Frugal storage solutions for your art supplies

I am one of those people who hates having clutter all over the place and like to keep all my art materials neatly organised.

Though, It would cost me a fortune to buy the right storage for the amount of stuff that I have at home. Even recently scrawling the internet trying to find cheaper alternatives didn’t give me the results that I wanted. Most of the cheaper storage is made out of plastic and that is something I am not prepared to buy as i am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I buy, so I decided to go along the more frugal route.

This is what I come up with:

Shoe boxes

Shoe boxes are great for pens and pencils and I have got so many that I managed to fill 3 shoes boxes with them. Try wrapping the outside of the box and the lid with colourful paper, old newspaper, old wrapping paper or wallpaper to make it unique and keep it from looking out of place in the art room.

Charity shops

One thing I do love doing when I have some spare time is making a day for looking in my local charity shops and they really have been a treasure trove of storage ideas for me in recent years. Just remember to think outside of the box when having a rummage. For example a kitchen wall cabinet can double as a storage cupboard for things like paints and jars and tea coffee and sugar canisters can be filled with pens, pencils and crayons.

Second hand shops

Another great way to get cheap storage items. I have had a chest of drawers from a junk shop and use I it for all my art books and art paper. I have had a writing bureau, a large wooden chest and lots of other great stuff so it is well worth a good rummage around the ones in your local area.

Free sites

I have had some good stuff from the free sites like Freegle, freecycle. You just sign up to your local area one and if you check in to it regularly you will more than likely come across something that you can use. Alternatively you can post onto the site what you are looking for and if someone has it and doesn’t use it any more they will answer your message and let you know how you can collect it from them. Stuff does get snapped up fairly quickly so make sure you check in regularly.


I’ve had some free stuff from Facebook in the past. If you type in to the search bar within Facebook…”Free stuff (and then your local area)” or “Free (your local area)” there will be a Facebook group dedicated just for that. When someone posts what they have to offer all you have to do is reply with “Can I be considered please?” You have to be quick though as people tend to reply straight away.

Cardboard boxes

We all get cardboard boxes at some point and most homes have a few of them stashed away somewhere. They make great storage solutions. I like to take a photo’s of what’s inside, print it out and stick it to the front so I can see at a glance when looking for art stuff to use.

Spice rack

Spice racks can be brilliant for all those small craft supplies. Just fill each spice bottle with the same items for easy access.

Canvas shoe organisers

These handy organisers can be hung on the back of the art room door and are ideal for paintbrushes, pens, pencils and even notebooks. I am seriously getting one of these as I think it is a genius idea. Even if I do say so myself.


Bookshelves make great mobile shelving to be moved around at your will. Ideal for those art books and boxes of all your art products.

Mason Jars

Even old cleaned out jars. Mason jars look cool painted and used as pen holders and placed on your work-space for easy reach.

There are lots of ways to store your prized-possessions if you look at things in a different way. I have started to look at things and asking “How can I use this as storage?”

I would love to hear what storage solutions you have used this in the comments below.


  1. I also run around on trash day, seeing if anyone is throwing out something I could use. I just found a wonderful, sturdy A-frame easel that was IN THE TRASH. What the heck. So I brought it home and it will live on. That alone saved me a few hundred $ that I was planning on dropping on an easel!

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