Do you need a simple way to store art supplies while also encouraging creativity and independence? Today I am organizing a mobile art station that’s perfect for small spaces and gives all those art supplies a proper home.
If your kids are anything like mine, they probably love to get out ALL the art supplies in order to cut, glue and tape their way to a creative masterpiece. I totally get it. What could be better than dumping everything out so you can SEE what you have? But then come clean up time and all of a sudden no one wants to put away the 50 googly eyes spread over the table or the markers that have rolled all over the floor…
The problem is, kids love art supplies. LOTS of supplies! And we parents have to find a place to store all these supplies that allow for easy access and easy cleanup.
While in an ideal world I’d love to have a craft room where we could really spread out and create, that’s not the reality in our small home. Our dining table works extra hard as a place to eat, work on the computer, do school work, draw, craft, and more. Since it’s constantly in use, we need to be able to set up and break down projects pretty quickly.
In a small space, it’s hard to find places to store craft supplies. I’ve used clear bins in cabinets, stacking drawers in the pantry, and boxes in the garage. The problem is the supplies tend to creep. One box of crayons turns into four, two coloring books into ten and suddenly you have a mountain of papers, pipe cleaners, and glue sticks all over the house.
However, I think I’ve finally found a solution that works for our family.
An art cart!
I’m sure you’ve seen these multifunctional carts everywhere, holding everything from dishes to home office supplies to diapers. These things are sturdy, spacious, and on wheels! What could be better?! I’ve eyed these carts forever, but hadn’t figured out exactly what I’d store in mine…until now!
The pandemic finally pushed me over the edge and I ordered this utility cart from Target. I was giddy with excitement and when it arrived I couldn’t wait to tear into the box. My 6-year-old mini engineer helped me assemble in just a few minutes while the 2-year-old napped. When he went in to do quiet time, I was able to sort through our art supplies and get the cart set up.
The first thing I did was gather all the art supplies I could find from our house. I spread everything out in front of me and started the organizational process. First, I grouped all like items together. Paint with paint, markers with markers, glue with glue.
I tested all the makers and threw away anything that was dried up. Same with paint, play dough, and crayons. I couldn’t believe how many broken crayons we had! And how many of our coloring books were nearly filled.
I then gathered some unused organizational containers from around my house and repurposed them to hold the various supplies. One container for markers, one container for brushes, one container for scissors, etc.
I found a new home for anything I didn’t want to keep in the cart. For example, I put permanent paint and some other supplies that require supervision in a plastic storage bin in the garage.
I love that both kids can find what they need and easily return items to a ‘home’ The cart is mobile and can be rolled around the house when we want to create (but also tuck it under the counter when we are finished). Even better, I’ve reclaimed space in my pantry for FOOD, instead of boxes and boxes of art supplies, which feels like a major win.
These carts are awesome and can be used in so many ways! I can see us repurposing ours over the years as the kids outgrow the need for constant access to art supplies.
I know I’m late to the game with the rolling cart, so if you already have one, let me know how you use it. I can’t wait to be inspired!