Even as a one-year-old, Emma has accumulated quite the art supply collection, and I had absolutely no system to keep it organized. Everything was just in piles on our basement bar. So I finally got my act together and decided to transform a corner of our basement into a super-organized art supply station. I absolutely love the way it turned out. Take a look!
Ah... a place for everything, and everything in its (neatly labeled) place!
One of my big goals with this art station was to keep certain art supplies out of Emma's reach... and to have others that she would be able to access whenever she wanted to. I don't want her getting into the paint without supervision, for example. Crayons? Fair game. To solve this problem, enter: the adorable tin buckets!
I found these gems at Target. (Skip to the bottom of the article to see a full source list of where I got everything.)
At her current height, Emma can't reach any of the buckets that are hanging up. I just unhook the buckets that I don't mind her using whenever she wants. Right now I keep the crayons, colored pencils, and magnetic alphabet letters on the desk at all times. Everything else, she has to ask my permission to use.
The buckets fit perfectly on the top shelf of the desk, which was a $2 yard sale find. I don't have any before pictures because my enthusiastic husband sanded and repainted it the same day we bought it.(Hey... no complaints here!)
Emma LOVES her desk She can crawl up on the chair all by herself, which makes her feel really independent.
Right above the hanging buckets, I hung an organizer with two wire baskets. I labeled one for paper, and the other is for coloring books.
I kind of love this organizer. I found it at Hobby Lobby, and knew immediately that it would be perfect.
I love being able to take down one or two things at a time, which means that I never have to clean up EVERYTHING all at once. Once Emma can reach a little higher on her own, things might look a little different. ;)
Finally, to the right of the desk, we put Emma's easel.
The easel was a hand-me-down from a generous friend, and Emma is super into it right now. I love how versatile it is. The whiteboard side is great for dry erase and magnetic letters, but it also has a clip, which is perfect for hanging paper or giant coloring pages.
The back is a chalkboard. Do you like my husband's artwork? ;)
And probably the best part of the easel is... the painting! Emma and I paint about once a day, on average. It's so easy the way we have everything set up, and she loves it so much. Every time she asks, I think, "Why not?" :)
I do have a little secret to make painting setup and cleanup a ton easier. I found a small metal trashcan at Ikea, and I keep an old sheet and a painting smock (one of my old Tshirts) along with a pack of wipes and some paper plates in there all the time.
When it's time to paint, I just spread out the sheet under our workspace, throw the smock on Emma, and we're all set.
When we're done, I throw everything back in the trash can and tuck it off to the side.
Note: This list contains affiliate links.
- Desk: Repainted yard sale find
- Paper/book holder: Hobby Lobby (I couldn't find the exact one I bought online, but it is similar to this one.)
- Antique brown wooden shelf with 12 slots: Hobby Lobby
- Crayola magnetic double-sided easel: Ours was given to us, but you can find them on Amazon.
- Metal trash can with lid (4 gallon): Ikea
- Metal pails with chalk labels: Target
- Children's Chair: Ikea