Sending Home Student Work

Well, the end of the year is here and I am left with lots of artwork that needs to be sent home. Here are some of my tips for getting odd sizes and shapes home safely.

The dilemma: a pile of very large art work, too large for students to put in their book bags or carry home without destroying.

The solution: Gather your tools- tape, pen, and paper strips. This is a great way to use up all those scraps that you get when you cut paper for projects.

Roll the project like a poster...

and wrap two paper strips around it at, one at each end, taping it . Write the student's name on the strips. Paper strips are more friendly to the art- rubber bands tend to rip the projects.

Load them in a bag marked clearly with the class code. Deliver them to the homeroom teachers to hand back. Hope and pray they make it home in one piece and that no students use them as weapons on the bus.

The dilemma: messy chalk drawings that will surely smear if sent home the way they are.
The solution: make a folder from large paper, stick the art work inside, and tape shut.
Remind students NOT to open it until they get home. Hope and pray they make it home without getting folded, being smashed, or dropped in a mud puddle.

The dilemma: Lots of gorgeous, but breakable clay projects
The solution: Send a letter home to parents (preferable before Thanksgiving) asking them to send in their used gift bags and tissue paper. In return for a bag full, the students get a ticket for a freezer pop, which they redeem at lunch. Kids will do just about any job for a freezer pop!

I fill the bottom of each bag with packing peanuts (saved through the year from supply orders) wrap the precious clay projects in tissue, and place them in the bag, which has been labeled (a piece of masking tape) with the student's name and class code.

Remind students that the clay projects are to be treated like baby birds- they are very fragile. Hope and pray they are not in a zillion pieces when they get home, prompting a very sad student and an equally disappointed parent.

I have a few more tips, which I will add soon.

Do you have any tips to share for getting artwork home safely? Please share!


  1. A great idea I got from a student teacher for getting home our 4th grade coil pots: we packed them (wrapped with newspaper or bubble wrap or whatever) in a cube-style tissue box. Worked great!

  2. If clay projects are small, such as kinder projects, they can rinse out a milk carton from lunch/snack and put them in there with a paper towel.

  3. Thanks for the great ideas! For K - 4, I usually make an art folder for each student and then on the last day we take two pieces of yarn and tie around both widths so that they look almost like a present and nothing slides out. All the students help each other hold the yarn down as they tie. Because I don't expect the kindergarteners to know how to tie so well, I paper clip all the edges in the folder REALLY well (if that makes any sense).

    As for my 5 & 6, I hand back artwork right away because I only see them for 10 weeks, and I do roll them up and label onto the masking tape or paper itself. I figure it's the best way to not get crumpled because USUALLY the students hold them because they are tubes instead of stuffing them in a book bag... and if they DO get in the book bag... they're at least sturdier than a flat piece of paper.

  4. The cheapest way to protect chalk pastel artworks is to spray them with cheap hairspray!!!

  5. I make with the children large paper envelopes which are large enough to hold A3 art works.The envelope is decorated as an artwork - painted, crayoned etc. I also save bubble wrap or even just newspaper for ceramics

  6. I saw a blog post once about cutting toilet paper tubes into little "napkin rings" to place over rolled artwork. Unfortunately, if you're rolling more than one piece of paper (especially thicker paper), the roll is usually too large to fit that diameter. Instead, I've switched to masking tape rolls. I save the empty cardboard rings and write the student's name directly on the cardboard. It's a little faster than wrapping paper strips around the roll, but I'll do that when I don't have enough cardboard. I also ask the secondary art teacher and other teachers at school to contribute to my cardboard stash. The paper on the top and bottom is nice, though to protect the edges of the artwork. You could always use two masking tape rolls, but that would require collecting twice as many.

  7. I cannot tell you how thrilled I am to stumble upon your blog!! I might be teaching art at my K-4 Elementary School next year. I am SO excited!! I have taught Kindergarten for the past 3 years and loved it. But our art teacher left to teach high school again in another city, so they are looking to fill that position. My DREAM job! Your generosity in sharing all your ideas on this blog is inspiring! Thank you SO MUCH! I look forward to reading all your posts! :)

  8. Fabulous stuff! so good to see this sort of thing going on in schools, inspiring to see the results!

  9. Great ideas! Even for the high school art room. I'm loving reading about other art teachers tips and ideas.


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