My kids have enjoyed arts and crafts since they were little, and as they have become teens, our art and craft materials has grown in quantity.
Here are some practical tips of how we organize and store our art stuff conveniently on our little arts and crafts bookshelf.
Practical Tip 1 Everything has its place and a place for everything
Our stationary tray filled with little boxes has worked excellently over the years. Each little square box stores the different types of pens, crayons, fiber-tipped pens, and colored pencils.
Practical Tip 2 Buy quality art materials & let everyone share
When someone needs, say, the gel pens, they simply take out the box out of the tray and use them at their table. Once finished, they quickly pop the box back in the tray. We all share the same pencils and pens.
Very little kids may need their own chubby art crayons and basic paint sets, but as soon as they are able to correctly use the basic stationary, I train them and let them share with the older kids.
Here are some of my most important rules:
- Clean your paint brush and tray before it dries.
- Pack your things away where it belongs.
- Work with a little and add more later, rather than pour too much and waste.
- Do NOT drop the pencils!
I like to purchase lovely, big sets of art materials, 24 colors or more, and we all enjoy the full range. Rather than spending money on each child’s own set, one really large quality set shared by all is just as economical.
Practical Tip 3 Store all the paints, brushes and mixing trays in a “painting box”
When we paint, we take out the painting box and everything is on hand. Before, I had paints in one box, trays in another and brushes in another, but, with a little re-organization, we fitted everything into a large, shallow box.
I painted the lids of all the acrylic paint bottles so that we can easily find the color we need.
The brushes are all stored bristles–up in the bottle and they dry perfectly.
Practical Tip 4 Plastic suitcases to store craft supplies
We have used these small plastic suitcases to store our craft supplies for years. These suitcases have lasted for over 15 years! Standing upright on the bottom shelf, we can easily pull out the case we need for our craft activity.
We store craft items in Ziplock bags. If we purchase or receive craft materials in boxes, I cut the box lid flat, leaving off the sides, and store it inside the Ziplock bag, along with any instruction pamphlet, for slim, space-saving storage.
Each child has their own little suitcase for their own stickers, craft papers, and bits and bobs. We tie labels on the suitcase handle.
Practical Tip 5 Store paper and cardstock in clear shelving
We have used these clear, plastic drawers for years, too. A simple plan makes habit training simple.
Once again, Ziplock bags save us from chaos! Any paper or card that has a piece cut off must go into a large Ziplock bag in the drawer. This keeps full paper or card sheets separate from any slightly used sheets. Kids waste less if they know that they must find some bits or smaller pieces in a Ziplock bag, rather than cut off a small section from a full-page.
With a little training and some gentle reminders, my children have learnt to use, enjoy, clean up & pack away after their art and craft activities and creative endeavors, and our art stuff is ready for the next lesson.
What practical tips do you find works in your home? Please share with us in the comments.