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Keeping My Kids’ Artwork All in One Place with Snapfish

Is it just me? My children come home daily with piles and piles of scraps of paper, cardboard bits and sticky stuff they call artwork… I’ve always been keeping my kids’ artwork (after weeding out the stuff that needed recycling!), but their Art folders are huge and take lots of space.

To be perfectly honest, I’m pretty ruthless when it comes to artwork and I recycle anything that’s just a couple of pen marks or looks just like a previous drawing. Over the years, my four have still accumulated a lot of drawings, paintings and collages. I always write the date on the back of their chef d’oeuvres. You never know, we might have a Picasso or Monet in the house!

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

The ‘approved’ masterpieces then go into art folders, never to be seen again. It sounds a tad pessimistic, but it’s not far from the truth. Each child has their own art folder and although they love looking through them, I’m not so keen: whenever they do, drawings get mixed up, bits come unstuck, glitter flies everywhere… an guess who’s got to tidy it all up when it gets abandoned on the living room floor? Yep, you guessed right: moi!

A few weeks ago, I completely cleared my living room and dining room so that the original floorboards could be restored. Since then, I’ve been reluctant to bring chaos back to the ground floor of my house. I’ve been dreaming of a less complicated, more minimalistic way of doing things around here. Time for a change!

So when the lovely people at Snapfish challenged me to create End-of-School Year Keepsakes, I knew exactly what I was going to do. For a couple of years, I’ve been thinking of taking photos of their artwork and compiling them all in an album each so they could look at their drawings whenever they wanted. I was also planning to recycle all the originals, but I’m hesitant now. Is it a step too far? Would you do it?

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

As you can imagine, it took forever to sort through all their drawings and decide which ones were going to make it to the books, but it was a really enjoyable process. We did it together and had lots of fun looking at their early mark-making and primitive drawings, comparing them with each other at similar ages, noticing patterns and recognising traits of personality through their artwork.When he was little, Crevette was all about hearts and drawing faces. Beanie would make mini books with creative (OK, whacky!) storylines, from a very young age. Jumpy was all about flowers and rainbows and Wriggly is really into drawing people and adding detail to their faces.

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

It was also blatantly obvious that anything they make at Art club really stands out.

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

Jumpy really enjoyed taking photos of her own drawings and putting them in order with me. She also took photos of her favourites with my phone. I took over 300 photos of the children’s drawings and once they were in the camera, creating the photo albums was a very quick and easy process. 

First, I picked the photo books I wanted. There was a wide range to choose from, and 7 different sizes I could pick. I went for 4 completely different books, and also opted for pre-made design templates to make the whole process a lot easier for myself.

Wriggly would get an A5 Landscape Papercover Photo Book, with the ‘studio’ book layout, white and neutral, allowing blank pages at the end to be used to stick artwork as it comes from preschool and playgroup. 

I went for the ‘Precious Experiences’ theme and an 8×8″ Square Hardcover Photo Book for Jumpy. 

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

Beanie’s would be a Classic Album’ 11×8″ Landscape Hardcover Photo Book (A4).

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

As for Crevette, I opted for the ‘Instagram’ layout in a 12×12″ Square Hardcover Layflat Photo Book.

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

The books were incredibly quick and easy to put together. I’d taken my photos quickly, not worrying too much about white balance or framing. Some of them were from my camera, others I imported from Instagram really easily. It was extremely simple to crop my photos and make them brighter as I was building my albums.

What I found really useful was being able to sort photos from oldest to newest and vice versa or shuffle them if you wanted to. I also found the autofill option rather convenient: what a time saver! Even though I’d picked themes for my books, I could still customise them by changing layouts, the number of photos per page, fonts used, colours etc. Every single one of these books is unique, and truly makes a wonderful keepsake. 

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

Less than a week after I ordered the book, they’d arrived. Talk about fast processing time! Crevette, Beanie and I had a nice bike ride to our sorting office yesterday to collect the books and they couldn’t wait to see them as I’d kept the final design and look a secret. When they all opened their albums, it was like Christmas day for them (and for me too!). The quality of all four books is impressive and I love the fact all photo books, cards and bespoke gifts by Snapfish are made in the UK, which helps secure more jobs and avoids adding to our carbon footprint.

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

We’ll certainly be treasuring these beautiful books for years to come and I’ll keep taking photos of my children’s drawings as they land on the dining room table, so I can print them and add them to the albums, or even create new albums.

What's the best way of keeping my kids’ artwork all in one place? I thought Art folders were the best option, but they've taken lots of space and things always come unstuck and get messy when the kids open them. Photo albums seem to be the way forward!

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Where do you keep your children’s artwork?

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post but all opinions and photos are my own. 

