Home> How To Store Art & Craft Supplies

How to Store Art & Craft Supplies: Organize Your Creativity!

November 9, 2023

Learn the best ways to store and organize your art and craft supplies with our helpful guide. Maximize your creativity and keep everything neat and accessible!

How To Store Salt Dough Ornaments

How To Store Salt Dough Ornaments

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Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to efficiently store your art and craft supplies. This guide is crucial for professional artists, art students, hobbyists, and DIY enthusiasts as it will highlight the importance of proper storage and organization for art materials. In an artist’s world, every pen, brush, scrap of paper or fabric has potential, therefore, the management of these supplies is of great significance as it plays a crucial role in maintaining the quality of materials and fostering creativity.

Not only will this guide include important tips and techniques for an assortment of art & craft supplies but it will also introduce storage ideas that you can implement regardless of whether your art space is small or large, modest or opulent.

Key Takeaways:

  • Preserve your salt dough ornaments for years to come by following these steps: bake, cool, seal (optional), choose a suitable container, and add protective layers. Enjoy the process and cherish your creations!
  • Ensure the longevity of your salt dough ornaments with proper storage. From baking to labeling, each step plays a crucial role in maintaining their shape, durability, and sentimental value. Happy crafting and preserving!

Importance of Organized Storage

Organization is paramount in an artist’s world. Efficient art supply storage is much more than just a clean workspace; it can boost creativity, productivity, and even extend the lifespan of your art supplies. The benefits of organized storage are ample – you save time looking for supplies, have more free space to create, and ultimately, better results in your art projects.

A carefully categorized storage plan reduces the stress of dealing with a messy workspace and helps to keep your creative juices flowing. Moreover, controlled storage conditions can prevent damage and deterioration of your beloved art materials. This can include controlling light exposure, heat levels, and moisture, all of which can significantly impact the quality and lifespan of your supplies.

Understanding Various Art Materials and Supplies

Art supplies come in diverse types, each with its own set of storage requirements. From markers and paints to clay and beads, storing these materials correctly directly affects their performance and quality. For instance, the proper way to store markers is to keep them horizontal which ensures the ink is evenly distributed, thus, prolonging their life. Similarly, clay, a commonly used sculpting material, requires airtight storage to prevent it from drying out and cracking.

Understanding these diverse storage requirements is essential because just throwing all your supplies into a box or drawer can adversely affect their functionality and hinder your art endeavors. Incorrect storage methods also risk wastage of supplies, which can be particularly troubling if they are costly or hard to replace. Hence, understanding your supplies and their storage needs is an important first step in efficient storage and organization.

General Storage Guidelines

A successful storage solution for arts and crafts supplies faces a few essential prerequisites such as accessibility, space utilization, and protection against damage. You would want all your supplies within easy reach when creativity strikes. An organized storage space ensures that you spend less time searching for your supplies and more on creating beautiful art. Also, whether you have a sprawling studio or a compact corner, making the most of your space is key to an uncluttered and inspiring creative zone.

Protecting your tools and supplies from damage should also be a primary objective. It is critical to prevent water damage or other harm that could lead to the premature spoilage of your supplies. Simple practices, such as not storing craft supplies near open windows or damp areas, can help drastically to maintain their quality for a longer time.

Storage of Markers and Pens

Markers and pens are integral to most art forms and proper storage is key to extending their lives. The perfect strategy of storing pens and markers largely depends on how often you use them. Regularly used pens and markers can be stored within arm’s reach on your desk, either horizontally or point-down in a tidy organizer with dividers. This ensures the ink is always ready to flow when you need it. More importantly, always cap your markers when not in use to prevent drying out.

If stored correctly, pens and markers can last beyond their expected lifespan. As far as temperature is concerned, try not to expose your pens and markers to excess heat as it can cause them to dry out or leak. Many artists opt for unique storage solutions like pen racks or marker trays specifically designed to hold markers and pens.

Storage of Permanent and Alcohol Markers

Permanent and alcohol markers require special attention due to their alcohol-based ink. They should be stored horizontally to prevent ink separation. For artists who love coloring, copic markers are a popular choice, but again they require special storage measures, which Storables.com explains in detail here. Basically, storing these markers horizontally can help maintain their moisture level, ensuring they are ready for use whenever you need them.

