Great works of art have been started at kitchen tables!
You do not need a huge studio (although it would be nice) to get creative! But you do need to get creative to make your small space art studio..
After downsizing to a smaller house, I had to get creative with my own art space. It all depends on your craft of course, but for me it is painting with acrylics and watercolor and the only space available was in our bedroom..
Try to Decide on your Favourite type of Art
This is hard for any creative person, but if you want to stay organized, try sticking to a particular type of art to get the most out of your studio. For me this is painting. I don't create large pieces of work, but I still need a place for my paints and other supplies. I did invest in a couple of storage items by following these steps, and was able to fit everything I needed in a part of my bedroom underneath the window from a huge basement studio!
Step 1 - Collect all your Supplies - From around the house in boxes, and gather them in the same room as the space you have decided on. Remember the space doesn't have to be big, it can be a corner of the kitchen, but once allocated, you can get to work.
Step 2 - Sort Your Supplies - There is no point in trying to store dried paints, broken items, or things you will never use. At this point, create 3 separate piles. One for Donation, one for garbage and one for Keeping. You will feel so much better for getting rid of garbage and donations. Value Village took many of my supplies, as well as a friend in a garage sale. Now you can see just what you are working with. Why store things you won't use?
Step 3 - Utilize Vertical Space - Meaning if you don't have much floor space, try and use as much wall space as you can or tall dressers or tall drawers on wheels. Minimize how much floor space you use and go up.
By getting your paints off the desk, table or floor, you not only make room for your artwork but you have neat storage where you can see every bottle. (Note: Most 2 ounce bottles of paint have the color on the lid, but if not quickly dab some on as you put them away)
This one will hold 81 bottles. You could hang a second one on the wall beside it or above it if you have the room. This is easy to use and great storage for less than 60 bucks. Check the current price online to see if this would work for you.
Step 4 - Make Every Bit of Space Count - I invested in a tall set of drawers on wheels. This was perfect for all my smaller bits and pieces, pens, stamps, pictures etc. I made one of the drawers my "idea drawer" rather than leave my ideas on scraps of paper all over the place. I decided everything has to count "double time" So what I do like about this set of drawers is that the top is usable space as well. I have used this space many times for my photos of cards I paint and sell on ETSY.
You can get these at many art supply stores, but I did find good deals online and usually free delivery, so check this one out. I have a similar one in my art studio. What I really like about this unit is that it takes up very little floor space. You can get double width ones, but I needed it to rise vertically instead of taking up horizontal space on the floor if that makes any sense? They can fit a lot and easy access to your supplies.
Step 5 - Your Art Desk or Work Surface - Maybe you use a small desk or even a kitchen table, you need to make it work double time for you. Meaning it can somehow or other house accessible storage. I prefer to keep things off the work surface but you can get bins from the dollar store that stack on one end of your table.
I use the dollar store all the time for small bins and containers for brushes, pens and pencils. I then use online for the larger pieces. I got this adjustable table similar to the one below last year for my birthday. I love this especially for my drawings as I can adjust the surface with some storage underneath.
Step 6 - Admire your Small Art Studio Organization! - It is amazing just how much you can fit into a small space art studio, especially once you have had a good clean out. If you take the day and really look at your supplies. The one thing I noticed, is that you tend to collect many things as an artist or crafter, many things that you really don't need. Remember go LEAN AND CLEAN!
Go Lean and Utilize the Dollar Store - The dollar stores have become my best friends because they have so many storage containers especially clear ones so that you can see what is inside. I have a few book shelves that I use clear plastic tubs I got from the dollar store to store things I don't use all the time but don't want to throw out. If you take the time to label these containers you will not be tearing apart your little studio looking for them.
Once a Month Have a Clean Out - The best part about having an organized small art studio is that you will take a bit more effort to keep it clean, especially if it is part of a family room. After a session of creating, if you have garbage or recycling, deal with it now. This keeps your little studio humming along.
Portable Art Studio
Another idea I came across for anyone who literally has no room for storing supplies.
The case on each end of these pictures is on wheels. So that you can set yourself up for your crafts anywhere and then keep everything you need tucked away and place in a closet or out of sight when not in use. They hold a ton of supplies, and perfect for art classes too.
Organizing a Small Art Studio may seem stressful at first, but I felt really good for having a good clean out and organizing. I had a full basement in my last house which made it easier to spread out all over the place. I have adjusted to a much tinier space quite comfortably.
My small space art studio is always a work in progress. I was lucky enough to have a little nook of book shelves that housed a lot of my supplies. I still have to get better at clean up after a creative session, but at least I keep my desk clean!
Don't let a small space stop you from being creative. For many including me, having a creative spot to play easily makes me a better person. Make your small art studio easy to use, everything accessible and have a place for everything!
If you love to create with all kinds of mediums including wood, here is a brilliant and affordable way to age the new unfinished wood you may have for your projects.
Having that grayish patina can look awesome and add a distinctive look to your piece. It adds age. You can purchase all kinds of expensive products that will do the same thing, but this has got to be the easiest way yet. As long as you can afford at least 4 days to let the solution work, you can create this aged wood look in less than an hour.
First Step - Find a clean pail with a tight fitting lid. Enough to hold your vinegar and equal amounts of water.
Second Step - Wearing protective gloves, tear apart the steel wool and place in the bucket.
Third Step - Pour your plain white vinegar into the bucket (this works on a 50/50 solution of vinegar to water so make sure your bucket is big enough and it also depends on the size of your project as to how much you need) Do not use the water just yet.
Fourth Step - Let these two ingredients soak (steel wool and vinegar) for at least 4 days.
Fifth Step - After 4 days check it out, it will look all muddy and rusty. Add equal amounts of water to the solution as vinegar and stir with a paint stick. (In the video she used a 1/2 gallon vinegar and used the same bottle for the water)
Sixth Step - Using a clean paint brush, paint the solution on your unfinished wood and watch the magic start within an hour.
That is it! Check out this video for a more visual look.
If you love to paint on furniture, or maybe you want an aged wood look for your painting frame, this is a great way to achieve it.
It can take years to have wood turn that silver/grey look. I used to look for old barn wood, and now many antique stores sell it, but it gets very expensive. If you don't mind a bit of work, for the price of some white vinegar, steel wool, a bucket and a paint brush (you may even have all of these items at home!) you can knock that "too new" look right off the unfinished frame.
Unfinished Wood Works Best for Aging Wood
You could try and sand an old piece of wood or frame to get every bit off, and give it a try, but so far I have found better luck with new pieces. You can get plain wood frames online, or you can make them yourself. Get the cheapest pine and then get creative with this aging process. As you can see in the video, it can really give that rustic look you are going for.
Try to Keep Frames for Paintings Uniform Size - Keeps Your Costs Down
If you sell your artwork at shows, fairs or even give as gifts, framing can get very expensive especially if your work is a unique size. To keep your costs down, try to keep your artwork to such a size that a common sized frame will work. Especially if you sell it without frames (as I tend to do!).
An Entire Page of Unfinished Picture/Art Frames online
Customers don't want to have to pay a lot extra for a special made to order frame which can get very expensive. But if you do sell it framed, try this process instead of numerous coats of paint or stain.
Rustic Look to Frame Your Artwork
If you love the idea of a rustic looking barn wood frame but without the splinters, then get unfinished ones online as above, or find deals, just make sure they are unfinished so the vinegar and steel wool process will work its magic.
I absolutely love this patina, and it will pretty much match most decors as it is not too bright or too dark, just right.
Hi there! My name is Diane Palmer, and I love to draw and paint. I love to try new things, and in this blog and my website you will see the results of my artistic endeavors!