Thursday, July 26, 2012

Clipart Chaos No More!

Raise your hand if you love clipart...
Raise your hand if you buy clipart at an alarming pace even if you don't need it...
Raise your hand if your clipart is an unorganized mess...

Okay- the first two I can deal with but the third has been bugging the heck out of me!

This is what I had: 

One folder on my computer that says Clipart.  So far, so good, right?
Then I had zillions and zillions of subfolders inside that one with individual sets.
For some holidays and themes, I've even managed to create more subfolders like Christmas and then moved all my Christmas clipart sets into it.  That's when it got out of hand!  Too much to look through to figure out WHAT was inside and making sure I actually put the stuff IN the correct folder.  It took me forever to find my Cat in the Hat clipart that was tucked inside "School."

So, I have spent the last *cough cough* hours organizing a lot of my clipart.  How?  By printing a major amount of hard copies. 

It started with a new binder and cover using art from Melonheadz.  Neat and tidy!  Yea!


What did I do??

I started by going to the sites where I bought the most clipart: TpT, Etsy, and TheDollarGraphicDepot.  I looked at all of my past orders under My Account and copied the group images.  I now have pages and pages (and pages and pages!) of this:

And when I got free images off of blogs, like this:
(I just grabbed these this week after discovering Nikki's site.)

I DID not organize them into subcategories like Christmas, Birthdays, etc.  That would have added on a lot more time.  I did, however, divide them into images, borders and frames, and papers. 

I'm now left with a book to flip through and WOW...I've learned tons from just glancing at the "finished for now" book. What did I learn you ask?

1. I haven't  used at least 3/4 of the art I've purchased or downloaded for free. Say what?  Sad, but true. 

2. I have a crazy amount of penguin clipart and I'm not even particularly fond of penguins.  Besides that, I don't think I've ever used ANY of it.  Oh, my!

3. I need to continue to be mindful for the need to buy clipart that represents diverse ethnic groups.

4. Two of my sets have arithmetic spelled wrong.  I've known this since purchasing but never contacted the company.  Must do that today.  (It isn't done on purpose, either.) 

5. I'm surprised to see that while I didn't think I had any FALL stuff yet (since I started purchasing in winter),  I do have some.  Even in sets that aren't really fallish, I found a pie that could be pumpkin, some pumpkins, trees, leaves, apple trees and apples, corn from a Native American set, etc. 

6. I have a total of nine sets with a sun in it and all of the suns are very different. Yet, I've continuously used the same sun whenever I needed one.  Same for schools.  That's just stupid of me.  Lazy?  Maybe. Really, who knew I had NINE of them?

7. I have several sets that I HATE for different reasons and know I'll NEVER use.  What was I thinking and why are they still taking up space on my computer???

8. Since I teach first grade, I have lots of cutesy stuff but it's o-v-e-r-l-o-a-d!!   Whenever I saw a "more mature" set, I welcomed it! A breath of fresh air!

9. I don't know if I've always thanked everyone who has given away free art on their blogs.  I THINK I have but I really need to be CERTAIN that I do. 

10. I know I'll add to this book AS I download art.  Upkeep will be easy breezy, right?

11. Renamed all clip art files to include seller's name.  So much easier!

12. Artists rock!  I am in awe of their ability!  (But I've always known that!!)


  1. This is an AMAZING idea. I have been trying to figure out how I want to organize mine. I may just have to do this because I am finding it very hard to organize the way I want to on my computer. Thanks so much for sharing this.

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

    1. I've already seen the benefits! I still have a lot left to do but the most important ones are done!

  2. Oh my goodness I love it! What a great idea! I think I have a lot of suns too. Mine is pretty organized on my computer, but it would be nice to see a lot of them at once. Much quicker! Thank you thank you!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

    1. And when they are out to see, you really get a better feel for what you have. Good luck!

  3. You are a genius!!! I was raising my hand for all of the above lol. My clip art organization is a disaster. Thanks for the great idea!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

    1. I'm amazed how much it already helped me as I start my latest project. Good luck!

  4. Great ideas! I do have my clip art in folders by the artist, but hadn't thought about printing them out - that would make finding exactly what is needed faster!

    Learning is for Superstars

    1. You're already more organized than me...I had SOME organized by artists. :)

  5. Genius! And also confirms my theory that a ''paperless" world will never be achieved, we love seeing stuff hard copy too much!

  6. What a neat idea! I don't have much clip art, but even the small amount I have is pretty unorganized!

    Third Grade in the First State

  7. Girl!!!! You have just inspired me! My clip-art is a DISASTER!! This sounds like a good job when it's too hot to work in my classroom!
    Thanks for adding something to my "To-Do-List"! :)

    A Pirates Life for Us


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