Paint Storage Tips

The storage of paint heavily depends on its type. Many artists use both water-based and oil-based paints, each with unique storage requirements. Traditionally, water-based paints are typically stored in a cool, dry place to maintain their consistency and prevent mold growth. On the other hand, oil paints are less susceptible to temperature fluctuations and can be stored at room temperature. However, both types should be stored away from sunlight and in tightly sealed containers.

Oil paints have a longer shelf-life compared to water-based paints. When it comes to the maintenance of paint quality, decanting into smaller, air-tight containers as you use up the paint can help a lot. Lastly, safe disposal methods of acrylic paints are important to prevent environmental damage – never pour them down the drain. Instead, let the paint dry out in the open before disposing of it in the trash.

Storage of Brushes and Tools

Brushes and tools are among the pivotal accessories in arts and crafts. Their efficient storage can significantly affect their longevity and performance.

Before storing your brushes, ensure they are clean and dry. This not only prevents the growth of mold and mildew but also maintains the integrity of the bristles. Standing brushes horizontally or slightly tilted with bristles up in a jar or container can protect their shape. However, watercolor brushes, in particular, should be stored flat after use.

Long-term Storage Strategies

When it comes to storing brushes and tools that you won’t be using for a while, making sure they are properly cleaned and completely dry is even more important. Wrapping them in a dry cloth or using artist brush holders/cases are excellent methods for long-term storage.

Storing Glues and Adhesives

Whether it’s a complex craft model or a simple school project, glues and adhesives are indispensable. Yet, they can become unusable if not stored correctly.

The key to storing adhesives is keeping them sealed. This prevents them from drying out and becoming unusable. Most glue bottles come with cap seals which should always be screwed tightly after every use.

Storage Temperature and Humidity

Temperature plays a significant role in the lifespan of glues and adhesives. Heat can cause the adhesive properties of glue to weaken, while colder temperatures can cause it to thicken. Hence, it is recommended to store glues and adhesives at average room temperature. Additionally, high humidity levels can negatively impact the adhesiveness, hence a dry environment is preferable. Know the shelf life of different adhesives to use them optimally before they lose effectiveness.

Storage of Paper and Canvas

Paper and canvases provide the foundation for most artwork. Their storage requires extra care, because improperly stored paper can easily be damaged by humidity, pests, or simply by being crushed or torn.

Store your paper and canvases flat to avoid wrinkles and creases. Storing them in a portfolio or a dedicated storage box with a lid can protect against dust, light, and potential water damage. You can also use acid-free tissue paper to separate sheets while storing.

Moisture Control

To prevent damage from humidity and preserve the quality of your paper and canvases, consider using silica gel packets. They absorb moisture in the storage box, thereby providing an additional layer of protection. For large canvases or oversize paper, purpose-built racks or flat file cabinets can be a safe and space-efficient solution. For storing rolled papers or posters, use a sturdy tube lined with tissue paper to prevent creasing.

Storing Clay and Sculpture Materials

Storing clay and sculpture materials properly is essential to maintain their workability and prevent them from drying. The storage method can vary depending on the type of clay or sculpture material you are using. Some clay types like air-dry clay or polymer clay react differently based on their components. Here’s an article on how to store air-dry clay and how to store opened polymer clay for further reference.

Clays should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place. Always ensure that your clay is wrapped properly, preferably with a plastic wrap or placed in airtight containers to prevent it from drying out.

Proper Ventilation and Dust Protection

It’s important to store your clay in a properly ventilated area to prevent molding, especially if it’s water-based. A clay bar storage guide might be helpful too. Also, consider dust-protection. Sculpture materials, particularly clay, can attract dust easily. This dust can be difficult to remove and could affect the finishing of your sculptures. Therefore, keeping clay covered when not in use can save you a lot of cleaning effort later on.

Storage of Beads and Small Craft Supplies

Beads and small craft supplies can easily get lost or mixed up if not stored properly. The key to the efficient storage of these supplies is organization. Paramount is finding storage units that allow easy access without risking spillage or mix-up. Stackable containers, tackle boxes, or custom bead storage solutions are popular options. For more detailed tips, don’t miss this helpful article on how to store beads.

Organization Strategies and Prevention Against Loss

It’s crucial to have an organization strategy for your beads and small craft supplies. Categorize them by color, size, or type depending on your preference. Smaller containers within a larger storage box can prevent mixing and make retrieval easier. To prevent loss due to spillage, consider storage solutions with secure closures.

Fabric and Thread Storage

Storing fabric and threads properly can extend their lifespan and keep them in top condition for your projects. Whether it’s for sewing or other crafts, keeping these materials organized and protected from damage such as discoloration, mold, and pests is a must.

