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Make a Kids' Artwork Binder

Updated on August 31, 2017

My friend Aleta has three artistic children who refuse to let their artwork go to waste. As a result her cabinets and walls and tabletops are coated with artwork. How can we get the kids to pick their favorite pieces and store them carefully? With custom artwork binders!

Of course, it didn't occur to me until after I finished Xavier's binder (in this photo) that I should take pictures and make a lens. Seriously, how could *I* not think of that??

Making the binders is simple, and you probably have most of the supplies you need in your house. Kids can even build their own covers as part of the art project!

First, you'll need the binder supplies

When you're picking binders for this project, you want something that's at least an inch wide and has a clear window on at least one side. This will protect the cover artwork and make it easy to change.

These are relatively easy to find but its worth spending a little extra on the heavy duty binders and page protectors. Don't forget to pick binders with a view!

While you're shopping, I've also recommended two items I never craft without - double-sided tape and a guillotine paper cutter.

3M Scotch CLIP-137 Permanent Double Sided Tape (Case of 12)
3M Scotch CLIP-137 Permanent Double Sided Tape (Case of 12)

I use this stuff for ALL my scrapbooking projects. Yes, it's photo safe! Of course, you don't need a case of 12, but I would certainly use it!

 
Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 15" Cut Length, 15 Sheet Capacity, ClassicCut Pro (9115)
Swingline Paper Trimmer / Cutter, Guillotine, 15" Cut Length, 15 Sheet Capacity, ClassicCut Pro (9115)

Another item I won't scrap without is my guillotine paper trimmer. Everyone always wants to borrow it. I also have a smaller version for mini-projects, but this makes everything go quick and easy. Just remember - measure twice, cut once, and keep your fingers out of the way!

 

Other scrapbooking supplies you'll need

If you're an avid scrapbooker or already have kids' crafts laying around, you probably won't need anything special other than your existing odds and ends.

  • Straight and design scissors, decorative punches, paper cutter.
  • Colorful, patterned paper. This is a great way to use scraps from other projects.
  • Stickers and embellishments. Think flowers, brads, buttons, ribbon.
  • Double-sided and single sided tape, glue stick, scrapbooking adhesives.
  • Photos and bits of artwork, if you wish!

Make a binder for each school year so your kids can look back at how their masterpieces have progressed!

Gathering my supplies

Click thumbnail to view full-size
I printed title options on colored cardstock so I'd have the flexibility to arrange the title in a few different ways.For Ruthie's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty purple papers.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.For Mina's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty pink papers.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.For the girls' binders I gathered a pile of cute, girly embellishments.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.I was able to find colored binders on sale at Target.
I printed title options on colored cardstock so I'd have the flexibility to arrange the title in a few different ways.
I printed title options on colored cardstock so I'd have the flexibility to arrange the title in a few different ways.
For Ruthie's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty purple papers.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
For Ruthie's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty purple papers. I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
For Mina's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty pink papers.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
For Mina's binder, I picked out a selection of pretty pink papers. I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
For the girls' binders I gathered a pile of cute, girly embellishments.  I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
For the girls' binders I gathered a pile of cute, girly embellishments. I probably won't use all of these, but it's nice to have a selection to choose from.
I was able to find colored binders on sale at Target.
I was able to find colored binders on sale at Target.

Xavier's Super Artwork!

Xavier's Super Artwork!
Xavier's Super Artwork!

For Xavier's binder...

I used a Creative Memories Make Believe kit purchased from my friend Donna.

Building Mina's binder - Step-by-step instructions for Mina's binder cover

Click thumbnail to view full-size
First I cut the cardstock to fit the window of the binder. I dry-fit the cardstock before decorating it so I know there is enough room to slide it into the window. I cut my cardstock 1/4" narrower and 1/8" shorter than the size of the window, so if IStarting with a blank page can be intimidating!  I prefer to dry-fit my embellishments, that is lay them out before taping them down, so I can move them around and change my mind.First I cut out a border from patterned paper.Next I added a torn paper border.Matted frames will hold embellishments.When items are lined up vertically and horizontally, they have a calming effect.  Angled items attract attention. I added a heart brad to make the title more of a focal point.Then I added a sticker...And another sticker...And another sticker...And a flower. We're all done!
First I cut the cardstock to fit the window of the binder. I dry-fit the cardstock before decorating it so I know there is enough room to slide it into the window. I cut my cardstock 1/4" narrower and 1/8" shorter than the size of the window, so if I
First I cut the cardstock to fit the window of the binder. I dry-fit the cardstock before decorating it so I know there is enough room to slide it into the window. I cut my cardstock 1/4" narrower and 1/8" shorter than the size of the window, so if I
Starting with a blank page can be intimidating!  I prefer to dry-fit my embellishments, that is lay them out before taping them down, so I can move them around and change my mind.
Starting with a blank page can be intimidating! I prefer to dry-fit my embellishments, that is lay them out before taping them down, so I can move them around and change my mind.
First I cut out a border from patterned paper.
First I cut out a border from patterned paper.
Next I added a torn paper border.
Next I added a torn paper border.
Matted frames will hold embellishments.
Matted frames will hold embellishments.
When items are lined up vertically and horizontally, they have a calming effect.  Angled items attract attention. I added a heart brad to make the title more of a focal point.
When items are lined up vertically and horizontally, they have a calming effect. Angled items attract attention. I added a heart brad to make the title more of a focal point.
Then I added a sticker...
Then I added a sticker...
And another sticker...
And another sticker...
And another sticker...
And another sticker...
And a flower. We're all done!
And a flower. We're all done!

When you're done building the cover, carefully slide it into the front window and fill the binder with page protectors.

Mina's Awesome Work!

Mina's Awesome Work!
Mina's Awesome Work!

What of your kids' artwork do you save?

Do you save it all? Just a few things? Toss it and replace it?

How much of your kids' artwork do you keep?

These binders aren't just for kids. Mom and dad, save your artwork too!

I've also started binders for my three step-kids, so look for more great photos of those soon!

Thanks for visiting!

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    • jaredsgirl profile image

      jaredsgirl 5 years ago

      Great lens!! I need to try these ideas for saving my kids artwork. Thanks so much for sharing.