Gabby M., whose son is in first grade, tells us via Facebook that she already has a lot of cute artwork that she can't bare to get rid of, while Sarah S. has started to throw a lot of it away because she doesn't have anywhere to put it. What can you do with those piles of children's art when you run out of storage space but can't quite bring yourself to throw it away?
Here, moms from our Circle of Moms Facebook community share four different ways to show your children that you appreciate and value their art – without cluttering up your home.
1. Gift It
"We sticky tape it together and use it as wrapping paper." –Melissa R.
"We use it as wrapping paper too! The kids love sharing their art like that, and generally the receiver loves that it is unique." –Ruth J.
"Fold it in half and use it as a card." –Lauren J.
"I have used my daughters paintings in photo frames with her picture for presents for family." –Rhiannon S.
"We keep the special ones that she chooses on the fridge, [then] she picks one [of them] for visitors to take home." –Rebecca F.
"I rotate [my son's] framed work [and] scan all of it. Making his personal 'Thank You' cards with them is one of my favorite things to do! We [also] make stickers, order mugs, aprons and hotplates for gifts." –Julie J.
"Frame and gift to loved ones!" –Julie J.
2. Make a Book
"I put together a three-ring binder for the year with page protectors inside. Put as much art as you can in each page protector. Sometimes, instead of a bedtime story we look through the binders. The binders store easily in a box or on a shelf" –Lisa H.
"My daughter is in preschool and brings home [a lot of] artwork. I scan her artwork and make a photo book for her. I'm also giving her teacher a book at the end of the school year thanking her for giving my daughter the best gift ever – education!" –Lee H.
"I saved all my son's artwork throughout the years, he's now 18, and I have so many memories. I keep it in a photo album." –Lorie D.
"Artkive app! Stores it all, and by child date and age. Then you can send each child's art for coffee table books." –Mandy M.
"I take close pictures of the artwork and make them into bound photo books by grade." –Linda K.
3. Hang It Up
"[I] framed my son's first finger painting and it's on the wall. I get a lot of compliments on it (well, he does). –Karen T.
"We keep the best ones (I let the kids choose their favorites) and hang them on the inside of the kitchen cabinets (so we have lots more space to display them). It brightens our day to open a cabinet and find a happy piece of artwork. We switch them out every six months or so and the old works go into a plastic storage bin reserved for each of their school papers and artwork." –Courtenay P.
"I saw this idea on on HGTV from one of the design shows (husband and wife team). They had all their children's artwork photocopied onto one huge poster, and then framed it. The finished product looked awesome, all the art was shrunk to fit!" –Wendy C.
"My eldest brings home pictures from school every week, which I keep in a box. Some of it goes to granny, some goes up on the wall and others me or hubby takes to work." –Joanita C.
"The really artsy ones, I matte and frame. I've been asked where I purchased the art [and] I say it's from my daughter's own art studio! They can make beautiful pieces." –Tasha T.
"We made a huge frame with cork board inside to pin his artwork." –Mary A.
"I tack up or staple them to my hallway, up the stairs and on their bedroom walls. Each time they bring new work home, they choose one piece to take down and hang up a new picture. They are always so proud to show everyone their walls." –Tasha M.
4. Create Useful Home Objects
"Bookmarks!" –Tiffany B.
"Laminate it and use as placemats – preserves and displays!" –Marlean F.
"After they have been on display awhile (fridge time) I take digital pics of my son's masterpieces and load them into a folder on my computer. They slideshow as a screensaver and I get to see them with favorite photos from his past six years. I do keep the really special ones and his favorites in my 'forever' box." –Lisa E.