From adults to kids, everyone loves using colored pencils. If you are an artist or you love drawing and coloring, you must have accumulated a ton of colored pencils over time.

Here are some colored pencil storage ideas to organize your colored pencil collection efficiently.

colored pencil storage ideas

Organizing Colored Pencils by Color

The most basic way to organize colored pencils is by color. It is aesthetically pleasing and efficient too, you can easily find the exact color you were looking for. However, it is easier said than done!

We all know the rainbow, but it is not enough to sort pencils by color. For example, where would you put black? Does brown go with red or orange? Organizing by color might seem simple, but it can get really confusing.

The reason for this lies in the color wheel (hint: it is a color wheel, not a line!). A perfect way to line up colored pencils according to color doesn’t exist, since colors do not belong on a linear spectrum.

You cannot line up your colored pencils by color, but you can get pretty close! Here are two ways to organize your pencils by color:

1. Color Charts

color chart

The simplest way is to get hold of a manufacturer’s color chart. All major art and crafts brands have an organized list of all their color options. You can also find color charts created by artists all over the internet.

Download a color chart that suits you and organize your colored pencils accordingly. This is the most hassle-free way to organize.

2. Swatch and Label

This method will take up more of your time and effort, but the results are much more satisfying. If you do not find a suitable manufacturer’s chart or they don’t quite work for your pencil collection, here’s what you can do:

  1. Swatch every colored pencil you have and label them.
  1. Cut out these swatches with their labels. Arrange them as you see fit. Just pick one color from the color wheel and work your way around until you are done.
  1.  Now that you have a reference point, arrange all your pencils in the same order. This shouldn’t be difficult, since you labeled each swatch. Just follow the labels!
  1. Preserve your custom color chart by gluing the labeled swatches in your sketchbook. It might come in handy in your artwork too.

Now that you have your colored pencils organized, it is time to store them. Here are different storage options for storing your colored pencils.

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1. Table Stands

U.S. Art Supply 96 Hole Plastic Pencil & Brush Holder - Desk Stand Organizer Holding Rack for Pens, Paint Brushes, Colored Pencils, Markers

If you use them frequently, desk or table stands are a great way to keep your colored pencils within easy reach. There are many innovative stands to store colored pencils.

You can buy many pencil cups and combine them to store your colored pencils according to color. There are also pencil organizers that have dedicated slots for colored pencils. They seem more professional and are more organized too.

If you are organizing colored pencils for children, you can sort them into different cups based on brand or price too. This way, you can separate the art supplies for children and adults.

This also helps divide the art supplies between regular or recreational use and special projects or schoolwork.

2. Storage Caddies

Marbrasse Bamboo Art Supply Organizer, Rotating Pencil Pen Holder with 6 Compartments, Hold 400+ Pencils , Office Supplies Desktop Storage Caddy, Like Colored Pencils, Pen, Markers, Paint Brushes

Storage caddies for colored pencils are basically desktop carousels that have a lot of space. You need a designated desk for these, as there is not much sense in setting up a carousel of colored pencils and stuffing it in a drawer.

This is also a good storage solution for people who need to carry their colored pencils from one place to another. It is popular in classrooms as teachers can just carry the caddy over to the next table for children to pick colored pencils.

3. Storage Cubes

Marbrasse Upgraded Wooden Pencil Holder, Pen Organizer for Desk with 15 Compartments + Drawer, Desktop Stationary Storage Organizer Caddy, Easy Assembly (Cherry Color)

Storage cubes are another tabletop storage solution for colored pencil storage. They look like miniature versions of IKEA bookcases, they have many small cubes to hold colored pencils horizontally.

4. Drawers

Vencer 5 Drawer Wood Art Storage Box for Pencil,Pen,Pastel,Marker Set,VAO-003

There are drawers of every shape and size for storing art supplies. Elaborate sets of shallow drawers are often used for colored pencil storage. You can even label the different drawers to make finding the colored pencil you want easier.

You can combine smaller sets of drawers or buy one large enough for your entire colored pencil collection. These drawers aren’t mounted anywhere, they are independent chests that you can move or place anywhere you want.

