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The Eric Carle Museum
of Picture Book Art
  • 125 West Bay Road
  • Amherst, MA 01002
  • Tues. – Fri. 10am – 4pm
  • Saturday 10am – 5pm
  • Sunday 12pm – 5pm

Visit the carle


Making Art with Children

Labeling Materials For All Ages

As The Carle's Every Day Art Program Educator, I have the unique challenge designing the drop-in art activities for The Studio's ongoing Every Day Art Program that change every 4-6 weeks.  If you follow our blog regularly you're familiar with the variety of projects we offer: bookmaking, painting, sculpture, collage, drawing and printing to name a few! Whether our guests are novice art makers or seasoned veterans, anyone can try their hand at our current activity and use the materials at their level of expertise...

 One of the often overlooked details of designing each art project is figuring out the best way to organize the art materials guests will use at the tables in various sized baskets. 

Eric Carle Inspired Labels/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

For one of our recent Every Day Art Projects, Mapping Makeover, I made some fun new labels to organize the drawing tools into warm, cool and neutral colors.  To help our young guests learn the different color families, the paper liners are in bright colored paper by Canson.  On each label I added small dots matching the drawing tools' hues and familiar images from Eric Carle's The Very Hungry Caterpillar in warm, cool or neutral colors.  We use Avery templates in Microsoft Word to make all of our labels, very quick and easy!  We use brass fasteners to attach the cardstock labels to the 3 different sizes of baskets in our collection.

The photos below are the basic steps for adding a label to a basket without tape.  1. Stick the label to a precut piece of cardstock that fits snugly on one side of the basket. 2. Use a bookmakers awl or another sharp tool to make a hole where you want your brass fastener to go. 3. Secure the fasteners to the back of the basket and add the materials.  When the labels are not in use I store like-labels rubber-banded together in drawers by category, then they're easy to find the next time we need them.

Labeling Baskets/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blogawl1brads2

Sometimes we organize the paper in specific ways, for instance, by the shape of the papers.

The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

Other times the labels are more general, like "drawing tools" and "collage papers" so we can reuse the same labels for different projects.

Eric Carle Inspired Labels/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

We also design signage for specific projects to help guests take their projects further like, "How to make an accordion book."

Eric Carle Inspired Labels/ The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

How do you organize the art supplies in your classroom or at home for children?

The Eric Carle Museum Studio Blog

by Diana MacKenzie

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 14th, 2013 at 11:20 am and is filed under Space to Create, Our Approach. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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  1. Melissa Guion says:

    Fondly remembering my first visit to the Carle last summer. My daughter and I had a wonderful time in the studio. Everything is supremely well organized, especially compared to my home art cabinet!

  2. Bec Perkins says:

    Great idea to prepare the artistic supplies as per the Age as kids use the different artistic supplies compare to parents or aged ones. Labeling the artistic supplies will also ease up your work. --------x---------x------------x---------x---------

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