Taming the Beast of Kid’s Artwork


      Crafty is not a word I use to describe myself. As I have mentioned before, I was more than content as a child to color in coloring books. I can recall two freehand drawings and I remember loathing art class.

      This is not so with my 4 freehand drawing kids. They draw and draw and draw some more. I can put a ream of paper in my printer paper drawer and it will be consumed in short order. 500 sheets…gone in a flash.

      Worse yet is the mess left behind. Paper everywhere.

      In the past, I tried to contain it by purchasing ring-bound sketch pads. (Tear-off sketch pads, while cheaper, were not considered since they would share the same fate as loose paper.) This worked for awhile, but my children quickly went through the sketch pads. Then I couldn’t remember where I purchased them since I had acquired them for our airplane travel entertainment. Then when I did locate them, oh my gosh…I could not believe how expensive they were. Some sketch pads can run up to $12 a piece. And in my mind $4 was too much already. Not to mention the hassle of tracking them down.

      Enter Macgyver. What I am about to show, I did out of desperation for my sanity. Here’s how I plan to tame the beast:

A stack of 3-hole punched copy paper & 3 - 1

Using scissors, I split a pocket folder in half.

Attaching the back half of folder thru the binder rings...

Attaching the front half of pocket folder to binder rings...

Taping the pocket...

      After I took the photos, I realized that I would do all future books a little differently. The difference is that I had already put the rings on two books last night so my girls could start.

      Starting without binder rings, you just line up the bottom folder half under the stack of paper, put the rings through, slip the top folder half onto the rings and snap them shut.

Here’s the cost breakdown for 40 books w/125 sheets each:

$42.99 – box 8.5″ x 11″ 3-hole punched copy paper, that’s 10 reams or 5000 sheets.
$34.32 – 128 – 1″ binder rings, 16 pk ($4.29 in store or $3.79 online per box)
$20.00 – 40 folders – I’m rounding high, I usually pay .10 to .50 each

This comes out to:
$2.43 per book, as listed above
$1.83 per book, if you don’t need any folders (I have plenty)
$3.06 per book, buying paper by the ream, rather than the case

     I am so looking forward to reclaiming the floors from the paper mess & keeping the kids out of my printer paper.

      Hope this helps someone else too.

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