Our New Craft Corner

posted by Andrea | 11/8/2013

craft corner

Over the past several months, it’s become very apparent that Nora LOVES doing crafts… well, at least toddler-appropriate crafts like ripping paper, coloring with crayons, and sticking stickers everywhere!

Since I’m not a naturally crafty person (outside of painting furniture and making digital photo albums) I don’t have a ton of craft supplies — but I have some.

Previously, my limited craft supplies were stored in a big basket on the top shelf above our office desk. It worked fine for the very few times each year I needed some sort of craft supply… but for the more every-day use Nora needed, it was becoming a real pain.

office shelves

So since our needs have changed, my organizational method also had to change — unless I wanted to climb up on a chair and hoist the craft basket up and down on a daily basis for the next few years!

Thankfully, we had a pretty simple solution.

You know that red hutch that we have in our kitchen? Well, it just so happened that the entire top drawer and the left lower cabinet were completely empty (we’ve since filled the top with our China dishes).

And since we usually do crafts at the kitchen table (Nora in her high chair), I decided this would be the perfect place for our new “craft corner”.

I loaded up the top drawer with stickers, stamps, buttons, glue, tape, paper punches, scissors, etc.

This drawer is hard to open so it will be a LONG time before Nora (or any future children) will be able to open this drawer on their own (insert evil laugh).

I used the tops of 2 shoe boxes for the stickers and stamps, and a small square basket for the tape, glue, and misc things. And there is still plenty of room for growth if we start to accumulate more crafting supplies.

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In the cabinet below the drawer, I have a box of crayons, a box of play-dough supplies, a box of ribbon, an accordion folder with colored paper, coloring books, and some “decorative edged” scissors tucked behind the ribbons.

Nora can’t open this cabinet either because it has a really strong magnetic closure — but for the most part, I don’t care if she accesses the crayons, play-dough, and paper on her own (she’s not coloring on the couch anymore!)

Again, I just used a few organizing tools I already had on hand — baby wipe containers for crayons and play-dough…

A small box for ribbon…

The TRIO accordion binder for our colored papers (no, I didn’t label each folder because I feel like it’s obvious what color is inside!)…

And I just stacked up the extra white paper and coloring books on the top shelf.

It’s definitely not anything fancy or “Pinterest worthy” but it’s working wonderfully for us to have all our crafty things in one place, right next to our kitchen table, and with a little room to grow.

Plus, it’s right next to our refrigerator so we can easily hang some of Nora’s (and my) creations on that wall!

I fully realize that as Nora grows and as we have more children, our craft supplies might grow — and if/when this current organization method stops working, I’ll come up with a new plan at that time.

But for now, this seems to be a perfect solution to our craft “problem”… and it took me a grand total of 45 minutes to implement (at 11:00pm!)

Nora is still loving her crafts, and I’m loving that I don’t need to climb up on my desk and hoist down that heavy basket EVERY day!

How do you organize your craft supplies?

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20 comments

  1. Organize 365

    11/08/2013

    Craft supplies are the number 1 item I get asked to organize. They can get out of hand quickly!

    I launched my new virtual organization service with organizing this clients craft room. She make rubber stamps for a living. :)

    http://organize365.com/craft-room-storage/

    :)
    Lisa

    [Reply]

  2. Jane

    11/08/2013

    That’s great! She might be ready for a lacing toy (It’s been a while for me, so I can’t remember when my kids enjoyed those.) We had some wooden ones and cardboard ones, too.

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  3. Sue

    11/08/2013

    So happy to see you are fostering Nora’s creativity! Well done!

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  4. Jen

    11/08/2013

    You are GOOD!!! I loathe loathe loathe Play-doh! It was a very occasional outside toy only in my house. (I know. I know. But all my children seemed to have survived without the Play-doh experience!)

    And, from the looks of that photo, Nora is a VERY talented little colorer! wink wink

    Happy Weekend!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    We only have a very small amount of Play-doh, and over the summer, we always did it out side too. We haven’t gotten it out since it’s been cold — maybe she’ll forget about it until spring :)

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  5. Theresa

    11/08/2013

    My boys have just gotten into making “artwork”. I don’t have the organization down yet, but I am so glad they are in this stage. I set up a kids card table by my computer desk. They usually occupy themselves for about 15 minutes at a time. This gives me little opportunities to study or finish some homework.

