Organizing Arts & Crafts Supplies

Organizing Arts and Crafts Supplies by Encourage Play

As you may already know, I love crafting. I love doing arts & crafts with my kids and I love doing crafts on my own too. I have a ridiculous amount of crafting supplies. Before Christmas, I noticed that it was starting to get out of hand. I had supplies stuffed everywhere and I couldn’t find what I needed. I KNEW I had googly eyes somewhere and I couldn’t lay my hands on them! I decided during Christmas vacation that I was going to once more going to  organize it all.

Over the years I have reorganized my craft materials several times. Before I had kids, everything was organized and put away in a couple of spots in my house. I always kept my pincushion and current project on my end table in the living room. Once I had my daughter, the sharp objects went away. The crafting stopped for a bit until she was a little over a year old. We started doing very simple crafts together so I kept some basic supplies around for her. As she got older, our “projects” became more complex. I made an art supply drawer in my living room, to make it easier to grab materials. When my son was born, my daughter and I would still craft while he hung out next to us or while he napped. I started keeping art supplies in a little alcove in our dining room, to make it easier to grab and get started. Then he got old enough to join in too. We started doing projects all together and we added more craft supplies to all of these spots. It has gotten out of control over the last year or so and I knew something had to be done. Our art supply drawer was full with stickers, paper, pipe cleaners, markers, crayons and coloring books but the kids weren’t really using anything. It was a hot mess.

I decided to leave out some basic materials all the time and rotate a couple of extra materials for creating projects. The rest of the materials were going to go in the basement. I found some sturdy small boxes to use for storage. I went to the dollar store and picked up some additional containers and a couple of magazine boxes. I also cleared out a couple of shelves in the basement.

We then started sorting through our supplies. My kids actually helped a lot with this. We took everything out of every spot and started making different piles to see what we had. It helped me see what we had, and what we didn’t. The kids were in charge of testing markers to see if they worked and putting things in piles or putting things we weren’t going to use anymore in the recycling bin. It took a couple of hours to sort through everything, but it felt good to figure it all out.

The arts & crafts supplies area in our living room, where we spend the majority of our time.

The arts & crafts supplies area in our living room, where we spend the majority of our time.

Then it was time to make some decisions about what to keep upstairs and what to put in the basement. I decided to fill one magazine box with blank construction paper and the other with coloring books and workbooks. I also decided to leave out markers, crayons, glue and tape all the time. The kids are really into using their dry erase boards, so those are out now too. Our “extras” are some ribbon, foam circles, googly eyes (I found them!!) and rubber bands. In a week or two, I’ll go to the basement and switch out those extras for something else.

The 1st shelf in our basement craft area...

The 1st shelf in our basement craft area...

and the second shelf - I'm low on duct tape!!

and the second shelf - I'm low on duct tape!!

What I’ve noticed over the last couple of days is that the kids are drawing more, and being creative with the materials that are out. They’re actually using things, and so far, keeping things pretty organized. It makes me happy to look over and see things organized. Now it’s time to think of some new projects to create together!

How do you organize your kids crafts?

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