This week’s post is a follow-up to my previous post, on having a workable kids’ art table set up. If your kids have an art corner set up that’s truly functional, chances are there’s a storage caddy involved. Every kids’ art corner needs an art caddy: a place to contain markers, crayons, etc. when they’re not in use, so things stay neat and tidy.
Trouble is, as I realized several weeks ago when planning out my kids’ art table post, my girls’ table doesn’t really have the space for an art caddy. So I made one.
The thing I especially like about their new art caddy is that it’s mounted on the wall, freeing up table space while keeping all their supplies within reach.
If your kiddos’ art space – or your home-office desk space – is similarly short on surface area, this simple hack may be the answer to your clutter creep.
Why a wall-mount art caddy?
This is not my first post about going vertical to create space where no other room exists. I love maximizing horizontal surfaces by utilizing vertical ones. And my kids’ tiny art space is a prime candidate for the going-vertical solution.
Their table is perfect for a child to sit and color at, but not big enough for workspace plus storage space. Hence I’ve had to get creative with storing their supplies nearby:
- Last fall, I used some 3M Command removable hooks to mount a shatterproof wall file next to the table – perfect for filing practice worksheets.
- The bottom shelf of the hutch contains thrift-store filing trays to hold coloring books, workbooks, and notepads.
- I’ve also used 3M hooks to hang other supplies within reach of their caddy, without damaging the antique hutch long-term.
At first I tried using a thrift-store art caddy and plastic bin to contain their supplies on the hutch shelf. But the crayons, markers, and colored pencils never seemed to stay neat for very long in their designated containers.
Moreover, Essie (our resident coloring queen and word-find whiz) never wanted to sit and work at the table when it was cluttered. Instead, she’d spread her worksheets and markers all over the floor, or the kitchen table, or both. Meaning no space to eat breakfast, and lots of tripping hazards for anyone who tried to walk by.
Since the hanging-file system had worked well in keeping the paper clutter at bay, I wondered if a hanging art caddy would likewise keep their supplies within reach but off their workspace. So I gave it a try. Two weeks in, we’re very pleased with the results.
Easy DIY Wall Mounted Art Caddy
What you’ll need:
- Several aluminum cans from canned goods, in assorted sizes, rinsed clean and with labels/adhesive residue removed. (Check to make sure they’re magnetic.)
- A strong wall-mount magnetic knife holder that will match your décor. I found this 18-inch one by Ounona on sale at Amazon. I liked the stainless-steel finish as well as the fact that it came with multiple hanging hooks that fit securely over the dual bars.
- A pair of pliers (for crimping sharp edges so they’re no longer a hazard).
- Spray paint in your preferred color(s), and/or washi tape, stickers, ribbon + glue gun, etc. for decorating.
- A cordless drill for mounting on the wall. (A stud finder and leveling ruler are also helpful, if you have them.)
- Two old wine corks or similar-sized scraps of wood, to stuff into either end of the holder. (Otherwise, as I learned the hard way, the cans can just roll right off the ends!)
- A hammer, large nail, and block of scrap wood (to place inside the can so you don’t warp the shape when hammering the hole in), if you want to add hanging holes to make use of the hooks.
- Figure out which cans will work for what you want to hold, and remove labels/clean as described above. Since we had assorted markers plus much shorter things (mini colored pencils and crayons) to house, I picked out two 15-oz, two 10-oz, and two 6-oz from the pile I’d been saving from the recycling bin.
- Then, using a pair of pliers, crimp down the inside edges of each can until they’re smooth (otherwise, little fingers could get cut!).
- Decorate the cans according to your preference, and allow to dry thoroughly. I spray-painted ours with several coats of white paint/primer combination paint made for metal.
- Test each can with the magnetic strip before you hang the strip on the wall. This is how I learned a) that I’d need to add something on the ends of the strip to serve as “stoppers” (I used wine corks wedged between the bars of the rack) and b) that four of our cans were going to be too heavy to hang reliably when filled.
Hence I marked those four cans with an “X” so my husband could punch holes into them, using a nail and hammer. (He put a block of scrap wood inside the cans before nailing, so the hammer wouldn’t dent the cans.) Then I crimped the inside edges from the hole punches until they were smooth, just as I had with the edges from where the cans had been cut open. Finally, I added one of the hooks that came with our magnetic holder to each hole-punched can, to make it ready for hanging.
- Figure out where you’re going to hang your magnetic strip on the wall. Mark spots for the screw holes, drill pilot holes, install anchors as needed, and hang the rack. (Our rack also came with wall anchors.)
- Hang your storage cans and admire the results. Now, wasn’t that easy?