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Organizing Kid’s Craft Supplies

By Melissa Summers

Mitzi emailed asking for a way to store her kid’s art supplies.

The crayons, markers, dry erase markers, chalk, glue, glitter glue, scissors, stir sticks, finger paint, paint brushes – it is taking over my laundry room. The only thing I can come up with is to get a HUGE tackle box and sort it out. I have all the papers and books in drawers but that isn’t working for the markers and stuff. Plus, I have to have a way to keep the markers up out of the 2 year olds reach but where the 4-year can get it. Go figure.

I am a little overwhelmed at this query and I’m having flashbacks to my days as the mother of a 2 and 4 year old. I wasn’t particularly good at parenting when my kids were that young and I wasn’t very good at organizing kid’s craft supplies either. These two traits may be related.

I enjoy doing craft-ish projects with my kids, and I love all the possibilities a nice organized set of craft supplies represents. It’s a lot like the possibility of a brand new box of crayons. So I’ve collected some inspiration for Mitzi, hopefully something will work.
Organizing Kid's Craft Supplies
We have a couple of the boxes in the Fira collection from Ikea, some holding paper, markers, pipe cleaners, ribbon. I have each drawer labeled (I have P-Touch Disease), but I’ve seen the fronts of these compartments painted with chalkboard paint squares for labeling. Cute.
Organizing Kid's Craft Supplies
If Mitzi had the space for this set up, I don’t think she’d be asking for advice. However there are some good sources of inspiration, like boxes for storing different supplies without having to look at the clutter.
Organizing Kid's Craft Supplies
I also love the look of art supplies stored in colorful metal buckets, like these from The Container Store. (Also check out this resource  sent to me by a reader.)

Organizing Kid's Craft Supplies
Martha Stewart has some great ideas for a small-ish craft set of shelves. I’m not sure a fabric curtain would keep a two year old out of the markers, but I do love the use of a small space to hold a lot. I like the nice looking boxes and lazy susan for various supplies. Like Mitzi suggested, Martha also shows a couple of tackle boxes holding other supplies.
Organizing Kid's Craft Supplies
Courtney at Two Straight Lines showed her small craft cabinet over the summer. I think it’s lovely.

Here’s my simple advice for organizing your kid’s art supplies:

  1. Keep like items together and use labels so it’s easy to put things back where they belong.
  2. Buy only what you need. A pack of 500 sheets of paper is probably a good buy, especially if your kid loves drawing. However, the 200 pack of foam flowers is cheaper than the smaller package but are you really ever going to use them all? If you do, where are you going to store them until they’re gone?
  3. Finally, never, ever let your kids paint.

Good luck, Mitzi!

Melissa Summers
About the Author

Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.


Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa’s Buzz Off.

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I hadn’t run into the Fira collection from IKEA. It is sooo affordable, thanks for the tip!
I did a post this week about organizing kids art supplies on, and one of my favorite tricks is using canvas tote bags to organize supplies. It allows me to give the kids just a few supplies at a time, which keeps things new and exciting, and keeps the mess down.