July 9, 2022  

Organizing Kids’ Art Supplies – Tour Our Craft Cabinet!


Take a tour of our kids’ arts and crafts storage cabinet and get ideas for organizing your art supplies in a small space.

organizing art supply cabinet with clear bins for kids

If you’re looking for small space organizing ideas for craft supplies, you’re in the right place! I’m in the middle of a huge craft supply shuffle and today I’m bringing you a tour of our newly organized kids’ art supply storage cabinet.

We don’t have a dedicated craft room or play room or bonus room of any sort, so all of our daughter’s art projects happen at the dining room table. I love how creative and artistic our four-year-old has become but we desperately needed to find a home for her growing stash of art supplies.

Keep reading to see the big mess I started with and how I organized all of those kids’ arts and craft supplies!

Looking for more kids’ organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

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graphic: tips for organizing kids' art supplies

This project is in partnership with The Container Store, and this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for details.

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Kids’ Art Supply Organization

1. Assess The Problem Areas

Chloe is now 4 1/2 and has waaay more arts & crafts items than she used to. When she first got a few coloring books, they ended up living on this random chair behind our couch. It’s right next to our dining table so as we cleaned off the table, that’s just kind of where things landed.

But as you can see below, our art supply collection has grown considerably since those first few coloring books and it’s turned into a giant clutter hot spot. While it looks like it’s at least tucked in a corner, the reality is this mess is visible from anywhere you’re standing in the kitchen or living room and it’s been begging from some organizing attention for a long time.

Our baby boy is crawling all over the place and this mess is clearly not baby proofed in any way so it’s his favorite spot to play.

before photo of messy craft supplies on floor

Years ago, I organized my own craft supplies in a little storage cabinet that I thrifted. I painted it with chalk paint and organized craft supplies inside. That cabinet has served me well for four years now but my crafting interests have shifted considerably and I rarely use the craft paints and ribbon stored inside.

So I decided to devote the storage cabinet to kids’ art supplies instead and clear out all of my old crafty things. I purged a lot of it and have a few things that will find a new home in phase 2 of this project coming soon. Basically, we’re doing a big craft supply shuffle around here!

Here’s my plan:

  • Condense my craft stuff down into the credenza by my desk with some overflow in the basement (this is going to require LOTS of purging) – organizing the credenza will be phase 2!
  • With my old craft cabinet emptied out, that will become a spot for all of our kids’ arts and crafts supplies – what I’m sharing today
  • Storage for David’s supplies is TBD, I’m hoping to give him a little room in the cabinet for his supplies but if not I’ll be on the hunt for another spot somewhere in this house.

2. Sort & Purge

I piled up all of Chloe’s art supplies on the kitchen island and sorted through things. I made piles for different categories of items (play dough, stamps, coloring books, painting, etc).

As I was sorting through things, I also removed bulky packaging, tossed a lot of broken crayons and was able to purge a couple of coloring books that were completely filled up.

This step alone really helped condense the piles! I tossed that giant round play dough tub, took all those stamps out of the boxes they came in, and put a few craft kits in ziplock baggies instead of their big boxes.

before photo of craft supplies on kitchen island

3. Select Containers

Measure your space carefully and look for containers that can maximize the space you’re working with. I was able to max out nearly every square inch of this storage cabinet by taking a lot of measurements and testing out a few different container options.

I ended up using a lot of these clear drawers from The Home Edit by iDesign collection from The Container Store. I’ve used these stackable drawers in the past under our bathroom and kitchen sinks and they’re really great quality and a nice size. Plus, as you’ll see in a bit, there are baby bins that fit perfectly inside to create little compartments that worked well for small craft items.

Here are links to the containers we ended up using:

clear bins inside cabinet

4. Fill Up Containers By Category

Now that you’ve purged the excess and selected containers, it’s time to fill them up!

I tried to create a “kit” of art supplies in each bin, for example one bin holds all the paints and paint brushes while another bin holds stamps, ink pads, and a few markers and pencils that came with Chloe’s stamp sets.

Having different kits of items like this means Chloe can easily find the category of art supplies she wants without rummaging through everything. Plus, these bins have nice handles so she can pull one right out of the cabinet and carry the whole thing over to the table to work on a project.

These large bins from the drawers come with a removable center divider that worked well for containing items. See how well it separates the play dough canisters from the play dough accessories?

I further divided up some of the bins by adding these little “baby bins“. They come in a few sizes and are perfectly sized to fit modularly in the big containers.

top down view of clear bin with play dough organized inside
top down view of clear bin with stamps and ink pads inside
top down view of clear bin with craft paints and paint brushes organized inside

5. To Label Or Not To Label

Once your containers are filled up, it’s a great time to add labels! I LOVE adding labels to most projects but actually decided to skip the labels for this one.

First of all, Chloe can’t read yet so the labels wouldn’t mean much to her. I did add the cutest picture labels to her play kitchen recently and considered doing that here as well.

Ultimately I skipped the labels altogether because 1) all the containers are clear so it’s very easy to see what’s inside, and 2) I know our assortment of arts and crafts supplies will change over time so I wanted to keep things flexible for when we want to switch up what goes in each container.

If you do want to add labels to your projects, here are a few tutorials for adding different types of labels:

5. Fill Up The Craft Cabinet

Once you’ve filled up the bins with art supplies, it’s time to load everything onto your shelves or into your cabinet. Take a look at how neat and organized our kids’ art supplies look now!

full view of organizing craft storage cabinet
hand pulling out clear drawer filled with ink pads and stamps
hand putting ink pad inside clear organizer

See how awesome this all looks?! Everything is easy to find and quick to grab out and carry over to the table when you need it.

Chloe loves painting and we have these giant bottles of paints I’m always getting out and squirting onto a paint tray for her to use. To avoid that, I found these awesome divided paint cups with lids (shown below). I love how two paint colors fit in each cup!

Now instead of 8 huge paint bottles that she needs help with, there are four smaller paint cups in her painting bin. She can easily remove the lids herself and there are holes for her paint brushes so there’s less mess, less wasted paint, and they keep the bin lighter so she can carry it herself.

These large magazine holders worked perfectly for coloring and activity books, and I even had enough space for our stack of construction paper. By standing the books all upright like this, we can easily see them all and pull one out without having to dig through a big stack.

And it worked out great that when these magazine holders are pushed all the way to the back of the storage cabinet, it leaves just enough room in front for her tin case of markers. Now she can grab her markers, pull the books forward, and grab the book she wants really easily.

This bin on the top left (shown below) is where I tucked all the little crafting kits she had. I threw away the cardboard boxes and put the supplies in ziplock bags instead.

Our printer sits on top of this storage cabinet and I’m happy there was enough room inside to stack two paper drawers for printer paper and cardstock. There’s also just enough room on top of these drawers to set an extra ink cartridge and a small box of 4×6 photo paper so it’s all easy to grab!


Looking for more kids’ organizing ideas? Take a look at these blog posts:

Have a fantastic day!

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