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Dear Wonderful, Creative You: One of the things that people consistently say gets in the way of making art is not having an art space. I’d like to share some ideas for creating a fun, funky, and functional art space you can really use in your home. Even if it's just a corner, a drawer, or a caddy, you NEED a space for your art. #artist #creative Click To Tweet Inspiring Art Studio Spaces Before we talk about practical ideas, let’s dream a little, shall we? Let’s look dewy-eyed at some amazing art studios, because I think dreaming about your ideal studio might inspire you to incorporate some of the elements in your art space.
Create an Art Studio in YOUR Home We aren’t all able to create gorgeous studios like the ones in the list above, but I believe that if you truly want to make art and creativity a part of your life and your self-care practice, you can find a space for it. It’s about making your art a priority. Here’s some of the best ideas I’ve found for carving out an art space at home. Stop waiting for the ideal art studio.
Find a spot, claim it as yours, and make art. #spaceforart Click To Tweet 1. Divide a room into living space and art studio space. Use shelving, a table, or a screen to delineate (or hide!) the art area in a family room or living room. 2. Take over a corner. Place a desk and some shelving with baskets to hold art materials in the corner of any room. Voila! Instant art space. 3. Convert a closet.
Squeeze some clothing into another closet, or create a clothing rack in the attic. Use a small desk, chair, and perhaps mini shelving to create your mini art studio. You will find space for art making in your home when you acknowledge that making art is a key ingredient to your happiness. #artheals Click To Tweet 4. Install a fold-down table with some storage, like this one* somewhere in your home.
5. This table from Ikea folds up very small and also features storage, making it a good option for an art space in a common room, such as an eat-in kitchen or dining room. You might combine that with this inventive solution for storing paint: 28 Ideas for Craft Paint Storage 6. Take over the garage, attic, or basement. Be sure to consider heating, cooling and humidity issues. 7. Make a rolling art cart.
This post from ArtBar has some inspiring ideas for using shelving and rolling carts to create an art space at home. You might also like this post from Tinkerlab on how to create space for art making in your home. She is focused on kids, but the same ideas can apply for adults. 8. Repurpose an old piece of furniture as an art table, desk, or storage. You might like the Junquemail Contessa’s repurposing of a changing table for art supplies.
9. This mobile art caddy from Dick Blick would be another way to keep art supplies at the ready, yet out of the way in a common room such as a dining room or eat-in kitchen. 10. Convert an antique into an art supply station. Check out Kelli McKinley Hansen’s inventive use of a mail sorting cubby. See how I’ve repurposed two pieces of furniture in this post. Check Out My Studio in This Video: You can check out a video tour of my studio here.
Even the smallest home has space for art. Click To Tweet Portable Art Kits and Stations 11. Carry an art pouch. Whether carving out a dedicated art space in your home feels impossible, or you like being able to make art anywhere, a portable art kit is an essential tool. I’ve been a fan of using little and big pouches as portable art kits for some time, this post gives some ideas for decorating your own.
I find the more special it feels, the more I want to pick it up and use it! 12. Make an art tool bucket. This tool bucket makes for a great portable art station with all its pockets. What Art Supplies Might Inspire You to Create at Home? Now that you’ve got an art space set up, what do you put in it? Whether you are just starting to make art or you’re a seasoned artist, trying out some new materials can bring a wonderful infusion of creativity.
Here’s a few of the supplies I most enjoy playing with in my studio lately: Liquid Acrylics – The colors move and flow so easily – you can drip, blow them with a straw, marbleize, create opaque wash layers, or paint and smudge with fingers. It’s just so different and playful. I also find that my liquid acrylic pages don’t stick the way regular acrylic paint ones do. Liquid acrylics are also one of my favorite ways to create because they are so playful – it’s a great way for me to let go of anxiety.
Check out my class on using high flows on tiny pieces of paper to create your own mini masterpieces: Fluid Art. India Ink and Gesso – Since I’m clearly into a period of “playful” painting techniques with things that flow – ink and gesso are great choices because they resist but also combine and are also reasonably priced. If you’d like to learn more about how to paint this way, check out my course, Freeing the Muse.
What are you doing to create space for art in your life and in your home? What creative ideas have I missed? Will you share them with the community? Join me for my free e-course, the Guide to Creative Self-Care. It’s a 6-day email class that will help you assess your current self-care practice, and find fun and healthy ways to de-stress. I’ll teach you how to use your art to express your feelings and let it all go.
Hop on over to our private Facebook group, Creative Self-Care, for more creativity, art, and self-care ideas in a supportive community. Be sure to get on the Mindful Art Studio mailing list to hear about upcoming free art journaling and creativity workshops and more. Creatively Yours, Amy *Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase through the link I would receive a small commission.
I only link products I really believe in.
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Welcome to my quilt studio! When my husband and I decided to renovate our condominium apartment last year, I jumped at the opportunity to design my perfect workspace. I’ve been quilting for more than 10 years, and I’ve experimented with a number of storage and workspace options. I had a pretty clear idea of what worked for me, and what didn’t. Prior to the renovation, the furniture in my studio consisted mainly of bookcases, which provided lots of storage, but no horizontal work space.
