Since I often have to work when my kids are home from school, I wanted to create an area in my home office that would allow them to hang out with me and stay busy working on their homework or drawing creatively. I came up with an idea for a simple crafting station located on a round conference table. With a few common containers I was able to organize their craft supplies into a usable station. The best part is the supplies can quickly be removed when I have meetings or need the table clear.
Step One: Sorting out crafting supplies for the craft station
First, I decided what simple set of craft supplies I needed the kids to have handy to keep them busy. Because it was in my office area, I did not want too much to clean-up if I had a client coming to sit with me in the space. I also find, with simple supplies the kids still find just as many ways to have fun and be creative.
Here is my quick list of what I chose:
- Paint Sticks
- Water Colors
- Glue Sticks
- Clothes Pins (for displaying artwork)
- Washable Placemat
- Pencil Sharpeners
Next, I spent some time making sure all of the markers, glue sticks and paint sticks all still worked. There is no sense taking up space with dry markers and glue sticks (which I found quite a few of!).
Step Two: Gather storage materials for the craft station
No organization plan is complete without the proper containers. I wanted supplies to be neat, easy to grab, see and simple to put away. Because organization is constantly evolving in my home, I like to keep a supply of random containers and baskets in my basement when I am cycling them in and out of use. The first place I visited was my stash. I always love to use items that I already have around the house before I buy anything.
I found this great wooden lazy susan at a yard sale last Summer. I thought having the supplies spin around would make it easier for the kids to share. Luckily, I had a great rimmed tray that fit the width of the lazy susan perfectly.
The last thing I needed was something easy to divide the supplies within the tray. I chose a bunch of wide mouthed jars from my supply of mason jars. I keep a supply of all sizes to store everything from spices and pantry items to craft supplies like beads and buttons.
In addition to the supply carousel for the craft station. I needed an area to hold paper and a crafting placemat for when the paints came out. I chose a cute flat basket I had in my bin stash.
Now that my containers were ready, I was ready to create the crafting station.
Step Three: Set up the craft station
First, I placed the tray on top of the lazy susan. Next, I added the jars and began filling them with my different supplies. I made sure that there were multiple jars for markers and paint sticks so they would not be too hard to pull out.
I placed the whole station in the middle of the round table to allow room for the kids to work, grab and spin the station for what they need in front of them.
My basket with paper went on a nearby shelf for easy access and neat storage.
Keep It Simple
As I mentioned earlier, I have found with my children less is more. Too many stickers, beads, foam stickers, pipe cleaners etc. create larger messes that take longer to clean up. I find the kids just start ignoring what we have when there are too many options. Even in 2020, when we were home with nowhere to go and nothing to do during COVID isolation, we still did not touch most of the craft supplies I was storing. It was really telling.
Watch what your kids gravitate to regularly. Make any crafting area easy to access, simple to clean up and quick to refill. Keep more special craft supplies like paint kits, building kits or small objects like beads in a special area for “rainy day” fun when you feel like supervising the activity more. You will have less to manage and exciting activities to pull out when they say the inevitable “I’m bored.”
For more crafting storage ideas check out my printable Playroom Labels to label your craft supplies for kids.
I hope these tips have inspired you to set up a simple craft station in your own home.
Kristin Vander Wiede is a Professional Organizer and owner of Livable Solutions Professional Organizing and Life’s Lists printable organizing labels, systems and activities.