May 2, 2012

where do i put all of this

When Amelia started pre-school I loved every stinkin piece of art she brought home. Every piece was incredible. "Obviously my child is an art prodigy", I would think.

Then, she brought home more. And more. At times she'd bring home 3 or 4 things a day. It slowly turned from "what an amazing picture you made" to "another picture...great".

While I love my child, and of course think she's the best at everything she does, it was getting a bit out of control. There were projects everywhere. I think they breed in the night. Like some sort of sick Toy Story movie.

To corral the crafty chaos I put a small out of the way corner to use. This little alcove is off of the kitchen and leads downstairs to the family room, out to the garage thru one door and to a side yard thru the other door. A perfect place to add some craft cheer.

Each month I hang what she brings home on the door(s). Then, at the end of each month I take her picture with that month's display and then we take it all down and throw them away, keeping 1 or maybe 2 to go in her memory box.
Some months there is more participation in the picture than in others. 

We make sure to always get the calendar in the shot so we know which month we looking at. 

 And some months I forget to remove the dog bowl before taking the picture.

We've got two years worth of these pictures so far and it has been really fun to look back at them and see how she's changed and how her art has matured. The paper monster is tamed!

What do you do to keep school projects and information overflow from taking over?


  1. Elizabeth I LOVE this idea! So smart... and such a great way to look back on her and her art (like you said). Genius!

  2. What a great idea! Amelia is such a cutie pie!

  3. Quite honestly, this is the best idea I've heard of in quite some time! I am absolutely going to do this. Now I've got to choose which doors. (And buy more painter's tape!) Your daughter is precious!

    Thanks, Elizabeth!

  4. I organize by throwing that s@*! out!! Not really, I keep the one's I love the most and have them divided by kids in a tupperware box. But trust me, they need a major clean out...I saved every scrap from my first kid...with the fourth I'm a lot more particular...I love your organizing, I'm going to have to consider that, maybe hidden in the basement!!

  5. Haha, that was so me in the beginning. I saved it all! I would just put my sons' stuff in tupperware boxes or plastic bins. Don't worry as they get older you don't save as much.

  6. Such a great idea!!!! Very smart! Also, too cute! How could you not smile before opening that door?!

  7. Ingenious indeed! You're amazing.

  8. Great,great idea, Elizabeth! We have a very similar space designated for the same purpose and while I remove, rotate, recycle and ahem, trash some on a regular basis, I love this idea. I always think someday I'm going to scan them all, but that pile is growing endlessly on top of the printer. This is much more realistic for me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Amelia is adorable in each shot!

  9. Found your blog via a blog party (forgot who's blog or what it was for... Color Your World maybe?). Anyway, I had to check out the rest of your blog and this is a constant issue at my house!! My daughter is almost 3 and when we switched to a preschool vs. in home daycare provider, she started bringing home items. We don't have a great spot for it all but I started by buying the artwork frame at Target that stores items. I keep everything with her handprint on it and store them away for future proper storage (which I'm lacking at the moment). A lot of the color papers from coloring books get thrown away but I like to keep seasonal items and store them to use for future holidays... like the Christmas ornament she made and stuff like that. I know it's a big issue though... especially because I'm an art teacher and I send my kids home with a bunch of stuff that parents would probably think is junk (and I'll agree for some!). I like the picture idea though... very cute! I've heard of some scanning them into their computer and creating a book of everything. Could be fun but very time consuming!

  10. awesome idea! lovely greaating from a mama of 2 little boys

  11. What a fabulous idea, Elizabeth! While "saving" your daughter's artwork, you get to look at the growth of your daughter in a monthly basis, how meaningful!

    Your daughter is super adorable by the way. Oh, I love her outfit in the fourth picture, especially that colorful polka dot skirt, it is very cute and very Kate Spade looking!

    P/S: My son is five now and he has the same rainbow artwork (image #4) as your daughter, I swear. I collect all his artwork in a designated space and keep only the best ones and throw everything out at the end of each year.


  12. What a brilliant idea! Love it! I don't have any youngins of my own yet but when I do, I'll have to remember this fab idea xxx

  13. Great idea! As they get don't always hang it up (shh). One day, you look at a piece of art and say "was this yours...or your brother's?"

  14. Your daughter is adorable!! She looks like so much fun! That's a great idea. We have so much art stored in bins and we need to deal with it! I saw another idea I liked on HGTV, but it is much more time consuming. You can scan children's art and make each image 2 to 3 inches and make a big grid out of them in photoshop that looks like a colorful abstract piece of art until you get close enough. Then you can see each image. I saw this being done in a playroom.

  15. For the digitally inclined, there's a nifty site called Little Sketchers ( It is essentially an online version of these doors. I found it about 6 months ago, and think it's a pretty solid concept.

  16. First of all Amelia is adorable! What a cutie! And another great idea from you. I had the same realization when my oldest started preschool. Now I just keep three bins in our laundry room and I judiciously sort the incoming paper and toss the keepers in the bins and the rest goes in recycling--after an appropriate amount of time of course! Your idea is much better but I would need 3 display areas I guess...


  17. Such a cute idea! What fabulous memories for her to look back on later.


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