Organization Of Children’s Artwork

One of the most common questions I get asked when organizing for families is “How do I store my child’s artwork?” Particularly when kids are young, they produce so much and their skills change so fast that we want to capture every inspiration. However, it adds up quickly! I thought I was doing a great job by collecting my sons’ work throughout the year, reviewing at the end of each year to pick their favorites and putting those in a scrapbook binder within protected sheets. This year, I realized this system wasn’t sustainable when I used up an entire shelf before either kid had finished the 3rd grade! I needed a better (smaller) solution.

There are many services that offer to photograph and print books of your children’s artwork. I decided to test two of the most well-known, Plum Print and Artkive*. The process for both is easy.

1. Pay for a collection box to be sent to your home. Artkive was $49 and Plum Print was $59.

2. Fill the box with your child’s artwork. They send a protective bag and easy instructions. For both, I was able to include artwork for two kids. Then, mail the box back (pre-paid and addressed) and await further instructions.

3. Upon receipt of the package, each notified me by email that my artwork had arrived. They gave me a timeline (about a month) to expect a digital proof.

4. Upon that email, I was able to see my books, make changes to the order of any page and for Plum Print, choose a photo and short paragraph of text about my sons.

5. Final payment is due once they know the number of art pieces you are submitting. The rate for Artkive ranges from $3/piece for up to 75 pieces to $1.50/piece for 200 with a sliding scale. The rate for Plum Print is $2.25 for 10” x 8” books or $3.37 for 13” x 11” books.

6. The final books arrived in the mail. I had my artwork returned since it was my first time ($20 fee for Artkive and $19.99 for Plum Print) but I wouldn’t recommend doing that since the whole point was to eliminate the actual artwork and it was hard to toss that box!! I won’t have it returned next time.

I am very happy with the results for both products and now the artwork for two years of school for two boys takes up two inches rather than two feet of space!

My general impression was that both services offered excellent customer service. I received consistent and timely communication and Artkive even checked in with me before processing because I sent more than 60 pieces and that adds up. They wanted to be sure I was not surprised by the fee. I had felt that Plum Print took longer, but when I checked my receipts they both took about two months from ordering the box to receipt of the book.

I recommend using either service. I intend to transfer all the scrap books I have and placed my next order with Artkive. I liked the look of the artwork and the finished book just a little better since the book was a little bigger and laid out on white background which I liked. However, I think that is a personal choice.

*I am NOT getting any promotional support from either of these companies.

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