As a result, my fabric and works in progress often spilled out onto the dining room table. There was also a shortage of drawers and doors to hide clutter, which made it difficult to keep my studio looking tidy and organized. My studio is located in our second bedroom, an awkwardly-shaped room of approximately 220 square feet, which also houses our exercise bike and treadmill. So with a finite amount of room for my studio, I needed to make the very best use of the available space.
I prepared an inventory of all my fabric, supplies and other quilting-related possessions to determine how much and what types of storage space I required. I drew a floor plan of the room, and cut out pieces of colored paper to scale for all the pieces of furniture, rearranging them until I felt I had the best possible layout. I turned to the Internet and magazines such as Studios for inspiration and ideas of how to maximize every inch of space.
Carpeting was replaced with hardwood flooring to match the flooring elsewhere in the condo. The cabinetry is all white, the countertop is a laminate in a color similar to the floor. The upper cupboards all have doors, to hide the clutter and provide visual calmness. The walls are painted a soft green; my favorite color. A ceiling fan keeps the room cool enough to work even on hot summer days.
For lighting, there are pot lights in the ceiling to provide good overall light, under-cabinet puck lights to provide task lighting, and two full-spectrum lights I can position where needed. The window faces east and overlooks a walkway along the Fraser River and a railroad bridge – there’s always something interesting happening just outside my window! I prefer to stand when designing quilts, cutting, ironing – basically everything except sewing at my machine, or working at my computer.
So, most of the counters are 37 inches high. On the long wall, the standing-height counter is 26 inches deep, wide enough for my cutting mats and an ironing mat. (I banished my full-size ironing board to the closet.) Two of my favorite organizing products are hung on the wall above this counter. A metal magazine holder is a perfect place to store my acrylic quilting rulers and I can use magnets to hold notes and photos to the front.
A hanging basket from IKEA holds my scissors, rotary cutters and other small items. Now my rulers and cutting tools are easy to find, and don’t get buried under piles of fabric. I also design my art quilts at this counter. The cupboards above hold my design materials – sketch books and notes about quilting designs, inspirational photos, reference books, graph paper, tracing paper, colored pens and pencils, etc.
Under the counter are a combination of drawers, open shelves, and one of my favorite features – slots for my wire baskets full of fabrics. I bought these wire baskets years ago from IKEA, and found this the best way for me to organize my fabric, which is mostly small pieces of ¼ to ½ yard. I tried stacking it on shelves, but I always seemed to need the fabric in the middle of the stack. I sort my fabric by color and place it vertically/standing upright in the baskets so I can pull out what I need without disturbing the other fabric.
I can easily pull out a whole basket if needed, then slide it back into its slots. On one short wall (above), the counter is only 16 inches deep – just wide enough for the rolling, folding craft table to slide underneath when not being used. When I’m designing a quilt, my portable hinged design wall is open and propped against the counter and cupboards. When I progress to the construction phase and need a larger horizontal work area, the design wall is moved and the craft table is rolled out.
Being able to move the craft table around, and access it from all sides is very useful. When sewing a large quilt, I need additional surface area behind my sewing machine table to support the weight of the quilt. The sewing machine table is positioned against a counter built to the same height. Because this counter cannot be accessed from the front without moving the sewing machine table, it’s open at the end, so that I can easily access the storage space underneath.
A small rolling cart next to my sewing table provides additional support when sewing large quilts, and is a handy place to store my thread and frequently used sewing notions. I sort my thread by color and store it in clear Ziploc bags. The wall in front of my sewing machine has no upper cupboards. Instead, it is designated as gallery space where I display my quilts on a rotating basis (above).
I installed two café rods to provide some flexibility in the size of quilts I can hang there. I love being able to look at my quilt gallery while sewing. One leg of an L-shaped closet was fitted with custom-designed shelving. I store my finished quilts rolled on foam tubes ‘pool noodles’ on sloped shelves so they don’t roll off. There is lots of room for bulky supplies like batting, shipping supplies and extra sewing machines.
Sliding doors hide the clutter, and my portable design wall fits perfectly against them, if I need to view a quilt from a distance. The other leg of the L-shaped closet was converted to a small (37” wide by 27” deep) office alcove. Here I manage my online Etsy shop, keep in touch with the online quilting world, plan which quilt shows I want to enter, and keep track of all the related paperwork.
I’m thrilled with my new furnishings. Everything has a place, and there is even room in the cupboards and drawers for future acquisitions. I feel much more organized and therefore more productive. My Favorite Organizing Products: Wire baskets for folded fabric (IKEA Antonius baskets) Magnetic magazine rack for holding acrylic quilting rulers (available from Room In Order, See Jane Work) Hanging wire basket with empty raisin boxes for holding cutting and other tools (IKEA Bygel rail and hanging basket) Ziploc bags for threads (sorted by color, of course!) Rolling, folding craft table (Sullivans) Ironing mat (Dritz) Iron with retractable cord (Panasonic) Portable hinged design wall – I made it myself from foam insulation board, 6 feet by 4 feet by 1” thick.
I had it cut it in half, so I had 2 pieces 6 feet by 2 feet. I hinged the two pieces together with duct tape, then covered it with beige fleece on the front and back. That way, I can use both sides if I’m working on 2 projects at once. When it’s not being used for a project, I fold it in half, prop it against a wall or the closet doors and use it as a mini gallery wall
Title: How To Organize An Art Studio