I don’t know about you, but ever since Brynn started Pre-K, we are basically swimming in a sea of artwork and projects she brings home. It seems like pages and pages every day! Some are just coloring book pictures and others are more in-depth projects as part of a lesson, but I’ve really been struggling with what to hang on to and what to toss.
*gasp!* I know, I know. I admit. I have definitely already recycled some of the things she brings home. It’s really only when she brings home 5 copies of the same Poppy the Troll (from the movie Trolls) coloring book printout that are all half-colored, but still – the horror! 😉
I ended up buying some IKEA storage boxes and use one just for Brynn’s artwork. We had already kept some of her first scribblings from when she was 1, but now that she’s almost done with Pre-K, the box is nearly full! Eek!
I want to preserve them, but also don’t want dozens of boxes that sit the basement for the next 40 or 50 years (only then to be tossed out by Brynn herself when we make her clean our basement when we’re old and frail and moving to hopefully a lovely patio home!). ha!
So, staying true to what I do best (and actually like to do!), I researched it. I came up with a bunch of choices so far (and I did decide on one, which I’ll reveal at the end!). 😉 I knew I wanted to turn them into a book, since it would take up a relatively small amount of space and could easily be pulled out and put away later, when needed. So I found several potential options to do just that.
Without further ado, here is what I found:
- A free app that let’s you organize your child’s artwork by taking pictures of each piece and uploading it to the app. Then you can create items like books or other keepsakes that have a picture on the artwork on them. It lets you set up individual profiles for each child, and also allows you to share the pictures with family members (like grandma and grandpa!) easily.
- Down side: The app may be free, but you do have to purchase a subscription to use it. They do offer their “unlimited” option as a free 7 day trial (it’s normally $9.99 a month). They do offer a variety of subscription options.
- My thoughts: I personally thought this app was a little less intuitive to use in the beginning. After setting up a profile for Brynn, it immediately wanted me to start adding pictures of artwork. I didn’t have any at this point, but wanted to set up a profile for Asher, so I had to completely close out of the app and open it again to do so. Once it was set up it seemed OK, but it was a bit clunky in the beginning, in my honest opinion.
- Another free app that allows you to upload pictures of your child’s artwork. Like Keepy, you can have profiles for different children. And also (again, like Keepy) you can easily share these pictures of artwork with other family members through the app or through social media. I love how easy to use this app is – it’s very intuitive from the get go, which is always a huge plus in my book!
- Down side: Like Keepy, while the app is free, you do need to purchase a membership to store photos. Artkive memberships can be paid monthly or annually – and annual subscriptions do have some extra things, like credits toward books.
- My thoughts: Artkive also has a great feature if you, like me, are late to the game with taking pictures of all this artwork and you don’t really want to devote the time to taking all the pictures yourself – you can have a book of the artwork made for you just by sending all the artwork directly to them via a prepaid envelope. They will take the pictures and create the book on your behalf! Packages start at $39, but really that’s just the minimum cost. To have a book of 50 pieces of artwork costs $149 so it’s not terribly cheap – but it would save lots of time and headaches I can imagine!
- Another app specifically designed to help manage the chaos of kid artwork – and share it on social media sites as well! There is a way to print the artwork as well – books, cards, t-shirts, etc. They even offer some tips on the best way to photograph your child’s creations!
- Down side / My thoughts: There are in app purchases, of course, for the items you want, but the app itself isn’t even free – it costs $2.99 just to download. While that’s not a lot, I liked that Keepy and Artkive were free so I could check them out, firsthand, before committing to using one.
- Instagram and Chatbooks:
- I use both Instagram and Chatbooks already and I love them both! I wrote a bit about how I use it here. I thought I could create a new Instagram account just for Brynn’s artwork (and eventually one for Asher, too), and have Chatbooks created automatically.
- Down side / My thoughts: I love the part about the books being created automatically, but I’m doubtful if I’ll be good about continually switching between Instagram accounts. Could be a hassle. This could be the down side for others, but since this was a fairly personal “down side” because I know myself pretty well, I don’t want to deter someone who has no issues using multiple Instagram accounts!
- Plum Print:
- This is the only one that is not an app, but a service! Similar to the service that the Artkive app also offers, you simply pay a deposit, they send you a prepaid box that you fill with your child’s artwork. Send it back and they send you a digital proof to approve and *bam* you have a gorgeous photo book sent to your door. No muss, no fuss.
- Down side: It does tend to be a bit on the pricey side, so unless you truly have no time to do this on your own, this may not be the best option. However, if you look at the “membership” costs for some of the other apps above, it could certainly be comparable if you don’t plan on making very large books.
So obviously most of these are apps, and that was what really appealed to me because I know myself pretty well. I need to make this as easy as possible (while not breaking the bank), but I also enjoy the process of creating things like this, and (let’s be honest!) having the control to do it myself! 😉
Plum Print seems amazing and I think I may end up trying it next year when she’s in Kindergarten with a small number of pieces, but as I mentioned above, it is pretty pricey. It truly seems like one of those “you get what you pay for” in that the books look gorgeous! Attention to detail, customization, archival quality – these are all great things! But, maybe not something I can swing each year (times 2 because I’m sure we need to start doing this for Asher soon as well!).
So what did I decide?? Drum roll, please!
In the end, I have decided to give
ARTKIVE a go!
UPDATE: Check out my post here on what happened next and why I had a change of heart and am now happily using the Keepy app instead!
I have already started taking pictures of Brynn’s artwork from the box and I hope to get my act in gear to have in done in a couple weeks. We shall see! I may be entirely overly optimistic on this one! 😉
Now I can’t wait to start uploading the pictures and get a finished product back! (And I’ll absolutely be sharing the finished product here once it arrives!).
Of course, I’m curious though, are there any other apps/services that exist that I didn’t find? I know there are lots of fun Pinterest projects on what to do with kid art – I’d love to hear what any of you are doing as well.
P.S. – This post was in not sponsored – just did my own research and reported my thoughts here! 🙂
Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!