Mar 31, 2014

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Video: Fantastic (and Free) Art Room Storage Solutions

art room storage 
As art teachers, we are familiar with the ‘art’ of saving anything and everything because, “we might be able to use it later!” For example, I recently used mini-cupcake containers left over from a school celebration to keep acrylic paint fresh for weeks! In today’s video, I’ll share how you can transform recyclables into easy storage solutions for a variety of art supplies. The containers’ sizes work perfectly, plus they’re free! If you’d like, you can “pretty” yours up with labels like I did. It feels good to be resourceful!


How do you use recyclables in the art room?

What is your most genius “up-cycling” discovery?

What is your favorite type of container to use and save?

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  • smoons

    Folgers plastic coffee canisters – trash buckets for tables. Pringles cans – perfect for paintbrush storage

    • Alecia Eggers

      Love those ideas!

  • Hester Dean Menier

    I use the 4 pack holders that pop or bottled coffee come in, as a glue bottle holders. 4 bottles in a carrier, makes it easy for one student to pick up and go. If I tape the bottom, I can usually get 2 years out of each one.

  • Matthew Martinez

    I sometimes use old tissue boxes with the tops removed as containers of supplies for group desks.

  • Sheri L. Van Duyn

    I am using dressing containers for a beading project along with the square Gerber plastic food containers to store femo clay. Both stack nicely, do not take up a lot of space and are working great.

    • Alecia Eggers

      Stacking is key!

  • Hannah Hill

    I’m really looking for a way to store posters and prints in my future classroom without rolling them. Does anyone have any genius ideas? Thank you!

    • Alecia Eggers

      I have a metal poster storage cabinet. The drawers are thin and easily roll out to accommodate placing posters flat within. I would imagine if you search for classroom organization, furniture and storage on a site like Blick there would be a few choices for you!

    • jamie

      I just the giant plastic storage bags and hangers. I put the poster in and hang them in my closet.

    • Amy

      I’ve used a shower rod and pant hangers with clips. You can sort the posters into groups and label the hangers.

    • Diane in Chicago

      They are on the bottom shelf of my huge drying rack, protected by a sheet of plastic. No, they are not easy to get to or sort through, but they are flat and safe. I have a list of what’s there so I know when I have a resource so I don’t have to dig through and see what we have. I inherited a lot of posters.

  • Kris Boydstun

    I save lids from any plastic container. They are great small pallets for mixing colors. So much paint has been wasted because kids mix huge batches of odd colors that no one else wants to use.

    • Alecia Eggers

      That’s an excellent solution!

  • Megan {The Brick Bungalow}

    I started recycling containers soon after realizing how expensive storage containers are for are supplies! I went to Facebook and asked friends and family to save me all types of plastic containers with lids for when we do our paper mache projects (both for the actual project but mostly for the glue) and of course, paint storage. My favorite thing though is the small red or green Folger’s coffee containers that hold my colored pencils by color. They are all in a tub similar to those that busboys use to clean tables at restaurants.

  • Jane Gravois

    rectangular tofu containers for water and tall yogurt containers for markers, pencils and brushes are my most used containers….also the styrofam vege trays for colored pencils and rolling out printing ink.

  • Erin Green

    My favorite container is the rectangle containers of baby wipes! I use them for everything…my kindergarten classes pass them along to me when they’re empty. They’re great with or without the lids. No holes for pencils, markers or crayons to fall through like baskets.

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  • Toby

    I work with the greatest staff who helps me out by bringing me “stuff” all the time!
    I receive large salad to go containers with black strong plastic bottoms and clear tops. They are great for paint, storage of small cut paper, yarn scraps, etc.
    Small tangerine and peach cardboard crates for strong storage (great size for creating Louise Nevelson inspired projects). Small jewelry type boxes for storage or sculpture, small butter containers for water…. Lids for mixing palates, large animal cracker or cheese curl containers for yarn –rolled in to balls for our weaving projects…easy to see colors and for a class to borrow to work on in the classroom too.
    Plastic microwave trays with various compartments, great to keep kindergarten paint colors from mixing together. Bakery hinged containers large ones great as see through stacking containers. Plastic coffee containers for various storage and just the right size for washing brushes. Frosting containers for clear glaze for each table.
    That’s just the storage stuff… I receive so much other stuff for classes and art club too! They are the greatest!!! They love helping out too!

  • Lynn Goff

    My custodian is an angel in disguise. She saves the individual applesauce cups for me and I use them for just about everything imaginable from paint (which gets stored in muffin tins) to beads etc. etc. etc. She also saves me the Styrofoam breakfast trays which I use for about a billion things. They usually are very lightly soiled so they are easy to rinse off and put into action for their second life! There is nothing more wonderful than a good relationship with your school custodians! A small gift of thanks from time to time goes a long way to telling them you really appreciate their efforts on the school behalf!

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