creation which I then transfer and write on the back of the artwork. That way the story is captured in time with the artwork! Just an idea!