Keeping Schoolwork Organized Using a Do-It-Yourself Portfolio

When my children were about to enter kindergarten, I started a back-to-school tradition of making a portfolio together to store their schoolwork. Both my children love the fact that it is uninterrupted mom-time when we simply just draw together. Once the portfolios are completed we use them to store their schoolwork for the year. After school each day the kids come home and empty out their backpacks. They give me important forms and fliers, put the work that has been returned to them from the teacher in the portfolio and toss everything else.


  • (2) pieces of poster board
  • (1) roll of Duck tape
  • scissors
  • markers, crayons, paint, etc…

Step #1

Cut a strip of Duck tape the width of the poster board.

Back to School Portfolio Step #1
striped shirt, shorts

Step #2

Line up the long side of the poster board with the strip of tape. Place the poster board so that it covers half the width of the tape. Place the second piece of poster board on top of the first, line up the edges and fold the tape over the second poster board. Smooth out any air bubbles.

Back To School Portfolio Step #2

Step #3

Cut two strips of Duck Tape that are the length of the poster board.

Step #4

Repeat Step #2 on the the two shorter sides of the poster board.

Step #5

Decorate both sides of the portfolio.

This year Zach chose to decorate his portfolio with a Fortnite design. Does anybody else have a child obsessed with Fortnite? In past years his portfolio has featured a caricature of Steph Curry, Minecraft, the Millennium Falcon and R2D2. My daughter has decorated her portfolio with favorite quotes and lyrics, a tie-dye design and her school mascot. I like that their portfolio represents their  interests each year.

Fortnite Portfolio

At the end of the school year I take everything out of the folder and photograph it. Then, we go through the pile together and pick out special pieces that we want to save, before tossing the rest. I  upload the photos I take of their schoolwork to Shutterfly and create a photo book that contains their schoolwork from that year and any photos I have taken over the course of the year, including class celebrations, field trips, performances and awards ceremonies. I scan their school picture and class photos to use on the cover and first page of each book. 

Shutterfly photo book
Shutterfly Photo Books

It can be so difficult to say goodbye to a child’s schoolwork. The photo book has allowed us to avoid gathering too much clutter while holding onto special mementoes. I purchased flat 13” boxes from Pottery Barn Kids where I store the work we just can’t part with. I found that the kids accumulated more keepsakes while they were in the lower grades, but as they have gotten older, we can fit a couple year’s worth of school memorabilia in one box. By the time They have completed high school each child will have a collection of books chronicling their school years as well as 6 flat boxes containing their special school mementoes. How do you keep your child’s schoolwork organized?

P.S. I have created a set of free First Day of School Printables for my subscribers. Here is a preview of what subscribers will receive on Friday, August 10th. Thank you for all of your support!

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