After the Artwork Goes Home…

Do you ever fear as artwork leaves your door it will be looked at with a second glance and then promptly crushed, torn or thrown away?  We know parents can’t keep all of the precious little treasures we make in the art room, but as advocates for the arts, art teachers can play a huge role in helping parents see the importance of art in their student’s life.  This starts at home with parents keeping, displaying and more importantly VALUING the creativity things going on in the art room.

Recently I ran across this blog post from Simplify 101’s Creative Organizing Blog, one of my favorite organizing blogs. Abby posted 5 Ways to Organize and Enjoy Your Kids Artwork.  She gives readers some clever ways to store, keep and enjoy student artwork.  This resource would be great to share with parents who seem overwhelmed at all the “stuff” being sent home.

Her tips include:

  • Putting them in a book or binder
  • Framing the Artwork
  • Creating a Collage
  • Photographing the Art and Artist
  • Laminating and Hanging
My favorite tip was the collage, because it could incorporate all types of artwork from the year (made at home and at school) and wont’ take up a lot of room.  These could be photographed for scrapbooks in the future or kept in a special folder for each year of school and act as a “summary” of sorts.

This post also got me thinking of other ways parents could save student art:

  • Choose your favorite 5 to frame and then Take Digital Photos of rest of the work and..
  1. Create a book in iphoto of flicker of each year’s artwork
  2. Create a poster with thumbnail versions of the photos
  • Give as gifts framed to family and friends for holidays
I am sure as you have talked with parents and thought of this dilemma yourself.
What are some other creative ideas for encouraging parents to handle artwork with creativity and care? 

Jessica Balsley

Jessica Balsley is the Founder and President at AOE. She is passionate about helping art teachers enhance their lives and careers through relevant professional development.


  • Kellie Determan

    Once again, THANK YOU Jessica!
    You seem to be the right person(blog-email) at the right time. Thought I try and try, I’m not a natural organizer. I’ve always considered that I have Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, so many things to do, so many distractions to keep me from getting things done… I’m thinking about taking the Organizing 101 work shop. I figure if it can help at home, then I know it will help me in the classroom too!
    Thank you for being a fountain of knowledge!

    • Kellie- You are so welcome! I am glad it was helpful- I also have tried her workshops and they are great! You also might like my online class – Clutter Free Teaching- which will cover organizing your physical and mental space in the classroom – Lots of hands on assignments- it runs in September. :) Happy Organizing!!

  • Anonymous

    I’m glad I saw this, thank you for posting it! I am going to share that blog post with parents at school and keep it in mind for when my little guy is big enough to make art!

  • Would love to have kids send jpegs of their favorite art to our viewer-submitted gallery ( so they can share their creativity with a wide audience!

    • This looks like a neat place to share art, thanks for connecting us.

  • Ever thought about an artful journal? Kids can create the journal themselves and then create pages to store their own artwork. They take so much care in these journals and they can be used to keep artwork right next to math and reading. It’s such a great way for students to take ownership of their own work! You can find out more about that here:

  • What about a calendar – great holiday gift – with different artwork for each month and then the work can be enjoyed throughout the year!

    • Susan and Tisha- both great ideas! Thank you for sharing!