Turning Nova’s Art Into a Photobook!

When we came home with Nova nine months ago, I set aside a drawer to keep her toddler art in. I knew it would add up fast, but nobody warned me just HOW fast. I framed the first painting she ever made. I remember how surreal it felt. Fast forward and in what felt like no time at all, the drawer was bursting … literally. I couldn’t close it. I’m so happy she’s making art almost every day, and it’s a huge priority for us to keep making more. So I realized it was time to start making photo books because I can’t keep all the art in that drawer forever. Plus, this format makes it easier to actually look at and enjoy!

If you have a child who is making more art than you can keep up with, I highly recommend making one of these books! This will be the first of a series for us. Once the drawer fills up again, I will print another book.

This post is sponsored by Canon HdAlbum Photo Books—I’ve used their software for several photobooks now and am still so excited about the quality of these books! They have several options for creating them, too. The Pro software gives you a lot of customization options, including layouts and design options, so it’s super flexible for whatever type of book you want to make.

Here’s a photo of maybe 1/3 of the art we’ve accumulated in 9 months. It’s crazy how quickly it adds up!

This book begins with Nova’s very first painting—some ornaments we painted at Christmas. I can’t believe that only nine months ago she could barely hold a marker or a paintbrush. You should see her go now!

I mixed photos of Nova’s art with photos of her making art. I plan to continue doing this.

Here’s a few of Nova’s projects from her school. I only keep the best of the best when it comes to school art since a lot of them are just coloring sheets or glue stick projects.

These photos make me so proud. I am so happy I started making these books now because I can already see how it’s something I will need to stay up with in order to keep them organized.

Nova’s first big paintings. It was a big day, about a month ago, when she suddenly developed an attention span to paint several large paintings in each sitting. I obviously have a photo on my phone of every single one!

Our painting picnics. The day I sent these images to my mom she wrote me back and said that she read that Georgia O’Keeffe’s earliest childhood memories were painting on a picnic blanket in her front yard when she was 3 years old. Made me cry!

That’s it for now! I am so excited to keep this series going! I just had the idea to make each one of the spines a different rainbow color. I think I will display them in Nova’s bedroom so it’s something she can be proud of.

And obviously I will keep them all in the 8×8 Canon books so they match!

Thanks so much for reading! If you’d like to make your own photobook, you can use the code ABM18ART and you’ll get 30% off any Canon Photo Book product between now and 10/14.

xx – Elsie

Credits//Author: Elsie Larson, Photography: Elsie Larson and Amber Ulmer. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • What a great idea! Every year for Christmas our kids get a similar book with pics of them from throughout the year. They show it around and they love looking at it over and over again.

    I just wrote one of my first blogposts – how to keep up with your kids artwork – with an example of what we do with all the half done doodles… too many to store, too precious to toss 😉

  • I LOVE this idea.
    What kind of paint does she use. I see she’s not wearing a protective layer for her clothes or floor…. this could NOT happen with my boy. Everything would be destroyed.

  • I began this process a while ago by creating a separate Instagram account for just my kids art projects! Still haven’t printed a book, but I love that it’s all captured in the same place

  • I love this idea so much! I’m almost 30 years old and I know I still have boxes of art stored in my parents’ house. You executed this so well, it’s inspired me to finally do this with that art. Did you take photos of the art or scan them?

  • My kids are in their 20’s
    and I have boxes of stuff I’ve saved ???? I think I know what my winter project is going to be! ????

  • SO CUTE! My dad kept everything of mine and it was super fun to go through a huge bin of my art when I was older. I definitely threw most of it out though, this is a great way to keep a record of the art without having boxes upon boxes of them! I’m sure Nova will love and appreciate all the beautiful memories you are saving for her 🙂

  • This is such a gorgeous and fun way to remember all of her artwork! I absolutely love how you included photos of her working on the paintings as well. It’s so wonderful seeing these little snippets of your family’s life!

  • Fabulous idea!
    My kids are more grown up now but I still have huge portfolio folders with all their art work.

    What a special gift this would make!

    Thank you!

  • this is just such a fantastic idea, what a way to document and keep the magic of all that art work. Such a good idea

    Mel x mediamarmalade.com

  • This must be one of your most beautiful posts ever! What an incredible book! Just like several others have already written, mixing photos of Nova at work with photos of the finished paintings is a brilliant idea.

  • Do you have pieces of the original art or are they photos of the art? It looks great! Seems like a neat idea to put pieces of the original art for texture ????

  • Hi! I love reading your stuff and am inspired by your blog! Keep up the good work an thank you for sharing such wonderful creative ideas! Mwah! Xo

  • What a great way to “save” the artwork too!! Their creations are so hard to let go of!!

  • What a grand idea! I still keep my children’s art projects from kindergarten and some from elementary school although Eva is almost 18 and Jacob 13. I’ve scanned the most beautiful and expressive ones but I am still reluctant to let go of the others. Making them into a book will make an everlasting memorabilia.

  • Omg!!! This is the best idea ever!! I love it! Love the photos of her doing art and the art itself. My now 2y old loves painting, I’ve collected the best ones and have 2 framed but didn’t thought about make a book. Will do it! Love love love

  • This is incredible! My parents kept all the drawings I did as a kid, but it would’ve been so nice if they’d compiled it into a booklet. It’s a great idea. I’m sure Nova will love looking back at it when she’s older 🙂

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

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