7 Tips for Storing Colored Pencils, Markers, and Pens

Last Updated: April 12, 2024

Are you looking for the best way to store your art markers, pens, colored pencils, and more?

Do you have a habit of losing a marker or two, or worse - losing their caps?

Do you find it troublesome to always dig through your box or storage bag of alcohol markers every time you’re trying to look for a specific color or a set?

Keep on reading! We’re filling you in on a few storage tips and hacks that will help you get the best out of your art markers and other coloring supplies!

Altenew Artist Markers and stamp sets

Check it out here!

Why do we need to store art markers properly?

Even the best art markers that money can buy will eventually dry up, run out of ink, or get blotchy. Just like every other crafting supply, you can prolong the life of your alcohol markers, colored pencils, pens, and more with proper care and storage. 

It’s also less clutter when you have a proper storage system or organizer for your markers. You’re decluttering, creating more space for other stuff, and saving money - all at the same time! Plus, it will be quicker for you to find specific colors or marker sets. You don’t need to rummage through boxes, drawers, or bags of supplies.

Right side up or upside down?

The rule of thumb is to store any capillary-action marker on its side or horizontally. However, this also depends on the marker’s nibs. Some examples of capillary-action markers are Sharpies and highlighters.

Investing in the best art markers isn’t enough; you need to know how to care for them properly. This way, you won’t need to keep on buying new ones because of dried-up or blotchy markers.

Altenew Primary Essential Art Markers Set

Check it out here!

Here are 7 essential tips to help you store your colored pencils, markers, and pens!

1. Store dual-ended markers sideways or horizontally. When you’re creating alcohol marker art, the last thing you’d want is blotchy blending or your alcohol markers suddenly drying out. If you own markers with dual tips - such as our Artist Markers - it’s advisable to store them on their side or horizontally, to ensure that the ink won’t settle on one tip, leaving the other dry.

However, if you don’t have the space to store them horizontally, there’s no need to panic. Our high-quality markers can be stored any way you want; it won’t affect their performance negatively.

Altenew Alcohol Markers

Check it out here!

2. Store single-ended markers upright. For single-ended markers like Sharpies, highlighters, gel pens, fine liner pens, etc., it’s better to store them upright or horizontally.

Some people would think to store them upside down for the ink to stay in contact with the felt tip fibers and not dry them out. However, you also run the risk of the ink leaking, leading to spillage that could ruin your crafting space and the supplies you stored alongside them.

3. Store them in an organizer. Take a quick browse through Pinterest, and you’ll surely find a bunch of DIY art markers organizer hacks! Having an organizer is the most obvious (and most straightforward) way to store your coloring supplies.

If you feel like creating your own art marker organizers with a little creativity, you can use empty toilet paper rolls or tubes. Instead of throwing these away, you can label or draw/paint over them, and use them to keep your colored pencils, pens, and markers safe and organized.

Altenew Clear Acrylic Art Markers Holder

Check it out here!

 PRO TIP! If you are still building up your collection and don’t have many markers or pens yet, it’s best to buy small to medium-sized clear acrylic holders. They're also nifty tools for storing other crafting supplies like scissors, glue pen, mini cube inks, sequins, blending brushes, watercolor brushes, and more!

4. Store them away from direct sunlight and at room temperature. Avoid extreme temperatures when storing your art markers and pens. It goes without saying that extremely cold or extremely hot temperatures will affect your coloring supplies’ quality.

According to Arromark, “the change from warm to cold or cold to warm in temperature will create pressure in the barrel.” The pressure might force the ink out of the tip and cause a mess. Markers stored in extremely hot or freezing temperatures need to be degassed to ensure that they won’t leak.

5. Store them in a marker bag. If you can’t afford this, don’t worry! You can always use any bag you have lying around. It’s better if it is made of thicker and waterproof material.

Having a marker bag is great if you like traveling around with your supplies. You don’t need to worry too much about your colored pencils and markers getting squished or getting lost in your luggage.

Altenew Sunshine Valley Garden Art Markers Set

Check it out here!

6. Store them in a marker storage rack. This is another storage option that you can definitely DIY. You can create a marker storage rack from any household item lying around. For instance, you can repurpose some old boxes or plastic containers. You also need to consider the amount of space you have and how you’re going to store your markers.

7. Store them in old jars, glasses, or cups. This hack is super easy; you can even ask your kids or younger siblings to help you decorate them!

Never throw away old glasses, cups, or mason jars! Repurpose them into holders for your markers and pencils. You’re saving money and helping the environment by not contributing waste! Here are a few ways on how to decorate your DIY marker storage:

  • Cover them up with old newspapers or paper scraps from your past DIY projects.
  • Use washi tapes to decorate them.
  • Decorate them with stickers!
  • Use your alcohol markers to create some alcohol marker art.

Altenew Art Marker Bundles

Check it out here!

There are so many ways to take care of your art supplies, whether they’re markers, colored pencils, pens, watercolor, stamps, dies, or inks.

While investing in storage racks, carts with wheels and fancy organizers are all fantastic ideas, if you want something quick, easy, and not as expensive, try the seven tips we’ve mentioned here.

In case we missed some, feel free to leave a comment and let us know! One can never have too many storage hacks and tips! And always, you can find more tips and hacks In the Craft Room. Happy crafting!


  • Altenew

    Hey JL and everyone! Thank you for your feedback. We’ve updated the post accordingly. We sincerely apologize for the confusion.

  • JL

    This was not too helpful; more confusing, if anything. I was looking for a great way to store my markers and pencils, other than how I already store them. Currently, my markers are in ziplock storage bags, then go into old shoeboxes. My pencils are stored in an old, wide-mouth mason jar. When I went to venture out with supplies, I put what I want in pen/pencil storage cases I bought at the art store. I cannot imagine using a toilet paper roll to keep pens together. It seems they’d fall out easily unless you stuff the thing to the gills…then the you can’t get your pens out…the paper roll rips. I guess I’ll stick to my ziplock method.

  • Shruti Chordiya

    Thanks for this great article!

    Read more

  • Kirianna K

    I agree with Cheryl. This article is confusing. It says to store the markers horizontally then all of the suggestions are for vertical storage unless you keep them in the box and lay those down. I can tell you not to buy the Tombow marker case. It is awesome, but altenew markers are too fat for the slots. Real bummer. I really like that case!

  • Lisa

    Good to know!!!!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

In This Article