Preserve Your Child’s Artwork by Creating Photo Books

by redpillpapa · 4 comments

in Art+Music,Book+DVD Reviews,Education

One dilemma that we parents all face several times a year is,”What should I do with all of the artwork that my child has created?” These are the masterpieces (OK maybe not all of them) that our kids beam with pride over and for which we shower them with praise for making. While some of these works are fridge-worthy, others — let’s face it — are more about developmental milestones and will probably end up in a pile, folder or closet destined to never again see the light of day.

In our home, we have allocated more than the fridge to our daughter’s artwork, making one side of a hallway leading into her room her ‘gallery’. Since the age of two-and-a-half or three, we have been hanging her better pieces here. We keep a roll of blue art tape on hand, which doesn’t ruin the paint job: our daughter feels a great sense of satisfaction rolling the tape, sticking it on the back corners of her work and affixing it to the wall. However, there is not enough space to keep up with her prolific output. So what is a Red Pill Parent to do?

My solution has been to photograph all of her art with my digital camera, setting the work near a window to capture the true colors and positioning the camera so that the artwork takes up the full frame. This way our family will have a permanent record of our daughter’s art, and will not feel pangs of guilt when choosing to place non gallery-worthy works into the recycle bin.

The final step of this art preservation project will be to create photo books so that we will have a permanent record of her art. I will arrange the pictures in chronological order which will poignantly highlight her development over the years; from messy finger paintings and random collages to detailed faces, landscapes and fantastical creations. This is something that I know her mom and I will enjoy paging through and I can only imagine that our daughter will find thrilling. Plus, this is sure to become a cherished family heirloom like photo albums and other personal and meaningful items.

A 20-page photo book, on average, costs $40 including shipping. You do the layout yourself, positioning, sizing and captioning, and you can expand them beyond 20 pages if needed. Apple’s iPhoto has a built-in tool to create a photo book, or if you’re on a PC or prefer to comparison shop and work with another service, Shutterfly, Kodak Gallery, Snapfish and many other websites offer this service as well.

Here is a link to a site that compares the features and prices of the top ten photo book sites.

Now the challenge becomes: what are you going to do with all of that space you just cleared up?!?!

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

mandy February 10, 2010 at 3:07 am

Great idea! I’ve taken a few pictures of some of the wooden “sculptures” my son has done at his Preschool, but haven’t had the heart to get rid of them yet. I’ll give the paintings a shot – before the paint starts to fade.

Red Pill Mama February 10, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Yes, I like this idea most as a solution to saving all the three-dimensional art that we’ve accumulated! I mean, how long do we have to keep the aluminum foil sculpture from art camp on display?

Anastasia February 11, 2010 at 7:29 am

Fantastic idea! My son is a big fan of using sticky foam paper to create stuff. He peels off the backing, turns it over, and just sticks stuff on there. It makes it really hard to store things (because the whole sheet is sticky!).

Shannon March 8, 2010 at 4:03 pm

Love it! My 5-year-old turned our dining room into his personal art gallery 2 years ago. Maybe I can get him to help with the pictures so he does not mind taking them down.

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