Preserving Your Child’s Art in Creative Ways

Like my fellow blogger Elise recently confessed, I, too, throw out a lot of artwork over here. Why? Well, almost three years ago, when my husband and I moved into our current house, my mom showed up in my dad’s SUV with no less than 7 plastic storage bins full of so much childhood art from my own childhood. It was so overwhelming that I ended up tossing probably 95% of it. My mom’s theory, which is perhaps more diplomatic than my own, was that she didn’t know which creations would be important to me in the future and which wouldn’t matter. She wanted me to be the one to decide what to keep and what to toss. I’m going to be honest– I had no recollection of what the heck anything was before the middle school years!

I am not a saver, and I just don’t have it in me to store that much stuff in my attic. I save what I like to think of as the “greatest hits” from my kids…the first real self portrait, first painting, any really great holiday projects…probably 10 pieces per school year. I have noticed, though, that kids’ art tends to not age that well. My husband has an adorable construction paper teddy bear from kindergarten that his mom saved, and touching it feels like one might imagine it feels to touch one of DaVinci’s notbooks: like it might disintegrate if you sneezed near it! While this is inevitable, here are some ideas I want to use for saving my kids’ important artwork in fun, meaningful ways…

1. Your child’s art as jewelry 

I’ve come across several cool websites that will take a favorite drawing from your child, say, of your house, family, pet, etc. and make it into metal jewelry! Here are some of my favorite examples of this..






In a similar vein, you can have jewelry made that preserves the colors used in the original art…






2. Your child’s art on a “photo mug”

Most parents and grandparents end up with more than a few photo mugs. However, who says the photo has to be of simply your child? What if you photographed his or her art and had that memorialized on a mug? Once my four year old is a little older, I would love to have him draw portraits of important people in his life, photograph it, and have it put on a mug. As a former art teacher, I love seeing how kids represent the people who are important to them!






3. Your child’s art as a toy

Ok, this is awesome. You can take a memorable drawing from your child, perhaps a self portrait, character they invented, anything…and have it made into a stuffed animal or doll! There are a few places around the web doing this…and it is so COOL!






4. Your child’s art on ANY photo gift! 

I never though about this until I saw my first “kids-art-on-a-photo-mug”, but you could take a great, high-res photo of your child’s favorite art and pretty much make it into any photo gift! There are so many great sites out there offering everything from woven blankets to wall decals to ceramic holiday ornaments…the list goes on and on! No one says you have to use a photo of a person…why not use on of your child’s art? If your email inbox looks anything like mine, you get a lot of discount codes for such sites offering free products, deep discounts, and free shipping…put them to good use and save some of your child’s favorite work in fun, functional ways!

So I say…stay strong and keep the clutter at bay (if that’s your thing)! And make the important memories last a lifetime! 

11 thoughts on “Preserving Your Child’s Art in Creative Ways

  1. These are great ideas! Usually I only save things that have her picture or hand/foot prints on them. Love the jewelry. I know someone who actually tattooed her child’s drawing on her foot. I’m not sure I’m that extreme! LOL

    1. You know…in some weird way, I kind of love the tattoo idea! Not saying I’ll be doing it, partly because I’m the world’s biggest whimp and faint during blood draws, but pretty cool idea! I really love the jewelry and cannot WAIT until Nate starts drawing more people so we can do this!!

  2. I’ve seen those sites that make a toy out of the artwork and I think that’s such a cool idea! Also, how can I get a job as one of those people that gets to make the toy??!

    1. Haha!! How much fun would that be?! If you ever decide to go into business…I will for sure send our art your way, Gena!

  3. My daughters’ art teacher has started using she takes a picture of their school art work and uploads it to the site. We get an email every time new work is posted AND we’ve set up our accounts so that friends and family can get an email, too. People can comment on their work plus artsonia has a store that creates note cards, t-shirts, tote bags and more from the art work. The school gets a percentage from all sales. We can also upload pictures of her art work at home.

    1. WOW! How times have changed since I was an art ed major (2000-2004). That’s so cool!! What an amazing idea! Love it

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