Friday, July 26, 2013

Organizing Kids' Art Supplies


This project was originally done in our playroom some time ago. While the containers themselves have since been re-homed in a cabinet, the organization itself remains the same and is as functional today as it was when I first did it 3 years ago.

I am posting it again because Oriental Trading finally carries the Large Plastic Jars again (for over 18 months, they didn't, and I had many disappointed readers trying desperately to find them.)

Are you tired of using cups, pails, mugs, or boxes that contain your supplies but can be knocked over (or dropped and spilled)?

Do you do a lot of crafting that uses small items, like beads?

Would you really enjoy a *pretty* organizing method for these supplies that is 100% functional, adaptable, and can be used almost anywhere and customized to any decor?

Okay maybe you don't care as much about that part as I do, and I'm no Billie Mays. But I did find a really awesome way of neatly organizing all of our art and craft supplies. The containers are plastic and child safe (but they are not food safe).

First, you will need these:

Tall Jars, $7 per dozen
Short Jars, $7.25 per dozen

The great thing about these jars is the that they fit everywhere I have tried them - kitchen cabinet shelves, standard bookshelves, the tall ones even fit 4 per Closetmaid Cubicle if you want them further organized in some manner.

The Short Jars:

  • Hold all manner of crayons from standard to the My First triangular type, to Crayon Rocks. (Note that brand new "Jumbo Size" Crayola crayons do NOT fit as they are 1/2" too tall; however they can be placed once they've been colored with a bit, if you use these).
  • Are great for separating out mid to larger size beads, including children's large wooden counting bead.
  • Hold all manner of small office supples such as pushpins, paper clips, mini binder clips and yes even LARGE 3" binder clips.
  • Hold an entire set of standard 1" magnetic plastic letters.

The Tall Jars:

  • Hold paintbrushes, including larger children's brushes such as Melissa & Doug. 
  • Hold pens, highlighters, Sharpies, Gel Pens, Mechanical Pencils, unsharpened pencils, and all manner of writing implements. I've even gotten full size extended calligraphy pens with nibs and kanji brushes in them safely.
  • Hold full size trays of children's watercolors (such as Crayola, Rose Art, etc)
I chose not to decorate mine, but you can go all out on these with beautiful trim to match your decor or interests, or use Chalkboard Labels or other Vinyl labels.

The first place I used them was for our art supplies on a shabby chic bookcase my kids loved.

I don't have pictures to share, but I have continued using these in many other places and purposes.

In the bathroom they hold hair clips, ponytail holders, those disposable flossing sticks, skincare supplies for each of my teens, samples and travel sizes of items (like single packets of sunblock), even bandaids.

In the kitchen I've used them to organize bento items in a drawer (the short jars only) and holiday cookie cutters and such in a deep drawer.

My husband uses them in the garage for nails, screws, extra knobs (short jars); and cable ties, drill bits, screwdrivers (tall jars).

They are the perfect versatile organizing solution! I hope this helps you as much as it did me!