Sharing how we manage kids artwork organization and make ALL that paper clutter into beautiful kids art books… without any hard work thanks to apps on your phone!
Today I’m sharing our solution to kids artwork storage! What to do with kids art has been a struggle as we love to enjoy their art… but also love to enjoy less clutter. We have been using this system for 2-3 years now and find it easy to maintain, it brings our kids so much joy and we will have the art and the stories behind them to look back on for years to come.
Making these kids art books is so simple, letting apps do the heavy lifting for you. They’re pretty affordable, cute to have on display and the best part? They actually get looked at- often. Look at how haggard ours are looking from being read- ha! The captions help you remember the story behind that piece of paper and I always love a good ‘the things kids say’ memory. Hopefully this helps you decide what to do with kids art!
I’ve gone ahead and created a video for this process to make it easy to follow along but I also wrote out the steps in this blog post for you if you’d prefer.
So the first thing we do? We take all of our kids art and as it comes in, we photograph it with our phones for their own Instagram account. We don’t do this with every single thing- if it’s a throw away piece of art that the kids’ aren’t invested in, it can be moved straight to the recycling.
If they love it and are proud, they’ll tell us they want to share it on their Instagram. With each photo, we use the caption for the child to describe their artwork. Sometimes this is straight forward like, ‘this is a picture of mom I drew using crayon with the help of Aunty Aimee’ and sometimes it’s hilarious, like this one:
As we Instagram them, we recycle them. I keep a few of our favourites but it’s so little compared to the masses that we have to start. Haha leave it to me to say that kids artwork organization means throwing it all out. I typically wait until I have a handful of art and sit down and do it all at once. But it does get out of hand quickly so I’m training Shane with this video and he’s taking over because he’s so much better a dealing with things in real time ;)
Once they are on Instagram… you could leave them there, or you could go one step further and get them printed into art books like we do. We use Chatbooks for this. I picked them just because of how easy it is. My SIL uses them for her family photos from Instagram (I use Mixbook for our family yearly photo books- I have a WHOLE post on why and how I do that here!).
When you sign up for Chatbooks, you hook it up to your Instagram and you can start a subscription. When you get 60 images on Instagram, your Chatbooks book automatically populates and will send you an email notifying you. You’ll have 3 (or so, I think!) days to edit your order before it automatically ships to you. SO if you don’t want to bother editing, you literally do nothing and it will show up at your door. Rad!
I like to change my cover and make sure that matching art is on the same page. Since we have twins- we have lots of almost duplicate art and it’s nice to see them on the pages facing eachother. You can just drag and drop the images to reorder them. This is great so that I’m not too concerned about order when I’m posting to Instagram.
I also like to change the cover. I make my own cover and upload it here. For the sake of ease, I’ve just done this in the A Beautiful Mess app on my phone. You choose your art photo you want to use and apply a filter to lighten it, then add some exposure if you like to lighten it more. Then add some text and save. Easy peasy. Then head back into your Chatbooks app and click ‘edit cover’ and choose your new one.
Done! I’m seriously so happy with this system for kids artwork organization and that we get to have the stories behind their art. Without boxes and boxes of paper clutter. If you try this, I’d so love to see it! Tag me on social @colleenpastoor or email [email protected]!