Sunday, January 2, 2011

Organization - Art Projects

For my first blog on organization I decided to tackle the topic of art projects. As home schoolers, we will help our kids create thousands of art projects in our lifetime, and we don't even get the advantage of them being forgotten on the bus!

So, what do we do with all of these treasures? I tried putting them on my refrigerator for about the first month that I home schooled. That was just ridiculous. They kept sliding down to the floor and making me frustrated. Plus, they seemed to be copulating up there or something. Every time I went to get the milk there were 4 more finger-paintings! Finally, after much trial and error, I have come up with a system that works for my family and I am going to share it with you.

1. Don't bother making it if you think it sounds like junk to begin with.

It is one thing to do a coloring sheet or a painting, but if a project is going to be large, bulky, take up shelf space, AND sounds unattractive, don't make it. Every idea isn't a good one, or at the very least, every idea isn't for your family. Only use the ones that are.

2. Display a limited amount of art work for a brief amount of time, then file it away.

In our house we have a designated area where we display our kids art. I use construction paper in a complementary color to mat it, post it on the wall, and leave it up there for awhile until it is time to replace it with the next project.

I eventually want to implement a system of displaying photos like the one that my friend Vera uses. I saw this at her house one day and fell in love:

What Vera did was bought an old frame at a thrift store and decorated it using decopage. She then mounted it on her wall and tapes her kids' art in the middle of it. This particular frame is behind her dining room table, she has more in her school room. She was super nice about letting me use pictures of her frames since I haven't made any of my own yet. Every time I go to her house I see something I want to copy (and usually do).

3. When we are done displaying, we pitch it our file it.

If the project is particularly bulky or otherwise un-storable I will take pictures and file that instead so that I can toss it out. How I store our art is in big three ring binders with clear top-loading sheet protectors. I then trim the art if needed and slide the artwork (or picture of it) into the sheet protectors so that the kids can flip through and see all that they have done, without it being messy or cumbersome. Each child has his own binder, and it has worked out fabulously for us so far!

So, there it is. Do you have any tips on how to keep art work more organized? I would love to hear them!