Adult Coloring Books Most Popular

How to Organize Your Colored Pencil Collection

Written by Adrienne

 

If you love to color, you’ve probably accumulated a lot of coloring supplies. It can get tedious to take your colored pencils in and out of the tin or cardboard box they came in every time you need a certain color. What if you had them organized, right there at your fingertips, ready to go whenever you need them?

Now you can, with these colored pencil organizers. From wooden stands to fabric roll up bags to desktop carousels, find the organizer that suits your style, even if you bought the biggest set of Prismacolor pencils!

Lots of different ways to organize your colored pencils for drawing or coloring. The wooden colored pencil stands are so pretty!

Wooden Colored Pencil Stands

Wooden Pencil Stand Wooden 60 Pencil Stand Wooden 84 Pencil Stand Wooden 120 Pencil Stand Wooden 168 Pencil Stand

These wooden pencil stands can hold your entire colored pencil collection perfectly upright, taking up a tiny amount of space on your desk. You can organize your pencils by color family or randomly — either way, it’ll be easy to find the color you need with them all on display.

The wooden organizer is unfinished. It looks beautiful as-is, or you can finish it yourself — I can picture this being a great surface to paint or decoupage!

I recently found another handmade wooden holder on Etsy that is really gorgeous. It only holds 50 colored pencils and the holes are all at the same height, making the center row a little trickier to access, but you can’t deny that this is one beautiful colored pencil holder:

Wooden 50 Pencil Stand -- gorgeous handmade colored pencil stand from Etsy!

Spend less time searching and more time coloring with these organizers.

The 60 pencil holder is the perfect size for the Prismacolor 48 color pack, with some blending pencils.

The 84 pencil holder is the perfect size for the Prismacolor 72 color pack.

The 120 pencil holder is the perfect size for the Caran D’Ache 120 color pack (Prismacolor doesn’t have a pack near this size).

The 168 pencil holder is the perfect size for the Prismacolor 150 color pack.


Wooden Colored Pencil Drawers

Wooden Pencil Box Wooden Pencil Box Wooden Pencil Box

Want a really classy way to organize your colored pencil collection? If you still want to be able to close your pencils into a container, but have an easy way to access them on your desk, this drawer is perfect. Plus you can keep some of your related tools on top (maybe a few coloring books, an eraser and your pencil sharpener), though I would advise against putting too much weight on it or stacking them.

The drawers come with separators and foam padding to keep your pencils protected and in place.

The two drawer wooden pencil box will hold about 90 colored pencils and is perfect for the Prismacolor 72 colored pencil pack, with some blending pencils.

The three drawer wooden pencil box will hold about 135 colored pencils and is perfect for the Prismacolor 132 colored pencil pack, with some blending pencils.

The four drawer wooden pencil box will hold about 180 colored pencils and is big enough to hold even the Prismacolor 150 colored pencil pack, with some blending pencils. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ ’bout!


Plastic Desktop Stands/Carousels

Colored Pencil Carousel

Colored Pencil Carousel Clear Colored Pencil Organizer

Clear Colored Pencil Organizer

If you want a plastic holder with a slot for every coloring supply, these are the organizers for you. Both can hold both thin supplies like colored pencils and larger coloring supplies like pens and markers.

The colored pencil carousel has 72 holes on three tiers and rotates like a Lazy Susan when spun. The three tiers have 24 openings each of increasingly smaller diameter, making the top level perfect for pencils, the middle level ideal for Sharpie pens or gel pens, and the bottom just the right size for thicker markers or Sharpies. The top has an opening where you can put scissors, and around the outside are sectioned cups for supplies like erasers, your sharpener, and more.

The clear organizer does not rotate, but it has a whopping 120 slots in a very compact space. The four sections in a circle make it easy to organize colors around the color wheel, and it is large enough to be able to hold the entire Caran D’Ache 120 colored pencil set. The holes are half an inch in diameter, and the plastic divider in the center makes it easy to pick up the whole set and move it around.

These plastic holders may not be the prettiest, but they are compact and great for giving you quick and easy access to your entire coloring collection.


Fabric Roll-Up Colored Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric Roll Up Pencil Case

Fabric colored pencil wraps are very popular, and all essentially work the same way: thread your entire pencil collection through the loops, roll it up, snap or tie it shut, and you are ready to safely stow your entire colored pencil collection and take it along with you. These roll up cases are great for taking to adult coloring clubs because they are much quicker to pack and transport than the tins Prismacolors come in, and less prone to disaster if you drop them.

