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Getting Organised – Art & Craft Supplies

Getting Organised - Art and Craft

Over the years I have stored our art and craft supplies in many different ways.  We have progressed from having everything squashed into a large box, then onto sorting items into smaller boxes, jars and organising them onto shelving.  I much prefer to have everything on shelves as it is easier to see what we have and am more likely to use them.  It also makes it so much easier to set up and pack away activities.

When organising our art and craft supplies, I wanted to keep it simple and inexpensive.  I have recycled and reused baskets, containers, boxes and jars I have found from around the house.  When you start looking, it is amazing the things you will find that can be very useful to organise, store and tidy up art and craft supplies.

This book shelf is only part of what we have in our collection of art and craft supplies, we also have a play dough toolbox, paint box and recycled household items stored in our study which are used for activities.


To save space I have set up our craft shelf behind the kids play room door. It is out of the way and leaves more room for playing.

organising art and craft items

Tall Jars:  I store our pipe cleaners and straws in tall jars which are originally meant for spaghetti pasta.  I find this way of storing them takes up the less space than having them in another container or box.

Fabric Boxes: Our fabric boxes are really handy because they can be folded flat when not needed and stored in small spaces. Boxes are great to keep things tidy.  We store all our loose craft items such as balloons, paper plates, cellophane and tissue paper in these boxes.

Glass Jars: These jars are recycled empty coffee jars that I have collected slowly over the years.  What I really like about these jars is that they are transparent and you can automatically see what is in them.

Baskets:  Baskets come in different sizes, shapes and heights and are always a great way for storing craft items and keeping them neatly together in one place.  Baskets do not have a lid so this also allows for extra room for items without the issue on trying to compress a lid on top.

Plant Pots: These are great for storing some items standing up, such as glue sticks, rulers, scissors, pencils, crayons etc.  They are also easily accessible and kept neat and tidy this way.

Lunch boxes:  Containers with lids or unused lunch boxes are perfect for keeping craft items neatly stored altogether.

Washable Labels:  These labels are made from laminated coloured paper which I write on with a white board marker.  I list all our art and craft supplies on these labels that are stored on each shelf and what are inside the boxes.  This helps me to keep a record of what I have, anything new I have added or what I need to replace. As things change I can easily wipe away the labels and re-write on them with a white board marker.


list of art and craft supplies

This photo is just a snippet of some of the art and craft supplies we have stored on our book shelf.  On the very bottom shelf we store some kid’s games and toys such at the Wooden Hammer and Tac Set, puzzles, sight word cards, base ten blocks and dominoes.

Some craft supplies I absolutely love to have that are not listed in the picture are alphabet foam stickers, shape cookie cutters, paint containers, felt, dot stickers, alphabet and number stickers, coloured paper and card, PVC tape, threading beads, mosaic paper squares, large pop sticks, poly string, empty jars, magazines, balloons, hot glue gun, small and large paper plates, envelopes, glitter, crepe paper, cellophane, activity trays, fake flowers, bubble wrap, sponges, rubber bands, plastic cups and spoons, magnets and decorative cutting scissors.

Visit our Online Shop for Lots of Art and Craft Supplies


110 thoughts on “Getting Organised – Art & Craft Supplies”

  1. Clear contact. We use it all the time for easy mess free collages and other activities as an alternative to gluing. An easier option for my 18 month old.

  2. Stickers, stickers, anything that sticks! My 2 & 4yo can spend forever with a piece of paper & stickers & a little glitter to finish!

  3. Pipe cleaners – You can make so many weird and wacky items from then as well as use them as a picture wire or hanging up other items. You can get so many colours, textures and patterns the ideas are endless.

  4. we love pipe cleaners because even toddlers can play and the creations are endless! also handy if you can’t find a rubber band 😉

  5. Milk bottle caps because they have so many uses. We are going to build a car with cardboard and use them for wheels – can’t wait!

  6. I LOVE Cardboard boxes; big little whatever. My boys especially love when we create things, ovens, cars, rockets, robots, houses, dolls furniture for my nieces, knock ’em down clowns and then build them back up. Especially my youngest who is obsessed with tools he just loves to use his saw and drill to cut and bash the boxes. Decorated or not definitely, no matter the size – a must have.

