Tips for preserving homemade artwork

Whether you're a budding artist yourself, or have a little one who is, here's how to preserve those drawings and paintings:

Tips for preserving homemade artwork

Take care with buffered mats

Beware of using alkaline-buffered storage materials with watercolour paintings; the added alkalinity can damage some watercolour paints.

Don't put plastic over drawings

Avoid using Plexiglas or other plastics in frames that house pastel or charcoal drawings; plastic tends to build up static electricity, which can pull the powdery renderings right off the paper.

Protect youngsters’ artwork

  • It's not an acid-free container or anything even approaching archival storage, but if you're looking for an easy, effective, and inexpensive way to save those precious drawings from your kids or grandkids, that empty cardboard tube from a used roll of paper towels could be just what you've been looking for.
  • You can even put several rolled up (with the image facing out, of course) masterpieces in each tube. The tubes are easy to store and will provide adequate protection against most forms of damage for years to come.
  • Don't forget to label the outside of your tubes, or each drawing, with the date and child's name before putting them into storage, though.

Preserve with hair spray

  • Make those masterpieces created by the youngsters in your family last much longer by gently spraying the surface of the drawings with hair spray.
  • The same polymers that hold your hair in place also do a dandy job of keeping the chalk, pastel, charcoal and paint particles on the paper.
  • But be careful not to use a conditioning spray, because it may contain oils that will cause the colours to run.

Frame it

Framing a photo, drawing or painting will of course make it ready for display. But even if you're not going to hang it right away, consider framing work you want to preserve to keep it protected.

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