Soft Chalk Pastels: Storage and Cleaning

If you or your students are serious about continuing to work with pastels, it makes sense to protect the pastel sticks with storage. This week I decided that the children needed a nicer storage box for their pastels. I have a three-drawer wooden box that will hold about 50-75 sticks of soft and hard pastels. I was not using this storage much and thought that I would “gift” them with a more professional look for their pastels in their classroom!

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These three-drawer boxes are beautifully finished hardwood and have separate foam-lined drawers for storage, but can be considered an investment for the future of budding artists. I purchased mine from The Fine Art Store. The cost was about $40.00, not including tax and shipping. You can also find a Wood Pastel Storage Box on Amazon for approximately $25-$30.

Middle Girl is placing pastels in the new box. She is gently wiping the well-used sides on a paper towel to clean them up.

What about dirty chalk pastels? How to clean the chalk sticks? After so much use, there comes a time that an artist cannot see the color of her pastels because they are so dirty! Take uncooked white rice (start out with about ½ cup to 8-10 dirty pastel chalks) toss the rice into a baggie with the dirty pastels and GENTLY shake to clean them up. I understand that cornmeal CAN be used, but I had rather make cornbread with cornmeal than clean up pastels. Try it, it does work!



  1. Excellent information. Love your box…but I don’t have nearly as many pastels as you do…yet.

    Sharing on Pinterest.

    • Barb:
      Hello from Nana! Yes, the box is wonderful and I am in hopes that all the wonderful pastels that we have collected for the past 2 years will be kept safe and sound!


  2. Well, Now we’re all going to need a cool wooden drawer box! Hi Nana! I think I’ve seen items like this at the goodwill, and our town wide garage sale is this weekend. Thanks for giving me a fun summer item to look for while browsing!
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  3. Ambre Sautter says:

    This box is $25 on Amazon right now! I snatched one up!

  4. I just bought this box. It is ok for small square type pastels, but the larger soft pastels get stuck. First I removed the black foam material. They still got stuck, so I felt it was not worth the cost because many of us get both types of pastels. Amazon refunded my money with no hassle.

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