Keeping Kids Creations – craft keeping solutions for busy homes

Happy New Year everyone – I hope you had fun and that you and your children were spoilt rotten and you have come out the other side feeling somewhat more relaxed than you were before?!

We had a lovely chaotic time – moving into my parents for three nights even though they are only a mile down the road was great fun and really added to the Christmas magic – I need to remember all the magical things we did so that they happen next year again! Christmas day saw three parts of my family all joining together and involved 6 kids under six…. thats a blogs worth of chaos on its own!

Time to move on now though and although I absolutely LOVE Christmas, I have to say, its actually quite theraputic taking the decorations down, starting a good tidy up and finding a place for all the new bits and bobs is quite therapeutic.

We were very crafty over Christmas. Once Bea had finished school there were a lot of homemade glittery things and some beautiful pictures that she had drawn as she is pretty art obsessed at the moment and improving daily! Here in lies the problem; I find it near impossible to ditch stuff the kids have created, from their first messy scribbles to the neatest colouring in they have ever done bought home from school and the beautiful REAL pictures of REAL things that start to appear too – you simply can’t keep everything can you?

I am quite the hoarder… there are envelopes stuffed and boxes full of Beas work – and she is only in her first year of school! I know I shouldn’t have kept quite so much from her nursery years and it is yet another thing on my mental ‘to do’ list to organise it all properly. Keeping stuff does sometimes pay off though, watching her re-discover her crafts she had made in nursery last year when we unpacked them along with the rest of our decorations this year was very cute and once again, they found a little place in our home. In turn, her newest creations from school have been carefully put away this year – well most of them! Its fun to see what skills she has improved on over just a year but I have started to ‘sift’ some of the stuff out.

When these creative pieces arrive at or are made at home, I also love to display them proudly. At first, like most of us, I popped them up on my kitchen cabinets – but as the talents of my little brood increased I quickly became overrun! My kitchen no longer looked like a kitchen, more like a scrap paper re-cycling yard! 

Something had to be done so I went about making my own Art Gallery. A little place where I could display the kids work – and where they would be proud to put their work and of course a way of rediscovering my cupboard doors!

I turned of course to Pinterest for some ideas and discovered a few good ones for creating my display area, take a look at the ones I liked here.

I finally decided on a bit of a mix of all of them! I went to B&Q (our hardware store) and bought 2×4 wood – unpainted. I chose a small tester pot of the colour I liked as I knew I wouldn’t need too much paint and most importantly I also purchased some ‘no more nails’ – I love a project that doesn’t involve getting the drill out!

I have a little corner in my kitchen, near the shelving where I keep all our craft stuff, colouring books and the kids art easel so this became my designated art area. After a bit of measuring, I simply sawed the wood into the sizes I required and got painting.

I love the coastal look so decided to ‘distress’ the dried paintwork – possibly the easiest paint effect ever! Simply get some coarse grain sand paper and sand patches of the paint off and from along the edges. It definitely looks ‘beachy’ which is just what I was after.

I also rediscovered some really cute little pegs that we had used at our wedding which have shells and butterflies on – but it would be really easy to make your own with bulldog clips / clothes pegs and glue on whatever you fancy – or nothing at all! 

With my trusty ‘no more nails’ liberally squirted onto the wood and a spirit level to help me get it all straight, I simply stuck them up on the wall, glued on the pegs and painted my special little gallery notice to hang above it. Hey presto – my cupboard doors are now free of sticky tape and tack and my girls are super proud when something they have created is put up in their very own art gallery – we all love it. 

There are of course, only so many pegs on my little gallery and I have to be pretty strict on how long their art stays up. The next conundrum is what happens with their masterpieces after they have been taken down.

At the moment, I am simply stuffing them into manilla envelopes with the odd piece roughly dated but – I have a plan and a resolution! I hope these ideas help you to reduce your paper mountain too!

  • Write a note on it. I really want to make sure that I pop a note with the date, the name of the artist (now Freya is starting to enjoy painting this has become apparent as it does all sort of look the same!) and if applicable a little story of why the picture was drawn / homework / gift to me or their dad etc. I think in years to come it would be lovely to know the story behind the picture. 

  • Post them to granny – sometimes its lovely to share. Use the art as an excuse to use snail mail and post a little ray of sunshine to a friend or relative. Write a letter on the reverse side or simply pop a post it on it as a ‘we thought of you’ and share the joy of your kids talents! 
  • App for that – if you really are tight for space, as always, there is an app for that! This app Artkive is a great idea to basically take a picture of your masterpieces and store them online instead of in your house 
  • A similar idea would be to take pictures of the art (especially the big models like the large papier mache alien we have upstairs at the moment!) and keep them in a special folder on your computer or even better display them on a digital picture frame. 
  • Scrapbook – I love the idea of making books with the girls art. Either very simply by getting some ring binders and plastic folders to slide the pictures into or being super organised and doing something like this from A Thoughtful Place. I like the idea that its easy for the kids themselves to get out and look back on. I also thought it might be possible to take the art and get it bound with a spiral binder?
  • Frame it – my mother in law has art displayed by all three of her sons in her house and I LOVE it. It must have made the boys feel so proud when they were little to think that their art was worthy of being framed and hung (even if it was in the downstairs loo!) but it is timeless and so cute to see their efforts still hanging on the walls all these years later. I have recently seen both these and these great magnetic picture frames which would make changing framed art really easy too. 
  • Use it as wrapping paper – I have used some of the more epic pieces we have created at home as wrapping paper for family birthday gifts. Freyas at the moment are especially big and bright and basically just covered in paint brush strokes which make for perfect wrap. 

 … hmm looks like I have solved one problem but found ANOTHER big project for my new year re-organising…  what do you do with all of your childrens masterpieces?

Post Author: Sarah Thorogood

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