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As you've probably noticed, I don't like gift giving STUFF. Gifts that encourage imagination, or experiences top my list of things to give and the art cart is the gift that keeps on giving year round. See below for my favorite items if you're building one for the kiddo(s) on your list.
1. Paint Pens - great for rock painting!
2. Washi Tape: so many uses, so many great colors and it won't get stuck on you furniture like scotch tape will!
3. 5x7 card stock - nice and thick so it won't bleed or get soaked through when using watercolors (see #5). Great for making birthday or thank you cards!
4. Paint Sticks: goes on like a crayon, dries like paint. Probably my favorite item in the playroom! The colors are amazing and they work especially well with the cardstock above.
5. Watercolors: just a little water and you're ready to go!
6. Gel Pens: this kit is the best, so many colors and such a great price point. We also keep a set of these in the car for when we go out to eat.
7. Glue: just because!
8. Scissors with activity book: kids love to cut things. Give them "something" to cut so they don't waste all the paper in your house!
Oh art projects....we have such a love/hate relationship with all the fabulous work that either comes home from school, or is produced in your own home.
Do your kiddos come home each day with enough paper to replant an entire forest, and then once home, do the same again? I haven't quite figured out a way to decrease the amount of paper small humans use, but we do make sure to use both sides.
In our Playroom series we've been discussing how we were able to revamp the kiddo's play space to make it more enticing to them. If you missed the previous episodes, check 'em out. Episode 1 discussed how we worked with the kiddos to edit and donate unused toys. In Episode 2 we reviewed some of the physical changes we made to the space and finally, in Episode 3 we talked about how to store all the crap, I mean toys.
Today we're going to share our favourite ways to store the supplies that help create these wonderful masterpieces. If you're like most people, you probably have limited wall space, and what wall space you do have, you might not be willing to dedicate it to the budding artists. And, you can't throw it out...well, maybe not right away, but eventually maybe? So how do you display it? Read on to find out how we recommend to store and display art!
1. The Art Cart: the Art Cart is a mobile cart that houses everything art supply related. However there is a very important caveat. Only put in items that you are okay being used without parental supervision. In this case, the mom was pretty flexible, but she drew the line at acrylic paints and glitter (smart lady). The Art Cart is a must have for all homes, especially those without a dedicated playroom. The cart can simply be rolled away out of sight, or tucked in a closet. And, if it's set up so that everything has a home, it even looks good in plain sight. Here are the details for creating your own, or if you have too many other things on your plate, schedule an appointment with Organized by Lisa and we'd be glad to come build one for you if you're in the Seattle area!
2. Craft Storage Boxes: if you are lucky enough to have cupboard or shelf, the plastic bins picture below are awesome. They are currently stocked in our Seattle area Costcos, and have been for the past few years, but are unfortunately not available online. I found the next closest option, the Iris box, on Amazon. The colors aren't quite as cheerful, but the box will function the same. We like the stackability (it's a word, really!) and the depth of this type of box. It fits enough, but not too much!
Art Display and Preservation
Okay, you need a place to hang their creations. We love IKEA's DIGNITET curtain wire. It looks intentional, it's inexpensive and it's easy to swap out the display. You can hang this in a kitchen, a bathroom, a playroom or a hallway, and it looks good. Always. But you can only fit so much on the wire. What if you wanted to preserve some of the art forever? If that's the case, then we highly recommend Artkive, or clearing it out after each school year. For art you want to preserve forever, see below.
Professional photo book. Artkive has exceeded all of our expectations. You simply sign up on their website; they send you a box; you sort the art by age/kid/grade/etc and they scan and upload you a sample book. The paper they print on is exceptional. The quality of the book is amazing. They send you the art back, and it's easy to store in an already packaged box that you can write the name/age on, and if the artist is deemed the next Picasso, it's easy to dig out the box. They also offer an app where you can upload the work yourself, we haven't tried this, but we've been floored with the outcome of the professionally photographed work.
We hope this series on the playroom helps you feel more in control of the "stuff". Thanks for reading this week! Please comment below on other topics you would like to see. Happy Organizing, and remember, please take it one drawer at a time.
Episode 1: Toys vs. Family
Episode 2: The Art Table is to small...and it's in my kitchen
Episode 3: Fav Bins & Storage Solutions
Episode 4: Organizing Art Supplies and the Subsequent Creations