One of the joys of being a parent, is all the free art you get.

Sometimes your kids really amaze you with the creations they fart out. I know we’re usually impressed and sometimes terrified of the elaborate pictures with complete stories my oldest draws for us on the daily.

But of course, not every drawing, painting or sculpture is the next Mona Lisa, so the question becomes…what am I going to do with this?

Chances are, if you’re like me, the thought of immediately throwing it out makes you feel awful, so you put it up high somewhere, on top of a pile of other masterpieces that are just buying time, waiting to meet their inevitable fate. There’s got to be a better way!

Fear not! Here are some handy ideas, tools and even apps! that will help you figure out what to do with that adorable self portrait. Or wait, is that a cat? Wait, it might be a picture of her father? Is that a beard?

Original piece by my 3 year old which I just threw out.

HANG IT UP

Probably the easiest way to store your kids work, is to just display it. This is especially nice if you can frame it, or if you child has painted something on an actual canvas. Here’s some canvases that my kids painted on which could rival any $80,000 piece of abstract art. Sometimes I wonder how the hell some of these “artists” get away with producing the shit they do.

I swear I didn’t put that candle and television there to help hide these paintings.

We let them paint on canvases a lot because you can paint over an old painting if you want to change the picture pretty easily. Plus, canvases look more legit. You can a decent pack of canvases here.

They also make pretty awesome “Kids Artwork Display” frames that you don’t have to take down off the wall to change out!

You can also get one of those special hanging frames that comes with lots of clips you can move around to easily add or take away whatever you decide is worth keeping. Also, make sure you have the same number of pictures hanging up from all your children. Good luck making those decisions.

 

PHYSICAL STORAGE

Here are some nifty tools to store your little Picasso’s “art.”

I’ve seen a bunch of companies that sell little portfolios that are tabbed (and you know how much I love tabs) that can slide easily behind a dresser, or under a bed, never to be seen again, like this one.

I like these because you can use the tabs for years, like the one above, or subjects which is how I might break down my eldest’s drawings. They would read “Monsters,” “Pictures of a boy named Zach,” “Rollercoaster blueprints,” and “Mad at Mommy.” I feel like I could never use this portfolio dated the way they do in the picture because my daughter literally draws through a whole package of printer paper in like two weeks. But it’s a cute idea.

Store it in your furniture! And before you say, “Does a garbage can count as furniture?” I will say 1. Why not and 2. They make some great storage pieces that complement your living space in a way that is very much under the radar. Like these handy storage ottomans!

They come in a variety of colors and can tuck away under certain coffee tables or just in the corner as an extra stool. Though, if my guests were forced to sit on ottomans, I’d be the worst host. Good thing we never invite anyone over!

You could also get some of these museum quality storage boxes which boast acid protection.

But at this point, if you’re dropping $30 on a box to put your kids artwork in to keep it in museum-ready shape, the least of problems is figuring out where to store it. You’re probably just an asshole.

THIRD PARTY STORAGE

That’s right, you heard me. You can now store all of your children’s paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc, through companies that have started up to solve this very problem.

Plum Print

This company turns all of your children’s pieces into things you can store easily, like a custom scrapbook but with none of the scraps.

Credit Plum Print

They send you their Plum Print box, you fill it with all the shit you have laying around (even 3-D things like macaroni necklaces!), and they turn it into a pretty book you will never look at again. Love it! This is the type of thing you can pull out when your 18-year-old is shouting that you don’t love her because you won’t let her borrow the car and you can throw this book at her and be like, “Oh I don’t love you? Look at the shit I wasted my money on to prove that I actually DO love you!” It’s useful.

Artkive App

Of course there’s an app for this. You simply download the app, snap a picture of whatever your kid made and save it in the app.

Credit Artkive

They also do the same thing Plum Print does, where you can get their box in the mail and they’ll do the work for you and give you the digital stuff but ALSO a scrapbook of the artwork, which probably makes Plum Print so, so mad.

Canvsly App

This tech company sets out to include the social media aspect of artwork capturing, claiming they can connect the artwork your child makes with not only you, but their teachers, art teachers, etc.

Credit Canvsly

Throwing social media into the mix is a GREAT idea, because if there’s one thing your friends love seeing in their feed – in addition to all the pictures of your kids and the food your eating, it’s pictures your kids drew. They will totally not secretly unfollow you.

 

And there you have it. I hope this post has helped inspire your kid art organizing quests. Happy planning! xo