Ask-Design-Mom Question:
Help Design Mom! We can’t figure out how to organize our kids’ art supplies! I don’t want to use those catch-all plastic bin/drawer things, but we need to come up with something to (A) tame the clutter of reams of paper, notebooks, crayons, markers, stickers, paints, googly eyes, et al, and (B) keep it where the kids can get to it without our help (in other words, store it in such a way that it doesn’t stifle creativity).
Any and all suggestions (from you and your awesome readers) would be so greatly appreciated. I’ve only recently reached the end of my rope with our current non-methods. Thanks a million, in advance, Laurie

Design Mom Answer:
What a great question, Laurie. I’ll bet 90% of moms have had to deal with art supply organization in one way or another. So I’ll start, but I’m positive Design Mom readers will have loads of smart ideas.

At our house we happen to have an old built in pantry cupboard in the dining area that houses all kid’s art supplies — Mom’s art supplies are in a completely seperate space. The papers, a ream of white and a pad of construction, sit in neat stacks, and next to them are assorted bins for markers, crayons, feathers, glue, etc. Everything is on the lower two shelves providing easy access for all ages. Some of the bins are cute, some are practical. Some have lids, some are open-faced. Because I can hide it all behind the cupboard doors, I haven’t had to think hard about my containers.

Aware that most mom’s are not going to have access to a handy cupboard, I’d love to tell you about the best looking art supply storage I’ve come upon thus far:

In one home I saw a row of medium size galvanized buckets (similar to the ones pictured above) sitting happily in a row on a shelf. The buckets were maybe 7 or 8 inches tall, with handles, but no lids. The children of the home had done some quick and dirty decoupaging of the buckets with crepe paper, stickers, tissue papers, etc. Each one was bright and cute and random endearingly done by small hands. In the buckets went the art supplies.

The buckets actually made two rows. One row sitting on the shelf, and one row hanging above the sitting ones. The homeowner attached a wooden dowel to the shelf to make a hanging rod, then just slipped some s-hooks onto the rod and hung additional buckets using their handles.

The hanging buckets ideas is so clever — easily adaptable to a storage situation where cupboards or shelves are not available or feasible. Just hang a cute café curtain rod on a wall within your child’s reach and hang the buckets there.

Not into decoupaging? The buckets would also be cute as their unadorned matte silver selves. Or, you could get them predecorated. The picture above is from a company who manufactures fabric covered buckets.



For paper storage, you could install a wall-mount organizer next to the café rod.

That’s a start, Laurie. Now for the good stuff: Dear Design Mom Readers, how do you handle your art supplies?