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How to make your children’s art last forever

Kids
For parents of a school-age child, there are two things that converge by this time of the year: cleaning and the realisation that you have accumulated almost a year’s worth of your kid’s artwork.

Usually the two are at odds: you want to clear the clutter, but sentimentality gets in the way, leaving you with another big pile.

I always curated my kids’ artwork. I kept only the best pieces and still proudly display some of them, with others stored in a slim document box. (I have one for each child.)

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TABLE BOOK: Shutterfly’s Mini Masterpieces service is cheaper than Plum Print, but it takes more effort. Picture: Shutterfly

My approach was low-tech, but today there are many other options – scanners, 3D printers, computer design programs and a slew of websites can consolidate your kid’s masterpieces into a book or transform them into wallpaper, jigsaw puzzles and more.

If you want to organise and consolidate your kid’s art:

* Consider taking all your child’s artwork – drawings, macaroni necklaces, pinch pots and anything else – and digitise it. Then print it in a custom coffee table book. The price of the process varies.

* For DIYers, consider a book template online, designed to feature your child’s artwork. You will need to photograph or scan every item you want to include, then upload the photos to the site and design the pages yourself using the provided templates, backgrounds and embellishments.

* If storage is your issue, there are apps to help you keep images of your kid’s artwork. Just take photos of the artwork, school work or any other memories, then tag each image with your child’s name and grade, the title of the piece and the date it was made. You can then share the images with family and friends. The service is free for up to 40 images, but if you want to add more, you have to pay for one of its three membership options. Artkive and Plum Print offers a full-service option: you can send the company all your kid’s artwork, and it will digitise it and create an account for you. And Artkive, too, will create and print a hardcover book.

If you want to transform your kid’s masterpieces into something else:

* Scan or take a picture of a drawing, and DesignYourWall (designyourwall.com) will turn it into wallpaper or a removable, self-adhesive wall decal in a few weeks. There’s a 9.1m minimum for the wallpaper, and prices differ based on material you want.

All custom wallpapers come untrimmed on 1.37m-wide material. Before you place your order, request a sample so you can see the material and print quality.

* Upload an image of a drawing, and Giftskins (giftskins.com) will turn it into wrapping paper. For best results, use an image of at least 200 dpi.

* Crayon Creatures (crayoncreatures.com) turns your kid’s 2D drawings into 3D figurines using the latest 3D printing technology.

* PrintArtKids (printartkids.com) will transform your kid’s artwork into notepads, cards, gift labels, jigsaw puzzles and more. Just send the company a digital picture of the artwork, crop and rotate the image for the correct orientation before uploading it, and it will do the rest.

* Upload an image of your kid’s artwork on Uncommon (getuncommon.com) and use the provided templates to create covers and cases for Apple and Samsung products.

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