Craft paint bottles. Everywhere. So much paint. That was the state of my craft room before my dad and I worked together to build a set of handy PVC and wire shelf paint storage units to house all my paint. The base of these units comes from inexpensive storage shelves that are popular in college dorm rooms! This is the best solution I have found for organizing and storing craft paint in much less space than other methods.
I am so excited to share this tutorial with you today because I think it will make a big difference in your craft room organization. From some inexpensive materials, you can build hanging paint storage to both organize and display your craft paint!
Craft Room Organization: PVC and Wire Shelf Paint Storage
PVC and Wire Shelf Paint Storage
Are you familiar with these wire shelves? My parents bought me a few these sets for cheap storage in my college dorm room and they have been workhorses ever since. You can occasionally find them at thrift stores or garage sales, or you can buy them online or from Walmart or Target. These wire shelves are the most important part of these hanging paint racks. You will need two wire shelves for each rack. All the other materials can be bought cheaply at the hardware store.
The magic of these wire shelves is that the openings are just the right size to neatly hold bottles of craft paint!
I found inspiration for this project from this pin on Pinterest. The pin took me to a Cricut.com forum that just had this picture and this explanation: “She used two shelves from one of those wire shelving units and zip-tied empty thread spools in all four corners and the middle.” Unfortunately, that forum page no longer exists, so the picture only lives on Pinterest now. I showed the idea to my dad, and he had some ideas for recreating the basic design with a few tweaks to make it more sturdy and easy to hang.
What You Need to Make DIY PVC and Wire Paint Storage
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- wire shelving (2 per rack)
- 3/4” diameter PVC pipe (4 segments per rack)
- PVC pipe caps (8 per rack)
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Constructing the Paint Racks
Instead of using spools of thread and zip ties, my dad devised a way to use PVC pipe and caps to create both the proper spacing and to securely hang the shelves. You will need to use a hack saw to cut 3” sections of your PVC pipe. One inch from the end of each piece, use your hack saw to cut 1/4” wide notches halfway into the pipe. Do this for each of your sections of pipe; you will need four for each rack.
Check to make sure your wire shelves fit in the notches you created. The PVC pipe acts as spacers that will keep the wire shelves in place, while the pipe caps keep the rack properly spaced away from the wall.
The section of PVC pipe at the top of each rack supports the most weight, so you will need to screw this piece into the wall. First, decide where you will hang your rack. Then drill a hole in the wall where the top corner will be, and insert a molly.
Next, drill a hole in the center of one PVC cap. Insert a washer and screw.
Using your drill, screw the PVC onto the wall, into your molly This will make sure your rack is secure.
Insert the segment of PVC pipe into the cap you just screwed into the wall. Hang two wire racks from the notches, and add another cap to the front of the segment of pipe. Mark the spots on the wall where the other three corners meet the wall.
The other three pipe sections should be mounted on the wall in the same way as the top section but can be nailed into the wall instead of screwed.
The pipe sections should all be placed INSIDE the wire shelf corners, with the notches facing OUT.
This picture shows that the rack is not only very securely hung, but that the pipes provided an inch of clearance from the wall, and an inch of space between the racks. This makes sure there is enough room for the paint bottles to sit in each opening without falling out.
Second verse, same as the first.
Organizing Your Craft Paint
Each rack holds a ton of craft paint without any signs of stress to the rack or the wall. My paints are very happy in their new home. I chose to organize the racks by paint color. I love that it is so easy for me to see at a glance which colors I have so I can quickly grab what I need.
My bottles of paint that have smaller lids than bodies (aka anything other than the standard craft brand of paint) need to be placed bottom first into the rack. If you put them in the cap first, the smaller containers will angle down and possibly fall out of the rack.
The racks hold 2 oz. acrylic paints, 1 oz. fabric paints, and glass and screen printing paints without taking up a lot of space in my studio. I love that I don’t have to go digging through a box full of a lot of paint to find what I need anymore!
This is my favorite way to store paint since it frees up so much room on my craft table. Does your hoard of craft paint need some organization? I think this is an elegant and practical solution to the problem!
After questions and suggestions from readers, I did a few experiments and discovered that this same system also holds nail polish, tubes of glitter, and many (but not all) types of thread.