35 Easy Ways to Organize Your Art Supplies

Paintbrushes in a cloth pouch

Cavan Images / Getty Images

Whether you want to organize your kids' art supplies in the playroom or oil paints and brushes in your art studio, we have compiled 35 simple and easy storage ideas. From an inexpensive tiered rolling cart you can easily move to where your easel and canvas are positioned to plastic storage bins with cute labels—these clever ideas will help you gain inspiration for how to neatly store and organize your own art supplies.

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    Plastic Bins With Labels

    Art supplies in clear plastic bins with labels on them

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Organize arts and crafts supplies in plastic bins like @nycneat_louisa did in this small closet. Create categories such as paintbrushes, markers, oil paints, or pencils, and place each group of items in one of the lidded bins. Using clear plastic bins makes everything visible and easy to spot and the labels add a practical touch as well as a nice, uniform look.

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    Hanging Metal Containers

    Art supplies in hanging metal canisters

    Roongsak Yodquian / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Hang a rod with metal containers to keep art supplies used on a regular basis on hand. If used in a kids' playroom, divide supplies by types—such as brushes or pencils, or designate one or two containers for each child and label each container accordingly.

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    Floating Shelves

    art supplies in glass canisters and bins on floating shelves

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    These floating shelves from one of @nycneat_louisa's projects are a great example of how to neatly and easily organize art supplies and keep them on display. Use glass canisters with lids for small supplies and larger, identical metal storage bins to hold paper, notebooks, and bulkier items.

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    Peg Board

    Washi tape and various art supplies on a peg board

    MirageC / Getty Images

    For art supplies that can be hung, create a pegboard wall that can serve both a decorative and a practical purpose. Hang scissors, tape, or ribbon and attach small shelves to hold small organizers for brushes, pencils, and markers.

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    Organized Drawers

    Art supplies in drawers

    NEAT by meg

    These drawers organized by NEAT by meg hold lots of art supplies all divided by type. The first drawer contains markers, crayons, and pencils, the second drawer holds paint supplies, and the third drawer holds miscellaneous items used for crafting. Clear containers are used as dividers to keep items from getting mixed up and to make cleanup easy since all the art supplies have a designated spot.

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    Drawer Dividers

    Drawer filled with markers, scissors and other supplies

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    This drawer from @afreshspace takes drawer organization to the next level—use dividers such as these wood ones to hold smaller art supplies, craft tools, and office items. They're easy to clean and a good way to keep an organizational system in place.

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    Metal Cans

    Different sized brushes in tin cans

    Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

    For anyone who owns lots of paintbrushes, an easy and inexpensive way to store them is by using metal cans. Divide brushes into cans by size or type, then store them on a shelf, window sill, or art table. It's also an easy way to reuse cans instead of throwing them out.

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    Decorative Tray

    Art supplies organized in a tray on a table

    Finding Lovely

    Corral kid's art supplies in a decorative tray like Finding Lovely did in this sweet playroom. Keep the stocked tray on the playroom table, so kids always have crayons and pencils on hand when the creative mood strikes,—they'll also know where the supplies belong when it's cleanup time.

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    Magnetic Knife Bar

    Painting supplies

    shironosov / Getty Images

    Hang a magnetic knife bar on the wall in your art studio for an easy way to store and organize palette knives just like you would classic kitchen knives. It's a great way to utilize vertical space and declutter your workspace. Hanging up all your art knives will also help you see and find the specific one you're looking for when making art.

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    Clear Plastic Organizer

    Pencils and sharpies in a clear container

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Use a clear plastic organizer such as this one from @nycneat_louisa to organize art supplies, either by type or color. It's especially effective for bright colored pens, pencils, and markers—besides being an organizational tool, it also adds a colorful decorative accent.

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    Art Easel

    Paint bottles organized in an easel

    Martin Poole / Getty Images

    Purchase an art easel for kids to get creative and unleash their inner budding artist, and store paint bottles and brushes in a jar directly on the easel shelf. Hang a painting apron off the side of the easel, too. This will keep all the supplies on hand, minimize potential spills elsewhere in the space, and it will create a fun and colorful painting area for your kids and their friends.