Each type of fabric has its own storage requirements. Some fabrics may need to be folded, while others are better rolled. Store fabrics in a cool, dry place away from sunlight since UV rays can cause fading. For storing threads, there are a plethora of storage options available, including thread boxes, spool racks, or DIY options. By the way, here’s a great read on how to store threads.

Thread Storage and Damage Prevention

For thread storage, use a dedicated storage system to prevent tangling and to easily see all your thread colors. Keep threads away from dust and direct sunlight to prevent fading and degradation of thread quality. Remember not to store thread in damp places as this can lead to mold and mildew formation.

Storing Stickers and Decorative Materials

Stickers and decorative materials are essential for crafting, and keeping them well-organized and preserved can enhance your overall creative output. Stickers and similar items should be stored flat in an airtight plastic bag or a dedicated sticker album. Keeping them cool and away from direct sunlight also helps in extending their lifespan and preserving the adhesiveness. Layering items can sometimes cause them to stick together, damage them or reduce the adhesive quality. To protect against this, sheets lined with wax, parchment paper, or release paper come handy.

Working with categorization and sorting of these materials is highly encouraged too. For instance, organize your stickers by theme, size, or color. Alphabetical order may also work particularly for large collections. On the other hand, decorative materials should be stored based on the frequency of use and material type. For instance, delicate materials such as dried flowers or intricate laser-cut pieces should be stored safely to avoid crushing or misshaping them.

Assorted Storage Box Options

The right storage box can significantly enhance organization and accessibility. For small collections, a plain box with dividers can work. For larger collections, stackable or tiered drawers or dedicated craft storage carts come handy. Transparent containers can offer the advantage of seeing the contents without opening each one.

Storing Crafting Machines and Bigger Tools

For crafting enthusiasts, storing bigger tools and machines properly is as important as organizing the smaller ones. These include sewing machines, die-cut machines, or larger cutting tools that require clever storage solutions due to their size and shape. Ideally, dust covers or dedicated storage bags should be utilized when these tools are not in use. For sewing machines specifically, a sewing machine bag or case is recommended to help protect and transport the machine conveniently.

Additionally, crafting machines should always be stored in a dry, cool, and safe place to elongate their durability and maintain their functionality. As is for any tool, regular maintenance such as cleaning and oiling should also be taken into record before storage.

Be Space-Efficient and Dust-Free

To be space-efficient, consider vertical storage strategies. There are numerous wall-mounted racks and magnetic boards that can hold tools safely while keeping them accessible. For heavyweight items, a sturdy shelf or cabinet would be ideal. Furthermore, one must always ensure to protect against dust, as it can greatly impair the functionality of the crafting machines. Regular cleaning before and after use is highly recommended and can also lengthen the life of the tools.

DIY Storage Ideas

While there are many ready-made storage solutions available, nothing beats the cost-effectiveness and customization level of DIY storage ideas. Implementing DIY solutions provides not only an affordable method but also the ability to create a storage system that perfectly suits your needs and preferences.

A key principle in DIY storage is the concept of ‘upcycling’ or pairing items you already have at home with a little creativity. For instance, unused mason jars can make great containers for brushes or pens. Likewise, wine racks can be converted to spool holders, and ice cube trays can be perfect for organizing beads or buttons. Cloth or shoe organizers can also be used to store a variety of craft supplies like scissors, tapes, glue sticks, and so on.

Budget-Friendly and Eco-Friendly

DIY solutions are not only budget-friendly but are also beneficial for the environment. Repurposing items that might otherwise be thrown away reduces waste and promotes sustainability. Moreover, building your storage solutions provides the opportunity to customize your space completely according to your crafting needs and personal style. This way, the creative space not only becomes functional but also inspiring.

Purchasing Storage Units

The choice of a storage unit entails careful consideration of several factors. In addition to your budget, you also need to consider the amount and type of supplies you want to store. The size and design of the storage unit should serve your needs and fit with your workspace aesthetics. Moreover, it’s crucial to assess the material and build of the storage unit for durability concerns.

Storables recommends opting for storage systems that offer flexibility and adaptability, so they can evolve along with your collection. The advantages and drawbacks of different storage units such as drawers, boxes, cabinets, racks and more must be weighed to best suit your needs. For instance, while cabinets may offer a lot of space, they could become a clutter trap without proper organization. On the other hand, containers or baskets could offer more structure, but might take up more room.

