Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!Happy 2015 everyone! It’s a new year and it’s time to get organized.  I am committed to living differently, healthier, cleaner this year and I’m starting with organization.  Probably the number one question I get asked is “What do I do with all my kid’s artwork?”  I must admit that until recently, we were accumulating piles and piles of art with no place to go.  If it wasn’t up on a wall, it was in some pile in some room, lost and likely about to get ripped with tears soon to follow.  I was totally inspired by my friend Bar over at Art Bar, who does all kinds of great things with paper bags.  (check out these art journals and these amazing art portfolios. We were really inspired and made our own version of art portfolios that are super easy to make and you likely have all the materials needed around the house.  I promise.  This is not hard and it’s really really helpful.  Theses art portfolios have been a game changer for us.  Thanks for the inspiration Art Bar!

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Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!First you’ll need a brown paper bag, the kind from the super market that we’re not supposed to have anymore but I still forget my bags constantly.  Grr.  You’ll also need some tape (masking tape or duct tape work really well for this) and a scissor.

The first step is to cut the rectangle on the bottom of the open shopping bag out.  You can do that a few ways.  One way is to make a puncture along the seem of the rectangle and cut around.  Another way is to cut down along the middle of one side of the bag when it’s open (not the side with the handle, the other more narrow side) and then cut out the rectangle at the bottom along the seem.  You want to end up with two big rectangles with the handles on top when you flatten it out.  Turn the bag inside out so it’s plain brown.  Then tape up any open seems.  Duct tape works the best because it’s so wide.  You put half the tape on one side and fold over to the other side.  You can do duct tape and then go over it with pretty washi or masking tape.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!The next step is to decorate the art portfolios.  This is the really fun part.  We used all kinds of materials including chalk, decorative masking tape, washi tape, water colors, paint dots and stamps.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!If you use water colors and stamps, I recommend you do the stamps first and then the watercolors.  If you skip the stamps, watercolors are a great start and they dry quickly on the paper.  We love this set.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!The chalk is really fun and adds a pretty artful sheen to the portfolios.  Chalk or oil pastels would work well too.  You can blend them with your fingers on top of the paint for a really nice effect.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!We also glued letters for our names to personalize the portfolios. These alphabet stickers would be so cute.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store all your child's art!I can’t tell you how much these portfolios have changed our lives.  Whatever we don’t hang up we put in the portfolios.  Both my girls made one and we’ll probably fill it for the next few months and then make new ones.  I have their ages written down on one side.  I love the idea that we’ll accumulate portfolios for years of their art work that we can occasionally look back on and enjoy.  I’m on the lookout for a great basket that can fit them all.  A magazine rack would probably work great too.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!And if you’re wondering where to store the portfolios themselves, you could put them in a closet, under the bed, on a hook or in any corner. We keep them up against the wall in our den where we do a lot of art making.  I like that my girls can see them and I can easily take things in and out.

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!I hope this is helpful.  My resolution for 2015 is to make Meri Cherry Blog a resource for parents, teachers and caretakers for all things process art, even the non crafty moms! Happy New Year everyone! Looking forward to a great art-filled year ahead.  xo Meri

Make Recycled Art Portfolios for Kids - Finally a way to store your child's art!