1. Use an old sheet or a tablecloth from the dollar store to cover the crafting area. Keep a rag handy to mop up any spills.
2. Set up as though you’re on a cooking show: Have all your “ingredients” ready.
3. Create individual craft stations out of egg cartons (that way, there’s no arguing when everyone wants to dip their brushes in red).
4. For a no-mess, easy craft for babies and toddlers, pour a few colours of paint into a large zip-top bag, put a piece of paper in it, seal it, and let your tot smush the paint around.
5. Old T-shirts make great smocks, but if you need to get paint out of clothes, apply liquid laundry detergent directly to the stain and let it set for an hour before rinsing. To remove glue, soak it in cold water before washing.
6. To pick up bits of leftover glitter, try using a piece of playdough—instant sparkly playdough!
7. Put everything away in its rightful place. Get a few clear bins and sort accordingly: paintbrushes in one bin, paint in another, etc. For toddlers, store all your essentials in a tool box. It’s easy to transport and pack up as soon as their attention drifts elsewhere.
A version of this article appeared in our December 2016 issue with the headline “Craft Hacks,” p. 81.