Storing Art Supplies + Giveaway

I know you all have just been on the edge of your seats for today’s post.  I’m sure some of you even set your alarms to get up super early and read about how we store our art supplies.  It’s a pretty hot topic.

Let me start off with yes, I do let my kids draw and cut and color and glue and watercolor and stamp at any point in the day…no permission needed.  No, that may not work for your family.  This is just what works for us and I do realize I probably let my kids handle some supplies and tools a bit early…and I paid for it sometimes…like when Huddy cut Sol’s hair when they were like 18-months-old right when our social worker was arriving for a visit.  Ha!  But I have put major time into teaching the wee Kelleys how to respect their art supplies and how to handle and use them correctly…like not using scissors to give each other haircuts.  Art supplies required responsibility  So do what works for you and your kiddos.  Different strokes, for different folks.  Right on!

So here’s the method to our crazy crafty madness.  Essentially we have two main containers that hold most of our craft supplies.  The bigger one holds some supplies that the wee Kelleys have to ask permission to get out and use.  It has two layers of supplies…yes, I am crazy when it comes to organizing.  It’s not healthy, but all of these items have to fit into this one container.  In the bottom is paint (acrylics & fingers paints…does not include watercolors), dot painters & rollers and embellishments.

The next layer consists of pipe cleaners, beads, string, glitter, confetti and pom poms.  I mainly take most items out of their original packaging and relocate them to zip-lock bags and beads and embellishments are stored in bead boxes with all the little fun compartments.

Pretty sure the first container stresses Josh Kelley out.

Kelley Family Fun Fact #88:  Josh Kelley hates and I mean H.A.T.E.S glitter.  How did we ever get together?!?!

The other container is smaller and shallow and hold supplies they can get out any time they would like…pastels, school glue, giant box of Crayolas, stickers and mini markers.

These both fit nicely on one of Harper’s low shelves in her closet.

We also have this killer piece of furniture that holds dvds, cds, camera gear and our tv sits on top.  My mom found it at a used furniture store for cheap…it was ugly…I painted it and voila…teal organizing loveliness.

The top middle drawer is the wee Kelleys…easily accessible for them.  It holds stamp sets, paper, notebooks and watercolors.

And lastly I use jars.  Lots and lots of jars.  The jars hold pencils, colored pencils, fat markers, skinny markers, twist up crayons, paintbrushes, regular crayons and Sharpies.

Then I use one small basket to hold the fat markers, skinny markers, regular crayons, paint brushes and colored pencil jars.  This basket is kept in the teal piece so the boys or Harper can get to it and any time.  All they have to do is pull the one basket out and put it on the table.

Harper’s room is downstairs right beside the kitchen/living room and dining room so the other jars of Sharpies, twistable crayons and pencils are kept in her room on their little table.  Along with a tape dispenser, a small basket that holds glues sticks, scissors and erasers and another girly bucket that hold’s different fun pens that have been specifically given to Harper at some point…like birthday, Christmas, etc or she bought them with her own money.

The boys are allowed to use their table in Harper’s room or go in and bring out any of the jars whenever they would like.  I also make them help with going through supplies…like testing markers and tossing all the ones that do not work anymore.  This is our test sheet.

And I do make them clean up after themselves…being an artist takes some responsibility…even on super crafty days when things get a little out of hand.  When they put up a fight, which sometimes they totally do…they’re kids, I just make it clear that if we can’t be responsible and clean up after ourselves, then we won’t be able to use our art supplies.  Usually that gets them going.  I tell them all the time, “I say what I mean and I mean what I say”, so art privileges have been revoked before.  Boom.

Hope this helps a bit…hope you feel empowered to let your wee ones get crafty…don’t be scared…you can do it.  Just find what works for your family and go for it…you may have a budding artist at your fingertips.

Happy Crafting!

PS:  I am a guest giveaway over at Dreaming Big Dreams today.  Up for grabs is one of my 4×12 “Where you invest your love” canvas.  Head over and enter to win.


  1. tAMMY fABER says:

    LOVE! LOVE! LOVE! How you have everything organized! Great ideas to use at home and at church too! Have an awesome and colorful day!

  2. Love it! Love the organization of it all! Love the jars and easily accesible baskets of artsy goodness! 🙂 My girl LOVES to color and cut and paint… we haven’t gotten into glue yet but I’m sure it won’t be long! We’re off to Hobby Lobby now (aka Heaven on Earth)! Have a great day and thanks so much for sharing the Kelley crafting secrets! 🙂

  3. I love how crafty you encourage your kiddos to be. The type A person in me has a hard time letting G have free range with art supplies but i am working on it 🙂 thanks for the post

  4. Deanna valdes says:

    in the midst of our craft organizing right now. It’s in 3 different rooms. Goal: 1 room. 1 spot. Spectacular organization. Thanks for inspiration.
    Love the giveaway piece!

  5. I read you daily and have for a couple of years and have never commented. I think. Anywho-I feel very passionate about putting art supplies in the hands of children as soon as possible. We have all that and more. My daughters are hitting the teen years now but they still like to paint, sketch, cut, paste, etc…
    I think it has increased their ability to reason and just plain think about how things work. At a baby shower we had to give the expectant mother words of advice and mine were: give that child some paper and a box of crayons!

  6. This was GREAT for my kids to see. My son likes to organize, but he re-organizes everything every few days and his methods make NO sense to me, lol. It’s cute and annoying all at once! I had to let him know that we have to pick things up when we’re done or else we can’t do projects! I think sometimes he learns the hard way because he’ll leave something out and his 3YO sister will wreak havoc on it.

  7. I think I need to freshen up our supplies TODAY. We too love art, but since the move it’s been a bit shabby. Time to fix that and make a new plan for a new home. Thanks for sharing.

  8. You should do a post on “parenting”….like with little tidbits of wisdom when it come to parenting/shepherding your children. I love hearing little tidbits like “I say what I mean and I mean what I say.” Do you have family devos? Memorization of scripture with your kiddos? How ARE they so well behaved? Routines that really work? Family rules? Redirections.. Etc? Besides prayer, the Bible, what strokes work for you folks? How did you get from A to wherever you are now with obedience and well mannered kiddos. (we’re kidless as of yet, but I’m takin’ good good notes and prayer to “prepare”. Is there such a thing?) HA! 🙂 I just love knowing what makes families function. With the exception of knowing no family is perfect or without chaos. Does this even make sense? HAHA. Maybe this is too personal.

  9. i admire you organizational skills..I love to be creative and do not have the gift or organizing…it can be quite ugly sometimes…my dining room table can be full of supplies but I am in the middle of trying to arrange a craft room…it is a wonder my husband tollerates the art piece

  10. We leave many of our art supplies out & accessible to the girls{ ages 7 & 3} all the time, too! I am not “artsy” or “creative” so I really want to instill those qualities into my girls & I think giving them the opportunity to make art when they wish is important.

  11. I love your mason jars for art supply storage. I’ve recently transfered ours to aluminum cans of various sized and covered them with fun paper. It’s more easily accessible than bins or baggies. We’ve always let our kids have free reign when it comes to art supplies, too….it’s better fun all around.

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