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How to Create an Art Studio in a Small Space at Home

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I love arts and crafts and trying new things, but after a couple of moves that also included downsizing, I lost my studio space.  In my old space I took over half the basement where the large windows were and with all the natural light and I filled all the corners.  But after the dust settled on 2 moves in one year, I was faced with part of my bedroom for my studio space.  That was the only space available.

Lean it Out

The first thing I had to do was lean it out, which meant getting ruthless with supplies and old pieces and tons of books.

I had been meaning to do this anyway, but was now forced.  I split it up over a few days, and picked one chore per day and concentrated only on that area.  For example:  Over the years I had accumulated many little bottles of acrylic paint.  I now had them in tubs, so I decided for the first chore to go through these paints.  As it turned out many were older and had simply dried out, so I tossed them.  Other ones that were colours I am not likely to use, I bagged up to be sent to the reuse centre at our local dump.  I didn’t realize just how many dried up and not used paints I was lugging around with the moves.

5 Second Rule

I moved on to other supplies, bits of paper, scraps of fabric, and then kept the things that I felt would be used again.  I knew the size of the space I had to live with, so these last bits of supplies had to be worthwhile.  I followed the 5 second rule, which is pull the item out, quickly turn it around and look at it and within 5 seconds decide to keep, toss, or donate.

Don’t be afraid to donate art supplies.  I found our local thrift store and the reuse it center accepted these as long as they were in original containers, as kids can use these for arts and crafts.  

how to create an art studio in a small space

Consider Your Craft

Now you have to decide, what are your favorite arts or crafts?  If you once did large scale, can you back it down to small scale or medium?  Like to try something new?

Decide what type of surface you need.  For me I loved to draw as well as pen and wash (watercolor), so I decided I needed a drawing table that could be adjusted for angle with at least a side table.  If jewelry is your thing, then you need a desk or workbench type surface, but it needs to double for other things such as storage

Every Piece Must Double for Other Uses

If your space is small, then any piece you add must be able to be used for other things such as storage.  If you get a drafting style table, you need drawers or the ability to add a rolling drawer set.  

how to create an art studio in a small space
Studio Designs 10057 Futura Tower, Silver/Blue Glass
Amazon Price: $399.99 $188.61 Buy Now
(price as of May 10, 2016)

Drawing Table

I ended up getting one of these styles of drawing tables as pictured as it was not to large or heavy looking.  I had decided to scale my water colors to a smaller size, and this worked perfectly.  I am using one side of my bedroom, so I felt I needed to invest in a couple of pieces that not only worked for my art but were good looking as well!  This also forced me to get organized and keep it clean.

how to create an art studio in a small space

There are Side Shelves for Extra Flat Storage

South Shore Artwork Craft Table with Storage, Pure White
Amazon Price: $279.00 Buy Now
(price as of May 10, 2016)

Work Table Desk

If you art or craft requires a sturdy flat surface, such as with jewelry, there are more sturdy desks available especially online.  This also has tons of storage for all your supplies and pieces, and you can keep it clean and organized especially if you need to share a space in your home.

I have my home studio set up under the bedroom window as I work best with natural light.  So you need to consider lighting and an electrical outlet as well.

How to Make an Art Studio in a Small Space

If you get creative with your storage options and label things well, you will be amazed at just how much you can fit into a small space.  I have my drawing table, and a few drawers and a corner book shelf that houses my craft books and also stackable see through plastic containers for supplies.  I fit everything I need into this side of my bedroom.

If you really spend the time to think it through and how you like to work, there are easy ways to store your supplies.  My rule is that everything must have more than one use.  The corner book shelf nook was just a piece of wasted space 2 feet wide, but after adding shelves it houses my books and also supplies, my art table has drawers and I have another roll around cart full of supplies as well.

At the end of the day it doesn’t take much to clean the area and stay organized.  If you spend the time to really try and walk through how you operate, and get the right pieces, that small space will be the best art studio ever!

how to create an art studio in a small space

This Cart Can House a Lot of Supplies

Honey-Can-Do CRT-01683 12 Drawer Chrome Studio Organizer Cart
Amazon Price: $90.00 $73.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 10, 2016)

Roll Away Cart with Drawers

This can house many supplies, as well as give you an extra work surface.  It can roll to the corner when not in use.  Depending on your craft you may be able to fit everything you need in this roll away cart.  Having a cart with wheels makes it easier in a small space.  This could be rolled into the closet when not in use or under your drawing table or simply in the corner.  It looks clean and organized.

how to create an art studio in a small space

Get Your Art off the Floor

Martin Avanti Metal Print Rack
Amazon Price: $93.73 Buy Now
(price as of May 10, 2016)

Art Rack

Instead of having canvases lying around or leaning on the walls, you can use one of these racks for drying your art or storing it as well.  If you do watercolors like I do, and matt them, you can store them all in this rack.

How to create an art studio in a small space

Art Portfolio

Another great place to store smaller pieces of art is in a portfolio and this one has handles for carrying around to show your work as well as with a few hooks in the wall you could simply hang this up on the wall or behind the door so that it never gets stood on, and yet protects all your finished pieces of art.

Don't Fret About Your Small Space - There is Always a Way!

It is amazing just how creative you can get.  So take that same creativity you put into your arts and crafts and put some time and thought into what you really need to keep your hobby buzzing along and gelling with the rest of your home.



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