This post is by my assistant, Tiffany. Enjoy!
When I want something beautiful to hang on my walls, need someone to take family photos or want help organizing a lovely party I am so thankful to live in a house full of "creatives." Often times, however, this creativity comes with a bit of a mess.The random art supplies that my family collects and uses on a regular basis can quickly take over the house if I am not diligent to corral all of it. In this post I will show you how I was recently able to make a tiny artist studio space in our home.
I had previously utilized a small dining room hutch to store our art supplies but it really wasn't working and I was getting sick of looking at the mess.
My "picker" husband found this solid wood hutch on the street one day. It was much bigger than the one I was currently using, but it smelled like smoke and was not the cottage look I was going for in my home. When my husband offered to clean, deodorize and paint it for me I decided to take him up on the offer.
Here is my husband's hasty shot of our free-found-hutch just before painting.
While my husband sanded primed and painted the roadside find, my little artists and I separated all our art supplies into piles. We had piles to give away, throw away and keep. We then sorted the keep pile putting like items together.
Here is the newly painted hutch with art supplies organized inside.
Inside the hutch we used simple, cheap (or free) containers to corral all the various supplies. On this shelf, you can see clear shoe bins (which I already had) with card making supplies and kid-painting supplies. We also covered some coffee cans in contact paper and labeled them to store colored pencils, crayons and markers.
I purchased a few of these plastic drawer organizers from the dollar store to corral our ribbons, stamps, pencils and ballpoint pens.
Everything we use to cut is found in another drawer. I have used these Creative Memory brand bags to store my punches and shape cutters for years. I used the dollar store organizers to corral the small blades and some other odds and ends. Now we can easily take things in and out of the drawer without needing to dig around.
In one cupboard I have another roadside find. This 12x12 paper sorter/ drawer set was also found by my husband and children on a walk. (You can see the previous owner had written "kitchen" in sharpie on the drawer, but it is still perfectly useful). We cleaned and disinfected it and it is used by my daughter for all of her calligraphy and watercolor supplies.
One problem I needed to address was where to store and display all this art. My college student came home her first semester with loads of art and needed a place to keep it for a while. I decided to make an easily changeable gallery wall with some of my favorite pieces.
The way I hung all this artwork was with the use of mini command hooks, tape and a little string. It is simple and cheap to hang lightweight art this way. The box of command hooks was around $7. The other supplies I had on hand. Since these are student works, and will likely change many times a year, I didn't put tons of work into displaying things perfectly. It looks nice and is easily changed without needing to put holes in the wall of our rental home.
I even used command hooks and a hole punch to hang up the baby's first painting. It adds a cute reminder of where every artist begins!
Another problem that I needed to address with this creative corner was how to process my daughter's Etsy orders efficiently. She needed a place to keep her prints and prepare them for mailing. We made use of the "hole-punch-command-hook trick" once again, and added her inventory to the gallery wall. You can see here that it is simple for her to get to her prints out of the envelope and prepare them to mail whenever she has an order to fill.
The little work table was made by my husband's great grandfather and was being stored in our garage. I decided to make use of it inside the house instead. Every artist needs a place that inspires them and also provides a place to work and leave their work in progress for a while, and this little table is just perfect for that.
Our creative corner is not perfectly symmetrical or tastefully appointed with custom furniture, but it's quirky and creative charm blesses me every day. I spent about $15 total including paint, command hooks and dollar store containers. It took a full weekend of organizing sorting and a loving hubby painting and moving furniture around, but it was well worth it.
I was able to get over the fact that artists are a little messy when I got a look at some famous artist studios like this one belonging to sculptor Alexander Calder.
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