$9 Portable Art Kit

$9 Portable Art Kit in its case

I knew that Denyse had been taking a portable art kit out and about with her, and I liked the idea. Instead of waiting for her to blog hers (which she has shared here), I got impatient (as I do) when I knew I had a day full of waiting around in hospitals, I ducked out to Kmart early in the morning and made myself one!


$9 Portable Art Kit


$9 Portable Art Kit


Kmart is a real winner for this stuff. I don’t need anything fancy. Especially as I’m uncomfortable with art and drawing. Of course you could spend more and elsewhere. And if that’s your thing, totally do it. 


This only cost me $9 all up:

  • A5 Notebook $2
  • Gel pens $2
  • Star pencil case $5


I wanted a case to keep them together so it’s tidier and easier to find in a big bag. Most of the standard pencil cases in Kmart (at least in the one I went to) were the same size as the notepad and couldn’t actually fit the notepad inside it. Then there was literally one that fitted it. Woo! 


$9 Portable Art Kit in its case


As you can see below, the term art is something that can barely be applied to what my hands can do with pens, but it’s way less about the outcome and way more about the trying and doing. I did try adult colouring in for a time (and writing “adult colouring in” just made the phrase syphilitic penis pop into my head which is why you should never take advice from me on anything). Anyway, art and I will always have a strange relationship but that doesn’t stop me from trying. And it’s always good to have something to do with idle hands that doesn’t involve picking up a phone.


Beach Art


Have you ever created a portable art kit? What would you put in yours? How SHINY is that pencil case!?


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20 Replies to “$9 Portable Art Kit”

  1. What a good way of whiling away the hours waiting around in hospitals. I usually use my phone and magazines to entertain myself in hospital waiting rooms.

    I used to make the kids portable art kits for long holiday road trips when they were younger but I never made myself one!


    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I had my headphones with me for more of an “I don’t want to listen to other people” protection but wanted something a bit …different for me to do.

  2. This is a great way to carry a few pieces to get your creative on! I used to do the same, perhaps I should again!

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I’m hoping I keep up this habit as I think it’s actually quite beneficial, lameness of outcomes nowithstanding. Maybe I’ll get skilled one day too (haha unlikely)

  3. I have a stationery addiction, but I cannot say I have as yet invested in a portable art kit…….

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Ooh, could be some justification… 🙂

  4. Such a great little kit! Kmart rocks. I don’t have an art kit for local times but when we travel I have two pouches I pack with black pens, pencil, compass, watercolour crayons, water brushes, and some paint pens. Then I take a nice visual diary or watercolour moleskine. Makes airports and plane travel extra awesome .

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Oh watercolour crayons sound like something interesting! Might have to look into them.

  5. Okay, you and Denyse have inspired me to put my own art kit together. I have the supplies but they are scattered from draw to cupboard and from room to room. I have no idea how I manage to do this. I think disorganisation may just be my gift!!! I’ll embark on the mission of search and collect once I score a nice shiny case like yours ?

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Denyse inspired me 🙂 Great to track them down and once you know how much you want to have on you, you can look for a case to fit.

  6. I can’t buy any more…LOL I love books to write notes in but I have so many and I need to move all my notes together.

  7. I love that pencil case and a portable art kit is such a great idea. I always take my notebook sized colouring book and colouring pencils with me when I fly – it’s so relaxing!

  8. This is the cutest! I love the idea of having them all packed inside the pencil case for grabbing at a moment’s notice.

    My plans for portable kits include putting together a decent picnic set, a beach bag type set up for my car and some solution to my current camera bag overload. If you’ve got any suggestions for me, I’m all ears. Haha.

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      I actually kind of do have solutions for those! I don’t picnic but we do BBQ a lot and this is my old bbq kit – I’ve updated it and not yet blogged the update but effectively it’s just a bit more compact in a better bag now, the basics are the same:

      I keep meaning to blog my beach bag that I keep in my car and I can blog my camera bag set up as I recently tweaked that too. Thanks for the blog post ideas haha.

  9. My kinda art kit. How good are gel pens? I love them. I have an appointment near Kmart tomorrow… ??

    1. Vanessa Smith says: Reply

      Since I took these photos I’ve actually been back and bought the other set of $2 gel pens too 🙂

  10. Oh this is so lovely to read. I am really pleased to made a start. You are right, it does not have to have much in the kit to get a start. I hear you on the sizes of things and whether they fit in a container or bag. Next week I will follow up with more about decent products which can be costly BUT they end up paying for themselves in the long run as they do not run out. I found in 2013 that I was better buying those than perservering and getting frustrated with gel pens that get stuck and all. Love this post….and all the replies indicate that perhaps more people might be wanting to give this a go! Denyse

    1. I actually went back and bought the other $2 gel pen set haha. Far from great quality but plenty enough to scribble for 10mins on my lunchbreak.

  11. This is on my list to do for the girls. Whenever we go anywhere we always take paper, pens & pencils so they can draw (it is their all-time favourite thing to do after-all) but it’s always a punish trying to get everything together before we go. So I’d love to create something small like this for them that will fit in my bag and that I can leave in the glove-box of the car and grab out when we get to our destination. I think a trip to K-Mart might be on the cards for tomorrow!

    1. It’s so nice to have something on hand (on weekdays at least, when I carry a bag big enough) to pick up that isn’t a phone.

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