Organizing Kiddie Crafts

michie1November 4, 2004

I currently have my daughter's crafts organized as followed. A large plastic drawer unti that has a deep drawere where all her play-doh is stored.

The middle drawer has paper for drawing, coloring books, constructin papper & a tupperware of crayons. This drawer isn't working too well & I thought about getting those magazine dividers to ocategories these paper items on top of the unit.

The top drawer is also overflowing with anything small & misc. - glue, containers or ziplock bags of pom pom, rhinestones, feathers, buttons, stickers, scissors, foamies.... I thought about getting a little compartmentalized plastic container or even those mini drawers made for nails & screw, but those compartments are often too small for many of the items,i.e bucket of foamies, feathers or buttons. I don't know what to do so that she can easily find things & we can easily cleean-up.

What have you done that works for you?

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One thing that works well here is those clear plastic shoe holders for hanging on the back of the door. I keep things like glue, scissors, pencils, erasers, flashlights, rulers, etc. in them. It is easy to see what is in each, and each section is small enough to hold just one category of thing. I have paper in a 3 drawer plastic case and markers in a plastic shoebox. Luckily, we are out of the playdough/paint/chalk/etc. stage - I never had a good solution for all that stuff!

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 11:55AM
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I think some of your instincts are good.

Here's what I got: two different-size three-drawer units. The drawers are SHALLOW--that's crucial.

And the markers go SIDEWAYS in the smallest drawers--they JUST fit, which means the top ones can't slide off the end of the bottom ones and get tilted up, thereby jamming the drawers, and taking up more room. That's the key to MARKERS--a space that's exactly as wide as they are all. I have been known to tape a strip of cardboard to the inside of the drawer (tape it to the sides of the drawer at both ends, both sides) to CREATE that space, and keep the markers fro sliding around..

I got the small one, which is perfect for markers, pens, etc. in the office-supplies section of Target.

I got the larger one at Bed Bed & Beyond. Sterilite makes one, too; Target sells them. And Iris makes two-drawer ones; those drawers are a tiny bit higher; office stores carry them, usually.

Iris makes one that has shallow drawers AND one deeper drawer--that would be good, so you can put the paint in the lower drawer, and the stamps, markers, scissors, etc., in the upper ones.

Don't forget to get those Rubbermaid or other drawer dividers--little boxes that help you make compartments. I put one in the front of one of those drawers, and it holds the scissors.

You also need to relax your standards on this a bit, I think. It's never gonna be perfect,a nd lovely, and right.

Here's what matters:
1) can she get to it? if you don' t want her to, store it up high; if you want her to be able to color without interrupting you, store it down low. But no matter WHERE you put it, store it in something that makes it easy for her to access the stuff. That's why a deep drawer of jumbled stuff doesn't work.

Those shallow drawers work well, bcs they come out, and can become the container while she's working, and corral the markers to keep them from falling on the floor, etc.. Don't fill 'em too full, or stuff will fall out on the floor when she's digging for the green.

2) will it keep stuff from falling all over? Don't try to set any of this sort of stuff on the shelf, as you already know.

Consider moving the playdough stuff away from the crafts stuff. Does she use them together? My kids don't. Maybe yours uses feathers and foamies w/ her playdough, but mine don't. So playdough goes somewhere else. That would free up your deep drawer to hold tubs of foamies, etc.

I like the idea for racks on the top; don't try to combine paper w/ other stuff. And drawers seem like a good idea for paper, but they aren't.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 7:25PM
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I love the idea of the over the door organizers, but I have only 2 back of doors I can hang it on, so I have to decide whether they are going to store videos, crafts or barbies. I'm not so sure the crafts is the best idea b/c then she has to walk over to the clsoet to take out everything she needs vs. having the drawer near where she's working.

I also like the idea of compartmentalizing the drawers, so I'll have to consider that once I can get rid of some in the drawers to begin with.

I agree about shallow vs. deep drawers.

While she doesn't play with playdough WITH her crafts, we do consider it a craft as well & the reason we bought that drawer unit was b/c I needed a deep drawer to store all the playdoh supplies, so that won't be going anywhere.

Keep the ideas coming.....


    Bookmark   November 4, 2004 at 9:25PM
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remember that you can cut those pockets down, and attach them to things OTHER than the drawer. You could glue or duct-tape them to the sides of the drawer unit, to the side of a bookcase, or to the back of a bookcase. You can hang them off the end of a bunk bed. You can staple-gun them to the back of a cabinet door.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2004 at 7:56PM
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I solved a good portion of this dilema too. The drawers were so packed so I added those clear plastic stacking boxes (in/out boxes) to the top of my large drawer unit. I have colored paper in 1, drawing paper in another, coloring books in another. The paper is easily accessible & the drawers are freed up for the rest of the crafts which are no longer overflowing. I tried to find those divider pieces to divide the inside of the drawers better but I haven't found them. I keep things in zipper bags if they have multiple pcs & crayons in a tupperware tub in the drawers. Also on top of the unit I keep 3 cups with wipe erase markers, regular markers & colored pencils. I wish I could think of a better way to do that but what I like about the cup method is that when she wants to play with them she grabs the cup & brings it to the table to use rather than grabbing a handful of markers or something out of the drawer.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 10:29AM
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that sounds great, Michie--and thanks for letting us know what you eventually came up with. I think those paper holders sound very smart.

I bought my custom drawer organizers at Target; it was a couple of years ago, so I don't know if they still carry them.

They're also at the Container Store. These things stick really well to plastic, and they're very easy to use. I *did* have to cut off the bottom corner, because the plastic box I put them in had rounded edges, but that was pretty easy; I just scored it w/ a utility knife and snapped it off.

Here is a link that might be useful: custom drawer organizers at the Container Store

    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 10:44AM
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Here is what I have done, and really ties into the novel I wrote earlier in your first post--

I have a craft box that is easily accessable right next to their small table and chairs. There is a nice area rug under their table and chairs that didn't cost too much. So they can do crafts all they want on there table area and I don't have to worry about my berber carpet getting ruined.

In this craft box is a small pencil box that holds markers and a small pencil box that holds crayons and pencils and scissors and glue. Then the rest of the box is scrap papers for cutting, glueing etc. We also have a small box that holds odds and ends like spare cotton balls, pompoms etc right there. That is it. It is plenty to create crafts and yet not enough to overwhelm them or make it difficult to pick things up when they are done.

Now, because I homeschool and because we do a lot of crafts as a family, I have a complete craft closet with other things in it. I have a box of craft kits for the kids for rainy day or babysitter nights. I have boxes of colored paper and boxes of crayons etc. But it fills a complete closet.

When we do a craft, all the odds and ends go in their craft box by their table. So their craft box is getting updated and new things constantly. But the stuff I have plans for stays nice in the craft closet that they don't touch unless we are doing something together.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2005 at 12:50PM
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