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Sometimes, as a parent, you do things for your kids that they really aren’t that into. So when you give them something that they do like, it’s a great feeling. I got a taste of my daughter Simone’s delight when I installed a craft station in her bedroom. As she continues to grow (she’s now 6), she’s unsurprisingly getting more and more into art. How can she not when her dad’s an artist and I’ve been running my DIY blog Oh Happy Day since 2006? I wanted to carve out a little area for her that encourages her creativity. This space turned out to not just be a hit with Simone but all her friends, too (it’s the first thing they’re drawn to when they come over). 

Even in an art space, I love the idea of everything having a place (previously, her supplies lived in a closet). Nothing is more practical than a pegboard, which, by the way, you can get at any hardware store and top it off with fun tools to help your little one stay organized. Relying mostly on materials I had lying around the house (and a few genius Amazon purchases), here’s how I put ours together. 

The Setup

After measuring the empty wall space in between Simone’s pinewood IKEA cubbies, we cut a simple pegboard to fill the blank area completely. Using pink acrylic paint that was sitting around the house, I gave it some color (it blends in nicely with the custom chinoiserie wallpaper that my husband designed for the room). In order for the hooks to be able to go through the holes, there had to be a bit of space behind the board, so we added 1½-inch-thick wood trim around the back edges and then screwed it into the wall. 

The System

Simple wire containers—including a $14 wall-mount basket with an optional paper towel holder—and spare jars that I found in our kitchen cabinets were all we needed to hold her supplies. The easier it is for Simone to toss something in, the better—I don’t want it to turn into a situation where she plays with something once and it automatically looks like a hot mess.

That said, the items that she uses less of, like highlighters and plain lead pencils, are situated at the top of the board, while her markers and stickers are easily accessible below. I used clear magazine holders to keep her construction paper tidy and organized by the rainbow. There are times in our household when myself or one of my sons is on the hunt for scissors and we can’t find them. Luckily, when in doubt, we know we can always borrow Simone’s because they stay in the same spot. 

While you’re at the hardware store buying your pegboard, go ahead and purchase some utilitarian materials. You can get inexpensive things like a spool of string, kids’ scissors, paper, and stickers…lots of stickers. I almost regret giving Simone this much access to stickers—they end up everywhere and she’s very particular about them. (Our cat likes to climb up and play with the rolls, which doesn’t go over well.)

Another luxurious craft to have around is washi tape (it’s something I bought extra of, in every color) and Mr. Sketch markers, which I remember having as a child. It was such a visceral feeling when I discovered them again. Finally, an important decision I made was to not have any glitter. There are some things I don’t want to spend time cleaning up.