Recycled Art Treasure Box

Playful Learning: Recycled Art Treasure Box

You have heard me sing the praises of Annie Riechmann in the past. I have been a big fan of Annie’s work from the moment I laid eyes on Volume One of her E-Magazine for Families, Alphabet Glue. She has recently worked her magic once more with the release of Volume Seven.  Annie can also be found over at her lovely blog, Bird and Little Bird. Needles to say, I am thrilled to have Annie as a contributor here at Playful Learning. Today she is sharing a creative idea for utilizing all of the wonderful artwork we accumulate over time  from the aspiring little artists in our lives.

Living in the far Northeast, we have grown accustomed to the idea that when the weather actually is warm, it is best to get out in it as much as possible. So, summer is the season of outdoor living for our family, and with the trips to the beach and hikes around the local woods, it also seems to be forever turning into the season of collecting. My daughter is a nature lover with a sharp eye, and the result is that once the weather warms up, it isn’t long before bits of seaglass, river rocks, bird feathers and the occasional robin’s eggshell are littering the bookshelves and counters in our little house. This is all well and good, until I accidentally vacuum up one of these prized possessions and get myself in big trouble with the little collector.

So, I started thinking about solutions to this pleasant little problem and I realized that I had everything that I needed on hand. The other thing that tends to build up around our house during the warm weather months is artwork. There is a lot of spontaneous writing and drawing that happens on slow summer days, and even my daughter will admit that although some of it is certainly worth preserving in the archives; some of it not so much. These origami-style treasure boxes are folded out of those stacks of pictures and paintings that are made and then tossed aside, and they work perfectly as storage for the little bits of summer that seem to inevitably find themselves under foot, elbow and couch cushions during these days of slower living.

Teach your kids to fold these easy boxes, and before long you’ll have a whole stack. They can be given different labels and stored inside shoe boxes or on bookshelves as a way to keep summer handy for whenever you might want to revisit it.

To download the complete instructions and template, click here.

More repurposed artwork inspiration…


Annie Riechmann is an educator, blogger and mama to two small people who lives in the Burlington, Vermont area. Annie is also the creator and publisher of Alphabet Glue, a literacy themed e-magazine for families, and is an associate editor for Rhythm of the Home. She is an unapologetic lover of striped knee socks, avocados, and field guides, and wishes that she was better at flying kites. You can check in with Annie at her blog, Bird and Little Bird, where she writes about everything from books and babies, to laundering snow pants.



Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. LOVE this! And we have OODLES of watercolor paintings in a stack here in my office. I’m thinking… gifts!

Sign up for Our Newsletter!