There’s something so dramatic and wonderful about pulling out a large drawing pad and opening it to a blank page. So much creative potential!
Storing large drawing pads and drawings is about getting creative with your space and having the right storage units and tools that will ensure that your art doesn’t get damaged, but is also out of the way.
What we easily forget is that we pulled out that drawing pad from a messy stack of art supplies, from the back of the closet, or a crack between the bookshelves. Large drawing pads are really awkward to store.
And it gets even worse once we’re done with the drawing. How the heck do you store those? Luckily, there are a lot of great tips and products on the market that can help you make your large drawings and pads work for you instead of awkwardly against you.
Don’t let the awkwardness of storing large drawing pads and pieces of art squash your creativity and become a burden. Let’s dive into some tips and products you can use to organize your large art and pads in a smart way.And, if you’re interested in on-the-go storage solutions, be sure to check out my post about the best ways to carry your art supplies.
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How do you store large drawing pads?
Drawing pads are easier to store than finished drawings, as you don’t need to worry as much about protecting them. Getting them out of sight in a place that’s easy to access and doesn’t cause an eye sore is the goal.
My favorite spot to store large drawing pads is under the bed.
The space under the bed isn’t made for monsters and dust bunnies. It also isn’t made for a chaotic jumble of mismatched objects that don’t seem to have a place. Storing your large drawing pads under the bed can work REALLY well, but you need to have the right supplies and organizational tools. Here are some great options:
Zunii Foldable Underbed Storage Bags
Storage bags aren’t just for clothes and odds and ends. These Zunii storage bags can be a great way to keep your large drawing pads organized, protected, and in one place. Tape an index card on the outside of your storage bags so that you can label them for easy identification and access.
When buying these storage bags, or any storage bags, it’s important to be mindful of the sizes. You want to be sure to find something that your largest drawing pads would actually fit into.
These Zunii bags are 42 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 8 inches tall. This is perfect for standard large drawing pads that generally measure 24 inches long and 18 inches wide.
Onlyeasy Jumbo Under The Bed Organizer
This Onlyeasy option is very similar to the Zunii option, but it is a little bit smaller and has some extra design and flair. These Onlyeasy bags measure 39.5 inches long, 19.7 inches wide, and 5.9 inches tall. If you want to save a few extra inches and all of your drawing pads will fit, these storage bags can be a great way to keep everything organized and under control.
Under the bed is the place that has the most amount of storage in a concealed place. That said, storing your large drawing pads can work in conjunction with your other storage needs.
If you have space in your garage or your art room, get a large shelving unit that will allow you to lay your drawing pads down flat. Turn them so that the edges are facing out and wrap slips of paper around them that you can label as needed. That way, even when laying flat, you’ll be able to identify each of your drawing pads.
Muscle Rack Five-Shelf Steel Shelving
Something like this Muscle Rack can store all of your standard 18×24 large drawing pads, as well as a TON of your other art supplies. It’s big, sturdy, and gives you a lot of options for organizing your materials. All of the shelves are adjustable, so if you’d prefer to stand your drawing pads upright, you can move the shelves as needed so that they fit.
A final, great option is hanging your large drawing pads behind a door. Ideally, you should pick a door that you don’t open and close a lot. Depending on how big your drawing pads are, they might swing around more than you’d like. But, if you have a closet door that you don’t open and close very often, this can be a GREAT solution for storing your drawing pads.
Art Portfolio Bag
What I LOVE about this portfolio bag is that it can be a great way to store your art supplies behind a door, or instantly turn into an on-the-go option. Just take it off the hook and go. Speaking of hooks, you’ll need an over the door hook like this one to hang your portfolio bag. These bags are designed to hold art supplies, so you’ll be able to store multiple drawing pads in them. But, depending on how thick your drawing pads are, I wouldn’t put more than 2 or 3 in there, which means you might want to buy a few of these portfolio bags to hang behind your door.
While those are my top 3 storage suggestions, you need to think critically about what would work best for you. More often than not, we shove our stuff wherever it fits and don’t think critically about where it should belong. Take a step back and think creatively about where your drawing pads could live.
We’re artists; we can get creative!
While any one of the storage options above could be perfect for your needs, think about what makes the most sense for you.
How do you store large drawings?
Things get a bit more complicated when you look for storage options for your finished drawings. Unlike drawing pads, once you have finished artwork, you need to be careful to protect every single page individually. That can be a challenge!
There are 2 key priorities to keep in mind:
- Your drawings don’t rub together
- Your drawings don’t get crumbled or bent
All of the storage options listed below will take care of the 2nd priority and keep your drawings from getting crumpled or bent. But, what about the 1st priority.
To begin with, make sure to use a fixative on your drawings. This will help protect them from smudging and keep them pristine overtime. A fixative will go a long way in preserving your art and is a key tool for any artist.
Once you’ve applied your fixative and are ready to store your drawings, put a sheet of wax paper between them. If your drawings slide or rub against each other, the wax paper will be an additional layer of protection to keep your art from smudging together.
After you’re all set with your fixative and wax paper, it’s time to store your drawings in a way that will protect them from any damage. Here are some of my favorite choices for storage containers that can store large pieces of art, while also keeping them safe and free from crumpling and bending.
Safco Products Flat File
This Safeco storage unit has 5 drawers that each measure 25.25 inches long, 37 inches wide, and 1.125 inches tall. With 5 drawers, that’s almost 6 inches of space for your drawings to fit into. This isn’t an inexpensive choice to say the least, but it is a high quality choice that could be a game changer for organizing your art. Be sure to take measurements in your room prior to purchasing to make sure that this Safeco unit will fit.
Brookside Design WRWH Heavy Duty Pivot Wall Rack
If you want to display your work, or enjoy browsing through it regularly, this pivot wall rack is a REALLY neat option. All of your drawings will be hanging without any contact with your other drawings. Given that it won’t be rubbing against anything, you can forego the wax paper. If you want extra protection though, you can put a piece of wax paper on the front of your drawing and clip it into the rack along with your art. Something to be mindful of with this option is putting it in a place with little traffic and risk of getting dirty or wet. Given that your art will be freely hanging, you don’t want people running into it or anything spilling on it.
1st Place Products Premium Art Portfolio Case
Sometimes, the simplest option can be the best option. Get a nice portfolio like this one from 1st Place Products. Not a cheap one; a nice one. Make sure that you’ve applied your fixative and are using wax paper between each drawing and carefully slide each drawing into your portfolio. You’ll want to be really careful sliding your artwork in and out to ensure that it doesn’t rub too much against each other or get bent. If you’re careful though, this can be an inexpensive and space efficient option.
Storing large objects like drawing pads and artwork is never easy. But, with a little creativity and the right tools, it can be a lot less awkward.
Diana has been an artist for over 26 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.