Thursday, June 17, 2010

Guide to Crafting Sanity

First, thank you all so much for your comments on my post yesterday.  Your words of encouragement mean a lot, as always, and I just really appreciate the feeling of not being alone.
So while I may not be mom of the year, there is one thing I can do right, and that is set up some good crafting fun for my kids!  We're big crafters over here, doing crafts at least 4 times a week.  Crazy crafting fools if you will.

This is our craft closet.  Believe it or not, I know where {almost} everything is!
I've been collecting various crafting supplies for the last 3 years, and here is what I've acquired, and learned in the process.  Consider this a summer's guide to keeping the kids happy and occupied with crafting goodness!  Thanks Heather for the amazing summer guide you have provided us with all week long!

First, I am big on ORGANIZATION!  I kept finding myself getting so frustrated with having to reorganize our craft supplies every week because they were just being thrown back into bins by loving grandmas, well-meaning husbands and super fun babysitters.  So I set up a relatively easy system of putting big category items into big bins.  I have bins for:
         *Paint Supplies
         *Miscellaneous Art Supplies

Within those bins I have sepeerated other supplies into labeled Ziploc bags
I have also separated holiday themed craft supplies into their own bags
This has saved my sanity!  Well at least my sanity as it relates to children's art supplies :)

Here's a looky into our painting bins
The contents of our paint bin are:
*washable and acrylic paints
*face paints (this can occupy a few hours)
*liquid water colors (these are SO much more vibrant and easy to use than traditional water colors)
*Do A Dots
*fun and cheap paint easels that easily wash up (I think they cost 89 cents)
*package of plastic paint droppers that are fun to experiment with

 Our Miscellaneous bin holds items like:
*Mod Podge
*pipe cleaners
*clothes pins (these are fun & easy to sprinkle with glue and then use to hold art work on a ribbon)
*blank notecards (best $9 I ever spent at Target!)
*glitter glue
*stickers (peeling stickers are so great for developing fine motor skills)
*stamp pads & stamps (I pick these up from dollar bins at Target and craft stores)
*cheap & easy craft items that are easy to decorate when I'm not feeling too creative (today we painted the mini bird houses and fans, both on sale at Joann's for $1)

Tattoos you ask?  These keep them entertained for easily an hour! 
The only down side is having to Photoshop tattoos out of a blog header picture (see above for PS'ed version)
One last thing is our drawing table.  I leave out markers, crayons, colored pencils, a few pairs of scissors, glue sticks and a big pad of paper.  I also have been printing out a lot of coloring sheets for free from the internet.  They seem to like these a lot more than actual coloring books, probably because they can pretty much print out whatever character, animal, or princess they like.  My friend Nicole prints out activity sheets for her boys which is an idea I'm going to have to steal soon.

I have found that by always having these items out on hand, the kids draw and color a lot more.
Lately we've also been getting a lot of use out of this learn to draw book I bought a few years back from an Usborne party.  Taylor has been practicing drawing her animals and Sydney has me draw them, and he colors them in.
So that's it!  Happy Crafting Everyone!
But first, please tell, do you have any cool art supplies or crafts we need to get our hands on?  I'm always looking for ideas!


  1. Fun post Andrea. We actually have a very similar looking craft closet as well that seems to get very messy from those same loving people at my house :-) I love the little white paint holders and the learn to draw book. I will have to pick up both of those son. Jack has been doing some super great drawing lately.

    Looking forward to doing some fun crafting with you guys this summer.


  2. We have started leaving crayons out on the kid's table too. They really do a lot more when it is right there. I love the drawing animals book. I'll have to look for that!

  3. WOW - I need to pull out all of our stuff and ORGANIZE it now ;D I think!!! j/k
    Our "crafting" usually entails cutting lots of stuff up and pasting it down. They LOVE to pull out my punches (circles, squares, hearts, stars, etc.) that I use to scrapbook and punch out lots of shapes and then -you guessed it- paste those down to paper too!

  4. You are so right about using stuff more if it's out. Just reorganized the back room as the playroom and have the crafts supplies in an open shelf. The kids have gone in to it every day! We don't do nearly enough painting cause I'm scared of the mess, but those little easels look great. Will have to make a Michael's run!

  5. I thought I was cool with my Mod-Podge and scrapbook paper, but look at you! I do leave out crayons in a tin like you which I've had to rethink since our puppy keeps stealing them off our little table.

  6. Pretty organized crafting there mama. :)
    We just throw everything into a closet. ha!

  7. Pretty organized crafting there mama. :)
    We just throw everything into a closet. ha!

  8. I LOVE your blog!!! I can't wait to read more after the kids are asleep! I am sending out your sample!


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