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Preserving Your Child’s Artwork

Posted by PatriciaD on January 27, 2010

Do you have tons and tons of your child’s school papers and artwork all over the house?  Love that stuff but it sure can be a pain in the ‘you know what’…Here are some suggestions that might help you contain, control and keep the things that are important to both you and your child.

First, as soon as it comes in the door have a plan for it.  Are you gonna post it and where?  If not, where does it go?  Do you look at it, then toss it (only with the consent of the artist), or hold on to it ’till a later date to toss?  Whatever it is you need to have a consistent place to keep the things you’re gonna keep.  A plastic tub is perfect (you can decide the size).

Here’s what I used to do when I had my foster kids:  as papers came in the door we looked at EVERYTHING.  Then I had a cord strung across each child’s wall and it had those small cloths pins on it.  We took a piece down when we added a new one.  I think each string could hold about 6 papers depending on size, of course.  The one we took down either went into their own personal scrapbook as it was or into their tub.   There’s always displaying artwork on the refrigerator and there were acrylic frames that are easy to switch out artword, too.

Alright, sounds ok but what if it wasn’t a paper?  What if it was a woodcraft bird house?  That one we simply hung out on the tree.  But what if it was a clay figurine?  I like taking a photo of the child when they bring it home.  That way if anything ever happens to it we at least know what it was, how it looked and what the child looked like at the time they created their masterpiece.  And, of course we have it for scrapbooking, sharing, etc.

That gives an overall view of the artwork and the child but I also like to take a close-up of the artwork.  With the digital photo then I can add them to digital scrapbook pages.  They can be resized and saved.  Use the photo  then as papers behind other photos – it’s cool to add a photo of the child holding their artwork on top of their artwork.  Cool effect.  Even if you never put the artwork on a scrapbook page you have a digital copy of it.

Well, that’s all well and good but what if you can’t take a really good photo or don’t have a tripod (really important piece of equipment to keep these small things focused)?  Then you scan them.  If they’re too large to scan in one piece you can scan in sections and stitch together in Photoshop as an option.

Another advantage of scanning and/or taking photos of your child’s artwork is that you can send them to grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. or post on FB or whatever works for you.

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