Chicago mom: Turn your kids’ art projects into heirlooms

Children churn out tons of artwork—some of it wonderful, some of it only a mother can love. But what do you do with all of it? I’m pretty choosy about what I keep. Those that they put their heart into stay; school projects that they were clearly bored with go into the trash. (In secret, under cover of night.)

But every kid creates a handful of truly special pieces and here are a few ideas for preserving those signature sketches forever.

Budsie will turn your kid’s art into a stuffed animal. Just submit a scan of the art (or a cell phone snap of the drawing), and for in five weeks, receive a stuffed interpretation of the drawing for $99.

Locally-based Outside the Lines Designs takes children’s drawings and, using applique techniques, commemorates them on fabric. Choose a onesie, a T-shirt or a framed work ($30 to $65). Just scan in the art and send it along to artist Donna Brandt, a retired elementary school teacher, to await for further details.

A third solution I saw on HGTV’s Home by Novogratz. The designers took the client’s children’s artwork and shrunk them down to fit into one dynamic print. They used artist Jan Eleni ($950 for 40 images), but I feel like an industrious parent with a scanner could produce a similar result.

Any solution is better than a bulging box of paste and construction paper in the office. Because, let me tell you from experience, your adult children will not enjoy the day you drop off that box to their apartment and say “it’s your problem now.” Suppress the guilt now to give them a curated pile later. They will appreciate it.

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