I’ve hesitated to write this post because our art closet is… well… ugly.
But, I’ve decided to give you this photo tour anyway. It’s a late addition to the Tour of Our Homeschool series.
Picture-perfect art rooms are often more discouraging for me than inspiring. I walk away feeling like I could never make it all so organized and matching and beautiful, and I give up before even trying.
So, because it’s not Pinterest-worthy, I’m hoping the pictures of our homely art closet will show you that working art into your homeschool is totally doable. You don’t need to wait until you’ve built a dedicated She-Shed or made adorable, color-coordinated mason jar labels to get started.
Any little corner or extra drawer or cabinet works to organize art supplies for your homeschool. Here’s how we store ours:
Homeschool Art Closet Tour
Before our big kitchen renovation, this under-stair closet used to be our pantry. Once the peanut butter and spaghetti noodles were relocated, I realized the existing shelving would be perfect for our growing collection of art supplies.
The following pictures (and somewhat random commentary) will give you a more detailed look inside.
The Upper Shelves
- Paint, Glitter & Sequins – I learned early on to store these up as high as possible.
- Liquid Watercolors – These are so much more vibrant than regular watercolor paints. We love them!
- Brushes of All Kinds – I feel like we can never have too many brushes when we’re painting.
- Palettes for Everyone – Sharing is a good thing… usually. But my kids really each need their own palette when they’re painting together. The last thing I need is them fighting with paint-soaked brushes in their hands!
- Paint of Varying Quality Levels – Sometimes your middle schooler needs high quality acrylics for a co-op art project. Other times your preschooler just wants to smear something somewhere. High quality supplies are nice, but it’s also good to have some lower-cost options on hand.
CheapCreative Storage Solutions – Parmesan cheese containers, for example, are some of the best recycled storage containers ever! They’re perfect for confetti-sized materials.
- Mismatched 1970’s Wallpaper – This part is optional.
The Middle Shelves
- Fancy Paper – I keep more expensive paper like cardstock, colored printer paper, and watercolor paper separated from our cheap copy paper (more about that in a minute).
- Homemade Paper – Here’s where we store our stash of homemade paper. It’s great for making greeting cards or backgrounds for other projects.
- Beads & Baubles – I’m not sure what “baubles” are, but they sounded good with “beads.” And the orange shoebox is home to a mix of ribbons and string.
- Various Small Things – The section with the matching plastic containers was my attempt at making this closet less mismatched. I’m not sure that really worked. In any case, they do stack well and see-through plastic means there’s no need for labels. We have Washi tape, buttons, glass beads, bells, rubber bands, googly eyes, cork scraps, wood scraps, shells, dried beans, popsicle sticks and more.
- Pom-Poms – Yes, the preschooler can reach and dump these (and does so regularly), but they’re much easier to cleanup than sequins, so I’m okay with them on a low shelf. They’re actually great PreK learning tools. My daughter makes giant letters out of them, counts and sorts them by size and/or color, fills muffin tins with them, and (of course) throws them at siblings.
- Canvases & Boards – We save these for our fancier paintings.
- PreK Craft Kits – These Alex art kit activities are fun to mix in from time to time.
- Extra Writing Utensils – Pens, markers, colored pencils, highlighters – it’s like a mini Office Max on this shelf. Yet, somehow I still can’t find a pen when I need one.
- Foam Stickers & Pipe Cleaners – These belong in every homeschool parents’ toolbox (at least those with preschoolers). Give my four-year-old a handful of pipe cleaners and a colander and she’ll be immersed for at least eight – maybe even ten – minutes! (Every little bit helps, right?)
The Bottom Shelves
- Not-So-Fancy Paper – I keep inexpensive copy paper, spiral notebooks, notepads, etc. within reach so my kids can get to them whenever they need to. I also store graph paper, construction paper, cardboard and looseleaf paper in the file bin on the floor.
- Naked Crayons & Crayon Rubbing Supplies – Maybe it’s just my kids, but they’ve all gone through a “peel-the-labels-off-crayons” phase. Thankfully, the naked crayons are still great for using with crayon texture plates. Broken ones can be melted down into new crayons.
- Box o’ Stickers – My older boys have outgrown these but my preschooler can’t get enough stickers. They might even occupy her longer than the pipe cleaners do!
- Colored Felt – The 8×10 felt rectangles in this bin have been useful for quite a few different activities and projects over the years. Most recently, they were safe landing spots in an exciting game of “The Floor is Lava.”
- Rimmed Cookie Sheets – These have been a must-have item for us. Anytime we’re using glitter, sequins, beads, clay, sand, or other messy craft supply, I have my kids work on these trays to help contain the mess.
A homeschool art supply closet or cabinet doesn’t have to be pretty. After all, who’s going to see it? (Unless, of course, you take pictures of it and put it on your blog)
Just find a system that works for you. The key is to store your art supplies so you and your kids can find them when you need them.
I have to keep reminding myself to spend less time organizing my stuff and more time actually making art with my kids. After all, it won’t matter how you organize your supplies if you never use them!
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