Preserving kids art work in photo books

Blog post by a Shutterfly fan.

My name is Sigrid and I am a British Expat living here in Arizona.  I have lived here with my British husband since the end of August 2001.  In order to keep our family, who are all back in Europe, up to date on our goings on I maintain a family blog; a Shutterfly share site and plenty of video clips.

My husband is a techno freak and although I had very few gadgets when I met him almost 12 years ago that has definitely changed.  I was raised making scrapbooks whenever I went on vacation as a child, and that continued for a while, but then we got our first digital camera and suddenly I had large numbers of photos that were never being printed off.  I was introduced to Shutterfly many years ago, although I have to say that I can’t remember exactly when.  I made my first photo book after a visit from family back in 2005.  My shelf here at home is currently adorned with many photo books. I have made plenty of other books that have also been given away most recently a cook book as a wedding gift having asked friends and family of the bride and groom to submit favorite recipes together with photos that I then compiled into an 8 x 8.  My books cover visits to us from family including a visit from my 86 year old grandmother back in 2005 (she is still alive and well at 93); trips by me and my family back to Europe or within the USA; re-modeling of our back yard and pool last year; and best of all the birth of my daughter, her growth, and her art work too.

The first year of my daughter’s life is covered by at least 8 separate photo books.  My daughter is now 4.5 years old and we have one photo book per year purely for her since she turned one, and she is now also in her third year at preschool.  I quickly realized that I was not going to be able to keep all of her artwork but wasn’t really sure how I was going to differentiate between what was every day school work; art work and very special.  Don’t we as parents want to keep everything, and yet it’s just not possible?  I decided to photograph/scan all of her art work and now have 2 8 x 8 photo books, one for each of her two completed years at preschool.  My small 5 x 7 photo book is the art and crafts that she made at her first Summer Camp.

This year I am trying to scan the art as we go along and compiling the current photo book at the same time as sharing the photos on my share site with our friends and family.  I explained to some of my daughter’s teachers about it and they also thought it was a wonderful idea.

I love the fact that with the photo books it is easy to just take them off the shelf and look through memories at the drop of a hat.  This is extremely important in helping to remind my daughter of her extended family back in Europe too as she only gets to see some of them on our visits about once every 18 months.  She has taken some of them in as show and tell to school and always gets a lot of responses and feedback.  My sister back in England now also uses Shutterfly.  She makes photo books; cards (monthly for my daughter); and other gifts too.

I love how Shutterfly has grown.  The choice of styles of photo books has increased significantly since I started using it and the custom path now means that the photo book is even closer to a scrapbook than ever before.  I also explain to my husband that by using Shutterfly our photos have yet an extra back up and should the worst ever happen, and we lose our home, all I will need to do is log back onto Shutterfly and order copies of all my books to have my memories back in front of me again.


  1. Joey says

    I enjoyed this article. I have often thought of making books of my niece and nephews art work. They seem like such a practical idea.
    I feel safe with having my photos on Shutterfly too; they’ll always be there as a back-up for sure!
    Thanks for sharing your ideas.