Colored Pencil Storage Ideas

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Finding the perfect colored pencil storage idea makes using the color pencils a creative joy and clean up much easier. Often the storage option is also a lovely design element in your craft room or art studio.

Whether you’re searching for colored pencil storage ideas for children or adults, for casual arts and crafts or for serious artists, you’ll find something here that will answer your needs.

collage of different ways to organize colored pencils with title text reading Colored Pencil Storage Ideas.

I’m a crafter and a professional organizer and a mother of three. Finding ways to store colored pencils and crafts supplies is something I’ve been doing for years.

How do I store colored pencils?

  • Before you decide on the best way to store your colored pencils, you have to consider several factors.
    • Will children or adults be using the pencils?
    • Will only one or two people be using them or will many people be sharing them?
    • Is it important to keep brands and specific shades of color separated?
    • Are the pencils expensive and need to be stored carefully?
    • What is the budget for creating storage?
colorful pencils in green caddy on table.
  • Consider whether you want the storage to remain in one location or be portable to different areas.
  • Consider whether you want the colored pencils stored away out of sight or on a table or shelf for easy access.
colored pencils on table next to pencil box.
  • The traditional budget ways to store colored pencils include:
    • In a pencil box or cardboard box.
    • In a repurposed glass jar
    • In repurposed metal cans
    • In a DIY caddy using toilet paper rolls or paper cups to hold and separate different colors of pencils.
colored pencils in jars by window.
  • More specialized colored pencil storage ideas are:
    • A pencil case specifically designed for pencils.
    • An organizer, even the original packages, designed to hold a full set of pencils.
    • Zipper pouches or pencil bags designed to hold pencils
    • Drawers with inserts to separate pencils by color
    • Map or art drawers (units with multiple shallow drawers)
    • Boxes with multiple small cubbies to hold pencils separated by color
colored pencils in a circle with points in the middle.

It’s important to prioritize your needs before you choose a colored pencil storage option.

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art brushes and different colors of oil paint with title text reading 21 of the best Art Subscription Boxes.

Colored Pencil Storage Ideas

How to Sort Colored Pencils

The first question you have to answer in deciding how to store your colored pencils is do you want to organize your pencils:

  • With all colors together in one place. This often works well for children or if you have a small number of colored pencils.
  • With the pencils separated by broad color categories like red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, brown and white. This is also known as Roy G. Biv order.
colored pencils organized by color in jars.
  • By different brands.
  • By specific brand color numbers or names.
colored pencils sorted by color in shelves.
  • By type of pencil, for example, keeping the watercolor pencils separate from the other colored pencils and art supplies.
  • By price. This works well if you have colored pencils for the children to use and ones reserved for adults or older children.
  • By use. You may keep older or smaller colored pencils to take on trips or to the restaurant, while keeping colored pencils in better condition for use at home or on school projects.

Desk or Table Stands

wood caddy with colored pencils on table.

If you prefer to have your colored pencils available on your desk or workspace, then a pencil organizer stand is a great choice, You can choose to use multiple smaller pencil cups and group them together for an easy storage rack that will hold as many colored pencils as you need.

black grid tray to hold pencils.
black grid square to hold pencils and paint brushes with packaging in the background.
colorful 4 compartment round pencil cup.
black mesh multi-compartment pen and pencil holder for desktop.
4 compartment wood pencil storage box.
clear acrylic pencil cup with 4 sections.

Lazy Susan Storage or Caddy

Lazy Susan style desktop carousels works well when you have a designated table or desk where you’ll be using colored pencils.

rotating wood pencil storage until for tabletop.
round wood multi-compartment rotating pencil storage unit for desktop.

A pencil caddy is perfect when you want to be able to carry your colored pencils from one location to another to use them. This is particularly a favorite colored pencil storage idea for teachers and moms. It makes it easy for children to grab coloring books and the pencil caddy from the storage area and take them to a table or desk.

blue metal round rotating pencil stand with handle.
white plastic pencil storage unit with handle and 4 storage cups.
clear 4 compartment caddy with handle filled with art supplies.
round white base with 5 small green buckets filled with pencils and art supplies.

Cube Storage

Cube pencil holders are another variation on tabletop colored pencil storage. You can stack individual pencil cups on their sides to make a large pencil storage unit. Think of it like an IKEA cube bookcase for your table or desktop with the cubes small enough to conveniently hold pencils.

wood multi-compartment pen and pencil storage unit for desktop.
clear stackable pen storage tray unit.
clear cube with 4 compartments to store pencils horizontally.
2 plastic pencil cups and 3 multi-compartment storage towers for pencils.
white desk organizer with many square compartments and a multicolored pattern on outside.
wooden desk organizer with compartments that fold out and back into a box with a handle.


Sets of shallow drawers can work well for colored pencil storage. Stacking multiple units and labeling drawers allow you to accommodate organizing even the largest colored pencil collection.

2 dark wood drawer that resemble library card drawers for desktop storage.
3 shallow wood drawers for desktop storage.

There are even colored pencil drawer sets large enough to hold all your supplies in one organized location.

5 shallow wood storage drawers for art supplies or office supplies.

Pouches and Cases

colored pencils in a case.

Pencil pouches, pencil bags or cases come in all sizes and styles. You’re probably familiar with the smaller pencil pouch that you carried to school. Pencil cases come large enough to hold over 100 colored pencils.

zippered colored pencil storage pouch with 3 interior flaps.
black zippered colored pencil storage pouch with strap.

You may find that you prefer one larger case to keep all your colored pencils organized in one spot.

2 sets of colorful zippered pencil pouches.
blue pencil pouch with grey cat.

Or you may find that several smaller pouches, perhaps organized by pencil color or use, works better for you.

2 zippered light blue pencil pouches.
pink over-the-shoulder pencil case binder.

DIY Colored Pencil Storage

There are all kinds of DIY pencil storage ideas. Some of my favorite are:

DIY Pencil cup with pencils and supplies.
  • Filling a shoebox with toilet paper roll or paper cups to create holders for pencils.
  • A pencil cup made from repurposed diskettes. You could make several of these and attach them together to make a caddy or a table organizer.
computer diskettes pencil cup.
  • Metal cans used separately or attached together to make a caddy.
  • PVC pipe cut to the right length and attached to make a colored pencil storage caddy.
  • This Big Bang Theory pencil cup is a nostalgic favorite of mine.
pencil cup with periodic table.

Other craft organizing ideas

Free Coloring Activities

Be sure to pin for later so you can always find all these colored pencil storage ideas when your needs change.

Find all my best organizing tips, hacks, printables and favorite products in the table below. ​You can scroll though the table and look for ideas or search for specific ideas with the magnifying glass in the upper right-hand corner (on desktop). Click on the topic and then click through the specific article.

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