Since this post is once again quite relevant, we’ve updated it from last year and are posting it again this December. Please chime in in the comments section if you have any other ideas to share about managing your child’s artistic output!
Although we love all the art that our student-artists make in class, we realize that sometimes at home THERE IS TOO MUCH OF IT! Relax, overwhelmed parents, we have some suggestions to repurpose this art in a way that celebrates the creations AND extends their usefulness. This time of year offers a few great opportunities to make good use of your child’s many creations.
May we present:
- The wrapping paper solution. The holiday season can be a great time to clean out a big stash of all the excess paper art and use it to wrap Christmas and Hanukkah gifts. But don’t forget – you can use it all year long for birthday parties, teacher presents, hostess gifts and any other time you need to wrap something.
- Put it in a big envelope or box and mail it to the Grandparents. Or favorite aunt, far-flung cousins – anyone who loves your kids will be touched to be remembered and receive this in their mailbox. They’ll enjoy it even more with an explanation such as ”This is Billy’s painting of a duck. Even though it is blue and possibly not immediately recognizable as a duck, that’s what it is!”
You can also tuck a piece of artwork into Holiday Cards that you mail out since you are already sending these dear ones some mail anyway.
- Lantern project. We saw this upcyling of art into colorful Chinese-style lanterns on a blog and think it’s a great idea. These would be wonderful displayed in a child’s bedroom or playroom.
- Handmade cards. Make (or buy) some note cards. Cut out a selection from the artwork and glue it onto the front of the card; a glue stick works well, or if you want to make it fancier, you can get some foam adhesives/double sided thick tape that provide a bit of separation between the artwork and the card.
Another option is to take a photo or scan a particularly appealing piece of art and send it to one of the online printers such as shutterfly or snapfish to make a card, and then discard the original art. We like the personal touch of the homemade card, though.
- Less from more: create a collage. This can be a fun activity to do together with your child. Select a few artwork pieces with coordinating colors – this will give your finished project a more cohesive look. For example, you might want to select a few paintings and drawings that all use warm colors, like yellow, orange and red. Cut the artwork into random pieces and then select a contrasting piece of paper or poster board (in this case, green, purple or blue would all work well. And black always works!) Start gluing, but make sure to leave peeks of the background color visible; this is one of our favorite projects and creates a great looking piece of art.
- Book it, Dano! Take photos of all that art and then upload it to make a photo book, again using one of the many online sites that offer this. And then discard it all! Paintings and drawings on paper and cardboard can be recycled.
Here’s to all the wonderful artworks of the past year, and a very happy holiday season to all!