The copious amounts of art that my boys produce is at once precious and overwhelming to me: so adorable! Yet so so much of it. But I think I've found a solution that captures their hard work but takes up very little space in our house. Presenting: the kid art photo book!
Years ago, when Dash started bringing home adorable artwork from daycare, I quickly realized that the pages of construction paper with hand prints and glued tissue paper would accumulate. And fast. I had heard about taking photographs of art work against a white poster board background so I started doing that early on.
I wrote about this process in a previous blog post but here's the quick rundown of what I do:
+ Collect art work in a designated spot in the house. I have a wire basket in my office for this purpose and collect both boys' art/notable school work in the same spot. So far it's been easy to determine whose work is whose.
+ Every so often (ideally monthly but in reality sometimes once per semester) go through the art. First I sort it all out into a pile for each boy and weed out what can go straight to the trash.
+ Set each piece of art on a white poster board and take a photo with my phone from above.
+ Backup photos from my phone to Google Photo. (I wrote about how I use Google Photo to manage my photos here.)
+ Sort photos in Google Photo into each of the boys' art work photo albums. Then when I'm ready to do something with the photos they're already in one spot together.
From the beginning I had the idea that I would make a photo book for each of the boys for their art work from "first scribbles" through pre-K. This year I sat down to make Dash's art book and I'm so happy with how it turned out. Since I've been taking photos all along it was easy to download all the art photos from the Google Photo album I set up for his artwork and upload those into Blurb's software to make a book. I've been making our family photo books for years with Blurb and have always been so happy with how easy it is to use and the quality of the books. I use the 7 x 7 inch book with hardcover image wrap.
I love seeing Dash's drawing progress from scribbling to complex drawing and writing. And it's so much easier to sit and look through a book rather than a pile of the actual art work. It's hard to imagine that we would very often pull out a box of his old art work but this book sits with our family photo albums and is easy to pull off the shelf and show off to the grandparents or flip through together.
Here's a quick peek at what the book looks like inside:
I'm so happy with how this turned out! At the end of the book I included our photos from the last day we picked the boys up from their preschool since that was the end of pre-kindergarten for Dash. Next year it'll be time to make one for Cedric!