Kids’ Artwork Organization {Organizing Life}

Kids' artwork storage folder idea with free printable label

Recently our good friend/reader Leslie posted a request on our facebook wall~

i seriously need help with all the paper coming home from the twins’ school! ideas for storing/displaying/keeping all the art etc??? we are renting and in a small space, need clever ideas…the paper is taking over…

 I can relate, can’t you? Leslie has the most adorable kindergarten boy/girl twins and I can just imagine all the beautiful work they bring home. However, its twice as much paper for her to deal with!

Before I share the way I deal with my kids’ art and school papers, I wanted to share some ideas I found that also might help Leslie {0r anyone else} overwhelmed with all that paper.

This inexpensive IKEA curtain system could hold artwork and is a great use of an empty wall.

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  At the end of the year I would put all these sheets in a large notebook but in the meantime, a paper towel holder and some clear sheet protectors are all you need for this solution. Since I know firsthand that most preschool and kindergarten artwork often varies in size/shape/thickness, this may not work for those with younger children, but it’s still a neat idea.

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This idea might not be very practical in a rental home, but there is a wealth of ideas here, like tacking sheet metal to the wall to create a magnetic surface for artwork, etc. Ikea sells smaller versions of metal boards which would work perfectly.

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 OK, here is the art/paper solution I have come up with, I can relate to Leslie’s issue as two of my children still bring home work on a regular basis. My oldest is mostly done with the “art” stage, but I will show you in a minute where I keep his school papers for the long-term.

First, I built a large chalkboard in the hallway off our kitchen, which was super easy and inexpensive.  I also added some inexpensive black hooks along the bottom molding. Each child gets ONE hook for their current favorite piece of art, or “A” spelling test.

art gallery chalkboard

Here is the funny thing, did you notice? My way-to-saavy-for-her-age three-year old, removed her brother’s work and added in another piece of her artwork! So, I should say, “ideally” each child gets one special piece on display at a time, how sneaky she is!

Outside of this display, all their artwork {that I decide to keep :) } goes into this super easy storage solution.

Kids' artwork storage folders

 I started making these art folders years ago when my first son was young. The idea came from a neighbor who taught art classes in her home. At the end of the year, she gave each student a “portfolio” made from folded posterboard. It was inexpensive, easy to make, easy to store and holds a ton– even the thicker “paper plate” type artwork fits in fine.

Because they are so thin, they are easy to store. I tuck mine under my kitchen desk, right where I clean out backpacks.

At the end of the year, I give each folder a quick clean out. I have learned that saving every single piece of “fall” artwork may seem important in October, but once the folder is full, it’s easier to let some of the less, ahhh…creative? artwork go.

What’s left after the ‘art purge’ goes into my insanely simple storage system…each kid has one box for all the things I consider important enough to keep. Someday I plan to pass their boxes down to them–like at college graduation when we dump all their stuff on them and my husband and I escape to a tiny beach house somewhere…right? :)

In these bins you find all sorts of things in addition to their artwork, report cards, baby blankets, etc…I hope they will be glad I kept all this someday.

To make the Art Portfolios:

Use regular inexpensive posterboard, full-size.

In our house, each kid has a “color” for things, it helps eliminate fighting over who gets what, and their poster board is color-coded as such.

Anyway, fold the posterboard exactly in half.

I cut a few inches off each side, I have a large paper cutter but you can use scissors and a ruler, or just leave them as is. Then tape along the inside right on the edge. Again, I have an incredibly useful tape gun from my former wedding invitation business, but you can use double-sided tape, glue or even just staple them.

Once the sides are stuck together, just add a label on the front for each child.

Here is the printable version of the labels I made, you can download the PDF HERE, and add in your child’s name either on your computer or just write it in.

click to download labels

 I print my labels on white cardstock, then for these I added a solid color cardstock behind each label so it would stand out.

Kids' artwork storage folder idea with free printable label

Their art just slides in, nice and neat.

That’s my solution. How about you all? What other ideas for Leslie do you have? Please share!

Check out some of our other “art” storage solutions if this doesn’t do the trick!

Art Display Wall by Less Than Perfect Life of Bliss

DIY Wall Chalkboard with Art Display

Art Cart for Art Supply Organization

Kids Homework Center

Thanks for stopping by!

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Comments

  1. Amy Shelton says:

    The only other thing I would add, besides this is an awesome way and how I did it myself for our 3 kids, storing these large files in between the mattress and the box spring of a bed is how I kept them flat and out of the way once full! I just slid them all in to a place most people forget they can use for storage! Also kept there are those huge files of Xrays we all have that are huge and need to be kept flat. Hope my additional storage solution is useful to someone! Happy Organizing. : )

  2. Love these ideas. Thanks for the portfolio idea!

  3. This is lame

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