RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - If you’ve got crafty kids, you know the struggle. You hate to throw it away, but the popsicle sticks, glitter, and macaroni art can take over your house quickly.
One business promises to solve the problem for you.
Artkive promises to “preserve and celebrate your kids artwork.” The company sends you a box that you then send with your kids’ art.
“We’ll professionally photograph it and turn it into a stunning, keepsake book,” the company says.
So, we did just that.
I collected a few months worth of preschool artwork. If you’ve had a preschooler, you know it comes home in stacks. Crafts all day, every day. All of it cute.
My heart wanted to keep all of it (so did my preschooler), but my head said, “you can’t possibly store all of this.”
Besides, half of ours was dripping glitter or, in some cases wet glue, all over the floor. I was actively waiting until my son was sleeping to sneak his art out to the trash.
Then I felt guilty about it. So, this concept had my attention.
In the process of testing it, I had other moms ask me about whether I’d seen it or tried it. It seems to have good social media marketing, because I see the ads all the time.
We ordered a box. The company gave me a free voucher for the purposes of this story. It would have been $70 or more for me to pay for the same product independently. I found the price a little off-putting because I measure everything in threes. If I did this for each kid, every year ... you get the idea.
I lovingly sorted the art, stuffed it in the bag in the box and filled out the form. You have the option to name your book, and give directions for how you want it to look.
You pay more for more pages of art and to get the art sent back. You also pay more for a USB with files, as well as art for your walls.
That wasn’t really surprising. In most industries, you pay extra for upgraded services, but it does add up, so you have to be careful along the way to make sure you’re within your own budget.
The whole process of packing the box took about five minutes. You do have to send it back, but the cost is paid for.
Then you wait for it to be returned. You will have an option to look at the product before it’s printed and make adjustments.
The book arrived in a sleek box. I did have the art shipped back, since I never told my son I was doing this, and if I didn’t like the book, I wanted to have other options, like framing the art or talking to him about which pieces to save.
My reaction? The book is really sleek. I loved seeing my kid’s handwriting at the beginning of the year. His little name tag. His super hero stick drawings. It reminds me of picture books you can order off the internet.
I was disappointed a little bit by how some of the 3-D art looked in a picture. It didn’t always show the scale or texture or dimension the way I would have hoped.
But I also tried to objectively consider that it’s a picture. So, it’s not three dimensional. It has to fit on the page. And realistically, I’d be more likely to look at art in a book I can easily grab off a coffee table or shelf, versus digging through a bin or file or under the bed and through mountains of glitter and yarn to find that one cute piece of art I remembered.
Or would I take the time to do it at all? The book might be easiest.
My take? It’s an easy process and has great options for parents looking to simplify the “art show” especially, if you’re in the “keep everything” team.
It wasn’t without cost. And I did wonder if I could just do this all myself - take some digital pictures, and put them in a free digital gallery or just upload them to my own picture book making site. That said, would I take the time to do that? My baby books are still behind, so probably not. But maybe you would?
All the Artkive people were very friendly. And my son does LOVE his book. And that counts for something!
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