Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Keepsake Photo Albums for Kids' Artwork

I've been going through storage bins this week as a result of turning our bedroom sitting area into a home gym.  I'm trying to keep only the essentials and recycle, throw away or donate everything else.  I have a storage rule I put in place when we moved into our house three years ago, but that's a post for another time...  Today I came across my older son's artwork from his 1 and 2 year-old daycare/preschool years.  I have a really hard time throwing away my boys' work, so I've started to make Shutterfly photo books of their creations.  I only keep a few extra special pieces in a file bin that I have for each of them.  (Anything that's made with their hand or foot print is a keeper!)

The photo books are really quick & easy to make.  I lay a large sheet of white paper on the floor near a window.  Then I place each piece of artwork & photograph them, one by one.  I like to use the natural light from the window & turn my flash off.  Then I upload the photos to my computer & Shutterfly.  The whole photographing & uploading process takes about an hour.  

If I were super organized, which I'm not, I'd photograph the artwork as it comes home.  Instead, I store everything in a neat looking Bristol Storage Box from the Container Store on a bookshelf.  I use the bigger size, one for each boy, and when it's filled to the top, I photograph everything inside.

I use Shutterfly's Simple Path photo book option.  I choose an 8x8 hardcover photo book.  You then click "Add Pictures", choose all the pictures you want to add, and Shutterfly automatically adds them to the book.  You can look through it to make sure they're all oriented the right way, edit if you need to, and add captions if you like.  I just add the year & school name to the cover.  You can also choose the style book you'd like.  A lot of the styles are perfect for art books--the one pictured above is Confetti Splash.  I save the books in my "saved projects" on the site & wait to order them when Shutterfly is running a sale.

Looking through my now 7 year-old's creations from when he was so little, I'm glad that I saved these memories.  It will be fun to look through the photo book together when it's delivered in a week or so.

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