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    2014 Reading Challenge

    2014 Reading Challenge
    Tammy has read 0 books toward her goal of 36 books.

    « Art Journal: Spring | Main | Trippy Typography »

    Step #615: Organize Art Supplies With No Dedicated Workspace

    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?
    How often is happiness destroyed by preparation, foolish preparation."
    ~ Jane Austen

    ornaments in a shop in amsterdam, summer 2009

    My breakfast table multi-tasks as my art studio, so I've got to work smart. The biggest hurdle in organizing my art supplies 2 years ago was deciding what materials to store together! But it's paid off; I can find the #8 flat brush I need, the replacement cobalt blue half pan or the J. Herbin ink...

    I had to think through HOW I art journal, for example, to put together the baskets I'd need. I tend to do pages in 3 phases, so I set up the baskets that way. Backgrounds (gesso, fluid acrylics, stamps, texturizers, brushes, molding paste), collage (images, adhesive, scissors), journaling (neocolors, pitt pens, paint markers, alpha stamps). Other baskets were straightforward (watercolors w/palettes, etc).


    1. Quick set-up and tear-down so getting stuff out isn't an energy drain, or something to dread.
    2. Know what goes where. I keep stuff in baskets themed by activity. Baskets are labeled with contents.
    3. Take out as few baskets as possible to do art.
    4. Art supplies look pretty when in storage (on shelves just off the kitchen). Everything is in wooded baskets. I love clear lidded plastic boxes, and the kid's art supplies are stored that way in the pantry, but I wanted to have a more uniform look since it was out in the open.

    How do you keep your art supplies organized if you don't have a dedicated art space?

    Find more tips in the step-by-step art journaling series.

    You might like Catalyst One Hundred and Five at Creative Therapy... "Tell a random childhood memory."

    Reader Comments (8)

    Love your storage baskets, Tammy! You're absolutely right about having everything as your fingertips so that it isn't a chore. My supplied are in labeled boxes and stacked on shelves by groups. My tools are on the same shelf as my Xyron machine, all of my jewelry supplies are on one shelf. Things I use every day are within arms reach. Having things organized makes it a joy to create. Hugs, Terri xoxo

    03.25.2010 | Unregistered CommenterTerri@PringleHill

    pretty pretty! if my things aren't spread all over the place, they are all packed (untidily) into a 3-drawer plastic thing. or all out on my desk. i hope one day to have the room to organize it all properly!

    03.25.2010 | Unregistered CommenterIngrid

    I tagged you with the Honest Scrap Award!


    03.25.2010 | Unregistered CommenterKathy

    Ahh the bane of my existence. No dedicated Art Space, no storage either, bags that can be stashed here and there but then it is all mixed up and I can never know where it is.
    200 year old houses have charm, warmth and character and are green recycling but storage is not something that they have. This is a never ending task for me to work on . . . . .I need to re-look at my spaces and see what I can do!! Thanks for the inspiration, love the baskets and the thought, backgrounds, collage etc . . . good way to store things.

    03.26.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCarol

    I have a large "Expedit" storage unit from IKEA, and everything is in there except for my acrylic paints, and that's because the container won't fit in the cubicle. I am lucky enough to have a room to myself but I almost always find myself journaling in the kitchen, which is right next door.

    I love the lidded baskets. Would you tell me where you got them? They look so nice and neat! Thanks!

    03.29.2010 | Unregistered CommenterSandra L.

    *Sandra, The lidded baskets are from pottery barn ~ they are available in lots of sizes & shapes... We love them.

    03.30.2010 | Registered Commentergypsy

    This is a great idea, but I share a room with my sister and I have one shelf. Right now all my craft stuff is in a big bin. What would you do in my situation? I have a little space where a drawer under my bed used to be. But other then that all the space I have is used.

    05.29.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

    * Liz, not knowing the size of your shelf and the amount of craft/art stuff, my thought would be to get the clear plastic shoebox sized boxes from somewhere like The Container Store or Target and divide into things that you would most likely use together, the idea being to take out as few boxes as necessary! You could label them in neon or fluorescent markers and keep them under the bed so that you could see the labels easily. The other thought is to add shelves to your closet to get more storage space that is in unused areas. Best wishes. Just keep in mind, gradually you'll have more space!

    05.29.2011 | Registered Commentergypsy

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