First, I want to say that I turned this into a space for my children not to be able to say “go to the closet” ha. Seriously, I have worked really hard that we all call it the arts and crafts room now. With my youngest coming up on 18 months and my oldest going on 4, they both get so much use out of it and the best part is, I can just shut the door at the end of the day and pretend the mess doesn’t exist if I don’t feel like cleaning it up! Which happens more than I would like to admit.
Actually the best part, is watching them both go into the arts and crafts room to color and play together. I love to watch their creativity flow and know they both enjoy expressing their artistic side. It is the one room that they both seem to get a long in and I don’t have to break up any fights, well not as many!
Why I Created This Space
Honestly, it wasn’t a long drawn out process, one Sunday I went into the closet to get something and go super annoyed. I ended up cleaning everything out for the next couple of hours. At that moment I decided to turn it into an arts and crafts room for the girls. This space has been a bit of a thorn in my side since we moved in over 3 years ago, its a good size space. However, its long and narrow, which makes it hard for storage.
The “before” pictures…
For over 3 years we have stored everything in there from weights to food and paper products to diapers in this closet. Most days it was just a mess as stuff got thrown in there when needed. It was basically a walk in junk drawer and despite constantly trying to improve it and make it work better, it never seemed to quite be the change we needed. Until, I made this space into their arts and crafts room.
My vision was to have this room be a place for the girls to go and do their thing. To enjoy being able to create, make a mess and be children without being told not to color on the furniture. Also, I realized that even if they completely destroyed this closet, it would be easy to paint back over before we sold the house.
Creating a Space for Two Toddlers
It took me a lot longer to make this space for them than I anticipated. Mostly, because some of the items I thought I wanted were not practical for a 1 and 3 year old to be alone with. I wanted to make it convenient for them to be able to take out the items they want to play with. While also making it an esthetically pleasing to the eye as this space is always in use.
At the same time, I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on items that I also knew could (and lets be honest, would easily get ruined). Luckily I have learned my lesson with furniture and realize what is best with kids. It only took them a week to draw on the marker holder and table (which I didn’t not try to hide in the pictures).
I already had the bookcase, I just purchased a few new cubes as the other ones were not pretty and the colors did not go with my new color scheme. Finding a kiddie table ended up being waaaaay harder than anticipated. When I started this “remodel” it was right before school was starting and with so many kids doing homeschooling right now, most kid size tables were out of stock. I knew I didn’t want to spend a couple of hundred dollars, because then I would be upset as soon as someone drew on the table.
My original idea was a room of bright muted colors (not pastel) and neutral furniture. I wanted the space to be cute and accessible for the girls, but also semi “child proof”. The cubes hold art supplies, playdough, crayons, stickers, extra coloring books, puzzles and back up supplies.
I have markers, glitter glue pens and safety scissors on the table for easy access, with a bucket of crayons on the shelf. The glitter glue pens are perfect for toddlers who love the sparkle (like mommy), but there is no way I want loose glitter to be played with. Any messes with these simply wipe off with a baby wipe!
I don’t let my youngest paint in the room, but let them both use all of the other supplies. Sure there have been a few messes and I have caught my oldest playing with some stuff she shouldn’t that accidently got put in the arts and crafts room. Overall, they really just seem to be creative, albeit messy, but nothing a pack of baby wipes can’t handle.
I also keep their play cleaning supplies in there so they can help clean up their own messes. Surprisingly, they do a decent job, when they actually do it! Plus their favorite vacuum which also gets brought out daily when I am doing my chores.
I shopped around a lot for a practical shelf for the arts and crafts room, the one I went with is on Etsy and is linked here for you, along with the rest of the items I used for this space! I knew I wanted to put a few fun things on the wall. At first I picked out a bunch of cute kids playroom type art (think ABC’s, numbers, animals etc.). For some reason I couldn’t pull the trigger and I am so glad I waited!
This was the last piece of the arts and crafts room that actually took me the longest. My oldest recently drew her first real drawing from her imagination that looked like more than just scribbles. I saved this piece and decided to frame it and put it in the room. Once I did that I realize, I did not need any other art than my children’s own creations in this space!
My oldest is always making things for us and is so excited with her creations. So why not showcase her artistic achievements even more! Especially since we do not have a magnetic fridge (which I am actually very very thankful for!), this is the perfect place to hang their stuff up.
It was the perfect way to round out the room and I am glad I didn’t spend the extra money to decorate with someone else art as their art is what makes this arts and crafts room so special. In the end I am glad I took my time with the items for the space as they have proven to not only be practical but also functional.