  7. Can’t decide between paper plates and brown paper bags…both so versitile and can be turned into amazing creations. Last year was paper plate year…each fortnight I would put a paper plate activity in the mail to my grandsons..different ages so different levels of difficulty. I googled ‘Paper plate creations’ copied the chosen pictures…cut the shapes etc to complete the activity or just included the paper and bits and pieces and put it all in the post. They had some wonderful creations hanging around the house and friends who visited took ideas home.
    This year will be paper bag creations…a great way to be involved with grandchildren who do not live close enough to be hands on.

    1. Also looking forward to using some ideas from your site..thankyou….love the pipecleaner rainbow.
      I sometimes make up theme packs so I am sure this site will be a great help.

  8. Hi Janice, thank you so much for letting us into your playroom and seeing how organized you are! 🙂

    Unfortunately, I cannot WIN your giveaway as I am based in the Middle East…

  9. My new fav craft item would have to be pompoms! We have made so many things with them… And played so many games with them as well!! Love love!

  10. My 3 year old is learning how to use scissors so it is his new favourite thing, he loves making new “shapes” with coloured paper.

  11. My favourite is pipe cleaners. Can be made into so many things by any age (most popular is bangles and bracelets even by the boys), are non messy, if they are left lying around, they don’t hurt if you step on them and can even keep the kids entertained in the car or on the go.

  12. Our favorite thing to do with craft is getting paint and putting it into old roll on deoderant bottles. Such a great way for mr 2 to paint without the giant mess!

  13. This is an awesome giveaway Janice. My favourite art and craft supply is pipecleaners. I can’t believe how many we go through in this house. They seem humble but my kids can make the most extraordinary things from them. They also work well in combinations with boxes – making hinges for castle doors and flags for fairy houses.

  14. Glue – it is amazing what a 2 year old can stick together and create, it doesn’t even matter if it does’t hold together all that long 🙂

  15. Hi Janice,
    What a great pack, love to know the details if it is ‘off the shelf’.
    Have been looking to place an order to get a good mixed bag of crafty things.
    We love the foam sticky letters and animals.
    They’re so cheap and cheerful. They’ve helped my kids to learn letters, spacial awarness and they add interest to any craft activity.
    Congrats on a great site… I always watch your FB feed and think..yeah what a great idea!

  16. My favourite is paint. You can mix it, use so many different things as brushes, stick your fingers in it, glue things to paper with it, spray it, drip it, throw it. So many ways for children to express themselves.

  17. Tape, tape and more tape be it masking tape to cloth tape my kids love making all sorts of things from recycling bottles to turn into platypus toys (used masking tape over bottle, texta pens to colour in plus cardboard for the bill and plastic forks for the legs/feet) to turning cardboard boxes into big cubby houses outside then decorate it with stickers and more. Making their own wallets and purses out of cloth tape. It also happens to be handy when repairing toys that have just lost their leg – poor dinosaur after my son had finished fixing on his leg he had a massive bandage 🙂 Resistant tape painting is something my girls love to get messy with too.

    1. i am a new Family daycare educater and Googly eyes are something my littlies just cant dowithout from fish to our suns 🙂

    2. Can you tell us more about the ‘resistant tape painting’ please…? Sounds interesting. A hint for littlies who want to use tape but cannot cut it or tend to get it into a mess…or use the whole roll! I cut different lengths and put them around an icecream container..it is easy for them to use.

      1. Sometimes I actually set it up using the tape in their first name initial and they use water colour paints or acrylic paints to paint over the top (use painters tape or masking tape on a cardboard surface is easier for removal). Can also do shapes, numbers, lines, grids to get different effects or just cut different lengths as you do and let them go. I have been teaching my girls (both soon to be 5 and 3) to tear the masking tape to add some fine motor skill development, however my daughter who was born with Down Syndrome requires a lot of hand over hand assistance with this. I am hoping to try doing a tree with them to see how they will go. For littlies try the smaller width masking tape get them to pinch and tear across – maybe difficult though if their pinch grip is not as developed – just a thought. Can’t give you a hint on using the whole roll that’s exactly what my youngest does try to do – LOL I visit the cheapie stores alot for masking tape 🙂

  18. Janice, this would be a fabulous prize. Our fave craft item are paddle pop sticks as just about everything we mKe gets turned into a puppet, with a paddle pop stick 🙂

  19. My favourite craft item has to be the paper plate it can be used in so many ways to make so many wonderful things. Love your website & all the great ideas.