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    Plastic Containers

    Closet organized with baskets

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Organize an art closet using identical plastic containers like @afreshspace did. Each container has a label. If this is a closet with kids' art supplies, print out picture labels instead of word labels for a fun touch that'll be especially helpful if your kids can't read yet but you want them to learn how to identify what's in each container.

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    Glass Jars

    Paint pigment in jars

    westend61 / Getty Images

    For anyone who uses paint pigments for their artwork, store them in lidded glass jars such as these and store them on a shelf or inside a cabinet. The clear glass jars allow you to see what's inside and how much of each pigment is left—the lids ensure that they stay in good condition.

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    Tiered Rolling Cart

    Rolling cart filled with art supplies

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Utilize a tiered rolling cart such as this one from @afreshspace to organize art supplies. Not only is this a great way to keep like items together, but it also makes your supplies easily portable since you can roll them into one room to paint and then another to store them in a closet afterwards. It's easy, practical, versatile, and very affordable.

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    Gather Same Colors Together

    Colorful paint bottles

    Ines Fraile / Getty Images

    If you have lots of paint bottles that tend to get mixed up and you're finding yourself spending way too much time looking for the right color or bottle size—organize them by color and size so you always know where everything is. Place tall bottles at the back using the rainbow as a color guide, then arrange smaller same-colored bottles in front of them.

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    Plastic Pantry Risers

    Art supplies in clear risers and brushes in a mason jar

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Plastic pantry risers aren't just for organizing cans and condiments in your pantry. Use them for paint supplies such as tubes and bottles of paint like @afreshspace did here. They keep every item visible and even the paints in the back are easy to reach when needed.

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    Mason Jars

    Pencils and brushes in mason jars

    Marc Romanelli / Getty Images

    Mason jars are one of the most useful and versatile things you could ever purchase—you can use them for everything from canning and drinking ice-cold lemonade to storing art supplies. Use different-sized jars to hold pencils, brushes, sharpies, markers, and crayons for an easy and inexpensive way to organize your art room.

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    Woven Baskets

    Art supplies in glass canisters and baskets

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    These woven baskets from @nycneat_louisa are a great way to organize sketchbooks, watercolor palettes, and other larger art supplies that don't run the risk of leaking. Add labels to easily and quickly identify what's in each basket and add a professional touch to your storage system.

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    Built-In Bookshelves

    Built-ins with organized supplies and toys

    Finding Lovely

    If you have the space and a budget for built-ins or already have built-in shelves, use them to organize supplies like Finding Lovely did in her kids' playroom. Built-ins offer a large amount of storage while allowing you to store art supplies in three different ways—hide them inside the bottom cabinets, display them on the open shelves, or organize them in bins, baskets, jars, and containers to keep like items together.

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    Flower Pots

    Paintbrushes in white flower pots

    Mint Images / Getty Images

    For an easy and inexpensive paintbrush solution, use simple flower pots. They can hold lots of brushes, don't take up too much space, and you may already have some laying around the house. To add a unique touch, you can paint the flower pots different colors or add fun designs to distinguish the types of brushes.

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    Drawer System

    Three rolling storage carts filled with art supplies

    @afreshspace / Instagram

    Use a drawer system such as this one from @afreshspace to make use of a short wall under a slanted ceiling. This type of storage is perfect for holding art supplies because it provides lots of space, the items are mostly hidden, and each drawer is labeled for easy access. The surface has space to organize and display taller supplies such as jars with brushes and to display any small painted masterpieces.

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    Plastic Pill Boxes

    Beads in boxes

    Pollyana Ventura / Getty Images

    If you use any small items such as beads for mixed media artwork or for crafts, plastic pill boxes are a great way to organize them. They come in various sizes and have small compartments that you can use to organize items by type, style, or color.

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    Organize the Rainbow

    Paint tubes organized by color into a rainbow

    Carol Yepes / Getty Images

    The rainbow organizing system is frequently used for books or closets, so why not use it for your paint collection? It creates a beautiful effect, looks neat, and also makes it easy to keep everything in place—just follow the rainbow.