Their one major downside (besides some potential tedium threading your entire set of colored pencils through all the loops the first time, which can be difficult, but you can make it easier by threading pointed end first) is that unrolled, these cases can take up a lot of space.

If you are shopping for a roll up pencil bag, the major features to look for are secure loops, and a flap for protecting the pointed ends of the pencils. Some also have a pocket or larger loop for a sharpener or eraser. These cases make it fun to organize your colored pencil collection in rainbow order.

The first roll-up pencil case above holds 48 pencils, one per loop, and is available in pink, beige, or olive green. It is made of a light-weight canvas material, has a leather flap for protecting your pencils, and includes a spot for an eraser.

The second canvas pencil wrap above is available in a variety of patterns, from floral, to bohemian, to patterned with images of notebooks, elephants, trees, or UK inspired items. There is also an option that is plain canvas. You can fit up to 72 pencils in this wrap. The pencils fit one per loop, with a spot for an eraser, and the case ties shut. Included are several styles of beads to thread onto the end of the ties if you desire.

The third wrap is similar to the one above but holds 48 pencils instead of 72.

The final wrap is configured a little differently, fitting 72 pencils, but you fold it in half before folding it up. Leather flaps protect the tips of the pencils and the case is trimmed in leather, with a leather strap closure that snaps shut.

It is worth mentioning that any of the above cases would hold similarly sized gel pens or thin markers!


Zipper Colored Pencil Case

Zip-Up Colored Pencil Case

Zip-Up Colored Pencil Case

This fine leather case holds a whopping 120 pencils and is available in brown or black. Versions are also available to hold sets of 24, 48, 72, or 96. It zips shut on three sides to completely encase your pencils, and the zipper pull snaps to the spine of the case to keep it locked shut while you are on the go, which is a really nice feature.

It is worth noting that the straps of this case are pretty wide — expect to put three colored pencils per loop, as shown in the second photo above. Since there is a middle section to the case, it can stand upright while being used.

Reviewers note the durability of this case, with its soft leather and fine stitching.


Colored Pencil Carry Bag

Pencil Carry Bag

Pencil Carry Bag

If you are constantly carrying your colored pencil collection with you, why not stow it safely away in a shoulder bag perfectly suited to your lifestyle.

This case unzips all the way open, allowing you to lay it flat. Inside the front of the case is a mesh pocket to hide coloring accessories in. Again, the pencils fit at least two to a loop.

This carry bag is an elegant solution to taking a lot of coloring supplies on the go, holding up to 132 pencils and all the accessories you might need.


DIY Solutions

Crafty? Got a talent for woodwork? Here are some DIY solutions to organizing your colored pencil collection!

Create Your Own Wooden Pencil Organizer

DIY Rustic Wooden Colored Pencil Holder: Quick way to turn a block of reclaimed wood into a functional work of art! This would be a really cute DIY gift for a coworker or artistic friend. You could use it for pens, too!

I love this rustic homemade colored pencil holder, created by Andrea at Strawberry Chic. The one pictured doesn’t hold too many pencils, but you could easily adapt this technique to larger blocks of wood or board in order to make a holder very similar to the ones on Amazon. The sky’s the limit!

I could really imagine this being a great gift too, maybe even for a writer or a stylish coworker. This thing would look gorgeous on a desk.

DIY Pencil Wrap

DIY Crayon Wrap. Would work great for organizing colored pencils, too!

These instructions are for a homemade crayon wrap, not a colored pencil wrap, but you can still follow the same set of instructions and come out with a really great looking wrap after some magic on the sewing machine.

Colored Pencil Wall Holder

DIY Colored Pencil Wall Hangers: Beautiful way to showcase your colored pencil collection on your wall! Need a lot of wallspace but this is totally worth it!

Tonya Staab created this picture-perfect solution to organizing the colored pencils in her craft room: pieces of wood with shallow slots drilled to perfectly display her set of Faber-Castell Aquarelle Watercolor Pencils on the wall, freeing up her desk space for other things. You need a lot of wall space to pull something like this off, but the end result is pretty and artistic!

Paper Tube Colored Pencil Holder

DIY Paper Colored Pencil Holder: This video shows you exactly how to make this holder for Prismacolor colored pencils (or any colored pencils, really). Since it's just made out of paper, you probably have everything needed to make it already, and you can also color in a block in the front to show what color goes there.

Believe it or not, this colored pencil holder is made entirely out of paper and glue, which you probably already have lying around! The video below shows you how to make paper tubes for your pencils to sit in, and then the paper holder that wraps around them, which gives you a place to color to show which pencil sits there. Every color will finally have its place.