  20. Empty cardboard boxes – what can’t you make with a box? And there are so many designs and colours! I keep all my cereal boxes, cardboard rolls and jewellery boxes for my playgroup children 🙂

  21. This sounds like a fairly uninspired answer but I thought hard about what my children go for first, and what I love to buy for them and that is paper. Plain white paper, coloured paper, scrapbooking paper, graph paper, thick paper card, rice paper, tracing paper, wrapping paper, lined paper, recycled paper from bags of flour and sugar, brown paper, old computer paper (with the holes punched down the sides). We love it all and use it for so many things.

  22. My daughters love stickers, stickers and more stickers especially to make personalised cards. Coloured paper is also a must have. Thanks for all the great ideas on your site.

  23. Definitely paint. My kids love to paint anything and everything including paper, egg cartons, toilet rolls, themselves…

  24. Sticky tape and empty food boxes are a hit at our house at the moment. The boys love making their ‘inventions’.

  25. My kids love to paint, artists galore,
    Different colours, they simply adore,
    From hand paintings to buildings, people and cars,
    They love painting more than Mars bars,
    Best thing of all,
    The whole family can enjoy it all.

  26. My fave craft item is anything recycled. Although I do buy little craft packs to help with accessorise the recycled material, I believe we need to reduce, reuse, recycle where possible to help the environment.

  27. My daughter’s favourite thing at the moment is stickers!
    We are slowly growing our arts and crafts supplies and this pack would be perfect!
    Thanks so much for all you share on this page, gives me so many great ideas 🙂

  28. My 7 yo son loves pipe cleaners to make bracelets, legs for various insects, hangers etc for mobiles and general additions for his elaborate inventions. My 4 yo daughter prefers pop sticks to make things into puppets, legs for animals and insects or sticks them on paper as part of a collage. MY favourite would be junk mail magazines as I cut them up for the kids to make jigsaws and collages, but also use them as a learning tool, such as for grouping/categorising…plus I’m recycling! But you know, ALL craft materials rock!! We can spend hours making stuff together at the dining table. It’s one of our favourite things to do, creating our own thing side by side, learning while having fun together…thank you for your awesome ideas! and for reminding me to pull our craft box out tomorrow!!!!

  29. Ummm, I think our favourite craft material at the moment would have to be cardboard boxes, so versatile, all you need is scissors, tape and some paint and you can make anything!!

  30. A lot of my favourite things come from the garden, beach or when we go for a walk. Autumn brings out the best in nature. I look forward to making creations with my son with all the colourful leaves that we find

  31. We really like using natural materials such as leaves, pine cones, gum nuts, sheels etc and using them to make a multitude of arts and crafts…..glitter is also always close at hand 🙂

  32. My favourite Art/Craft supply is BUTTONS, I love their versatility (sooo many uses) and the range of colors, shape and sizes they come in. I currently have over 1000 buttons in my craft collection.

  33. kristie fitzgerald

    My favourite craft item is the pipe cleaner….not only can it be used for craft it is also so useful for fine motor tasks…which can develop numeracy and literacy concepts and it can be reused so it saves money and the environment too!

  34. I have so many favourites but the one that seems to get a big workout is googly eyes. My little girl absolutely loves sticking them to anything, especially to make a quick finger puppet, or a monster or anything even if it doesn’t need eyes 🙂

  35. I love paper! All the different patterns and textures (eg rice paper)! Some are just so beautiful I could stare at them for hours!

    But, for our 2yo, I love the glittery pom poms best. Nothing beats a bit of sparkle! 😉

  36. Our favourite art and craft item is stickers. They are so versatile and can be used to pretty up just about anything.

  37. My favorite at the moment is playdough .
    my little girl loves pretending to make cakes or cutting out cookie shapes.
    . when she runs out I simply make some more 🙂

  38. We love to use our recyclables. I.e cardboard boxes, toilet paper rolls, egg cartons. It’s amazing what a creative mind can turn them into.

  39. The favourite craft item here is stickers, stickers and more stickers, because they keep the kids occupied for ages and they can do so many things with them.

  40. At the moment it’s play dough for my daughter. She is really starting to use her imagination, so this is a great way to express things.

  41. Glitter shapes – I have thousands of them that I have collected over the years (sorted too) and it lets my little one create anything his imagination creates with that extra twinkle but without the smaller mess of glitter

  42. My boys quite often raid the recycling bin and make all sorts of things with its contents and sticky tape 🙂 So probably sticky tape at the moment!

