Take digital pictures of your kid’s artwork so you can toss the originals

via www.everydayonephoto.com

Here's how Melanie deals with the avalanche of kid art from school:

To remedy the huge pile of art I've been accumulating, I take a picture of each piece the kids bring home from school.  Of course I keep the treasures (see above) but most art creations end up as a digital copy and then go to the recycling bin.

So simple, and yet I've never done this. My daughter looks pained every time I ask her to weed through her art projects, and this hack puts all the emphasis on the saving, not the throwing away. Yes!

I also want to encourage you to visit Melanie's blog, Every Day One Photo. Here's why she does it:

I never made baby books, so I might as well document our lives by posting… every day, one photo. I'm just trying to make sure we remember the days of our (young?) family life, and wondering if one day I will wish that I could go back to the time where the worst part of my day was asking the kids to pick up their toys or hoping they eat the broccoli I made for dinner.

Like her hack, simple, but so powerful.

We've got several hacks for culling, displaying or repurposing the kid art collection, including creating an art gallery in the garage, using it in decoupage projects, and turning it into wrapping paper and gift tags.

How do you organize/deal with/display your kid's art?

Related: A keepsake journal "triples" as travel entertainment, art preservation, and a grandparent gift


  1. Kelli says

    This also works for cleanup at our house. If I take a photo of the block tower or Lego creation, it’s much easier to break it down and put it away.

    We also have an Eye-fi card in the camera, so photos are automatically added to Flickr for Grandparents to see.

  2. Justin says

    I scan my daughter’s artwork and then upload it to Google Docs. Then its always saved and I can also view it from my iPhone so I can brag to friends.

  3. says

    I started making scans and taking photos of my sons’ artwork a few months ago, too. After awhile, we took it a step further by putting their best artwork on their own blog (for only friends and family to view). They love getting comments from their uncles, aunties, and grandparents.

    What’s really interesting is choosing which projects to post. My boys are nine years old and they tend to slap things together quickly and think they’re “fine.” Now we look at their work together and discuss why some things are better than others. I’m hoping this will help them learn to spend more time on their school projects, too.

  4. Robyn says

    You can upload the photos to Snapfish or similar sites and make an 8X10 photo book. Makes great gifts to send to grandparents also.

  5. B says

    Don’t forget to scan the keepers too! If something happened to the keepers at least you would have the scan!

  6. Lisa says

    Take some of the pictures with your child holding the artwork! That way you will have the art and a great memory of how cute your child was at that moment.

  7. says

    We’ve been creating posters of our daughter’s work. We take digital photos of the originals and then compile them into large format posters so we can get months or a year into one large poster and then get that printed :)

  8. says

    I’m happy to be labeled a zealot here: I believe that throwing out a single piece of kid-art is a mortal sin. Our hack, to avoid clutter, is to place the old art between the pages of coffee table books.

  9. says

    It never feels right to throw all this great art away, but taking pictures of them and then creating slideshows of the art work to rotate through while having company over, gets the art seen without much effort.