Lazy Susan Wooden Pencil Holder

DIY Lazy Susan Wooden Colored Pencil Holder: Create your own colored pencil caddy with a little woodworking magic. You can even put a container in the middle to hold all your other supplies.

Diane at In My Own Style explains how to create this wooden lazy Susan colored pencil caddy. She discovered the original directions for it in an old and well-loved colored pencil techniques book.

She has also attached drawing paper to the “arms” of the caddy to show which colors go in which spot, similar to the previous DIY solution.

DIY Colored Pencil Caddy

DIY Colored Pencil Caddy: This colored pencil organizer is gorgeous. I love the different tiers. It's on a lazy Susan, so it spins, and it's entirely made out of PVC couplers, so it's sturdy, too!

The YouTube video below will show you how to make this beautiful three-level tiered colored pencil carousel. It’s on a lazy Susan, so it spins, and it’s entirely made out of PVC couplers, so it’s sturdy, too!

Don’t want to make this yourself? There is a beautiful handmade wooden version available on Etsy!

Gorgeous wooden colored pencil carousel from an artist on Etsy. Perfect for holding your coloring supplies!

Homemade Colored Pencil Cabinet

DIY Colored Pencil Cabinet: Have you ever seen those massive sets of drawers big Faber-Castell sets come in? This is the DIY version, which can hold as many pencils (or pens, markers, or pastels) as you need!

Are you a true DIY organization master? Prove it, by building this homemade pencil cabinet.

You’ve probably seen those beautiful sets of drawers some really large sets of colored pencils come in. If your colored pencil collection is too large to fit in this three-drawer pencil box, you can follow Ester Roi’s step by step instructions to build your own media organizer box. I love the plexiglass windows at the front of the trays, so you can see all your pencils lined up inside the shallow shelves.


All of the organizers above will serve to house, organize, and control your colored pencil collection, big or small. Some are perfect for making your colored pencils portable, while others will minimize the footprint of keeping your colored pencils right there on your desk. They make great gifts for the colorists in your life, or are a great coloring tool to get for yourself!

I hope you enjoyed this list! If you have any other great colored pencil organization tips or tools, please share them in the comments! Subscribe below to see more stuff like this, or pin the image below to save this list for later!

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Lots of different ways to organize your colored pencils for drawing or coloring. The wooden ones are so pretty!

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27 Comments

  • These are great organizing tools but I have so many different sets of pencils and markers that I would need one organizer for EAC set. Right now I have a Prismacolor 120 pencil set, Derwent Watercolor 72 pencil set, a Faber-Castell Pitt Artist 60 Brush pen set, a Faber-Castell Pitt Pastel 60 pencil set, a Faber-Castell Polychromous 60 pencil set, a Faber-Castell Albrecht Durer Watercolor 60 pencil set, and a set of 60 Faber-Castell Hard Pastels. I also have sets of gel pens and fineliners along with a set of 15 F-C Pitt Artis Big Brush pens and various other sorts of pens (like black microliners) and markers. Plus accessories. I have given away many of my extra pencils and pens to get my collection down to what I like. (I have paints and mists and stains, etc., of course, but I don’t use these in coloring books.) So how would you suggest I organize all this? I do dip into each set depending on how I want the color to lay down, what texture I want, and of course which shades I want to play with. I’d like to organize these sets by color and have toyed with the idea of using an old Faber-Castell “stadium” that was used in my first big purchase of a medley of F-C products but it won’t hold everything I have. Any ideas?

    • Wow, what a collection. I’m jealous!

      How you organize your supplies is going to depend on how you use them — do you want to be able to grab them and tote them along with you? Or keep them set up and ready to use, right within reach?

      The only thing I can think of that would hold ~500 colored pencils all in one place would be a very large colored pencil cabinet, and I’ve really only seen those sold with large sets of pencils inside for hundreds/thousands of dollars. Perhaps you could find one at an antique store or have one custom built by a carpenter or cabinet company. If you’re really crafty, I found a DIY version that could work for you, which I just added to the end of the post above!

      Otherwise, you’ll have to split them across a few different organizers. If you want to be able to transport them, the leather 120 pencil cases (like this one, which is also above: http://amzn.to/1YVikb3) could hold your entire Prismacolor set and pairs of your Faber-Castells. They also sell a 72-pencil case.

      If you are fine using them just in the studio, three of the 168 pencil wooden holders (above, but here’s the link: http://amzn.to/1jKX87P) should add up to enough slots for all the pencils you mentioned. I am not sure if your pens would fit. Alternatively, if you have a lot of wall space, the DIY wall holder I added to the post could work for you.

