Unclutter your kid’s art: Turn it into a masterpiece!

If you’re new ’round these parts, you might not know: Peeper loves art. She loves to paint. She loves to color. She loves to glue. She loves to squish her hands into finger paints and give herself a standing ovation, splattering red and blue all over the walls.

(Ok, that last one is more performance art, but still.)

All those days of keeping busy with kid crafts leads to a lot of saved projects. At one point, the kitchen counter, the wine rack, my work desk, the fridge and the dining room table were all buried under my preschooler’s crafts.

I knew something had to change. I had to unclutter my kid’s art.

Unclutter your kid's art by turning it into a masterpiece! Ten Thousand Hour Mama

Escaping the insanity of kid crafts

I could have just filed away all my preschooler’s drawings or stuck them in a giant storage tote, like my mom did. But we’d need a bin bigger than our Forester to store all her crafts if Peeper continued producing at this pace.

So—I turned her art into a masterpiece.

I scanned most of Peeper’s craft projects (though you could just as easily take a photo of each one). I made a file in iPhoto with all the images. I then uploaded them to a photo book site (I used my favorite, MyPublisher—no affiliation). Then I ordered the book.

Now we have a hardcover book of Peeper’s masterpieces.

Unclutter kid's art into a masterpieceUnclutter your kid's art

I also included photos of her in the midst of her “artistic process,” aka painting herself.

She loves to flip through it, and having evidence of all her projects lets me see the evolution of her artistic sense—from scribbles to representative drawings.

(This is one of my recent favorites: me with Kiwi in my belly! *cue heart explosions*)

kid art pregnant mom

Unclutter and recycle

Get this: Scanning then printing the art into a high-quality book lets me—gasp!—recycle the majority of her projects.

She doesn’t mind. Peeper gets much more out of the process than the result. Anyway, she’s probably saving up the guilt trip for when she’s like 15. (“You mean you threw away all my art projects? Don’t you love me?“)

Still, the change reduces a huge fire hazard in the house: We don’t have an entire filing cabinet stuffed with construction paper.

Of course I keep a few favorites. In fact, going through the stacks of paintings pushed me to pull out several keepers and display them in the living room. Now I enjoy them every day.

But the real win is her art book.

Turn your kid's art into a masterpieceUnclutter your kid's art

I’m continuing to scan (then recycle!) much of her art. I plan to print a book of her crafts every year. As she grows, she’ll create a collection of masterpieces, and I won’t drown in a sea of stick figures.

Now if only I could get that finger paint splatter off my walls.

8 thoughts on “Unclutter your kid’s art: Turn it into a masterpiece!

  • June 29, 2016 at 10:16 am

    This is a fabulous idea. It’s also a great gift idea for those of us with Mom friends who might not have the time to do this themselves…!

    • June 29, 2016 at 10:32 am

      That would be THE BEST PRESENT EVER! Or if you don’t have the time, a gift certificate to one of those book printing companies would be a good substitute. 😉

  • June 29, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    This is one of the coolest ideas I have ever seen – What a great way to preserve memories! I love how you have the picture of the process next to the actual artwork.

    • June 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks Erin! We have a lot of photos of her doing art, since we spend a lot of time doing it. 🙂

  • June 29, 2016 at 5:03 pm

    This is amazing!! I’ve seen this before (probably pinterest?), and haven’t committed to doing one myself. My kids are now 5 (!!!!) and the idea seems so overwhelming since I have SUCH a back pile of past artwork!!!!!! But I will seriously regret not doing this. This is now a top level priority this summer! I should make you follow up with me by August to hold me accountable for making this happen 😉

    • June 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Mary, I can’t wait to see how it turns out! I will ask you about it later this summer!

    • June 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm

      Thanks Marlynn! I definitely want to continue making them.


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