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Our son produces tons of painted pictures and handicrafted things.

We like them very much, but we are not sure what to do with them, as they need a lot of space, storage and time.

It is not easy for us or for him to decide to throw some/most of them away, as he often has put a lot of thought and effort in them, but we just can not keep all of them. Sure we can give away some of them to grandparents etc., but we also do not want to clutter their homes...

How do you handle that?

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We take pictures or scan images to save digitally. We also have a set amount of space for saving artwork and crafts, a flat box about the size of a pizza box and a small shelf in her room. When those spaces get full, we weed some things out. I've found with my child that after she has had a little distance from her creations she is able to let go more easily; it's also easier to let go of a few items at a time instead of a big purge.

We think up ways together to reuse artwork that we can't save. We have used drawings and paintings as gift wrap or to make birthday or holiday cards. Sometimes we take apart a craft project to reuse materials for other projects. She cuts up old paintings to make new collages, some little clay figures went to live under different plants in the garden. Now that she is older, she makes a memory book at least once per year and she will put in a photo or a small piece of a larger painting along with her other mementos.

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I LOVE the idea of digital copies. I have always hated throwing the art away but we can only keep so much around the house before we start to go under all the construction paper. Thank you for this! – Valkyrie Nov 1 '13 at 13:36
+1. I do the same. I can't stand to toss the artwork out, but with a few seconds and the iPhone, upload to Flickr, and now I have a 'permanent' copy. – DA01 Nov 1 '13 at 17:32
There are apps for saving digital copies. Try ArtKive, Canvsly or Keepy – aldrin Nov 6 '13 at 7:48
+1. Three and Two year old in this house. We have put up a couple of pinboards and stick the latest artwork up on there. Eventually it gets covered, and we move it to "file 13" after taking digital photos. Would love to keep it all, but we don't have the space. – Jez Nov 6 '13 at 19:45

We have put a curtain wire from IKEA on the wall and use it to have a constantly changing exhibition of the latest works. The pictures that we take down are labeled with name and date/age and some of them go into our filing cabinet under "Drawings by [name]". Some of them we will throw away. Typically in any given period there are lots of very similar drawings, so we keep some highlights from each period and loose the rest.

Our plan is to make a scrapbook of her life for her wedding which will also feature some drawings from her childhood.

So basically, we have the exhibition to show her that we appreciate her work, but we - not her - make the decision about what to keep. A few weeks later she doesn't care anymore anyway.

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You can take picture of his art and make a beautiful creative photo album with all of his painted pictures and handcrafted things, that is a nice way to keep a memento of his early art days :) but if the things that he do are very good, consider about exhibited them in the gallery or you could make an a auction for them.

I know you will make a good choice.

Good luck :) and tell us what you did.

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Make a collage of pictures of all the art work.

Apartment Therapy - Get The Look: Children's Artwork Collages


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