Displaying + Storing Your Child's Art

• 25 February 2010
























This post has been a long time in the making. Ever since reading Downtown Chic, I've felt a renewed interest in displaying my children's art in a cool way. Although it's a project I could've tackled in one long night, I decided to spread it out over a few weeks. It feels good to finally be done...at least for child #1...now I need to do the same thing for child #2! These preschoolers bring home a heck of a lot of art, no?

Step 1: When my kids come home with art, I typically write the date, which child created it (we do have 3 kiddos running around and although you think you'll always remember these details, you don't), and what it is. Sometimes the subject is obvious, yes, but many times it isn't (think: "it's a picture of mommy? wow!") If there is a funny story or explanation from my child about the art, I write a quick phrase on that as well. Then, I throw them into a basket. I do this everyday until the pile becomes out-of-hand and I'm forced to deal with the issue :)

Step 2: I laid out my child's art across the floor and asked her to choose 10 of her favorite pieces. On top of that I added my own 10 favorites--things I know she'd enjoy looking at as an adult.

Step 3: I scanned and then saved the images in a folder on my computer.

Step 4: Next, I piled them nicely together and wrapped them in twine. I then placed the wrapped stack in my child's "special box"--a box of keepsakes and treasures for her to enjoy throughout her life.

Step 5: Open Photoshop (note: you do not have to be a Photoshop expert to do this). Open saved images and resize them to be the same width (I sized mine to 350 pixels wide). Play around with an arrangement on your computer until you are pleased with the composition.

Step 6: Open a new file, this will be your blank slate. Make the background white.

Step 7: Start dragging your images to the new canvas and watch your child's art come to life again!

Step 8: Print image and frame.

Here is what I came up with:


21 comments:

country girl said...

Wonderful idea! This is also something to do with all my own childhoos art that is in some drawer somewhere!
I noticed that in the picture in the bottom left hand corner, the person has a belly button....I find it so interesting that this body part is important to so many children, I have seen many people drawn with belly buttons! Are children aware, on some level, that this spot nourished them and gave them life for over 9 months?
I love the rainbow turkey!
xo country girl

B-mused... said...

Hello! This really is such a sweet idea, i imagine it must be hard to choose favorites, especially as your little one is quite the artist!!
I just recently found your blog and wanted to tell you that your home in france is absolutely stunning. The transformation is just amazing! My husband and I have spent time in the south of France (Montbrun Les Baines) and I fell in love instantly with the textiles, styles, food, marketplaces, rose wine and overall relaxed elegance of the country. I, too, hope to someday have a home there.
We just bought our home in Massachusetts, which is lovely, but i'm trying to find french inspiration for decor here in the US, and it's absolutely hard (for quadruple the price), though maybe I'm just not yet looking in the right places.
Thank you for sharing your lovely photos. i look forward to seeing more of your life in France (and the US;)) and to hearing more of your stories from abroad.
We are planning a trip back there this September and who knows, maybe some day we'll find ourselves staying at the lovely La Maisonnette!

xoxo,
Blair

Girlfrog said...

I'm so glad that you did a post on this! This is something that I really need to do but it seems such a monumental task! Thanks for the motivation and the instructions!

Kim said...

Such a great idea!!! Thanks!

Kariane said...

Excellent idea. We have so much that comes from preschool. If it makes it in from the car without being covered with melted, dirty snow, I feel like I should keep it to look back on, but not everything is worth saving. This seems like a great solution. Thanks!

Amber said...

I am always looking for ways to manage all the art work my kids come home with! I did something similar but used Picasa, a free program. It has a Create A Collage option that is cool. Then I printed it and used it my travel coffee mug that allows you to insert photos. While Im drinking my coffee my kids always point out their work!

As always, I love your blog!

Andrea said...

I was just telling my husband last night that I wanted to dedicate a wall in our kitchen/dining area to our kids' art. I was going to frame individual pieces, but I really love this idea too. It turned out so great! Your daughter's artwork is absolutely darling.

I've been scanning my kids' artwork every now and again for a couple of years now, and I love having their little masterpieces pop up on my screensaver. But I think having them displayed throughout the home is even better. Thanks for the great ideas!

Elsa May said...

Oh that's a wonderful idea. And I love how your 'collection' turned out!

catherine said...

how fantastic! i think i need a scanner now :). which kind do you have/recommend?

leanne1966 said...

gorgeous idea!!! love it.

stephmodo said...

Catherine, I have an old HP Scanjet scanner. It isn't the best, but it's what we have so I deal with it. If you are in the market for a new one, I'd do some research and read a lot of reviews first; as when you buy one, you tend to have it for awhile :)

CMN said...

LOVE this!

Georgia said...

E. is quite the little artist! Great idea!

a pina colada said...

LOVE YOUR IDEA OF SCANNING THE PICTURES. CURRENTLY WE JUST HAVE THEIR MEMORY BOX FOR EACH YEAR...BUT THAT IS JUST OVERFLOWING. I NEED A NEW SYSTEM...THIS JUST MIGHT WORK. THANKS!

littlemissairgap said...

Fab idea! Now can you just solve the problem of what to do with all of those special birth cards, christening cards, milestone birthday cards, etc??? ;-)

Stephanie said...

now i just need the kids to make the art...

stephmodo said...

littlemissairgap: I typically make a shadow box display for their rooms or just hole punch the top left corner of the cards and tie them up with string. Simple!

Heather said...

I love this idea! I have a few boxes overflowing with artwork as we speak...time to deal with the piles. Thanks for the fun idea.

laura said...

Love that idea!

I frame some but I like this idea for the rest of the ever coming in art :-)

Elaina said...

Stephanie,

This is such a great idea!

My husband and I are working on a website that helps people easily save their kids' milestones, quotes, and artwork too! I'll let you know when it's complete (still in beta testing) in case you'd like to try it out!

SAJ said...

I've been wanting to do something like this for a long time myself. Thanks for the tutorial!

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