I need to store a lot of charcoal and pastel drawings as I've recently gotten back into drawing.

I can't afford a proper solution such as a flat file at the moment.

I'm worried about stacking the drawings on top of each that can lead to possible damage on the drawings. I also don't want to leave them exposed to dust.

Is there a cheap solution that I can place between and on top of the drawings for the moment until I can afford a better solution?

2 Answers 2


I would lean toward using acid-free tissue paper. It comes in all sizes and you can cut out sheets large enough to separate your drawings. I think this is similar to what my sisters use.

Of course one of the things that could help preserve them is spray a fixative on them, to help keep them from smudging.

Last if you need a physical container, there are plenty of different shaped plastic boxes, many big box stores have different options for $5-10 a piece. Combined with the acid-free tissue paper you can store quite a few drawings in a safe location away from the elements, dust etc.

  • 1
    In addition to this, a few bits of masking tape around the edges of the tissue holding it in place over the drawing (preventing it sliding and smudging) can help a lot.
    – Tom Medley
    Apr 30, 2016 at 14:07

Yes! I got you!
If you go to Walmart, or on the website, you can search for "fixative spray" (like this or this), the fixative spray I'm talking about allows you to edit, this one isn't like those expen$ive ones, this one only costs $6, that's actually the cheapest I have found today, I have it and I give it 5 stars, it's great! it actually prevents it from smudging and blending your charcoal or whatever you work with, the links are here: I really recommend it!

NOTE: you don't have to buy a fixative spray, the substitute is hair spray!

And finally, this is the one I have!^^
I hope this was helpful!

  • Hi Isaac, this is again not really an answer to the question, which is "is there a cheap solution that I can place between and on top of the drawings for the moment until I can afford a better solution?". Adding fixatives will not help with storing drawings, as it only adds another variable to take into consideration. I also feel your answer contains an unnecessary amount of links: linking to a product you think is really good is okay, but I strongly suggest at least giving proper reasons for a specific linked product. Fixative is meant to prevent smudging, so that's not a unique feature :)
    – Joachim
    Jan 5, 2021 at 8:01
  • 1
    Also note that hair spray is a terrible long term solution, as it yellows quite easily.
    – Joachim
    Jan 5, 2021 at 8:02

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