5. Pencil Cases

QBILY Colored Pencil Case - 200 Slots Geometric rhombus color changing pencil case with zipper, for Marker Watercolor Paint Brush Pencil Fountain Pen Gel Pen Case organizer and Many More

There is a huge variety of pencil cases at almost every art store. They are available in all sizes and many different styles—you definitely find one that suits your needs. You can easily transport a large collection of pencils without having to reorganize later.

There are large pencil cases that hold more than 200 pencils. If you want all your pencils in one place, just sort your pencils according to color and arrange them in a large pencil case.

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If you want to divide them by color or any other criteria, you can also use several smaller pouches or cases. This way, all your colored pencils stay organized the way you want.

6. Roll-Up Cases

Premier Colored Pencils for Adults Coloring Books, Premium Artist Colored Pencil Set (72-Count), Handmade Canvas Pencil Wrap, Extra Accessories Included, Holiday Gift, Oil based Color Pencils

Roll-up cases are made of fabric and are quite popular among professional artists. You just thread all your pencils through the loops and roll up your case. There is either a snap closure or a string to tie it shut.

The best thing about roll-up cases is that they are light and easy to transport. It also helps to have all your pencils at a glance whenever you want, without lugging around a giant pencil case. They also don’t burst open if you drop them.

Of course, it can get a little tedious having to thread each pencil one by one into the loops in the case (pro tip: thread your pencil’s pointed end first). Also, they are compact when rolled up, but they might take up your entire desk when you unfurl them.

If you do buy a roll-up case for your colored pencils, make sure the loops are secure and fit your pencils snugly. You don’t want your pencils to slide out whenever you open your case.

Secondly, see that they have a soft flap that protects the tips of pencils. It will be very disheartening to open your case and have to sharpen every single pencil you need because the tips are broken—not to mention wasteful.

DIY Colored Pencil Storage Ideas

You do not need to shell out a fortune to store your colored pencils. There are several DIY methods to create your own pencil storage at home. Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. Take an empty shoebox and lay it vertically. Stack empty toilet paper rolls or paper cups inside it. Glue them down to make the pencil holder more secure.

    You can store your colored pencils in this easy DIY shoebox pencil holder and group them however you want. You can also decorate the box by painting it or sticking colored paper on it.
  1. If you have access to some spare PVC pipes, you can make a beautiful organizer for your colored pencils at home. Cut the PVC pipes to the desired length. Stack them together vertically and glue them.

    Create a base by gluing a piece of cardboard to one end. Paint the outside of the pipes if you want and you’re done! You have a DIY caddy for your colored pencils.

    You can also arrange the PVC pipes horizontally and create a more visually attractive display. If you buy more pencils, you can just add more PVC pipes, no need to buy anything!
  1. You can make a roll-up case for your colored pencils at home too. Take a piece of fabric and cut a rectangle, keeping in mind the dimensions of your pencils. Now cut a slightly smaller rectangle from a different fabric.

    Sew the smaller rectangle in the middle of the larger rectangle, but leave one of the longer sides free—this is where you insert your pencils. Now measure the space needed to store a pencil and make marks across the smaller rectangle.

    Sew vertically on each mark. You can slide in your colored pencils in these spaces. Affix a string on one end to tie the pencil case. Roll up the pencil case and tie it shut. Your DIY roll-up case is ready.
  1. This one needs a few tools and a bit more effort, but it is easily worth the effort. Find a piece of wood you like. It needs to be tall enough to hold a pencil without it toppling out.

    Take a drill and drill in holes big enough to hold a colored pencil. You can drill in rows and columns, in a specific pattern or circularly if the piece of wood is round. Finally, sand down the edges.

    This pencil holder can be decorative or artistic if you use wood from a thick branch or trunk. It also makes for a nice gift for artists. If you don’t have access to a tree trunk or branch, any piece of wood tall enough will do.
  1. If you have a lot of space or you don’t have too many pencils, you can make a storage tool for pencils that organizes your pencils in a single file.

    All you need is a lot of straws and two boards. Make sure the diameter of the straws fits your pencils. Cut the straws long enough to hold the pencils and make sure the boards are slightly taller than the straws.

    Use hot glue and secure the straws between the boards in a single file. Store all your pencils in the straws and keep the pencil on your desk for easy access.
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Parting Thoughts

There are tons of options available to organize your colored pencils. If you can’t find one that suits you or can’t afford one, you can DIY it with one of the simple colored pencil storage ideas listed above.

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