Organizing Children’s Artwork

I have been wanting to do a children’s art wall, since before I was even pregnant with Penelope. It’s one of those things I dreamed and envisioned about how my family home would be for a long time.

I literally started dreaming about my home when I was 5. I remember setting up a fort in my living room, to escape the craziness, and slowly going through a JCPenny catalogue, mentally picking out every thing my future home could ever need.

So to finally have an art wall up, feels so damn good.

I got some inspiration from, you guessed it, Pinterest. I have black frames all over my house and have been itching to do a white framed gallery wall to change it up. This was the perfect opportunity.

Organizing Children's Artwork

But first I had to get things organized.

Her artwork was starting to get out control, since she started going to preschool. I had been putting all her art on a piece of twine with a clothes pin, at the top of her chalkboard wall.

It was an overcrowded mess and you couldn’t really appreciate them all.

Organizing Children's Artwork

I am a classic, sentimental sap and like to save everything from movie ticket stubs to every single card anyone has ever mailed me in my entire life. I still have boxes upon boxes of notes to friends I wrote in high school. I know it will be endless entertainment for me when I am 90. It’s also called hoarding. But since I am so organized, it’s hard to tell that I am hoarder, but I am. Thanks to the book, the The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, I realized that I am totally hoarder.

But logistically, I am trying to cut down on the amount of “stuff” I have in my home, so I needed a way to memorialize her art work without having 50 million storage boxes.

So I arranged her artwork in to groups based on the season and time she made them. Then took pictures of them all.

Then neatly put them away, because, see above. Most normal people will chuck after photographing them.

With my favorites, I lined up all the new white frames I bought at Micheal’s and decided which art to go in each frame.

Organizing Children's Artwork

Then framed those bad boys up.

Organizing Children's Artwork

I was torn about where to hang them. My first thought was in the stairway wall, but then I thought they would be nice in her room.

But then I went back to the stairway, it will give me more space to add extra frames as she gets older.

Organizing Children's Artwork


The chalkboard wall will be for her current art, and when it gets full again. I will do this process all over again. Taking pictures of everything, chucking most of it, and framing the best ones.

The ones that make it to a frame will be saved in a plastic storage bin later as I switch them out and will probably be buried with me one day.

I think it could be fun to change out all the pictures around Christmas too, and have all holiday themed art out. But I will probably be to busy (or lazy) to actually get it done.

This blog had several great ideas, like tapping artwork to the back of a garage door and turning artwork into greeting cards.

I also get a Plum Print art book made each year.  But I still save the originals. Because I’m crazy like that.

What do you do to organize your kid’s art?

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  • Lindsey
    February 23, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    I love this idea! I have boxes of my kids’ artwork that are just sitting in a closet; I’ve never thought to actually frame some of them and put them out for everyone to see. I see another project in my future!

    • Stephanie
      February 23, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      I am so glad I framed them! They make me smile, every time I walk by and when Penelope sees them, she says “my art!”

  • Stephanie
    February 23, 2012 at 9:18 PM

    I LOVE this idea! I had some bins of my children’s artwork, and they got lost in a move along the way. They are now a Sophomore and Senior in high school. I wish I would have taken pictures of their artwork. Now I can’t get any of it back 🙁 I do, however, also have a one year old, and I plan on scanning and photographing every single thing she makes!

    • Stephanie
      February 24, 2012 at 5:28 AM

      Oh that is so sad!! Glad you get a do-over!

  • Kendra
    February 24, 2012 at 5:39 PM

    I love this idea! I’m already wondering what I’m going to do with my baby’s artwork. My mother-in-law bought us a board that says, “Look what I made,” and it has clips attached to it that you can hang the art work from. It is so cute but it doesn’t hold very much. My baby is not even one yet but they do so many art projects with the infants at daycare. I love it! Thanks for the tip, it will be a fun project to tackle. 🙂

    • Stephanie
      February 24, 2012 at 11:28 PM

      That sounds super cute!

  • Meghan
    February 26, 2012 at 12:25 AM

    One of my cousins puts together Shutterfly photo books of her kids’ art. The more 3-dimensional pieces she’ll photograph, but most she just scans into her computer. Then she has the kids describe what’s going on in each piece and puts that in the book next to the picture. I always thought that was an amazing idea.

    • Stephanie
      February 26, 2012 at 12:26 AM

      That is such an amazing idea. Several people on MBL’s Facebook page, mentioned this idea as well. So cool!

  • Kristina
    March 7, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    First I just want to say that I love this blog… My child is much older than than your daughter but I find your writing so honest and interesting that I keep coming back… I

    I love the idea of taking pictures of the artwork and then just saving the favorites… I kept the art I loved the most that my daughter created but threw out the rest… It would have been fantastic to have had pictures of it… Great idea that I will definitely use if I ever have another child… (My first is now 12 so not so much art work being generated sadly)

    • Stephanie
      March 7, 2012 at 3:37 AM

      What a great compliment, you made my day, thank you!!

  • Bethany
    March 9, 2012 at 2:29 AM

    I love this idea!! My son isn’t quite two, and he isn’t very interested in painting or scribbling, but I’d love to do this in the future for him. It makes no sense for them to do all of that work and then not have it displayed. Thanks for sharing!

  • Edna
    June 23, 2012 at 4:19 PM

    Hi Steph, what a beautiful work ..!
    where could I cheap, clean looking white frames for the idea?Thank you

    • Stephanie
      June 25, 2012 at 12:07 AM

      I think Michael’s has the best prices when their frames are on sale or with a coupon. Their frames go on sale often enough, but I would call and ask when the next sale is. You could also find cheap ones at thrift stores and garage sales and then paint them. I did that in college and it’s a pain but it looks just as good.

  • Tiffany
    April 24, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    I love this post! I have been wanting to do an art wall also for awhile and fill in some of the space in my hallway or do a portion of a wall in my living room. Right now I save my favorite pieces of artwork (which is most minus some scribbly color pages) in binders divided with tabs that indicate the age he was when he made it. My little boy is almost 4 and LOVES to read and look at photo albums so he also enjoys flipping through the binder and recalling how he painted with his fingers and who was sitting beside him when he made it, etc. Very sweet.