      Let me know what you end up doing, I’d love to see some pictures when you have everything all organized!! =)

      • When you said (Dec 2015) the 120-count case would store ALL the Prismacolors or “PAIRS of the FABER-CASTELLS” did you mean you could not fill the case with Faber-Castell Polychromos? I know the Prismacolor wax pencils are skinnier than the Polychromos (or other more expensive) oil pencils. If I use all OIL pencils, does that mean a 120-count case would not work for me if I wanted to fill all the slots?

        • Hi Anna! The 120-count leather case above will fit 120 Polychromos! They will fit 3 to a loop and be quite snug at first but you shouldn’t have any issues fitting them or any standard sized oil pencils in there. Over time the elastic should loosen and hold the pencils comfortably.

          Sorry for the confusion over the “pairs” comment, I totally see why that didn’t make sense — I believe I was referring to her being able to pair two sets of 60 pencils into the 120 case.

          Hope this helps! :)

    • Cleverpedia Thanks, Adrienne, for your suggestions. The truth is that I just have too many pencil sets! But I love them all for different reasons. And I do other crafts so I can’t dedicate a lot of space to pencils. I’ll let you know what I figure out, if anything. Again, thanks for your advice!

  • Would you suggest some “adult” coloring books for advanced children? They are old enough to move away from kid books and on to something more sophisticated. But the images shouldn’t be so complex to be off-putting. For example, I don’t think they are ready for something as complex as the Johanna Basford books. Thanks!

    • To answer your other question, check out another post of mine, with over 100 of the best adult coloring books by category: http://www.cleverpedia.com/best-coloring-books-for-adults/

      Since there are so many different kinds of coloring books out there, I think going by interest is a good way to decide — what are the children you’re talking about interested in? If they like the pattern/mandala books, there are some nice ones like Mandala Madness (http://amzn.to/1PSHMwq) that don’t have super tiny spaces but still have a lot of detail.

      If they want something more set in reality, I am crazy about Dover Publications’ historical coloring books. They have a coloring book for basically every historical event or time period you could dream of. I love their fantasy books too. I have a bunch of these in the History and Fantasy sections of the post I linked to above.

      Happy searching! =) -Adrienne

    • Cleverpedia Adrienne, I guess when selecting coloring books my own bias comes into play. I’m not a huge fan of mandalas but I know the kids’ mother is. I’ll take a look at the Mandala Madness book. Thanks. In the past, I didn’t like books published by Dover and Creative Haven; the images were printed doubled-sided on fairly poor quality paper so I’ve stayed clear of them. Perhaps they’ve upgraded their print quality. I recall one book on Victorian houses that was well done–it had images of rooms of that era with descriptions of their functions. (Unfortunately the print quality still was poor.) So I like the learning aspect of some of their books. I also like the Outside the Lines series; I see that there is a second book now. Those coloring books usually have larger images and the benefit is that the contributors are renowned artists. I tend to prefer coloring books that have whimsical images. I guess that makes it difficult for me to get into someone else’s mind!

    • Jeanne King Dover’s books are printed on both sides of the page, but Creative Haven’s books are single-sided, just so you know! :) That Victorian mansions book was one of the first Dover coloring books I ever had and I absolutely adored it. Good luck with your search! I’m sure you’ll find something perfect! :)

  • Thank you so much for these great ideas! I showed my boyfriend the wooden one, and he said he was going to try and make it for me! I am excited! I will definately post it on my page after it is done! check it out!

  • Great ideas. I realy like the Lazy Susan pencil holder. I guess I need to make a quick trip to Home Depot for some PCV pipe, it looks easy enough. I’m sure my wonderful hubby will make me the wooden pencil holder since he pretty crafty.

  • I am confused. I read about the need to store gel pens and markers in a horizontal position yet I consistently see examples of theses same items in vertical position. What’s the deal?

    • Hi Betsy! From what I have read, the best direction to store gel pens is actually NOT horizontally — rather, they should be stored vertically, capped, with the tips pointed down. This is because the ink is much more viscous than typical ink and needs to be stored this way to ensure a consistent flow/no air bubbles. I hope that helps!

  • Hi Betsy! From what I have read, the best direction to store gel pens is actually NOT horizontally — rather, they should be stored vertically, capped, with the tips pointed down. This is because the ink is much more viscous than typical ink and needs to be stored this way to ensure a consistent flow/no air bubbles. I hope that helps!

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