Factors to Consider When Buying Storage Containers

When purchasing storage containers, remember to check the material quality and whether they’re easy to clean or not. Some materials absorb odors, while others can cause your supplies to stick. Containers should ideally have a smooth interior with no ridges which can trap small items. Other considerations include the transparency of the container for easy viewing of contents, stackability for efficient use of space, and the securing mechanism (like snap lids) to prevent accidental spills.

Digital Solution for Artwork Storage

In our digital age, physically storing all our artwork is no longer essential. Artists now have the opportunity to store their creations digitally, which offers more protection and less physical space consumption. Scanning or photographing your artwork and storing these digital files can provide an additional layer of safety against loss, degradation, or damage. You could even consider turning some of your physical art and craft supplies into digital assets. For example, hand-drawn illustrations can be digitized and stored for future use.

There are numerous online storage platforms or cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud which can be used to store high-resolution images or digital copies of your artworks. These platforms not only provide ample storage but also easy accessibility from any device connected to the internet. That being said, it’s vital to organize this digital space to prevent chaos, just like in a physical work area.

Establishing a Backup Strategy

It’s also critical to have a backup strategy when storing artwork digitally. This means not only backing up your work to cloud storage but also considering an additional backup on an external hard drive or a reliable home server. This double safety layer can protect your artwork in the unfortunate event of a technical failure or accident. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it involves irreplaceable creative work.

Maintaining a Clean and Tidy Workspace

Maintaining a clean and orderly workspace is just as important as how we store our art & craft supplies. A well-maintained space enhances creativity and productivity, reducing distraction from clutter. Regular cleaning can prevent dust accumulation, which can otherwise degrade the quality of your art supplies. Involve a routine cleanup after each creative session and a more detailed one periodically. It’s also vital to create ‘homes’ for every item and ensure they’re rehoused properly after each use.

Safety practices in the workspace are another concern. For example, ensure sharp tools are stored safely, flammables are kept away from heat sources, and wire or strings are organized properly to prevent accidents.

Arrangement for Better Productivity

The way you arrange your workspace and materials can make a significant impact on your productivity. The placement of supplies should be based on frequency of use, with most commonly used supplies at arm’s reach. An effective technique is to organize your space into ‘zones’ dedicated to particular tasks. For instance, having distinct areas for painting, cutting, gluing etc can streamline your workflow. Equally important is to create an environment that uplifts your mood and stimulates your creativity.

After the salt dough ornaments have completely dried, store them in an airtight container or resealable plastic bag to prevent them from absorbing moisture and becoming soft. Adding a layer of parchment paper between each ornament can also help prevent them from sticking together.

Dealing with Old or Unused Supplies

Over time, art and craft supplies may accumulate, and managing them efficiently is crucial. It’s important to reassess your stored items periodically and deal with those that are either old, unused, or unlikely to be used in the future. Not only does this free up storage space, but it also keeps your collection optimally organized and accessible.

Storables suggests checking for signs indicating it’s time to dispose of old supplies – such as dried up paints, frayed brushes, discoloured markers, and any communally damaged materials. These items can hinder your artistic flow and thus, timely disposal is essential.

Recycling or Donating Options

Instead of simply throwing away unused supplies, consider greener alternatives like recycling or donating. Many art materials can be recycled, repurposed, or reused in various creative ways.

Donating your surplus supplies is another meaningful solution. Schools, charity organisations, local community centres, or other artists may gladly accept these items. Giving away unused supplies not only extends their life but also supports creativity in others.

Upgrading or Replacing Old Supplies

Disposing of old items also creates an opportunity to upgrade your collection. Spark your creativity with new tools or materials, replace broken or worn-out items, and stay updated with recent advancements in the art world. Remember to follow storage best practices with your new supplies to increase their life span and maintain their best quality.


Proper storage of art & craft supplies is more than just an organisational endeavour; it directly impacts an artist’s productivity, creativity, and the durability of the supplies themselves. This underscores the importance of careful storage planning, selection of suitable containers, prudent space management, creative reuse of household items, and agile adaptation of digital solutions.

Keeping the workspace tidy, maintaining cleanliness and safety, managing old or unused supplies responsibly, and regularly updating the storage strategies according to changing needs are paramount to ensuring a rewarding artistic experience.

In essence, efficiently organizing art supplies is an ongoing process, with room continually for learning, evolution, and improvement. As much a skill as art itself, it’s an instrument for artists to create their masterpiece with flair, joy, and ease.