I wrote a post a while back about organizing crafts into a binder. It’s a great way to keep those cherished pieces safe and in order. I went out and bought 4 new 2″ binders to organize all of the crafts that Lorelai has done over the past year and a half. Folks, they covered my entire living room floor. And what you see in the photo below? That’s not even all of them. It was pure crazy in here this afternoon.
We laid them all out so that we could go through and separate them by category – animals, fish, holiday and seasonal, 4-legged, etc. Then we began the process of sticking them in the binders. Protective cover sheets worked perfectly in holding the crafts in. On most of them, I placed a piece of printer paper between the crafts so that Lorelai could flip through them later and see everything she has done, rather than it being just a big jumbled mess. It worked really well! We also trimmed down the paper plates, scrapbook paper backgrounds, and construction paper crafts. Our nativity scene was gently folded and placed in the back pocket of the binder.
We filled all 4 binders, and we also have another one from when she was younger. If you’re wondering where we had previously stored all of the crafts, we had a lot of them on the clothespin displays in her bedroom. In that original post, we only had 1 line up. We ended up adding another and they were both twice as full as the pictures in that post. I also had a giant reusable grocery bag filled to the brim. It was definitely time to clean them up! The clothespin lines are now empty and begging for more colorful crafts. =)
The four overstuffed binders are now sitting on top of her large cubed bookcase. I’m sure we’ll be adding to them sooner than later!
I’ve already done photobooks of her crafts. I really like the idea of being able to hand her the binders when she’s older and say, “Hey, I might not have done everything right with you, but we sure had some great bonding moments over paintbrushes and googly eyes.” Lots, and lots, of great bonding moments. Like painting each others’ noses red after we did a Rudolph craft… we stood in front of the bathroom mirror and giggled at ourselves.
I also have to add that for every structured craft you see in that top picture, there are at least two ‘unstructured’ art pieces that were also done. Colorings, paintings, lots of glued on beans and beads, feather art, etc. See that “treasure chest” in the first photo? It’s filled to the brim with Lorelai’s artwork. She’s always wanting to do something artsy and has created many construction-paper masterpieces on her own. Every time we do a craft, Lorelai paints a picture with the leftover paint. Letting her be “her” and seeing her creativity blossom is so awesome. And, at the same time, frustrating when I’m always cleaning up construction paper bits and runny glue in her room! =)
How do you organize your child’s artwork? Do you think a binder system like this would work well for you?