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    Open and Hidden Storage

    Organized craft room with art supplies

    @afreshspace / Getty Images

    This craft room from @afreshspace uses both open and hidden storage space to organize art supplies. Drawers and a filing cabinet are the perfect places to store different types of paper, notebooks, and sketchbooks as well as various art palettes and tubes of oil paint. Open storage such as a round turntable and hanging shelves hold smaller items such as paint bottles, brushes, scissors, and pencils—keeping everything neat, tidy, and easily accessible.

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    Roll-Up Paintbrush Organizer

    Paintbrushes in a cloth pouch

    Cavan Images / Getty Images

    For a nicer set of paintbrushes, use a fabric roll-up paintbrush organizer. Not only is it a good way to keep your brushes stored away safely, but if you like to paint on location, you can easily grab the pouch and take it with you.

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    Sort by Color

    Art supplies in a cart

    @nycneat_louisa / Instagram

    Sort markers, pencils, and crayons by color like @nycneat_louisa did in this rolling cart containing art supplies. Besides being a visually pleasing organizational system, it's also a great way to teach kids their colors and help them practice when the cleanup time rolls around.

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    Rattan Basket

    Crayons in a basket

    PhotoAlto/Laurence Mouton / Getty Images

    Place smaller tools and supplies such as crayons or pastels in small woven baskets. They are durable so they won't get destroyed easily—they'll add a nice textural element, warmth, and a decorative accent to your workspace.

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    Hanging Plastic Organizers

    Pencils and markers in hanging plastic holders

    John Keeble / Getty Images

    Hang a rod with plastic organizers to utilize vertical space if you're running out of shelf and drawer storage room. Organize art supplies by type, color, or frequency of use—if you are creating this storage system in a kids' playroom, hang the rods low enough for kids to be able to access them themselves.

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    Utensil Crock

    Paint brushes in metal crock next to spray paint bottles

    Mint Images RF / Getty Images

    Place large paintbrushes in a utensil crock for an easy way to organize and keep them separate from your smaller brushes. A metal crock is a great choice since it won't be damaged if a paintbrush is still slightly wet.

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    Ceramic Dish

    Crayons in ceramic containers

    Mint Images / Getty Images

    A ceramic serving dish can serve multiple purposes, one of them being to organize pastels or crayons. Separate them by colors for an easy sorting system and a way to keep your favorite supplies on hand in a neat and stylish way.

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    Cube Shelf

    Craft Room

    PC Photography / Getty Images

    Organize art supplies on a cube-style shelf such as this one. If it has drawers, place bulkier, less decorative items inside them and use the open cubes for items such as scissors, brushes, and markers organized in mugs and other creative storage containers.

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    Wicker Storage Baskets

    Wicker baskets in black shelf cubbies

    Dimitrii Anikin / Getty Images

    Add a little texture and hidden storage to your cube shelf by using wicker storage baskets that'll add a nice, uniform look and provide hidden storage if there is none. This is a great way to organize art supplies in a common area such as a family room since they are out of sight and the space is kept neat and tidy.

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    Art Supplies Organizer

    Markers, pastels and paints organized in a case

    Photography by ZhangXun / Getty Images

    You can also purchase a special art supplies organizer that comes in the form of a case that opens up like this or a large bag with multiple pockets. These organizers typically have spaces for different types of supplies such as crayons, markers, pencils, tubes of oil paint, and brushes—they're easy to pick up and take with you if you're traveling and want to paint or draw on location.

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    Bar Cart

    Paint supplies in a rolling cart

    Dougal Waters / Getty Images

    Instead of using your bar cart for happy hour, stock it with art supplies. If it's on wheels, it's especially handy since you can roll it to your easel and canvas or to a different space within your home. Organize the top tier of the cart with frequently used supplies and the bottom tier with replacements and extras.

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    Large Table or Island

    Art room with various supplies on a big table

    Tom Merton / Getty Images

    If your art studio has a large table or island, use the top to organize art supplies. Use it to hold a large tray with jars and tubes of paint, containers for different-sized brushes, and stacks of paper or sketchbooks.