How to Organize Art Supplies

Having a space to be creative and express yourself through art can be therapeutic, but how do you keep it all organized? Learn how to organize art supplies with DIY options and much more.

Colored pencils, paint, paintbrushes, and markers on a table.

When not well-organized, art supplies can quickly become out of hand. Here’s how to organize art supplies in any space so you can express yourself artistically. 

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Create an Art Zone

Art supplies stored on a shelf.

To start, choose a space in your home for your supplies. This can be as large as an entire room or as small as a single corner. Get innovative with the space you have. Here are some ideas of places in the home that work well for art supplies:

  • Unused dining room
  • Corner of the home office or bedroom
  • An unused hutch or buffet
  • Spare rooms
  • Finished area of the basement
  • Empty kitchen cabinets

Organizing Your Artist’s Space

Once you have a designated art space, it’s time to start organizing. Let’s look at some helpful ideas for storing and organizing your supplies.

Baskets and Bins

Baskets and bins are handy for mixing storage with aesthetics. Choose attractive containers to keep supplies organized while maintaining a nice-looking room. Wicker baskets go with any style and easily hide paintbrushes, paints, and more

Various plastic storage containers for art supplies.

Storage bins can be placed on shelves or set in the corner of a room. Storage bins are a great option, whether you choose decorative bins to keep your supplies hidden from view or clear plastic bins to make it easy to see what’s in the container. 

Utility Tote Bag

A utility tote bag has several compartments to hold lots of supplies. It is a great way to organize your art accessories since it has small, medium, and large compartments. Take your art studio mobile and make your art supplies accessible wherever you go. 

Mason Jars

Mason jar filled with colored pencils.

Mason jars are stylish and effective organizing solutions for arts and crafts items. Their old-world charm creates the perfect atmosphere for your inner artist. Use mason jars to store beads, paint brushes, colored pencils, markers, scissors and so much more.

Ziplock Baggies

Gallon, quart, and sandwich bags aren’t just for the kitchen but also excellent for storing small items. As a bonus, storage bags are an inexpensive solution. Use plastic baggies for the following items:

  • Paints sorted by color
  • Paintbrushes
  • Yarn and thread
  • Markers and crayons
  • Ribbon
  • Beads and buttons
  • Clay and soft dough

Food Storage Containers

Food safe storage containers with lids.

Food storage containers come in many sizes, have lids, and are clear, making them the ideal storage solution for art supplies. The larger containers work well for rulers, scissors, watercolors, and colored pencils

Hanging Containers

Hanging containers come in various shapes and sizes, so you can choose what works best. Some favorites are woven hanging baskets, metal hanging baskets, and closet hanging storage

Pill Organizing Boxes

Sometimes, the tiniest supplies are tough to store. You don’t want to lose them, and you also want to prevent smaller supplies from getting mixed up with other supplies. Pill boxes are the answer for storing items such as beads and other little embellishments

Art Supply Caddy

Scissors in a red art supply caddy.

Are you wondering how to organize art supplies and other small items that tend to get lost or broken? An art caddy is a great solution. It has several small, divided compartments and handles that make it easy to carry supplies from one area to another. 

Storage Shelving, Cabinets, and Carts

Shelving, cabinets, and carts are excellent solutions for any small space. They come in numerous sizes and styles, including the following:

Floating Shelves

Get the clutter off the floor by using floating shelves for organizing. Utilize storage bins, jars, metal cans, and baskets on the floating shelf and fill them with items. 

Bookshelves

how to organize art supplies.

Bookshelves are a favorite solution when you have a multi-use room. For example, if storing your art supplies in the living room, you can use attractive bookshelves, add some baskets for art supplies, and you’ve got an art storage solution that doesn’t affect the style of the living area. 

Heavy Duty Storage Shelves

Metal storage shelves are commonly found in basements and garages to help keep them organized. However, they work perfectly for storage anywhere. Heavy-duty storage shelves require some space but vary in size, so you can customize them according to what works in your home. Add the following to your storage shelves for art supplies:

  • Add baskets and bins filled with supplies.
  • Use galvanized buckets to hold supplies.
  • Set large items like sticker makers, canvases, and paper cutters directly on the shelves. 
  • Keep stacks of paper ready to grab on your storage shelves. 

Pegboard

Ribbon hanging from a rack on pegboard.

Pegboards are one of the most overlooked storage solutions. To customize the pegboard, add small shelves or metal bins for even more storage options. Here are some ideas for pegboard art supply storage:

  • Scissors
  • Ribbon
  • String
  • Small buckets to hold paintbrushes, pencils, and more.
  • Aprons 

Art Storage Cabinets

Storage cabinets are a great way to tuck all your art supplies away and keep a space looking tidy. You can choose any cabinet that fits your space and budget.

Hardware Storage Cabinet

A hardware storage cabinet is fantastic for beads, embellishments, stickers, glue sticks, or tubes of oil paint. It sits on a table or shelf with multiple drawers for easy labeling and storage

Table or Island

A table or an island can quickly solve art supply storage. A rolling island can move from room to room if necessary and hold plenty of supplies. 

Mother and daughter doing art at a table.

Tables come in all shapes and sizes, and you may be able to squeeze one in the corner of a room to hold art supplies

A Rolling Cart or Bar Cart

Rolling carts are popular for extra storage in bathrooms and kitchens; however, they work well for art studios. Add some jars and containers, and you’ve got a mobile art supply station, or purchase a rolling cart with drawers that makes organizing a cinch. 

Paint Racks

A paint rack is just as it sounds. It organizes your many paints by color or medium. Some also leave space for other tools, such as paintbrushes. Choose a wall-mounted paint rack to save surface space, or use a tabletop paint rack. 

How to Organize Kids’ Art Supplies

Organization for kids’ art supplies may look slightly different than organizing your own. Kids need organizational ideas that help them clean up quickly and effectively to make it clear where everything goes. Here are the best storage solutions for kids:

Toolboxes

Toolboxes have plenty of compartments, making them perfect for storing art supplies. You can buy one designed with kids in mind that is lightweight and colorful, but a regular toolbox works just as well.

Lazy Susan

A lazy Susan isn’t only for kitchens. Set a lazy Susan filled with containers of markers, crayons, and colored pencils, and let your kids create while they play. 

Cubby System

Art supplies organized a cube organizer with storage baskets and bins.

A cubby system is excellent for children’s items, especially art supplies. The cubbies make it easy to clean up, and you can label them to make clean-up time even quicker

Drawer Organizers

The organizers you use to tidy your kitchen drawers can be used anywhere for art tools. Place drawer organizers on your art table, in a cabinet, or in an extra drawer for supplies. They easily hold drawing tools, paints, scissors, glue, and more.

Flowerpots

Kids painting pots with art supplies.

Stack flowerpots inside each other, place them on shelves, inside bins, on a revolving tray, or right on the table to store tubes of acrylic paints, paintbrushes, coloring utensils, scissors, and more.

Art Canvas Storage Ideas

Canvases are sometimes the toughest part of art storage. Whether large or small, they require a safe place where they won’t be damaged. The best solution is an art storage rack designed to hold canvases. The racks can sit in a corner or lean against a wall, or you can try a rolling rack for easy maneuvering

How to Stay Organized

After choosing the best art supply storage solutions, it’s critical to label as much as possible so things go back to the right place. Even with the best intentions, it’s easy to become disorganized again. 

Using these tips for storing art supplies, you’ll keep your art materials organized so you always know what you have. 


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Anika Gandhi is on a mission to declutter and organize all the things around her and is here to inspire and encourage you to do the same!

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