School Years Photo Collage Project & Picture Organization Tips

20 years later I finally completed and hung two beautiful frames that show a collage of my kids’ school pictures from kindergarten through high school. It felt great to get this done. The framed pictures look nice with my home décor. When I shared this on social media, I had a lot of pals ask me about it, so I decided to share this project with my Your Life Arizona viewers along with a few tips on how to best organize your pictures through the years.

To see the finished collage, watch the morning show segment or visit my blog at I really like how the photo art looks on my wall at the top of the staircase. As a new empty nester, it is gratifying to see the school year photos of my two grown kiddos every time I go up and down the stairs. That makes my heart smile for sure.

To complete this project, I had to have a picture organization game plan in place through the years. Since my oldest is almost 23 (say what??), a lot of his photos were the old-fashioned print photographs, so I had to go through my files to pull images for my frame project.

Once digital became a popular way to order school pictures, I downloaded each image to my computer and kept them in a computer file, but I also made sure to file the hard copy disk of each school year in my photo filing system. My file system tools are listed below.

But first, one quick note. One empty nester mom told me that she was too late to put together this kind of project because she only had 5 x 7 prints of her kids’ school pictures on hand. I shared with her to simply use her smart phone to take a picture of each 5 x 7 school photograph to then upload to the computer and print the size needed for the frame. Easy fix! So, moms that may think it is too late to put together this project are happily surprised that it is not too late after all. Yay for that!

Picture Organization Tools

These tools (listed below) can also be used to store other keepsakes. In addition to school photos, art projects, report cards and other mementos can be safely stored. Your kids may want these items to share with their own kids someday.

The Frame

I love the high-quality sturdy frame that looks great on my wall. It is sentimental and doubles as nice wall art as well. The frame features a black matte finish and a white matting design that is similar to a shadow box look. A sturdy sawtooth wall hanger is attached for easy hanging. I bought the Pearhead School Days Graduation Frame $29.99 at Amazon.

The Organization Tools

I showed several different storage box tools for saving, storing and organizing school pictures and other mementos through the years. I have used all three items. All are functional and attractive for storage. Here is the list of what I showed in the segment…

*Lakeshore Learning Keepsake Portfolio - $21.99 at Lakeshore Learning stores or visit to purchase online. This item works for kids to have on their own to learn how to organize keepsakes or parents can use it themselves, like I did.

*IKEA Kvarnvik Storage Box with lid - $6.99 each - I love the look and the feel of these pretty cloth storage boxes. I bought the soft sky-blue color to file my daughter’s pictures and the handsome grey one for my son’s photos. Buy at IKEA or at this link

*Year Marked Best Box - $4.99 at The Container Store - My #1 organization item that I show every year since 2013 is the Best Box from The Container Store. The nice size of each box makes them ideal to store print photos of all sizes. This handy lidded box also works great to file tax papers and anything else for the kids, home, etc. I appreciate that the box has the year prominently marked all over for easy spotting when the box needs to pulled from storage.

What home projects (kids or otherwise) have you completed that you want to tell us about? Share here in the comments section as we love to know about tips and tools to streamline the creative process. Taking time out of this crazy world to work on a beloved project is a stress reliever. Keep hanging in there and be sure to check my blog at for more organization quick tips, recipes and more.


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