Use them, don't chuck them


Lets be honest with each other. Our kids can do A LOT of artwork. They produce artwork like mummy mice produce baby mice. They come back from nursery with arm full of artwork and if, like me, you do a lot of art at home, you have piles of the stuff at home. There is mummy guilt about needing to keep them and treasure them in an art portfolio to show them when they are older. My Dad used to even get them framed, to the extent that we have mounds of framed pieces collecting dust, abandoned in one of the corners of their loft. A bit like 'Sugarlump and the unicorn' by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks. If you haven't read it, it's quite fun. And it rhymes so that is always a winner in the Patronus house.

Anyway, I confess there have been occasions when I have thrown nursery artwork straight into the bin. There were a few times I was given a piece of A4 with, one pen line drawn on it... I wish I was kidding. Equally, having said this, some pieces that Patronus A does, I do keep. Her first proper hand print artwork that she used to be obsessed with when she was 2. Everything was about painting her hands at that stage. Her first drawing of a person, a sun, a spider. Things like that. However, Patronus A loves to paint. She could paint, paint, paint all day long. So we have lots of piles of masterpieces. So while deciding what to do with them in one of my clear outs, this is when I decided to make use of them. 

I know snail mail, is not often used anymore, but there is nothing more warming then receiving a hand written letter through the door. Does that make me sound old?! Maybe, but it shows that the person sending it has spent just that little bit longer thinking about you.  Friends and relatives love getting post from the kids. It turns them all gooey like not much else does. Especially my own siblings, it's quite cute really. So, we began to use the artwork Patronus A did to make birthday cards, thank you cards, thinking of you cards, any cards really! 

Some of the activities shared on the blog are quite attractive and look good being displayed. After weeks and months though, you may want to replace them with new pieces and this is when I normally recreate them into cards. Below are just a few examples of this. 

The hearts here have been cut from our 'Conkerific Rolling' artwork with a heart paper cutter.

The hearts here have been cut from our 'Conkerific Rolling' artwork with a heart paper cutter.

We have a heart stamp paper cutter so the hearts above and below have been cut using that. Simple, but effective. 


Likewise below, we have used an piece of artwork that we used with the salad spinner in, 'Negative Space Splatter', to create another piece of poster artwork. 


Cards and artwork like these are more meaningful then shop bought cards. They last longer then cards which will be throw away in a few weeks and it is better for the environment. It's dressed up recycling. So, use them, don't chuck them!