DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

DIY portable art kits for kids that are easy to create, fun to use, and great for family travel. Help kids be creative wherever they are!

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

I have often created portable art kits for the kids to use on road trips, plane trips, in the backyard, or when visiting family.

Some of these have been more freestyle (a few art materials gathered together in a small bag or basket) and some more formal (an elaborate sewn art portfolio with pockets for innumerable markers and crayons).

For our most recent road trip, I made what I think is just about the perfect portable art kit: a slim hard carry case that doubles as a lap desk, paper, and a selection of low-mess, washable art materials.

Here’s how…

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

A big thank you to Kwik Stix for sponsoring this post; as always all opinions expressed are my own.

This post contains affiliate links.What to put in your portable art kit 

*Kwik Stix are a low-mess alternative to paint. They are basically tempera paint in a solid stick form. The color glides onto the paper very smoothly, a bit like oil pastels, but the paint quickly dries to a hard, smudge-free paint surface. And the colors are wonderful and vibrant! 

Kwik Stix Paint Sticks

You can buy Kwik Stix in a variety of colors and sets at stores such as Walgreens, Michaels, and toy stores as well as online on Amazon.

In fact, I bought everything at Target in one go, but you could find many of these things anywhere and probably even have quite a few of them already.

Assemble Your Portable Art Kit

DIY Portable Art Kit for Kids - With Art Supplies Inside

The art supplies easily fit in the case I bought (a Sterilite Large Clip Storage Box) and the box doubles as a lapdesk, which is especially handy for the car or waiting rooms.

DIY Portable Art Kit for Kids - With Paper Pad on Top

The art pad fits inside the box, but can also be attached to the top.

DIY Portable Art Kit for Kids - With Paper Pad on Top

I wanted to secure the art pad to the lid (I removed the cover from the pad of paper first), and created stretchy straps out of fold-over elastic.

DIY Portable Art Kit for Kids - Making the Straps

Each piece of fold-over elastic was 22 inches in length and I tied the ends together to create a sort of giant rubber band. You could probably also use regular elastic, elastic string, or even a giant rubber band.

Note: The fold-over elastic I bought was from a Michael’s craft store (sold as cording near the beads). You can also buy it by the yard at a fabric store. Or buy a cute printed set online. Any extra FOE you have can be used to create headbands, hair ties, or for sewing simple skirts. :)

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids - side view

So before you travel for the holidays, whip up one of these portable art kits for the kids. They can be used in the car, in the hotel room, in the restaurant, etc, without any worry about messes. One for each child would be great or if you want them to share a box, hard clipboards to use as a drawing and writing surface for each child might be good.

Variations by age…

You could even add a few printable art activity pages, some DIY art activity pages, or art game instructions.

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids with Tupperware

Portable art kits are great for…

  • Using when traveling by plane or car.
  • For taking to Grandma’s house or the hotel (easy, portable, low mess, fun & engaging)
  • Plus they make great gifts!

Would your kids enjoy a portable art kit to use wherever they go?

Pin It for Later

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

Thanks again to Kwik Stix for sponsoring this post; as always all opinions expressed are my own.

DIY Portable Art Kits for Kids

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  • Reply
    Mrs. P
    November 22, 2016 at 7:58 am

    WOW! I really love this post! Great idea and love the age-level variations as well. This would also be a great gift for the holidays or birthdays (make up a few and keep on hand for last-minute birthday parties). Love!!

  • Reply
    December 15, 2016 at 4:32 am

    Thank you for the great idea, I really like it! I bought the clip files today so that I can put the kit together and give it to my three children on Xmas day ? Thanks again!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      December 30, 2016 at 6:12 am

      You’re welcome, Bee! I hope your children enjoy them! :)

  • Reply
    February 27, 2017 at 7:47 am

    Love this! I have a drawer of these supplies at my house for my granddaughter. I am an artist, and love to encourage her creativity. My kidS always had go boxes. I kept them in the car and they contained drawing supplies as well as small toys (think matchbox cars, small plastic figures – animals, soldiers, Cowboys, Polly pocket for girls). Kept them occupied wherever we had to wait patiently and quietly, i.e. Restaurants, doctors

  • Reply
    Laura Lebbon
    May 3, 2017 at 12:18 pm

    Hello – this is a great post. I’m just wondering if you have any recommendations for the heavy weight art pad? We live in Canada so don’t have Target anymore :(

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      May 4, 2017 at 4:40 am

      Any art pad would be fine, Laura. I see them available for sale even at drug stores and grocery stores. And definitely at toy stores and arts and craft stores.

  • Reply
    November 8, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    I love this idea, it’s a great concept! Most little car seats these days have bottle holders, so a cup in the car could hold some of the pencils and stick like items to ensure the box doesn’thave to opened often and there are a variety of colours available ?
    I love following your posts!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 9, 2017 at 5:30 am

      What a great idea about using a cup in the cup holder for keeping pencils or markers handy! Thanks, Karen!

  • Reply
    November 25, 2019 at 9:53 am

    Does the box that you link to in the post fit into a kids’ sized backpack? (A regular backpack, not a little one like SkipHop). Trying to plan for an upcoming flight and love this idea but don’t want another thing to fit into my own bag!

    • Reply
      Jean Van't Hul
      November 30, 2019 at 6:32 am

      That particular box is better suited for a road trip. If you want a portable art kit for a plane trip, you’ll probably want something a bit smaller.

      • Reply
        Jean Van't Hul
        November 30, 2019 at 6:35 am

        One of those clipboard boxes would work well! Like one of these: It would fit some paper, drawing prompts, stickers, and a slim set of markers or colored pencils. And maybe have a separate pencil bag or case in the backpack for additional art supplies if you’re going to have more that.

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