How To Store Your Art Materials Safely

If any of you are like us stationery addicts here at The Ink Inquisition, you have loads of art materials stored away somewhere. You probably don’t get to use them a lot, but they’re really precious to you. There’s nothing worse than digging them out when you need them, only to find they’ve been damaged or are no longer usable.

To make your life easier, we’ve compiled a list of tips on how to store your materials away so that they remain in pristine condition.


  1. Store your gel pens vertically, with the capped end facing down. This ensures that the ink stay towards the nib, and hopefully you won’t have to shake your pen or scribble on a paper before getting it to work smoothly again.
  2. The same goes for ball point pens.
  3. This goes without saying but we’ll say it all the same: remember to keep your pens tightly capped.
  4. People’s opinions regarding storing inked pens varies, but we’d recommend storing them upright i.e. with the nib pointing upwards. Storing it in the opposite direction or even horizontally could cause the ink to flow from the reservoir to the nib. If the ink dries, the nib can get clogged. Needless to say, if you’re using your inked pen very frequently, you might not have to take the precaution to always keep it upright.
  5. Make sure your pen isn’t near a heat source or stored in cold temperatures.


  1. When using your pen, it is good to clean the nib every two minutes or so, especially if you are using thick inks like white ink. Inks that have more moisture do not require you to clean as frequently.
  2. If you are keeping your nib on your pen, as mentioned previously, store the pen upright.
  3. The most common storage for nibs are tin boxes. You can use any other box or storage system as long as there is nothing heavy or sharp pressing down on your nibs.
  4. If you are living in a region with humid climate and are afraid of your nibs rusting, place a couple of silica gel packs in your nib tin/box.
  5. If you have too many nibs to store in a box  and you want them within reach, you can protect your nibs using drinking straws. After cleaning your nibs, cover them with a cut up piece of drinking straw. This should protect it from damage.
  6. The main things to keep your nibs away from are: heavy objects that can bend them, and moisture.



  1. Dual-ended markers are best stored horizontally, to prevent the ink from moving to one end and leaving the other side dry.
  2. Markers with only one nib should be stored horizontally as well. This prevents the barrel for drying out.
  3. Always, always, always keep the cap tightly closed.



  1. Store your pencils either vertically with the tips up, or horizontally.
  2. Keep them in a box or container that they can’t roll out of easily.
  3. If you’re storing them lying down, perhaps wrap them in foam or bubble wrap.
  4. Pencils face the most damage from moisture and heat. Ensure that they are stored in a cool and dry place. Colour pencils with wax in them are especially susceptible to heat so take extra care of them.


  1. Just like pencils, pastels should be stored in a cool place.
  2. It is best to keep pastels separate from each other to prevent the colours rubbing off on each other. If you have too many pastels to separate each of them, you can also store the pastels by colour and shade. For example, all the blues can be stored together.
  3. If your pastels have got a fine layer of dust coating them, place them in a bag filled with ground rice. Gently shake the bag until the ground rice rubs off all the dust.
  4. You can also line the bottom of your storage container with ground rice before placing your pastels in them. Just remember to throw out the dust and replace the ground rice once in a while.

Colored chalk on a blackboard background


  1. Ensure that these are not subject to sudden changes in temperature.
  2. Keep them in airtight plastic boxes.


  1. Wipe away any excess paint around the caps and nozzles of your oil, watercolour and acrylic paints before screwing the caps back on tightly and placing them in plastic airtight containers.
  2. If you have oil paints on your palette that you want to use at another time, wrap the palette in a plastic sheet.
  3. Acrylic paints should be stored in a place where the temperature does not exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit or falls below freezing point.


  1. Ensure that your brushes are stored separately from your paints, just in case any of your paints leak out.
  2. To learn more about taking care of your brushes, check out this post where we cover it in detail.


  1. Canvasses face the most risk from moisture damage so make sure they are stored in a dark and dry place.
  2. Papers inevitably turn yellow unless you use acid-free paper, but these tend to be expensive. To make sure your papers don’t turn yellow for as long as possible, keep them away from light and store them somewhere where they have the least exposure to air.

Also read: How to Care for Your Paint Brushes

Need ideas on how to store your stationery and art materials? Click on the image below to check out our Pinterest board for inspiration.

Store your stationery.jpg


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