Since becoming a mom and being inundated with not only baby + kid gear but also plenty of paper + art, I’ve realized that I cannot save it all. My son is now in preschool and has already created a vast collection of artwork in his short four years of life. As much as I want to preserve every last bit of it, there’s just not enough room in our home to properly showcase it all. That’s where the Instax art binder comes into play!
I recently pulled Jack’s art that we were storing in a plastic bin and gathered together all of our favorite pieces and paired them with corresponding photos of Jack creating the masterpiece or simply photographed the artwork with my phone and printed it with the FUJIFILM Instax® SHARE SP-3 SQ printer. The whole process took a few hours and minimal supplies, but the end result is a handmade book that my whole family will treasure forever. Here are some of my best tips for creating an Instax art binder:
- Don’t overthink it. Start with your very favorite pieces of art; don’t worry about documenting your child’s entire portfolio. Grab a small handful of crafting supplies (I only used white cardstock, a large date stamp, some alphabet elements and washi tape) and limit yourself to using those items only. The key is to get it done (while having fun, of course!) so you can document your child’s masterpieces while freeing up valuable space in your home.
- Tackle the oversized. For all of those extra large or dimensional pieces of artwork that just don’t seem to fit anywhere, take a photo with your phone (in my case I am using an iPhone X) of the art in natural lighting. You could also trim the piece down to fit the parameters of the binder while still capturing the essence of your child’s creativity. Print the photo out with the Instax SP-3 printer wirelessly from your phone. Note that you’ll need to download the Instax SHARE app from iTunes or Google play. You can also edit photos or add text to the photos before printing. Back to the options for oversized pieces, the Instax printer has a “split” feature so you can get creative and print one photo on two prints! Once you have documented the art, consider using the oversize original for wrapping paper!
- Curate the best parts. One of my favorite aspects of creating an art binder is that I get to showcase my favorite elements of Jack’s artwork by cutting them out of the original and gluing them to the cardstock background paper. Then I ask Jack for a little insight into the meaning behind the art and I write down his thoughts next to each piece, if it wasn’t there already.
- Use the front and the back. You know when your child is really feeling inspired and they express their creativity on the front and backside of a single sheet of paper? That’s where the Instax comes in handy. You can take a photo of one side and then glue that side down in the book. Then you pair the photo with the reverse side of the art and now you can treasure the entire masterpiece in a single, one-dimensional space.
- Take photos that represent the era. As much as I would love to have images of Jack creating every single piece of art, I just don’t. One of my most beloved pages features a questionnaire from Jack’s very first day of preschool that I paired with a photo of him taken on the same day. Being able to read his answers to basic questions (i.e. what’s your favorite movie?) and compare it to what he would say now is invaluable, plus his cute little baby face on the first day of school makes me swoon. If you don’t have the corresponding images to every piece of art, simply use a photo of them from that general time period and include it with the artwork. Remember that it’s more important to capture the essence of a moment rather than getting hung up on everything being exact.
- Make the book accessible. I love to think of my Instax art binder in the same way that I think of coffee table books; I want it to be readily available to anyone who wants to look at it.