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  6. Suzanne

    11/08/2013

    Craft projects are TERRIFIC for kids! I love that they can be open-ended with no particular goal in mind, or have a goal of a particular final product. When I was expecting my 2nd child, I found an inexpensive purple tote box into which I secreted some new craft materials, “new” books, little treaures – all things my toddler could do independently or with very little supervision. It was a gift to the from the baby! She LOVED it, was always eager to get in there to find out what her sister “put in there”, etc. It was lovely, and used for many years. It was a wonderful way to give the older child some inexpensive fun things to do alone or with a bit of help from me, and the fact that it was “from” her baby sister thrilled her. :)

    [Reply]

  7. Katy

    11/08/2013

    I use the exact same wipe container for my kids’ crayons. And as an added bonus, my 19 month old loves to dump the crayons out and then put them back though the wipe opening on the top…a “non-toy” toy :) I also use an accordion style file folder for our paper, and my laminating supplies. My mom gave me some decorative nesting boxes that she wasn’t using, and since there were six, I used those to hold pom-poms, foam shapes, flash cards, small felt pieces, cookie cutters and popsicle sticks. They match our living room décor, and I arranged them on top of our entertainment center. That way they look great…and the babies can’t reach them…yet ;)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    I also love finding ways to integrate toys into our decor. We have a couple nice baskets that site on a shelf in our living room. They are tall enough that you can’t see the toys inside, but still easy enough for Nora to reach when she wants a toy!

    [Reply]

  8. Jennifer

    11/08/2013

    Hey Andrea,
    I have been a faithful follower of your blog for some time now and I have to say that one of the things I LOVE most about you and your blog is how you keep things realistic. By that I mean, I love Pinterest as much as anybody but It is just not in my budget or skill set to pull off some of those elaborate, wonderful projects. I love how you take what you have and make it work for you. And by the way, I do think your craft corner for Nora is Pinterest worthy because it is something ANYONE can do. I am not knocking Pinterest and I applaud those who can do those things but I need simple, doable, functional solutions and I appreciate your sharing all your great ideas!
    Jennifer

    [Reply]

    Luba Reply:

    Jennifer, I totally agree with you. Andrea, your house is clean, well-organized, and beautiful. I don’t have a Pinterest account have have browsed some people’s boards. The simple things are what catch my eye. When a small project looks like it would take many days and dollars, no thank you. There are plenty of other ways to spend and save that money. :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Luba — I agree, I’d rather spend my money on other things than expensive organizing containers and projects :)

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jennifer! I really appreciate your comment because that’s the main goal of my blog — to share tips, recipes, ideas, etc. that the average person with a super busy family/life can still do.

    [Reply]

  9. jezz

    11/08/2013

    Loved seeing your organizing tips with little ones in mind. Would you mind sharing how you made the craft with the black leaves, with the multi-colors swirling inside the leaf shapes? Thanks in advance!

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    Debbie Reply:

    I agree! Very cute! :)

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    Andrea Reply:

    They are “scratch off” leaves. I have no idea where they come from (we got them from a craft/music class we went to) but they are super fun — especially for mom! I’m sure you can look for them at most craft stores.

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  10. Heather

    11/08/2013

    Where do you get your red furniture paint? What is the name of it?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    All our paint is Behr from Home Depot. You can see all my favorite colors (including the red) in this post :)

    [Reply]

  11. Trista

    11/10/2013

    Andrea I was so happy to see the Play-doh! I am a teacher with a degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education and play-doh is an excellent way to develop their hand strength and fine motor skills. I was also so happy to see crayons – a terrific way for her to work on her grip for handwriting later. So many parents are afraid of “the mess” and don’t realize they are missing a great opportunity to develop so many important skills at a young age. From birth to age three is such a critical time of development and the neural connections that they are making during this period is amazing. It is very apparent that being connected with your daughter and engaging with her is a huge part of your relationship. I love your blog and have been reading it for over a year now – keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Trista :)

    [Reply]

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