  43. paddle pop sticks they can be used with playdough, collage, colour recognition, constructing shapes and other objects. The use for these using imagination is endless!

  44. too hard to think of just 1 favourite!!
    for my 6 year old its sticky tape and loads of paper
    for my 3 year old its stickers
    and for my 1 year old its stick paper aka clear contact

  45. Me and my 4yr old love paint. They are so versatile. We spend a lot of times just making plans on what to draw with them :). So creative, satisfying and fun!!!!

  46. boxes are a favorite in my house – when my boys see a pile of empty boxes their imaginations spin to life and it provided endless hours of entertainment and very low on cost. and also good for environment as we uses the boxes over and over again 🙂

  47. Stephanie Ingpen

    Fav art/craft supply- coloured foam squares, I think they are great for paint printing, bath time fun as when they are wet they cling to the tiles, letter, number and shape games… really the list is endless for what I use them for.

  48. What a great giveaway! We like pipecleaners here. So versatile, and when used with fabric scraps, make nice little dolls – 1 pipecleaner closes off the head and makes the arms. And reuseable! Little fingers find amusement in straightening them out again. Twice the win! 🙂

  49. We love recycled toilet rolls – we use them cut up for collages, to build structures such as boats or castles, to make little people and animals or cut or moulded into shapes to use them as stamps when painting. And best of all it is “free”!

  50. Samantha Kaminski

    What is your most favourite art or craft item and why?

    My fav. craft/art item would have to be plain old paper. There is so much that you can do with it to keep entertained. Fold it, rip it up, scrunch it up, and the obvious – draw, paint, write on it! you can recycle it and make new paper with it 🙂 its just awesome stuff!

  51. Plastic Bottle Tops! Why? Kids can use them for anything from wheels on their tissue box truck to the buttons of their teddy bear that they paint, or using them for the faces of the family that they create. Love craft!!

  52. Gotta love paint! It creates so many beautiful colours and many wonderful creations. Can had stuff added to it like glitter, sand, rice, leaves…… the list goes on and of course it is absolutely messy, messy, messy which the kids absolutely love!

  53. I have twins who turned 2 last week and their favourite art or craft item is contact. We regularly make signs for the little window beside our front door, Merry Christmas, etc. I use black cardboard & cut out shapes like dinosaurs and fish then cut the inside cardboard out to make an empty frame for them to fill with sequins, cello paper & feathers to make sun catchers for their bedroom windows. It is virtually mess free (for those long indoor rainy days) and no glue to fight over and try to eat. No fights, just fun.

  54. I would have to say sticky tape is the girls favorite craft item. It gets used on everything!!!!! Especially wrapping up everyday household items with their paintings/drawings of the day, for their dad when he gets home from work. Ahh the age of imagination.

  55. Our fav craft items at the moment are scissors and glue and magazines, right now my dining table is covered in everything.

  56. Play dough for my little tot
    He likes to play with it a lot
    Red and green and yellow and blue
    They’re his favourite colours too
    He really enjoys making a mess
    Squishing play dough is the best

  57. We love CARDBOARD BOXES – we paint them, sticker them, you name it!! Any kind of transport vehicle we are big fans of … little red wagons, fancy red fire engines with icy pole ladders and pipe cleaner hoses… (red’s also a favourite colour in our house so all things red too!!)

  58. Shaving cream is a favourite of ours in the kinder room! Mx it with paint for a puff paint effect or use it in a tray with edicole dye and mix the colours up!

  59. my kids all love paint balls. splatting and popping them all over the paper calls for all types of fun and excitment and MESS gotta love it!!!!!!!

  60. Pipe cleaners – everyone can make something wonderful with pipecleaners (adults too). My littlest love putting pipecleaners through the holes of our collander and pulling them through. Thanks for the chance.

  61. Glitter glue is the favourite craft items for both my boys (2 & 3). I think it’s great because they can use it independently inside with minimal mess.

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Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

Hi and welcome to Learning 4 Kids!

My name is Janice and I am an Early Childhood Teacher in Australia.

I have a strong passion and love for teaching and creating meaningful learning experiences for my students. What I love most is watching children discover in those amazing light bulb moments. I hope Learning4kids brings you some useful ideas.

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