22 Comments

  1. Ce
    21/05/2018 / 9:33 pm

    I can’t believe this!!! It is AMAZING!!!! The perfect solution to my Art paper mountain!!!
    You are better organised than me I never date the girls art work but will start now!!! Though they might discover my Art skills have not improved since I was 5 🤦🏽‍♀️!!

    • Mel
      Author
      22/05/2018 / 7:03 am

      Hahaha, my Art skills haven’t improved either since I was 5! I didn’t have dates for all the drawings and I have to say I struggled to order those. Having the dates also meant I could compare 3yo Wriggly’s drawings with those of her siblings at the same age. They looked almost identical 🙂

  2. Rhian Westbury
    23/05/2018 / 5:51 am

    I think this is such a good idea, as you can realistically can’t kpee everything as it’s just too much stuff x

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 11:07 am

      I know! They bring in so much 🙂 Now I’ve started taking photos of everything, I don’t feel so bad when I throw some of the stuff away!

  3. 23/05/2018 / 4:25 pm

    Now this is an awesome way of creating books for posterity. Especially of their old drawings and master pieces. This is awesome.

    Thanks for Sharing.

    John M

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 6:17 pm

      Thanks. I absolutely love leafing through them with my 4 🙂

  4. Vanessa
    23/05/2018 / 6:17 pm

    I’m also pretty ruthless with not hanging onto every bit of “art” that comes home. This is even great for keeping the really good ones recorded – I don’t even have an art folder.

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 6:21 pm

      If I remember well, I bought their Art folders from Vert Baudet and GLTC. They’re fine, but I much prefer the digital then print option 🙂

  5. 23/05/2018 / 6:59 pm

    Taking pictures of the artwork is a great idea! I have two full totes filled with my youngest son’s artwork from preschool until now. He’s in the fifth grade now. He is a budding artist for sure but there are some I could definitely throw away once I take pictures of them.

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 8:44 pm

      Go on, do it! It’s so nice to look at once its all in the album 🙂

  6. 23/05/2018 / 8:44 pm

    That’s such a great way to keep artwork. I’d never thought of creating a photo book out of them! I bought a special folder for my son’s in the uk and it was full before we left. It’s now in storage. But I’ll definitely be doing this instead going forward!

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 8:46 pm

      It really is a nice way to enjoy their drawings on a day basis. Ours are always out on the dining room table and they love looking at their masterpieces!

  7. 23/05/2018 / 9:31 pm

    This is SUCH a good idea!!! My son only started school in September and already we have piles of artwork! I don’t think I’m as good as you at sifting through it… This is great though, I wouldn’t have to worry about throwing out the odd piece. Don’t think I could bring myself to not save a lot of it too though! I know my son would love looking through the album himself. Thanks for sharing this idea! x

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 9:48 pm

      In theory, I was going to throw everything away once the book was there, but I just can’t bring myself to doing it… It’s still so much nicer to look at the album than go through the drawings all the time 🙂

  8. 23/05/2018 / 9:51 pm

    This is SUCH a great idea, strangely it was only today I was talking to my partner about where we are going to put all the ‘art’ that seems to be coming home from nursery at the moment. I’ll have to look into this 🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 9:53 pm

      Totally! Start now because it’s a lot easier to get it all in place from the start than it is when they’re at the end of primary school. Wriggly’s album was pretty straightforward to put together (she’s 3) but her brother’s (he’s 9) took the longest because there were so many pieces of artwork he wanted to include, and I’d not written the date on all of them so we spent a couple of days sorting everything out for him.

  9. Becky | Spirited Puddle Jumper
    23/05/2018 / 10:19 pm

    We’ve used Snapfish for ages but didn’t know they did this- SUCH a great idea and I’ll be doing this all the time from now on to stop using an increasingly bulky folder! Thanks for sharing Mel, this is why I still love blogs, you find out about so much cool stuff 🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      23/05/2018 / 10:44 pm

      Thanks Becky 🙂 I was so pleased with myself when I first thought I’d do that… then it took me a couple of years to actually do something about it, but now I’ve started, there’s no stopping me. Every single drawing that comes into this house will get photographed, hahaha!

  10. 23/05/2018 / 11:14 pm

    I love this! A book a year of their artwork! It’s so nice to have them to look back on, even if the artwork has been lost/thrown out! 🙂

    • Mel
      Author
      24/05/2018 / 8:05 pm

      I don’t think I’d do it yearly, but from now on, I’ll certainly be printing photo books of their artwork every few years 🙂

  11. 27/05/2018 / 12:08 pm

    I adore this idea, it would take me a million hours to do this with Beth’s art work…I have bursting memory crates in the attic but this is such an accessible keep sake…hmmm do I have the energy to do this?

    • Mel
      Author
      27/05/2018 / 2:38 pm

      You do! She would love that for her birthday 🙂

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