8 Tips for Sharing and Saving Children’s Art and Schoolwork

By Denise May Levenick

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1. Create a gallery

Pick a wall to host a rotating art show on shelves or picture ledges. Or string up a wire and use photo clips, like the ones at Urban Outfitters, for a clothesline-style display.

2. No need to spend a lot

Most schoolwork is on acidic paper that deteriorates quickly. Feel free to use inexpensive, lightweight frames for display. Clip-style plastic frames make it easy to switch out artwork.

3. Take photos

Change the exhibit when new schoolwork comes home. Snap photos of outgoing art, front and back, to capture names, dates and other writing. Save the papers in a large, fl at box. At the end of the term, let your child help you choose a few favorites to keep.


4. Preserve display pieces

Want to show off Junior’s masterpiece in perpetuity? Mount it on acid-free backing with mat board to leave space between art and glass. Display three-dimensional projects.

5. Save the classics

You and your little Picasso may cherish every drawing and worksheet, but few of us can save it all. Choose “keepers” based on what you’d want from your own childhood: a stick-fi gure family portrait, early attempts at name writing, a spelling test with a hard-won A. Add some that showcase the child’s talents, several seasonal favorites, and a few just for fun.

6. Paper or plastic?

Keep most schoolwork in sturdy plastic storage containers with tight lids. Report cards, diplomas and truly special projects can go in pricier archival-quality boxes (available from suppliers such as Gaylord Archival and Hollinger). Separate them with sheets of acid-free paper.


7. Don’t keep food art

Projects with dried pasta, candy and other food tend to attract bugs and spoil. They’re best enjoyed for a short time, photographed and disposed of. If you must save that macaroni sculpture, seal it inside a freezer bag and store, cushioned, in a plastic bin.

8. Share with apps

It’s easy to save and share your child’s latest handiwork with a mobile app like Keepy for Android and iOS. It lets you shoot photos and video, and invite relatives to view and comment. You can create and order books, prints and other gifts featuring favorite art, and back up and auto-sync Keepy images.

A version of this article appeared in the May/June 2018 issue of Family Tree Magazine.