This App Lets Me Throw Away My Kids’ Artwork Guilt-Free

published Aug 9, 2023
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image

The staggering amount of paper clutter that comes into my home every day feels like a never-ending ride on the struggle bus. Some items are easy to toss, like unsolicited ads or credit card offers, but my kids’ artwork used to continually perplex me. Of course, I love when they bring their projects home so I can see how their creativity is blossoming at school. But there’s only so much fridge space to display their little masterpieces.

The projects that didn’t go on display would get haphazardly stacked on a table or counter before being trashed. No matter if it was a few scribbles on a piece of paper or a well-crafted painting, I’d always feel bad when throwing any of it out. Even worse, sometimes my kids would spy their crumpled artwork in the garbage and ask in bewilderment why I threw it away. Cue the guilt!

It got me thinking, in this digital age that we live in, surely there must be an app to alleviate this parental burden — and it turns out, there is! It’s called Artkive, and I really love it.

What Is Artkive?

The app essentially serves as a digital archive for your children’s art collection. You snap a pic of their artwork, upload it to the app, and save it in an online gallery. If you have multiple children, you can create a separate gallery for each child. There are a few basic editing tools available to crop the images, adjust the exposure, and even apply creative filters. Once you’ve uploaded at least 25 images, you then have the option of ordering either of their two products: a hardcover art book or a framed mosaic art print.   

It’s free to download the app, and you can upload up to 40 images before it’ll prompt you to pay for a membership. Their basic membership (what I have) costs $33 per year, which includes unlimited cloud storage. There are other membership packages up to $143 per year with various perks like discounts off of products and even a free art book.

If the thought of photographing and labeling the artwork sounds like more work than you’ve got time for, they also offer a white glove service called the Artkive Box. They send you a box, you fill it with your kids’ artwork, and then mail it back. They’ll professionally photograph everything in the box and design products for you. You can then opt to have them mail the original art back to you or recycle it for you. It’s convenient, but also pricey ($39 for the box, $75 for an art book, $249 for a framed print, plus an additional fee for digitization). 

Why I Love It

While there are other digital photo services like Snapfish or Shutterfly that offer similar products, what I like about Artkive is how easy it is to organize the artwork as a portfolio, not just a photo album. You can add captions if there’s something specific you want to remember about a particular project, create titles for any of the pieces, and assign tags such as the child’s age or grade when they created the art.

There’s also an option to add multiple family members to your “circle,” so they can view and order from the portfolio anytime they’d like. This ability to save and share every piece of art — and access it from anywhere at any time — is vastly superior to the old-school method of mailing a few art projects to the grandparents once in a great while. 

Because I’m still relatively new to the app, I haven’t ordered any of their products yet, although I do think they’d make thoughtful gifts. Plus, I love the idea of not only preserving my kids’ artwork, but also elevating it into a tangible keepsake like a high-quality book you can place on a coffee table or a stylish pop art-style print you can hang on the wall. 

For now, I’m content with simply using the archival features of the app, where I can digitize the artwork and store it in their cloud. I still rotate the art that’s displayed on the fridge so my kids can see their physical artwork being celebrated. As for the messy stack of art projects cluttering up my counter, thanks to the Artkive app, I’m now able to ditch it guilt-free.

More Cubby Ideas on Storing Kids’ Artwork

Cubby: Eat. Live. Play. Families Together at Home.

Want more great home ideas for families? Sign up for Cubby’s weekly newsletter featuring our best editor-approved product recommendations, meal ideas, and all the kid’s room decor ideas you need.