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Use Artkive Like a Pro (Learn from my Mistake)

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If your family is anything like ours, your kids have been making art projects and bringing them home. For years, maybe. And that artwork is precious and beautiful and you want to keep and admire all of it.

But boy, it really adds up over the years, and it can end up becoming clutter instead of the treasured keepsake it could be.

Why keep all those drawings and finger paint masterpieces in a pile in the closet, cluttering up your refrigerator, or stuffed into a bin and never seeing the light of day? That’s what happened at my house until I heard about Artkive.

The Artkive box on a table
The Artkive box, ready to be filled with your kids’ artwork!

Artkive is a Great Way to Store Your Kids’ Artwork

So I ordered an Artkive box to make all my kids’ artwork into a stunning book instead. This way, I can actually admire their creativity, as often as I want. And it’s something we can share as a family. Artkive makes it easy. They have a great system for turning your kids’ art into a unique gift for your loved ones, or just for you.

After years of trying to figure out what to do with my kids’ artwork, and let’s be honest, mostly hiding it away, I decided to try using Artkive. And I loved it. In fact, we’re working with Artkive now because it was so great using them.

So I’m sharing my experience with using it here, as well as giving an overview of how it works – and how I think you should use it. Plus we’re sharing our affiliate link so you can get $10 off your first box.

kids artwork covering a table
Years of my kids’ artwork cluttering up my table!

First Of All, Don’t Make the Mistakes I Made

Gather ’round, my friends, and you’ll learn the best way to use Artkive to preserve your kids artwork and keep Kids’ Artwork Clutter at bay. And trust me, I wish I’d told myself this years ago, because this is not what I did.

Tip #1: Create a Keepsake Book Every Year.

My kids started creating art way back in the before times, before Artkive was invented, and before you had the option of having your kids’ artwork professionally photographed and turned into a keepsake.

My house was filled with so much artwork made by my children, year after year, it was getting a bit ridiculous, and it wasn’t working for any of us. My kids didn’t feel like I cared about their precious treasures they’d given me, and I was pulling my hair out running out of space.

Don’t wait.

Start now, no matter how old your kids are (but better if they’re young!) and make a plan: Collect their artwork all year long and then once a year, send it off to Artkive. You’ll get a beautiful book, have much less clutter, and it’s more affordable if you do small batches rather than the giant, overflowing box I sent them…

What I Tried

Our refrigerator was covered in kids’ artwork, so was most of my kitchen. The kids’ room was covered in artwork, and so was the living room. And as you can imagine, that was only the tip of the iceberg.

Give Artkive a Try and Use our Affiliate Link to Save $10!

Tip #2: Don’t try This at Home.

I wanted a digital solution, this being the digital age, so I tried taking pictures of their artwork, but I don’t have a photo studio, and trying to invent one was a challenge. Was I going to purchase lights and set up a place to shoot?

I did that, but it just wasn’t very good. The quality of the photos wasn’t very good, and ultimately, if the photos were on my laptop or my phone, they weren’t very easy to share. I wanted to look at my kids’ artwork in a book, sitting with them and talking about it.

finished books by Artkive
These are the finished books of my kids’ artwork and I love them!

Why Use Artkive

Finally, Artkive came along and provided the solution I’d been looking for. They’ve got a giant, state-of-the-art studio for photographing and digitizing the artwork way better than I ever could. They are set up with the right lighting and cameras, and because they’ve been doing this a while, they really know how to shoot kids artwork so it looks amazing.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Of course there are plenty of ways to store kids artwork, like archival boxes, and plastic storage bins, but once it gets put away, you’re not likely to look at it again, and then what’s the point of keeping it at all?

If you have Artkive create a book for you, you’ll want to keep it out on display and you’re much more likely to enjoy it.

Related: Other ways to store Kids’ Artwork

Display vs Clutter

Unless you live in an art gallery, you probably don’t have that many places to display your kids’ artwork, and you’re likely to run out of space very quickly. And once you run out of fresh spots to hang art, you very quickly start creating clutter and mess. And that’s not what anyone wants.

Clutter doesn’t allow you to fully appreciate the things you’ve chosen to keep. They become trash, instead of the treasures they once were. Another reason to register for your Artkive box right now.

artkive box filled with artwork
Here’s my Artkive box, packed up and ready to ship off.

How Much Artwork Do Kids Create

Whether it’s at school, during Summer Camp, or just in the afternoons, our kids are encouraged to make art and do crafts – a lot. And that’s a great thing!

We all want our kids to experience the arts in school, or during their enrichment classes. According to American for the Arts, there are many benefits for kids when there’s an emphasis on arts education in our schools, like learning to make an effort, how to collaborate, and can even motivate kids to want to attend.

The problem is: what to do with all of it.

How Does Artkive Work?

The best thing about Artkive is that they will shoot and digitize your kids’ artwork and send it back to you in a beautiful book. But they won’t actually come over to your house and pack it all up for you. That part you still have to take care of.

But it’s still pretty easy, so don’t worry. Here are the steps I took to make the boxes for my kids’ artwork.

  1. Order your Artkive Box. Use our affiliate link and get $10 off.
  2. Gather up the goods. I collected up all the artwork I’d stored over the years – in bins, in the closets, covering my refrigerator, from all over – and piled it all on the kitchen table, and I’ll admit: it was overwhelming. This will be so much easier for you! Because you won’t wait YEARS, right? Do this once a year and it’ll be a cinch!
  3. Sort out the not-so-precious stuff. Look, not everything my kids ever made was artkive-worthy. I accept that. So, some of it just got recycled or thrown out. It’s not pretty, but it’s true.
  4. Arrange in order. This will be SO MUCH EASIER for you if you do it once a year. You’ll know which things came first, and you can stack them in that order. In Fact, if you want to go for a Gold Star, stack your kids’ artwork in a box as the school year unfolds. Boom!
  5. Follow the Artkive Box instructions. They have strong opinions about things like Glitter, and you’ll want to be sure you follow the rules.
  6. Send the box to Artkive Headquarters and let them work their magic. You’ll get to enjoy a quiet, peaceful time while you wait to hear back from them. They’ll let you know when the box has been received and when they start work. And finally, they’ll let you know when they’re done. That’s when you’ll be asked to pay for your book, and the price is determined by the number of pages.
  7. Along the way, they’ll send you a digital proof you’ll get to approve before it gets printed. Plus you’ll get to decide if you want all the originals sent back to you or if Artkive can recycle them for you.
screenshot of the digital proof for my artkive book
Here’s the screen as I viewed the proof for my Artkive book.

How Much Does Artkive Cost?

You’ll need to pay about $39 to get the book sent to you in the first place, unless they’re running a sale. (And you can save $10 on Artkive if you use our affiliate link.) Then, when it comes to the actual printed book, the more artwork you have, the more your Artkive book will cost.

The base price is $75 and that covers a book with 25 pieces of art. Then, they have a very cool pricing slider on their website where you can see how much more your book will cost if you have more artwork than that.

For example, if you have 50 pieces of artwork, the Artkive box will cost you $144, according to their website.

In my case, because I waited and gathered up years’ worth of artwork, my books cost more than that. And I think they’re worth every penny.

I hope you try Artkive for yourself. Let me know if you do and how it goes!

kids artwork in the Artkive box
Here’s some of my kids’ artwork as I got it ready to ship off to Artkive.

Sarah Auerswald is the co-Founder and Managing Editor of

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