It can be overwhelming to keep kids art supplies organized. And not having easy access to them can also add to the time constraints for prep and set-up. I’m sharing my art cart method for kids craft storage. It’s the easiest way to store kids art supplies that allows for ease of access, organization and creativity!
RELATED: Craft ideas for kids
Why You Need an Art Cart for Kids Craft Storage
I’ve been doing crafts and activities with my kids for almost 6 years. It wasn’t until this past fall that I purchased an art cart that everything changed.
Previously to having the art cart, I used to store most of my supplies in smaller storage containers. But the problem was that they were everywhere! I had some in our basement, some in the office and some upstairs. I also didn’t have all of the kids supplies separated out from the supplies I used.
It felt overwhelming every time I needed to find supplies to do a project. Where did I leave that? Which ones are good for the kids to use? I don’t have time to find it right now, dinner needs to be made. I’m sure you can relate to these feelings.
When new subscribers sign up for our 5 day craft challenge (which you can join at the bottom of this post!), I ask them what they’re biggest struggle is. Two of the most frequent responses I receive to this question is – time and not having the right supplies.
We’re all time strapped after school or even just trying to make it to nap time. But we also can’t create if we don’t have the right supplies on hand either. Taking away these 2 struggles has made a world of a difference in the amount of crafting and activities we do in our house now. But not only that – my kids are independently creating on their own!
The art cart is for them. Anything on it they can help themselves to and create what they’d like. The first day I set it up my son made a pipe cleaner alphabet. The next day he made airplanes and fans from my book. It’s been amazing to watch how excited they are to create using things they have accessible to them now.
Why an Art Cart and Not a Plastic Container Storage Unit
There are quite a few benefits of using an art cart over the plastic container storage units:
- Portability – the art cart has wheels! Wheel it beside your table or out of your way when needed
- Accessibility – everything is open and easy to access for little hands
- View-ability – out of sight is sometimes out of mind. Tuck your supplies into a container and you may not see them. Having everything out and visible can help kids think about what supply they might want to use. Particularly easy access to the markers, pencil crayons, scissors and glue has allowed for so much more creative art being made in our house.
What Age is This Appropriate For?
At the time of setting this up, my kids were 5 (almost 6) and 3. The 5 year old uses it the most and will independently create from the items on the cart. The 3 year old will grab things she knows she can use – like the kid safe scissors, markers and stickers. The paint is out for our convenience but they need help using the paint so we do that together.
If you have younger kids you can tailor the items on the cart for their age. For example, for a toddler I would include things like stickers, sticker books, mess free coloring books, stamp sets, kid safe scissors, paper and glue sticks. Instead of paint you can have Washable Dot Markers or washable Paint Sticks. For coloring washable crayons and markers are great too. As your child gets older you can start to introduce new materials that are age appropriate.
Where Can I Buy an Art Cart?
The art cart we have is from Ikea. You can see it here.
Amazon also has a very similar option by JustRoomy, however the size is slightly smaller.
Craft stores like Michaels, Joanns also carry different options for metal carts like these as well.
Kids Craft Storage Ideas
Here is what we have on our kids art cart.
You can change what you have on yours! I tried to put some of the supplies I find we use most often. Swap out anything you might use more often.
Alter based on age too. For example, if you have a younger toddler you’d want more finger paints and toddler-friendly supplies (no buttons, pom poms etc).
Top Art Cart Storage
The top of our cart are some of our most used items:
- My Book – Fun and Easy Crafting with Recycled Materials
- Acrylic Paint – we like the larger bottles of Craft Smart paint. Larger bottles will last longer and are more economical
- Pencil Crayons
- Glue – glue sticks and extra-strong craft glue
- Paint brushes
I also have a small caddy I found in the kids art section at Michaels. We like this because it keeps the elements organized on the top. We can also easily lift it off the top of the cart and have it on a table.
I also have plastic mason jars I got from Michaels to store the paint brushes, pencil crayons and our markers. These are light and easy for the kids to take out and use as well.
Middle Art Cart Storage
The middle of our cart has art supply items:
- Pipe Cleaners
- Pom Poms
- Googly Eyes
- Popsicle Sticks
- Cotton Balls
One of the keys to keeping your art cart organized is having a place for everything to go that is organized by supply item. Open containers or closed sealed containers work perfectly for placing smaller supplies in like pom poms, googly eyes and pipe cleaners.
All of the containers you see here we found at Michaels. They have a home organization section. Another great place to look for these types of items could be on Amazon or a home organization store. Think about what items are better to have a lid (like googly eyes, buttons etc). We kept our pom poms in an open container since we use them often but these would also work well in a lid jar because of all the small pieces.
Little jar containers are great for buttons, gems, sequins, beads, stickers and other smaller items.
Bottom Art Cart Storage
The bottom shelf we have items we use less often:
- Glue dots
- Glue gun (mini version which is easier for kids to use)
- Paint Sticks
- Crayons (my kids prefer to mostly color with markers now)
- Small Clothespins
- Colored Tape
- Mini Cupcake Liners
- Jar containers with gems, wooden circles, star stickers, and beads
A book of craft ideas can also be an excellent item to keep on your cart. Kids will take the book out and flip through to find a craft they want to do on their own. Make sure to have the majority of supplies on hand in your cart so they can independently create the craft too!
My recycled kids craft book uses recycled materials you can save up along with a few other simple supplies that are mostly included on our art cart.
After crafting for almost 6 years with my kids, this is by far my favorite kids craft storage idea. I hope you have fun creating and enjoying your very own art cart!