25 Tips for Managing Homeschool Art Supplies
- Keep like things together.
- Store items in square and rectangular boxes. It’s more efficient than round containers.
- Label storage container so you’ll know what’s in them without pulling them out.
- Store items near where you do your work.
- Clean materials after every use.
- Keep wet wipes handy.
- Work on art projects near sink or water source for easy clean up.
- Cover tables with newspaper for messier projects. Discard in trash when finished.
- Use Canvas Drop Clothes when using clay or painting. Throw in washing machine after use.
- Store loose works of art in portfolios.
- Wear smocks and aprons to protect clothing.
- Use a pencil sharpener as often as needed. I mean a good one.
- Throw out dried out, used up, and broken art supplies monthly. I’m talking about brushes, markers, and things that can no longer be used -period.
- Buy one new art material each quarter to replace old things used up or ruined.
- Wash paint and craft brushes in warm soapy water immediately after use. You really shouldn’t soak them. Dry by blotting with wet cloth. Reshape the brush to a point. Allow to dry completely before storing again.
- Be sure lids get back on glue, markers and paint and are completely closed and sealed after each use so they don’t dry out.
- Have a box for paper scraps that be used for future projects. Again, label so you’ll know where to find it when you need it.
- A Paper Cutter is a valuable tool for anyone doing multiple art projects. Keep it out of reach and lock after every use!
- Use Craft Organizers with dividers for storing and using your drawing pencils, charcoals, pastels, or pens or whatever medium you use most. I most often use my pencils and charcoals, so my box is mostly filled with pencils, erasers, charcoals of various types and grayscale pastels.
- Art Books. They are wonderful and can be used for instruction. Determine a place solely for keeping good art books.
- Store paper, foam, felt, and other rectangular items in rectangular boxes. This is at first an investment but is so worth it. They store so much better, stay organized, and are not falling out loose everywhere.
- Use sketchbooks or journals. Keep them in the same spot so your child can access them. Work on habits with your child of dating, signing, and keeping their work. I had to really stress this with my kids because they wanted to tear pages out. I finally got them to leave their works, even it they were not completely happy with them. This serves two purposes- as a record so they can see their progress as they develop skills and also as a beautiful keepsake for you.
- Store pencils and felt tip permanent pens in small boxes. I prefer boxes to zipper bags because I think pencils break less.
- Don’t spend money on paint cups and palettes. Wash and reuse yogurt cups, styrofoam trays ( fruit and veggie packaged only), paper plates, etc. These save money, store easily, and can be thrown away after use. This saves time with clean up.
- Save “bits and pieces” for crafty ideas and multimedia projects. These can go in craft boxes or small jars where they can be accessed easily and seen.
Should I keep broken pastels, charcoal, colored pencils etc.?
Yes, as long as you can still grip them well for use. To some degree these will be messy even if they are well cherished. It’s a good thing because it means they are being used. I like to think of my charcoals and drawing pencils as if they are an old pair of jeans. A bit tattered but they are comfortable and I’ve had success with them. I always put them back after use so that the next time my child and I feel inspired, we can break them out and use them! The only thing I don’t keep in this category that is broken are crayons. I guess it’s a pet peeve. But really I don’t actually throw them. They get demoted to a craft box for melting and doing other colored wax projects, I wouldn’t want to use my good crayons for those.
For specifics on How I Organize My Art Supplies in a tiny area, hop over and check out my recent post on Hip Homeschool Moms.