Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Craft Closet: ideas for organizing your kids art supplies

Earlier this week, I led a craft at my son’s playgroup.  I needed some pony beads so I snagged a peanut butter jar full from our stash of craft supplies at home.  At the playgroup I mentioned to the other moms that these jars were great because they’re clear so the kids can see what’s in them and that I keep them on their side in a shoe organizer.  One of the moms asked me to send her a picture.  After I took a picture, I thought I’d share some of the ways I keep my kids arts and crafts supplies organized on my blog. 

We have an odd closet in our basement play area.  The room has a large tiled floor so it’s a great place to spread out and do some messy art.  I took advantage of the rod for hanging coats and hung a sweater storage unit and hanging shoe caddy.  The sweater holder is the perfect size to hold printer paper, construction paper and coloring books.  The topmost compartment has a weaving loom and some embroidery kits that are used less frequently.  
Large plastic peanut butter jars (40 oz.) fit on their side in the hanging shoe organizer.  I soaked mine to remove the label and food residue and then washed them with hot soapy water.  You can also wash them in the top of a dishwasher to get them squeaky clean.  They are great for several reasons.  They are clear so you can see what’s in them without labeling them or having to open them.  They are plastic which is lightweight and won’t shatter if dropped.  And lastly the lid screws on so it doesn’t accidentally pop off, spilling its contents.  Other things fit in these cubbies too, coffee filters, skeins of yarn, duffel bag full of play dough tools, and small paper lunch bags for making puppets. 

A set of stackable bins holds and separates various recyclable odds and ends like spools that once held thread and ribbon, paper towel tubes, shallow plastic containers, divided take out containers, and yogurt containers.  These can be combined to build all kinds of wonderful things or hold supplies while working on a project.  Hanging on removable hooks are smocks and aprons that are within my little guys reach. 

On one end I have an over the door shoe holder attached to the wall with nails.  The clear compartments again allow you to see what is in each pocket.  The pockets are small enough to organize small items and keep like items together.  I keep extra refills in the topmost pockets that are
harder for little hands to reach and regularly used items lower down.  Here you can find pencils, colored pencils, erasers, glue, scissors, watercolor sets, ink pads, clothes pins string, wooden popsicle sticks, boxed crayons, markers, small containers of play dough, small scraps of cloth and paper.

A short three drawer storage unit houses finger paints, glitter, stamps, pipe cleaners, etc.  This is not my favorite storage unit, it gets disorganized every time someone digs around for something.  Limiting like items in each drawer helps.  Between the drawers and the wall we slide larger flat items like pads of paper, jumbo coloring books and drawing boards.  

On top of the drawer unit is a plastic caddy that can be carried to another location, filled with skinny markers, pencils, brushes, wet wipes and small pads of paper and booklets (folded and stapled paper with card stock covers for the kids to write and illustrate their own story books). 

These ideas make a small space into an easily accessible craft studio for my little creative hearts.  What tips do you have for organizing your kids craft supplies?  

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